May 2012 Archives: NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog  

May 2012 Archives

May 31, 2012

ATF Forms, Examples and Notes

We get many questions about filling out ATF forms with trusts. Here is a summary of the common forms that need to be filled out along with instructions on how to fill them out properly.

While most trusts do not have EIN numbers, the proper way of filling out the documents is to include your social security number as that is your TAX ID number. At this time, ATF does not seem to care whether you leave it blank, put N/A, or include your Tax ID number or an alternate EIN number. This may change.

Many people feel that they should not have to pay an additional tax stamp to transfer from themselves to their trust. using your SS number on both would seem to indicate that there is not a taxable transfer. The problem is one of economics. Generally no one wants to fight over the $200 tax stamp. Even if you have 10 or 20 NFA firearms, the cost of raising this issue would be far more than paying the tax.

We have complied pages on
How to fill out an ATF form 4 (5320.4)
How to fill out an ATF form 1 (5320.1)
How to fill out an ATF form 20 (5320.20)
How to fill out an ATF Certificate of Compliance for a Trust (5330.20)

Remember that there are different types of trusts. Most trusts even are not appropriate for the ownership of firearms as they generally tend to instruct people to break the law. These forms and examples are for the use of those who are using a trust which has been licensed by a Gun Trust Lawyer®. These instructions work with the Base, Professional, and Multi Generational Asset Protection versions of the Gun Trusts and while they may be appropriate for other trusts, we cannot give advise on them without reviewing them.

May 31, 2012

U.S. Reverses Stance on Treaty to Regulate Firearms

Reuters is reporting that the U.S would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales.

The U.S. State Department released a statement that overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration which opposed such a treaty.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would support the talks.

The U.S. lobbying group the National Rifle Association has opposed the treaty as it could limit our gun rights and the ability to purchase or own firearms in the future.

Fears of restricted gun rights have created a huge increase in firearms sales over the past few years and there does not seem to be any indication that the sales will slow anytime soon.

May 30, 2012

Buying a Silencer with a Gun Trust

We often get questions dealing with the purchase of silencers in other states. You or a co-trustee must be a resident of the state in which you want to purchase the silencer. For example if you are a resident of a state that does not permit the ownership of silencers like New York, California, or New Jersey it is possible to purchase silencers in other states where they are legal. Unfortunately if you are a resident of a state where they are not legal will not be able to complete the transaction. If you have a co-trustee who is a resident of a state where they are legal the silencer can be purchased in that state by that co-trustee.

While it is permissible to add co-trustees in other states there should be a legitimate reason to add them and they should not be added to facilitate the purchase as this would be considered a straw purchase and would be illegal.

Often people add adult relatives or friend who they will be shooting with, or who they want to have access to the firearms to a trust as a co-trustee. This would be a legitimate reason to add someone and would not create a straw purchase issue. On the other hand if you were to add someone to the trust simply to allow you to make the purchase, it could be considered a straw purchase.

If you have questions about this you should contact you Gun Trust Lawyer® to discuss your specific circumstances and proposed course of action. Our Gun Trusts come with a guide that explains this in detail and what is and is not permitted under the federal laws that deal with these issues.

May 22, 2012

Bank of America Reveals Anti-Gun Policy, Drops Gun Manufacturer

boa.pngBank of America Reveals Anti-Gun Policy, Drops Gun Manufacturer McMillan Group International.

It appears from statements made to McMillan that the decision to not do business with firearms manufactures is politically motivated. If you have an account at BOA you may consider letting them know of your reaction to their decision.

May 16, 2012

Texas Legalizes Hunting with Silencers starting September 1 2012

With Dove season just around the corner, Texas is becoming one of the growing list of states that allows the use of silencers when hunting.

A silencer is a Title II Firearms which is restricted by the National Firearms Act and can only be sold by dealers who have a Class 3 SOT license. (They can also be purchased second-hand from individuals using the same ATF Form 4). Because of their classification they require a $200 Tax stamp and approval from the ATF or BATFE before you can take possession of them.

Other states including Texas have previously allowed the use of silencers when shooting varmint but not on game. While the law was passed in March, Texas hunters have been patiently awaiting September 1st to legally use silencers while hunting.

You will still need to apply and receive a state permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife to hunt for alligators, game animals or game birds with a silencer.

When your ready to begin hunting with a silencer in Texas, you should contact a Texas Gun Trust Lawyer ® to discuss setting up a Gun Trust. Gun Trust when properly created can help protect you and your family from violations of the NFA and add additional flexibility that is not available for individual owners.

Gun Trust Lawyer® works with lawyers in more than 40 states including Texas to offer legally supported trusts as well as a do it yourself Gun Trusts Forms.

Note: While a Gun Trust is a type of Revocable Trust, a Traditional Trust is not appropriate for the ownership, or disposition of firearms including NFA Firearms.

May 10, 2012

JFPO and Alan Korwin White Paper : Why Jews Hate Guns

Jews have been assaulted, accosted, and oppressed by nearly every nation and empire in history, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Ottomans and of course modern nations like Germany and the USSR.

With a history like this, you would think that Jewish people would be pro self-defense and pro firearms. While many are very pro firearms there are also many who are very much against firearms. This paper Why Jews Hate Guns helps explain many of the issues related to firearms rights.
This White Paper was written by Rabbi Dovid Bendory of JFPO and Alan Korwin of GunLaws.com.

May 3, 2012

Can I Ship a SBR or SBS by US Mail?

Short answer - Individuals or Trustees cannot, Dealers can.
The reason you can ship a riffle or shotgun by the United States Postal Service but not a Short-Barreled Rifle or Short-Barreled Shotgun is because of how Pistols are defined by the USPS.

The USPS defines a SBR or SBS as a Pistol and not a Riffle and as such does not permit them to be shipped by individuals or Trustees of Gun Trusts. See below

431.2 Handgun

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (for example, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles) are defined as handguns. The following definitions apply:


  1. Pistol or Revolver. A pistol or revolver is a handgun designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.

  2. Short-Barreled Rifle. A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches long is defined as a short-barreled rifle. This includes any weapon made from a rifle (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.

  3. Short-Barreled Shotgun. A shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches long is defined as a short-barreled shotgun. This includes any weapon made from a shotgun (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.

For more details on this see the Mailability page of the USPS website.

May 3, 2012

How Do I Ship NFA FIrearms to An Out of State Trustee

Recently one of our Gun Trust Lawyer® Clients asked us:

What are the shipping requirements for items in my NFA trust for Trustees in different states? The items are legal in both states and the personnel involved can legally possess the items. I also understand the commercial carrier and USPS shipping restrictions (at least think I do). As there is no transfer of ownership, must the items be transported with a FFL?

Our Trust allows one Trustee to ship to another Co-Trustee who is located in a different state a NFA Firearm that is an asset of the Gun Trust with the advanced approval from the ATF by using an ATF Form 5320.20. There is no requirement to use a FFL as the owner is not changing. The Gun Trust will be the owner of the firearm prior to and after the shipment.

May 2, 2012

Top 10 Questions & Answers from ATF

ATF receives numerous telephone and electronic inquiries on a daily basis. In an effort to provide individuals with the most up-to-date information, ATF has compiled a list of the top 10 most frequently asked questions and provided answers to those questions. Several of the questions deal with the manufacture, sale, use, and transfer of firearms subject to the NFA.

  1. Can a person prohibited by law from possessing a firearm acquire and use a black powder muzzle-loading firearm?
  2. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a friend who resides in a different State?
  3. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a resident of the same State in which I reside?
  4. How do I register my firearm or remove my name from a firearms registration?
  5. Does ATF issue a Concealed Carry Permit (CCP) that authorizes a person to carry a firearm throughout the United States?
  6. May I lawfully ship a firearm to myself in a different State?
  7. May I lawfully ship a firearm directly to an out-of-State licensee, or must I have a licensee in my State ship it to him? May the licensee return the firearm to me, even if the shipment is across State lines?
  8. I have been convicted of a felony. How do I reinstate my rights to possess a firearm?
  9. May I lawfully make a firearm for my own personal use, provided it is not being made for resale?
  10. I was the subject of a NICS check when I attempted to purchase a firearm from a FFL, and I received a delayed response or a denial. Please tell me why I did not receive a "proceed" response.

Please Download this document to review the answers to the Top 10 ATF questions Top 10 Frequently Asked Firearms Questions and Answers

NOTE: THE DOCUMENT BELOW ONLY DEALS WITH FEDERAL LAW AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT YOUR STATE LAW TO SEE IF THERE ARE ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS- For example some states do not permit permit prohibited person to possess antique firearms even though it is permitted under Federal law

May 1, 2012

A New Breed of Gun Trusts - Protecting Firearms Collectors & Their Collections

Red-Wagon-of-Guns.jpgAmmoLand has posted an article on Gun Trusts which has a good explanation of Gun Trust and why traditional estate planning is not appropriate for firearms collectors or owners. It also goes into some details on how a gun trust works, benefits of a gun trust, and how asset protection for your firearms can be accomplished. (This concept of this article was prepared by my office)