April 19, 2012

Law Review Article on Gun Trust and its Benefits

Jessica B. Jackson has written a Law Review article in the Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal titled "GET YOUR GUNS UP!... OR AT LEAST GET THEM IN A GUN TRUST!"

The article discusses the Second Amendment and what the right to possess a firearm really means. She then goes on to define general trust principles, the functions of a trust, and the rule against perpetuity. The history and evolution of gun legislation and the Gun Trust, its method and purpose. Problems of using generic trusts with the NFA and concludes with a call to arms to Put your Title II weapons in a Trust.

While we have been saying this for years and it is the reason we created the original Gun Trust it is nice to see others in the legal community begin to recognize the difference and purpose in firearms trusts. Our trust are now designed for all firearms and not just NFA firearms.

April 11, 2012

What if I Move Before ATF Approves My Form 4 or Form 1

If you move within the same state there is generally not an issue other than being inconvenienced in returning to the gun store to pick up your item when the tax stamp is processed.

If you are moving to another state there are different situations. This discussion will talk about tax stamps involving a Gun Trust and not individual ownership.

1) if you move to a state where the item is not legal, a Gun Trust will not allow you to take that item across state lines.

2) If you move to a state where it is legal, you may not have the proper credentials to complete the purchase and pick up the item in the previous state. Many items require that you be a current resident of the state to make the purchase. If you are buying one of these items, and have a co-trustee who is not moving, they may be able to pickup the item for you.

3) If you do not have a co-trustee who will be able to pick up the item, you should contact the ATF at 304-616-4500, provide the serial number on your Form 4 and explain the situation to them. In some cases they have been known to permit a dealer to dealer transfer and a substitution of Form 4's but you should not count on this. Generally in such a case, you might have to cancel the transfer and start over again after it is properly transferred to a Class 3 dealer in your new state of residence.

4) Some items do not require you to be a resident so you may still be able to complete the transaction.

When you are ready to move the items to your new state, you will have to submit an ATF Form 5320.20 to update the registry with your new address. This process typically takes 2 weeks and it is the same form you would use to travel across state lines and return.

April 9, 2012

Free Amendment to add the NRA as a Beneficiary of Your Gun Trust

With the NRA Convention starting this week, April 12-15th, Gun Trust Lawyer® is happy to announce that any previous client who has had a Gun Trust drafted by us or one of our lawyers can receive a free amendment to allow them to add one of the NRA Endowments to their trust as an outright or contingent beneficiary.

As we have previously announced our new Gun Trusts all come with provisions that allow you to choose if and what you would like to leave to the NRA Endowment Fund of your choice. This amendment or addition to the standard trust allows you to leave any percentage of your trust assets to the NRA before making other beneficiary designations, any percentage of your trust assets to the NRA Endowment Fund of your choice if your beneficiaries do not survive the creators of the trust, or a list of specific items that you want to go to the NRA Charity of your choice.

This will make it easier for our clients to bring their Gun Trusts into compliance with their overall charitable giving goals.

March 27, 2012

Can I Purchase a Machine Gun with a Gun Trust?

Yes, you can purchase a machine gun with a Gun Trust but you cannot purchase a new machine gun. (As long as it is purchase in a state where they are permitted) You may be wondering what the difference between and old machine gun and a new machine gun. As of May 1986 individuals, Trusts, and business entities can only purchase machine guns that were made and registered as transferable prior to May 19th of 1986.

A new M-16 can be purchased for $1200-1500, but can only be purchased by police or military, while a legally transferable pre 1986 Machine gun will cost you 10 times that amount.

So for those of you who are looking at a Gun Trust as a way to purchase an inexpensive machine gun, forget it. Not only is a machine gun expensive to buy, but its more expensive to feed. Many shoot 600-900 rounds per minute and the typical magazine will last a second or two.

March 26, 2012

is your Gun Trust Upgradable? Which Gun Trust is Right for Me?

Many of us understand how addicting firearms are. When we purchased our first silencer, we had no idea how many we would eventually purchase and how quickly the value of our firearms collection would grow. As the average firearms collection of our clients has grown, we have come our with additional versions of our Gun Trusts for our clients. Because of our commitment to our clients and the firearms owners, we have allowed everyone to maintain their initial investment in their gun trust. The Gun Trusts Lawyers® that we work with will allow you to trade in your original Gun Trust for full credit towards our Asset Protection Gun Trust.

All of our Gun Trusts are designed for NFA firearms as well as regular firearms. As you know, many of the same issues in determining if your beneficiaries will be appropriate to receive your firearms after you die are the same for Title I or Title II firearms. When looking at the value of your firearms collection, be sure to consider the value of your entire collection. To help you decide which trust is appropriate we have put together some basic guidelines.

If you have less than $25,000 in firearms, the basic Gun Trust is probably the right choice. If you have between $25,000 and $50,000 in firearms you should consider the Asset Protection Gun Trust and if your collection is over $50,000 you should be using the Asset Protection Gun Trust.

If you would like to discuss upgrading your trust to take full advantage of the Asset Protection Gun Trust, contact a Gun Trust Lawyer® to discuss your specific situation.

March 15, 2012

Moving to North Carolina with NFA Firearms

Recently we have seen the ATF deny ATF form 20's unless you include "In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 14-288.8" in Block 5 - The Reason for Transportation of the Firearms - (Example Permanent change of Address)

While this should not apply to silencers, it will not hurt to include the additional language on all transfers of NFA firearms to the state of North Carolina

If you are moving or traveling to North Carolina you might include something like the following language in Block 5:
Moving to North Carolina in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 14-288.8

Traveling to North Carolina in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 14-288.8

March 15, 2012

Silencers Are Legal Silencer Shoot in Dallas Texas April 28th

Please come join us and the other Sponsors of the Silencer are Legal Shoot by Silencerco.

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
10751 Luna Road | Dallas, TX 75220

Tickets are $12
All Gun Trust Lawyer® Clients are invited Free of charge. Simply purchase your ticket, and stop by our booth for a reimbursement form and we will refund the $12 entrance fee for the first 100 Gun Trust Lawyer® clients who pickup coupons at the event.

You will have the chance to win

Testing products from many vendors, including silencer manufacturers
and firearms manufacturers.Vendor booths selling state-of-the-art firearms and accessories. Ammo vendors on site to make sure your guns are fed all day long. Food and drinks available all day to ensure you have the energy to shoot. Raffles for a chance to win awesome products.

March 15, 2012

Do I Need to File a Tax Return for my Gun Trust

If a Gun Trust Lawyer® provided your gun trust, it will not require a tax return. As stated in the instructions memorandum that comes with every NFA Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer®, the trust is a disregarded entity and any transactions that create a gain or loss pass though to the individuals. This does not mean that transactions that take place are not taxable but it would be treated the same as if you bought and sold items as an individual. This may be more complicated with a multi-settlor trust and you should discuss the specifics of this with your accountant or CPA to determine how to properly report the income on the individual settlors tax returns.

If you have another trust that was not prepared by a Gun Trust Lawyer®, you should ask an attorney or CPA about the taxable issues as while many trusts will be treated the same for tax purposes, your trust may be different and require a tax return or other federal or state documents to be filed.

March 14, 2012

Gun Trusts and Charitable Giving- A Free Update

We have been a member of the NRA Estate Planning Professional Network for several years. In doing so, we have encountered a number of clients who want to leave certain items or a percentage of their firearms to one or more of the NRA Endowment Funds.

Recently we modified our Gun Trusts to include provisions so that each individual can choose if and what they would like to leave to the NRA Endowment Fund of their choice. For those of you who do not have these provisions in your Gun Trust we will be providing a Free Amendment Form that you can compete that allows you to leave any percentage of your trust assets to the NRA before making beneficiary designations, any percentage of your trust assets to the NRA Endowment Fund of your choice if your beneficiaries do not survive the creators of the trust, or a list of specific items that you want to go to the NRA Charity of your choice.

This will make it easier for our clients to bring their Gun Trusts into compliance with their overall charitable giving goals.ing

March 14, 2012

Can I Make a Machine Gun using a NFA Gun Trust?

One of the most common questions or misconceptions is regarding the ability to make a Machine Gun by using a Gun Trust. While you can make a Machine Gun with a Gun Trust, the process or the cost is not what most would consider acceptable. First you are not making a machine gun as you might expect using an ATF Form 1 but you must first start with a legally transferable pre 1986 full auto sear. This is in the 10-15K range and is by itself a Machine Gun. Now that you have a legal machine gun, you can modify almost anything and essentially create a new Machine Gun.

If you purchased a Pre 86 sear, you could change out the pins, add a left hand magazine release, change the trigger, and even build it into 300 blackout if you wanted. Once you were done, you would essentially have a new machine gun but it would be 10-15K more than what the police or military could purchase a current model.

So while you cannot technically "Make A Machine Gun" you can modify a legal transferable machine gun.

March 13, 2012

Gun Trust with Authorized Users in Multiple States or After You Move

A validly created Gun Trust should be valid in another state if you move. While the Gun Trust may not appear valid to the ATF or BATFE, it will be recognized under state law as valid if validly create in another state. When you create a Gun Trust or modify your Gun Trust it is wise to use the minimum requirements of the most strict state so that if you move, or it is used in another state, it will be easy for the ATF to recognize the trust as validly executed.

A Gun Trust that is created in one state, will not allow you or anyone associate with the trust to purchase items in a state where they are illegal to own or purchase. Nor can you take NFA firearms to a state where they are prohibited.

Because we work with a network of lawyers across the United State, our trust incorporate many of the provisions necessary in each state from the beginning. In addition, they can be easily amended to comply with another state's law if you choose to make such modifications. Further, our trusts are designed to allow for authorized users in different states from where the items may have been purchased or where the Gun Trust was created.

If you have a firearms collection that is approaching or exceeds $50,000 in value you should talk with a Gun Trust Lawyer® about the new Asset Protection Gun Trust that can protect your firearms collection from creditors claims. If you have a previous version of our Gun Trust, you will receive a full credit when you upgrade your Gun Trust.

March 12, 2012

FFLGuard - What is it and why should I consider belonging

I have been getting a lot of questions regarding setting up a FFL. While we help many people setup proper FFL's, once it your FFL is set up you may consider joining FFLGuard as they have many benefits for their members. Here is an overview of their services:

FFLGuard is an innovative legal services program offered by firearms-trained attorneys, The Chiafullo Group, LLP, where the group acts as National Coordinating Counsel to participating clients. The FFLGuard program is designed to provide participating Federal Firearms Licensees with cost-efficient access to legal professionals, including firearms lawyers, subject matter experts and other qualified personnel (some of whom are former ATF employees), to deliver educational training and rapid response services, with a focus on safeguarding the viability of the client's FFL. FFLGuard's mission is to promote compliance before, during and after ATF inspection, while providing its clients with the tools to be compliant and the attorneys to back them up.

Inconsistency in the ATF's interpretation of the law leads to mistakes by the dealer, and increases the chance of a FFL losing their license. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, sponsors of the SHOT SHOW each year, a single violation, without warning, is enough to have your FFL revoked. Thus, failure to engage firearms savvy counsel like those from FFLGuard to intervene, assess all inspection activity, interface with ATF inspectors and agents throughout the process, and compare actions by ATF to inspections conducted elsewhere, could possibly result in the revocation of your FFL. The industry demands legal compliance services, and participating in FFLGuard is you best chance at keeping you FFL pristine and your business viable. Please visit the FFLGuard website for additional information. www.fflguard.com

March 8, 2012

Can a Person who has Power of Attorney have Access to NFA Firearms?

An agent acting under a power of attorney for an individual who has rights to own, possess, or use NFA firearms as an individual or in a NFA Firearms Trust, may not take possession, hold, use, or have access to the NFA firearms.

There is only one situation when an agent may do so. After the death of an individual who has rights to or owns NFA Firearms individually or who is current beneficiary of the NFA firearms, the court will appoint a Personal Representative. The court appointed Personal Representative only and not one who is only named in a will, may have access, and transfer the NFA firearms within a reasonable period of time. There is no guidance on what the ATF considers reasonable, but I would suggest starring the process as soon as possible so that the definition of reasonableness is not determined in a case involving you.

The easy way to deal with this for those of you who own Firearms in a NFA trust is to modify to the trust to allow the person who is the agent to be a trustee in the trust. Remember you can add or remove people from a NFA Trust at any time with a simple amendment.

February 23, 2012

NFA Trust Question: I have heard about a one-time $500 Tax For Unlimited Silencer Transfers

First let me say there is no $500 one-time tax for unlimited transfers. There is a $500 yearly fee for a FFL to obtain a Class 3 SOT which allows them unlimited transfers for that year from other dealers for items owned by their FFL. This fee needs to be paid yearly and may be in addition to other fees necessary depending on what the FFL will be doing. If you are interested in setting up a FFL, please Contact Us as we can put you in touch with someone to help you create your FFL and have the systems necessary to not create problems with the BATFE. You can buy cheap products out there that will help create the FFL, but just because you create n FFL does not mean it will be done correctly and you will understand what your duties and responsibilities. Our package helps you protect yourself from unintentional violations.

In regards to personal ownership, it is unfortunate but you, your company, or your trust will need to pay $200 for each silencer you purchase.

February 23, 2012

How Many Copies of My Gun Trust Should I Have Notarized

We often get calls from clients asking how many original trusts should they have or sign. Our instructions state that a copy of the trust is the same as an original. Using this logic, it would seem clear that there is no benefit to having multiple original copies of your Gun Trust. In fact, it could create problem to have multiple originals because each copy that is separately executed is technically a separate trust and amendments to one Gun Trust would not create changes to the other Gun Trusts. It could be difficult to determine which Gun Trust owns an asset and if amendments were made to that Gun Trust or not.

I think you can see that not only is it not necessary to execute multiple copies but it could cause problems and create situations where you or other family members or friends are in violation of the law.

So Remember Sign One, make many copies.