Chk Chk Bang – Fire Arms & Deceased Estates

This advice from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) is problematic.

In Qld it is illegal to possess a firearm without a licence and to acquire a firearm without a permit to acquire. Yet if a deceased estate has firearms and you are a beneficiary of that estate, the QPS post advises you can acquire the firearm without a permit to acquire! What makes the status of being a beneficiary of an estate different to being an ordinary citizen who must otherwise obtain the permit and have a good reason to have the weapon?

The logic and rationale in this escapes me and always has always.

What about the executor? The firearm would immediately vest and come into the possession of the executor on death by virtue of s45 of the Succession Act. This raises all kinds of liability issues for an Executor. Firstly, if they don’t have a licence or a permit to acquire, then they would likely be in breach of the law. And what about storage requirements? The law is quite strict on the storage of firearms. What if the deceased did not have it legally stored. What duties and obligations are there on an Executor to address the storage of the item/s? It is not as though their solicitor can store it in their safe custody. That would be illegal!

What if the beneficiary has mental health issues, a history of domestic violence, lost mental capacity? What are the duties and obligations of the Executor? In the post from the QPS they say that all the Executor is required to do is provide a letter, with the responsibility resting entirely on the beneficiary to properly inform the QPS of them.

Any one faced with this issue should consult with a specialist criminal lawyer and a specialist succession lawyer first.

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