Using a Gun Trust To Pass On Your Firearms


There are two federal laws that regulate gun trusts. The 1934 National Firearms Act (now Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968) regulates how your NFA firearms are passed on and shared between individuals. Your shared weapons must have a serial number and be registered with the ATF. Otherwise, the weapon is illegal to own. Additionally, there is a tax and fee associated with transferring a registered NFA firearm.

Types of Firearms and Equipment Impacted Through Federal Firearms Regulations


In addition to machine guns, rifles, and shotguns, silencers and grenades are impacted by federal gun legislation. Machine guns also have special provisions. You can only legally own machine guns that were manufactured before 1986, and to transfer these weapons, there are a few strict provisions:

  • The transfer process must be approved by the ATF.
  • You have to pay a $200 tax (which is refunded if the application process is denied).
  • There is a stringent background check process.

Goals To Think About When Setting Up a Gun Trust

To get around some of the complexities of federal firearm legislation, we recommend setting up a gun trust. Here are some goals that you might want to think about:

How Many People Do You Want to Have Access To Your Firearms?

Let’s say that your children often accompanied you on hunting trips and they particularly favored a certain type of rifle. In this situation, you would want to list these family members as trustees so that they can use those weapons and have the right to possess them.

Do You Want To Transfer Your Weapons Or Keep Them In the Trust?

Let’s say that you don’t want to make your executor pay the $200 transfer tax. This can be avoided by creating a gun trust.

What If Your Executor Is Not Educated About Firearms?

Your executor may not be familiar with gun laws, a fact that could be harmful to them. They could unwittingly break a gun law after your death. To protect your loved ones, create a trust. This will ensure that your executor will not be involved.

What Happens To Your NFA Weapons When You Die?

Disclaimer: Use of this website to purchase forms to create your own gun trust does not substitute for professional legal advice.  Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.