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Weekly Speaker Program

August 13, 2018: Jeff Collins, Gun Collecting and Appraisal.

Robyn Braley introduced our guest speaker, Jeff Collins, who is a former CBC Radio host.

Jeff came to Calgary to host the Eye-Opener early morning radio show just in time for the Olympics in 1988. Later, after some time in South America, he returned to Calgary as host of The Homestretch.

In the early 90s, Jeff attended a gun show at the Stampede Corral. He was fascinated by the range of guns and was introduced to the gun collecting community. Later, he got his firearms dealers licence and has been active on the collecting front ever since.

An offshoot (no pun intended) is his business as a consultant for estates evaluating firearms. He has been operating under Bang Bang Consulting since 2009: Identification, Disposition, Acquisition, Help and Advice.

Jeff provided a very interesting and informative overview of his passion with firearms. He told several stories of people who had to deal with firearms left in an estate.

  1. There are approximately two million firearm licenses issued to Canadian individuals. This does not account for all unlicensed firearms in Canada, which are estimated to be one million.
  2. How, and by whom, will these firearms be handled when the owners die? Also, who may inherit a firearm?
  3. When one accepts the duties of being an executor for an estate, there is always the likelihood the executor will discover assets that may present a challenge in the administration. Without question, a firearm qualifies as one of those “tricky” assets; especially if the executor was unaware that the deceased possessed a firearm.
  4. Many questions arise upon discovering a deceased’s firearm. Is the firearm registered? Is it a restricted or prohibited firearm? Is the deceased’s license still valid? Is it in the will (if there is a will)? Is the beneficiary of the firearm qualified to receive it?
  5. How should the executor proceed? The following is a summary of some of the factors to consider and procedures to follow.

Responsibilities of an Executor:

  • It is the responsibility of the executor to ensure that the firearms are safely stored until such time as the firearms are transferred or disposed of. The executor is responsible to further ensure that any restricted or prohibited firearms that the executor, as transferor, transfers to another individual or business are registered to the transferee.
  • The executor has the duty of determining whether the deceased held a firearms licence, and, for any restricted or prohibited firearms, that the appropriate registration certificates are located.

Inheriting a Firearm:

  • The Firearms Act sets out the Federal regulations governing the possession of firearms.
  • The beneficiary of a firearm must have reached the age of majority and have a Possession and Acquisition Licence with all appropriate privileges for the class of the firearm.

‘Firearms’ are defined in the Canadian Criminal Code. Unfortunately, there are many prohibited firearms and weapons in distribution. A comprehensive listing, descriptions and definitions of prohibited, restricted and non-restricted firearms are listed in the schedule Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

As well, the RCMP has prepared and made available excellent guides on how to identify and dispose of restricted or prohibited weapons, and provides very specific procedures to follow when permitted firearms are transferred to any beneficiary. Indeed, the heir must notify the Chief Firearms Officer of the province seeking approval to have any restricted or prohibited firearms transferred and registered to him or her. This process is mandatory in order to ensure the heir is eligible to own the firearm.

If the heir resides in a foreign country, the executor must ensure the foreign jurisdiction allows the firearm to be imported.

No Heir:
If there are no heirs, no qualified heirs, or should the named beneficiary refuse the firearm, a few options are available to the executor.

  • to sell or give the firearm to someone else who holds a licence;
  • sell or give the firearm to a qualified business or museum;
  • have the firearm deactivated so that it no longer meets the definition of a firearm and, therefore, is exempted from the requirements of the Firearm Act; or
  • simply turn the firearm over to a police officer for disposal.

The Vital Four Acts of Firearm Safety (ACTS):

  1. Assume every firearm is loaded
  2. Control the muzzle direction at all times
  3. Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard
  4. See that the firearm is unloaded

Conclusion: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people

Marvin Pawlivsky expressed the thanks of the club, and presented Jeff with our world famous Boltman.

  • Jeff Collins and Marvin Pawlivsky Jeff Collins and Marvin Pawlivsky

reported by Mike Carlin

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