How to Talk To a Senior About Letting Go of Their Gun Collection

Have you ever had an uncomfortable conversation with your parents?

Now, we’re not talking about the birds and the bees conversation you had when you were a preteen! We mean a conversation that many people need to have with their aging parents about their safety as they grow older. For example, you may need to discuss what to do about their firearms.

If you’re worried about your aging parents’ safety when it comes to having firearms in the home, we at GTA Guns have some advice about talking to them about this sensitive issue:

Make Plans Early

When it comes to the later life of your parents or loved ones, planning makes perfect!

Having a conversation with your parents years before they decide to downsize to a smaller home or a retirement facility or before the possibility of mental or physical impairment can save all of you some tough conversations later on down the line. For example, what do they want to do with their firearms if they move? Would they want to sell them, give them to someone else in the family, or store them elsewhere?

Don’t be afraid to ask your parents questions about their firearms. Even if you think they don’t have any guns in the home, you might be surprised! If you know for sure there are firearms in their home, you should ask if they are correctly stored, locked with ammunition elsewhere, and other basic firearm safety questions. You must know these things to protect them.

Another reason to have this conversation earlier is that downsizing can be an upsetting event for many seniors. Letting go of a home is difficult enough, but giving up a good portion of one’s possessions can make it even tougher.

For example, if one of your parents spent a lifetime building up their firearm collection, they’ll likely want to keep that collection, even if they don’t have the room for it in their new home. Later in their lives, they might not want to have a conversation about getting rid of their guns, even if they know deep down that it’s necessary. So, how can you address the situation at that point?

Offer Solutions

Simply telling your parents or another senior that they need to get rid of their firearms probably won’t be greeted with enthusiasm, especially if you don’t approach them with a plan to deal with the items. However, if you come into the conversation with well-researched potential solutions, it could make all the difference in how your parents respond or react.

The first and most lucrative solution is simply to sell the firearms through an online gun auction. At GTA Guns, we’ve helped countless seniors downsize their firearm collections while also boosting their retirement savings!

But what if your parents are adamant that they don’t want to sell their firearms?

Maybe your parents would consider the possibility of giving their firearms to a member of the family. This strategy is far superior to willing the firearms after death, as it avoids issues involving executors and potential taxes.

Your parents may want to retain ownership of their firearms—after all, they might have spent years building up a collection and there are probably memories attached to each item that they’re not ready to let go of yet. If this is the case, you could suggest alternative storage possibilities. Fortunately, GTA Guns offers the perfect solution: our safe gun storage!

When you can’t keep your guns with you at home, GTA Guns can provide a short or long-term storage solution that’s perfect for seniors looking to downsize. We offer an optimized environment for firearms with both temperature and humidity controls. Our facility is monitored 24/7 and is fully insured, should the unthinkable ever occur.

Most importantly, getting access to one’s stored firearms is easy! Your parents only need to call us to arrange a pick-up or drop-off time. If they’re planning on going on a hunting trip or want to do some shooting at a range, their firearms are only a phone call away!

Make the Hard Choices

Here is the bottom line: if it is unsafe for your elderly parents to have guns in their home, you need to get those firearms out. It’s a matter of safety—both their own safety and the safety of those around them.

For instance, a common issue that many people face is when to decide to address unsafe driving with their parents. There comes a time when it simply isn’t safe for a senior to drive anymore. Maybe their eyesight is failing, or their ability to focus is rapidly declining. They might get lost easily or get into accidents. At that point, driving can be a danger to them and others, and the issue must be addressed.

The same principle applies when it comes to firearms. The problem is that it can be tricky to make a case to remove the firearms when nothing has happened… yet.

Of course, if the seniors in your family have all of their mental facilities and are still responsible firearm owners, then there’s no reason to force the issue. But if there’s a chance that they’re suffering from a diagnosed or undiagnosed form of dementia or mental health disorder (e.g. severe depression), removing the firearms from their home might be a tough decision you must make on their behalf.

If you don’t feel comfortable selling their firearms—as that could be against their wishes—moving them into our safe storage facility can be an excellent solution. The guns would still belong to your parents, but would no longer be in their immediate possession.

If you would like some more advice about handling this sort of situation, we’d be happy to help. It’s been our privilege to help many seniors manage their firearm collections, and we might be able to offer them a new perspective on the issue!

If you’d like to learn more about GTA Guns auctions, or any of our other services, please feel free to contact us.