Gun Trust FAQs
Q: What is the purpose of creating a gun trust?
A: A gun trust has the ability to buy, hold, and use firearms and other items which are restricted by the National Firearms Act. The transfer, possession, and sale of such items, including silencers, is a federal crime if not done properly. State and federal laws must be followed where the items are stored as well as where the beneficiary lives. A gun trust is to be used in regard to firearms only and should not hold additional property.
Q: Who can possess the Title II firearms in the trust?
A: Only the Trustees (Trustee and Co-Trustees), generally, can legally possess the items held by the trust. Anyone with access to the NFA item held by the trust should be added to the trust as a Co-Trustee. Title II firearms cannot be used by minors except under supervision of an adult Trustee as well as with permission of the parent or guardian.
Q:What do I have to do to legally transport NFA items to another state?
A:Before moving, whether temporarily or permanently, to across state lines, it is important to obtain permission from the ATF to move a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun or rifle, or other destructive devices across state lines. However, you do not need to get approval from the ATF to do this; it is only necessary to notify, in writing, the ATF of any change of address. Although it is legal to transport silencers across state lines, you can only transport NFA items into states where they can be legally possessed. It is paramount that you comply with the laws of the state in which you possess the NFA items.
Q: Specifically, how do I transport the firearms across state lines?
A:For either temporary or permanent transport of the NFA firearms, the trustee is required to file a BATFE Form 5320.20 as well as receive an approved copy from the BATFE.
Q: If I currently own NFA firearms, can I transfer them into the trust without a transfer fee?
A:Unfortunately, a transfer fee must be paid for any transfer into the gun trust since the trust is a separate legal entity.
Q: Can I amend my Gun Trust?
A: Yes, a gun trust may be modified at any time before the settlor/grantor dies.
Q: Who can possess a NFA firearm owned by a trust?
A: Only trustees or life beneficiary may possess the NFA firearm(s) owned by the gun trust.
Q: When Form 1 or Form 4 comes back approved, what do I do?
A: There tend to be some inaccuracies within the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR), therefore, it is crucial that you keep additional copies of the approved form. One copy should always be with the firearm, in the rare instance of a law enforcement officer asking to see registration. If we draft a gun trust for you, we would be happy to provide you with a digital copy in case the paper copy is lost.
Q: What is a Settlor?
A: The Settlor, also referred to as the Grantor, is the person who creates a trust. A gun trust is a revocable trust and therefore, the Settlor has the ultimate authority.
Q: What is a Trustee?
A: The Trustee manages the property held by the trust and is usually the same person as the Settlor.
Q: What is a Successor Trustee?
A: The Successor Trustee is the person who takes over as the Trustee when the Trustee dies and is usually a spouse, sibling, or an adult child. The Successor Trustee is not part of the NFA Trust until the Trustee dies, but the Successor Trustee could also be listed as a Co-Trustee so that they may have access to the gun trust property.
Q: What is a Co-Trustee?
A: A Co-Trustee has equal access to the NFA Trust property; however, they do not have the authority to change the trust. There is no limit for the number of Co-Trustees; it is only required that they all must be able to legally possess NFA items.
Q: What is a Beneficiary?
A: A Beneficiary is the person(s) that will inherit the trust and what the trust holds. Anyone can be named as a beneficiary, but most commonly, a beneficiary is a spouse, children or grandchildren.