A gun trust has many benefits if you’re interested in NFA weapons. These include suppressors, short-barrel rifles (SBRs), short-barrel shotguns (SBSs) or pre-1986 automatic weapons (machine guns).
AN NFA TRUST AVOIDS FELONY TRANSFERS OF NFA WEAPONS
Using a gun trust allows you to legally share the use of NFA weapons with others. The NFA (National Firearms Act) states that any “unapproved transfer” of NFA weapons is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. The word “transfer” is defined by the act to include selling, conveying, mortgaging, pledging and loaning the weapon to any other person. However, the word “loan” is not defined by the act or by ATF regulations. Therefore, if you allow any other person to use your NFA weapons, you could be charged with an unapproved transfer (especially if someone gets hurt or killed). But if you make others a lifetime beneficiary of your trust, they have the right to the use and enjoyment of trust assets. If you make others co-trustees of your trust, they have the right to possession of trust assets. Thus, the use of NFA weapons can be legally and safely extended to other persons through the trust.
AN NFA TRUST AVOIDS PROBATE OF NFA WEAPONS
A gun trust will help you avoid the need for a judicial probate process to transfer your NFA weapons after your death. The ATF requires a surviving spouse or other relative to initiate a probate process and be appointed as the Personal Representative of the decedent’s estate before they will approve a Form 5 or a Form 4 to transfer NFA weapons titled in the decedent’s name.
For the same reason you wouldn’t want to probate a house, you wouldn’t want to go through that for firearms. This can be a costly and time-consuming process. Use an NFA trust to secure the assets, keep them safe and make sure they go to the persons you specify, without unnecessary expense and delay.
AN NFA TRUST PROVIDES A COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PLAN TO YOUR SUCCESSORS
Finally, a good gun trust provides comprehensive instructions to your successor trustees. It tells them how NFA weapons must be handled so that they do not get in trouble administering/handling your weapons. This is a real problem. We have literally seen a surviving spouse handing out suppressors to her children, saying that “dad would have wanted you to each to have one.” She had no idea that she was committing a felony and subjecting her children to the same felony charges by doing so.
Protect your loved ones: Minimize the hassle involved in acquiring NFA weapons and legally share the use of these weapons with others by using a professionally drafted gun trust template!