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My name isXXXXX a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.
I'm looking at this from the perspective of best protecting your interests, so I must respectfully XXXXX XXXXX the Federal Firearms License dealer's opinion as you're described it. What I mean is that I would not under any circumstances recommend ignoring the issue. Here's why I say so. The law goes as follows in such cases. The pistol is being "transferred", at least as far as the law views it, from your former mother-in-law to you, from one unlicensed person to another. In other words, the transaction (even though it took place in the past), does come under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. So, that simply means you need to get with a local dealer holding a Federal Firearms License and regularize the transaction. It's no big deal at all to make the transaction lawful by a dealer simply executing an ATF Form 5300.5 Report of Firearms Transactions.
If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.
I truly hope all works out for you.