Over the last week, we have had many people asking as series of questions. The have primarily been questions like the following
- What is status of my current Gun Trust?
- Is ATF eliminating Gun Trusts?
- What would happened to my current Form 1 and Form 4 applications that are in process?
- Should I form a Gun Trust now given the recent proposal by the ATF?
- Should I put my regular firearms in my Gun Trust?
This blog will address Gun Trusts and their current use as well as if the ATF implemented the changes as outlined in their Proposal. While we feel that it is unlikely that the ATF will implement everything suggested in their proposal we will use this as a worst case.
What is status of my current Gun Trust?
Your current gun trust is still valid and as of this time nothing has changed. You can still submit Form 4 and Form 1 applications, add and remove authorized users, and add non NFA firearms to your Gun Trust. If fact, if there is anything you are thinking of purchasing, you should do so now. We expect there to be a rush to buy NFA firearms over the next 90 days. To reduce the time associated with approval, you should submit your Form 1’s electronically and you should ask your dealer to submit your Form 4’s electronically.
Is ATF eliminating Gun Trusts?
ATF cannot eliminate gun trusts, only congress would have this power. THe National Firearms Act defines a person as an individual, trust or business entity. A Gun Trust is a special type of trust. While many so called gun trusts are nothing more than traditional trusts, a Gun Trust by a Gun Trust Lawyer® has been rewritten from the ground up to deal with firearms and their unique set of circumstances. While other gun trusts are really a traditional revocable trust, they can also be used to purchase NFA firearms but may place your family and friends of risk of violations of the NFA if they do what the trusts say to do.
What would happened to my current Form 1 and Form 4 applications that are in process?
We expect based on history that the ATF will continue the processing of all applications submitted before changes take place (at least 90 days). Given this, you may want to submit additional applications for purchases you would have made in the next 6-12 months at this time, in case the proposal is approved and requires a CLEO signature in the future as this may be hard to obtain. Remember online sumittions may be as much as 8 weeks faster
Should I form a Gun Trust now given the recent proposal by the ATF?
If you are thinking about buying firearms restricted by the NFA, now may be the time to purchase them. Using a Gun Trust will make the process simpler and currently it does not require a CLEO signature, fingerprints, or photos. If privacy is a concern to you, now may be the last opportunity to obtain Title II firearms under the current regulations.
Should I put my regular firearms in my Gun Trust?
Yes, A properly designed Gun Trust should be able to handle normal firearms without the use of a Schedule A or B. The problem with using Schedules is that ATF requires all schedules mentioned in the trust to be submitted with your trust. This means that you will create a de facto registration of all of your firearms. I have heard that some people with Schedule Bs have been told to send a fake or blank Schedule B to the ATF. I think you face serious consequences if you send an untruthful representation or false documents to the ATF regarding firearms and or the associated taxes. Remember the penalties for violation of the NFA are tax based penalties which are similar to other IRS violations. Our Trust do not use Schedules to list the firearms and as such are fine to use for your regular firearms as well as NFA FIrearms. Many people who do not even own NFA firearms use our trusts to protect and manage their firearms and related items.