Whitehouse.gov posts inaccurate fact sheet on Trusts

August 29, 2013
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Below is what was posted on the whitehouse.gov website. It is clear that the whoever wrote this does not understand the law and you will notice a lot of anti firearms language and an anti gun rights slant to the message.

Closing a Loophole to Keep Some of the Most Dangerous Guns Out of the Wrong Hands

  • Current law places special restrictions on many of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. These weapons must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, a prospective buyer must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.

  • However, felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns can easily evade the required background check and gain access to machine guns or other particularly dangerous weapons by registering the weapon to a trust or corporation. At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run. ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.

  • Today, ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation to close this loophole. The proposed rule requires individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of weapons to undergo background checks, just as these individuals would if the weapons were registered to them individually. By closing this loophole, the regulation will ensure that machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

First I will address what was posted.

  1. The NFA imposes a restriction on the transfer and possession of certain firearms. Not all prospective buyers must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.
  2. Most people using Gun Trusts are purchasing suppressors, these are not dangerous weapons, in fact a suppressor is not a weapon unless you hit someone with it. Most suppressors are round and do not have a sharp edge. A butter knife is more of a weapon than a suppressor
  3. Next, prohibited persons and felons cannot easily evade the requirement of a background check to gain access to machine guns anymore than they can with a regular firearm. Most dealers will do a NICS check on anyone purchasing a Machine Gun. As far as transfers from non firearms dealers, there are stricter requirements on transfers to individuals and the same requirements as regular firearms to trusts or corporations. No criminal would subject themselves to notifying the ATF of their intent to purchase a machine gun, wait 6-12 month to be able to receive the firearm, pay a $200 tax, and pay an extra $10,000 - $20,000 to purchase a legal machine gun when illegal machine guns can be purchased or made easily without waiting or notifying the ATF. This logic is flawed.
  4. There is a process where the ATF can change the rules and requirements in the procedure for purchasing these items. This is not a done deal and as of now what might be proposed is unknown but it will likely include something similar to a NICS check or fingerprint cards.

So what does this mean for your current Gun Trust or one you are ready to create?

This does not mean Gun Trusts are dead or useless. NO. In fact, today many people who only own regular firearms use Gun Trust to manage their firearms. It is the responsible way to own firearms to prevent your family and friends from being subjected to an accidental felony.

Current estate planning and state laws are flawed when it comes to the disposition of firearms to those who survive you. They treat a firearm the same as a bank account. Firearms owners are generally very responsible people and would not want to put their family or friends at risk because of their death.

Our Gun Trusts deal with these issues and allow those who survive you to make smart and intelligent decisions based on the geographical, legal, and emotional issues that will be unknown until you die.

In addition, our Gun Trusts can be setup to last from generation to generation while providing asset protect for your firearms. Yes it is possible to protect your firearms from creditors, divorce, divorce of a child or grandchild, and even from the creditors of your descendants.

Any new requirements will likely slow down the process of obtaining approval from the ATF and may make the new electronic filing that the ATF introduced obsolete. If you are thinking of getting a gun trust to purchase a Title II firearm, now may be the time to do so before new regulations are enacted which change the way they work.

As we have not seen any of the proposal and once it is published there will be a 90 day comment period prior to the introduction of any changes, it is hard to speculate on how or what may be changed.

We do not think this will significantly make a difference to our typical gun trust client as we do not provide gun trusts to felons, domestic abuser, or other prohibited persons. In fact, our trust would not be valid if used by a prohibited person.

Our Gun Trusts are created so that if the law changes we can address the changes in law by changing the trust. It is likely that most if not all changes can or will be addressed as they are made known.