One of the great things about a well written gun trust is that it can be created to deal with multi state issues.  Many people move and even include co-trustees or authorized users who move or are in other states. If your gun trust is only written to deal with your state laws, the chance that it will provide incorrect or misleading advice to others involved with your trust is increasing.  We see these issues with many online trusts.

An ATF Form 20  is not required when you move states.  A Form 20 is only required for Title II firearms other than suppressors.  That being said, I recommend completing a Form 20 even for suppressors. For those of you who have our gun trusts, we include a section in our instructions that goes into detail on this topic.   Most police officers do not know that suppressors are legal (yes, I know this is hard to believe). Given that, I would much rather have a document from the federal government (the form 20) stating that I or other members of my trust are permitted to be in a state.  It is much easier and less expensive to have these issues resolved before you are detained than after your items are taken or you are detained.

With this in mind, you may also want to get a Form 20 approval for traveling to states and not just for a change of address to another state.  A Form 20 is not required if you are staying within the same state, even if you move within the state.  A well written gun trust will include information like this and on other common topics that come up over time.

If you would like to create a multi state gun trust or upgrade your current gun trust contact us using the form on this page and we will work with a Gun Trust Lawyer® in your state.

Can_Cannon_Production_2Many of our Gun Trust Clients have purchased a Can Cannon.  Previously the use of a Can Cannon was not regulated by the NFA, but recently the ATF determined that the use of the Can Cannon in conjunction with a receiver or a pistol creates an item regulated by the NFA.  This may be problematic if the NFA item is not legal in your state, but if they are legal there may be a relatively inexpensive way to solve the problem for those who already have an SBS.

X Products warned their customers that the ATF evaluated the Can Cannon and determined that it would be considered an SBR if placed on a rifle receiver, and an AOW if used on a pistol AR. See the ATF letter on the Can Cannon. The ATF has defined the Can Cannon as a shotgun. However, the device by itself is not a firearm and is perfectly legal to own. Attaching it to a firearm is illegal unless the user has the proper federal licenses.

If you have an SBS, you can add the Can Cannon as an additional configuration to your SBS by using this Additional Configuration Form we have prepared for use with our Gun Trusts, SBSs and multiple configurations.  Here is a link to using multiple configurations with a Form 1 for those not familiar with it

X Products claim to be working on a modification which may eliminate this need, but for now we would recommend that any of our clients using a Can Cannot by X products either use a Form 1 to build the appropriate NFA item or add it as an additional configuration to an existing SBR to be used with an SBR that has already been registered.  If you do not have a Gun Trust, contact us for more information on how forming a well drafted Gun Trust can permit you to legally use your Can Cannon and protect others from potential violations of the NFA.

David McCleary a Michigan Gun Trust Lawyer written about the problems he  has seen with the so called EasyTrust Gun Trust by Silencerco.  Today I received an email from him stating that in his opinion the trust is “horribly drafted” and “has many problems including improper legal advice”.  One example cited is the mistake that a Trust in Michigan must be registered.  This is simply not true and is misleading to consumers. A Gun Trust or other Michigan NFA Trust does not need to be registered  in Michigan.  While they can be, they do not need to be registered and Attorney McCleary recommends not registering them.  For those of you who have not heard about other problems with the Easy Trust, you may review them below or follow this link

Back in April after the NRA convention, the ATF was commenting about some of the poorly written trusts and the problems and opportunities they would create for lawyers in the future.  Here is an excerpt from the Article in April.

With the recent increase in poorly written online trusts that have become available, ATF feels there will be a big business in fixing them down the road for those who have unknowingly received the free or fill in the blank trusts.

In my opinion, one of the worst examples of an online trust we have seen is the Easytrust being promoted by Silencerco.  According to them, there may be as many as 1000 people who have already received this trust which contains numerous problems. For a trust that is only 4.5 pages long, it appears to have even more problems than a Gun Trust drafted from Quicken.  The list of problems is huge, but the biggest problems include:

  • The trust permits a trustee to easily violation the NFA  throughout the document by not clearly prohibiting these violations.
  • The trust permits any trustee to sell your guns without your consent.
  • The Trust permits trustees to take away your gun rights, (from within the trust) if in their opinion you can’t handle your own affairs. Of course, your legal gun rights under the 2nd Amendment will not be removed, but your ability to use and have access to the guns in your trust can.
  • The trust directs distribution to beneficiaries upon your death without any written permission (a violation of the NFA)
  • The instructions incorrectly state that the trust needs to be registered in many states where it does not (seems to be similar to the problem we reported with the quicken trust)
  • Directs you to obtain an EIN number for their trust when it is not necessary, if requested from your bank. The instructions should state why an EIN number is not required and direct you on a proper response to provide the bank or how to deal with this common misunderstanding to tax law that many banks can initially make

(Updated 4/19/15 for a clarification). Continue reading

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have recently decided to re-classify parachute flares and 40mm chalk rounds as explosives and begun the confiscation process. Those in the gun industry feel this ruling could soon be expanded to include all ammunition bigger than ½ inch in diameter.

Many have recently reported being contacted by ATF to turn in any recently purchased flare rounds. Some of these inidivduals have gun trusts and others just own then individually. Previously, these rounds had been classified by the ATF as non-explosives, but the bureau has recently had a change of heart that coincides with the other recent declassifications. (Does this sound familiar?)

When questioned about these declassifications, ATF has responded the change was made because the 40mm rounds in question are not “small arms” ammunition, and have thus been classified as “low explosives.” In one response letter, the ATF stated that “devices or articles that contain small arms ammunition or components thereof, but are not small arms ammunition by themselves, are regulated explosives,” and thus are not exempt from the provisions in 27 CFR, Part 555. This language suggests firearms registered as a “destructive device” may also be given a similar classification by the ATF.

So the next questions is what should you do when the ATF asks you to surrender these firearms? Continue reading

As a gun trust attorney it is my duty to keep up with the latest gun laws throughout the country and clients are often surprised how different the laws can vary state to state.  I was recently asked by a client if someone with a valid CWL license is allowed to carry a gun inside a Florida Hospital and thought I would share my thoughts on the issue. Continue reading

With the recent church shooting in Charleston, our office has received many questions asking if it is legal to carry a concealed weapon to church with a CWL, or concealed weapons license. Currently, there are no laws in Florida that forbid carrying a concealed weapon inside or on the grounds of a religious institution except in portions which may constitute a  church school.

Studies have shown that mass murders often pick places to attack where the attacker believes they cannot be attacked in retaliation. These “Gun Free Zones” are usually churches, schools, and former places of employment. The next question then becomes can a church hire armed security guards to defend against the crazy shooters?

Each state has their own rules regarding when guns may be brought and you should investigate them.

Continue reading

Vermont NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Title II Firearms sold by Class 3 FFLs that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of Title II or NFA firearms in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

In Vermont you can own the following items that are regulated the National Firearms Act

Machine Guns Any Other Weapon (AOW)
Destructive Devices (DD)
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)

Suppressors (as of July 2, 2015)

In Vermont you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.

Prior to July 2, 2015 Vermont  did not permit suppressors and had a $25 penalty for anyone who manufactures, sells, uses, or who possesses a suppressor intent to sell or use.

Follow this link to find out more about Vermont and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms

Vermont has officially become the 41St State to legalize suppressors when Governor Peter Shumlin signed the H. 5 bill last week. The new law will go into effect on July 2ND, and was the culmination of local Vermont republicans, the American Suppressor Association, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.  Vermont residents now have another reason to form a Vermont Gun Trust with a Vermont Gun Trust Lawyer

Continue reading

Washington NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Title II firearms (those sold by Class 3 SOT FFLs)  that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of Title II or NFA firearms.  These laws or restrictions are in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

In Washington you can own the following items that are regulated the National Firearms Act:

  • Silencers
  • Any Other Weapon (AOW)
  • Destructive Devices (DD)
  • Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)  legal to purchase and possess, but not manufacture.

In Washington you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.

  • Machine Guns*
  • Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)*
  • It is not permitted to manufacture an SBR within the state of WA

NOTE:* Not legal to own or possess parts that can make these firearms unless these items were legally acquired prior to July 1, 1994 and be in compliance with federal law or machine Gun or Short Barreled Shotgun,  but be possessed by by peace officer for official duty, armed forces, or person in compliance with NFA who has undergone Fingerprint and background check who in engaged in the production , manufacture, repair, or testing of Machine guns, or SBS
Follow this link to find out more about Washington and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms

If you want to build an SBR to possess in the state of Washington, a co-trustee in another state can apply for the Form 1 to build an SBR and then after it is built and engraved, it is legal to transfer to WA state using a Form 20 and would be legal to possess in the State of Washington.


ATF continues to let the date slide on a decision of when and how to implement 41P.

DOJ/ATF RIN: 1140-AA43 Publication ID: Spring 2015


Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Corporation, Trust, or Other Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm


The Department of Justice is planning to finalize a proposed rule to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As proposed, the rule would; (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements regarding the certificate of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO).


To see a history on 41P as well as major comments see our 41p update page.

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