Advance Care Planning for Guns: Owners Can Help Ensure Safe Use and Transfer of Weapons

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Health

Kerri Raissian didn’t know what to do about her father’s guns when he died of covid-19 in December at age 86 and left her executor of his estate.

Her father, Max McGaughey, hadn’t left a complete list of his firearms and where they were stored, and he hadn’t prepared a realistic plan for responsibly transferring them to family members.

What’s more McGaughey had lived alone for at least a year at his home in Weimar, Texas, after being diagnosed with dementia in October 2020 — a situation Raissian realized was potentially unsafe but didn’t know how to address.

Now, a new tool can help gun owners and family members plan ahead for safe firearm use and transfers in the event of disability or death: The Firearm Life Plan, created by researchers at the University of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Denver.

Think of it as advance care planning for guns — a way for someone to describe what they want to have happen to their firearms should they die or become physically or cognitively disabled and unable to use them responsibly.

The goal is to prevent accidental injuries that can result if older gun owners forget to store firearms safely, their hearing and vision are impaired, they become seriously depressed, or a medical condition such as arthritis prevents th …

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