Do I get to keep my gun if I file for bankruptcy?

The answer may be “YES,” thanks to a new bill just passed in Congress by the House.

Under the new law (H.R. 5827 “Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2010”), an individual who has filed for personal bankruptcy may keep up to $3,000 in firearms.  The rationale is that people should still not lose the ability to protect themselves just because they’ve file for bankruptcy.

Notably, the bill passed overwhelmingly in the House by a 307-113 margin.  It was sponsored by John Boccieri (D-Ohio).  And the Senate version was sponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

The bill does not say anything about the number of firearms you can protect.  Only the total dollar amount and that they must be operational.  (i.e., An antique gun that has value but is not usable would likely not be protected.)  So you could potentially have one very high priced firearm.  Or you could have multiple less expensive firearms.

Of course, guns are only one of many exemptions available to individuals when filing for bankruptcy.  Many people think that they will lose all of their possessions in a bankruptcy case.

But the reality is, with good pre-bankruptcy planning and communication with your bankruptcy attorney, you can often protect most, if not all of your assets.

To learn more about what you can keep and what you can’t keep in a bankruptcy, and to increase the likelihood that you actually do get to keep all of these things, please contact a Haines & Krieger attorney at 702-880-5554 for a free initial consultation.

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