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Gun Range Owner Needs to File for Bankruptcy

Question: I saw your blog post on guns and bankruptcy. I'm a gun dealer and I'm thinking about filing personal bankruptcy—the economy has really hurt business. What will they do with my guns if I file bankruptcy here in Georgia? I have handguns, rifles, shotguns and I sell some ammo. I like to hunt, go to shooting ranges and I sell at gun shows.

Answer: As a business owner when you file bankruptcy you will be required to file documents regarding your business—on profits/losses, inventory, etc. These will be used by your bankruptcy attorney, the bankruptcy trustee and bankruptcy judge to help determine which bankruptcy you can file, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

The outcome of your bankruptcy would depend on a number of variables including how many weapons you have, whether the business was profitable, or even if it is full-time or part-time. Of course some gun dealers have just a few guns, while others can have hundreds or even thousands in stock. Some gun dealers specialize in the more "exotic" firearms—AK-47, Uzi and machine-guns. While others have inventory that includes collectible American, German, Austrian, Japanese, French and Chinese guns and custom firearms. And while some gun dealers have large stores, some sell just a few on the Internet and still others only sell at gun shows, which are common in Georgia.

A bankruptcy trustee or a bankruptcy judge may seek out information about guns and their value using the traditional resources like the Internet, magazines and perhaps speaking to gun dealers and appraisers. The Internet certainly has many websites related to guns and there are a number of magazines that focus on firearms, such as American Handgunner, Combat Handguns, Gun World, Gun Digest: The Magazine, Rifle Shooter and Guns & Ammo. Gun auctions are prevalent for all sorts of firearms, including those with antique and historical value. Obviously an ordinary, recent model handgun or rifle will have far less value than a gun that was owned by Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Al Capone, John Dillinger, Jesse James, Bonnie & Clyde, John Wesley Hardin, Butch Cassidy, John Gotti, George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Douglas MacArthur.

Under the bankruptcy code, gun dealers are treated just like any other business. So what happens to your guns and bullets is really determined by the same factors as any other business inventory and which bankruptcy chapter you qualify for.

If you have a question on debt or bankruptcy, please call us directly at 678-215-4106 to discuss the specifics of your situation and how we can help you.

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