Today there has been much news about an action or executive order to help ensure that people who should not be able to own NFA firearms are not permitted to do so using a Trust.

First, our Gun Trusts, have never allowed a prohibited person to legally purchase, or be authorized to use firearms or ammunition. This is one of the significant differences between a real Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer® like we provide, and other so called gun trusts or regular estate planning Trusts.

If you are a criminal, addicted to drugs, a user of illegal drugs(under federal law including medical marijuana), or prohibited to own firearms under local, state, or federal laws, you cannot use our documents to create a valid trust. In addition, any co-trustee or authorized users who are prohibited cannot be added and any attempt to do so is void.

In regards to what is being reported in the news today, at this time we have not seen anything in writing to indicate what was done, what will change, or how it or when any changes will be implemented. At this time, some reports indicate they are proposed changes that will go through a 90 day review at ATF, prior to ATF making any decision to implement any changes. Once we have seen the documents we will be in a position to comment.

The Prince Law Firm has a good article on the ATF Rulemaking Process and potential implications for Gun Trusts.

If you want to keep up to date on any changes or updates to this issue, you should watch this blog or subscribe to it by using the subscribe function in the upper right under the state map or clicking on the subscribe image below.
subscribe.jpg

Last Updated 8/29

Ohio NFA Class 3 firearms
In Ohio a NFA Trust or Gun Trusts can own all types of firearms including those regulated by the NFA.

There are several type of Class 3 items that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of Title II firearms – (Those sold by FFLs with a Class 3 SOT) in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

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

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

Follow this link to find out more about Ohio and NFA restrictions on Title II Firearms

If you would like more information on What a Gun Trust is and why you might need one as well as how to identity bad gun trusts you can contact us.

Updated Aug 29, 2013

Yesterday, I decided to try out the ATFonline.gov Eforms submission. I found the process very easy to do and while a little confusing the first time, it seems rather intuitive. Below are the steps I followed:

  1. Register for an account at ATFonline.gov. The system is very picky and must be used with IE 8 or a recent version of Safari on OS X. Sorry no Firefox, Chrome, or even IE 7.
  2. Log in.
  3. Select the Form 1. Better to use the bar and move it with the mouse, it is very difficult to scroll through the forms. ATF needs to switch this to a drop down menu.
  4. Application – this is where you state whether you are tax exempt or will be paying a tax.
  5. Applicant – Select that you are not a FFL and then complete your information. You should list the Trust name as the Licensee / Permitee Name.applicant.jpg
  6. Add line items. You can use one application for multiple items. I choose to only do one SBR. It walked me through the process of selecting the manufacture from a list.line-item.jpg
  7. Upload electronic documents. This is where I uploaded my scanned Gun Trust Documents.upload.jpg
  8. Certify that Under Penalties of Perjury, I Declare that I have examined this application, including accompanying documents, and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is true, accurate and complete and the making and possession of the firearm described above would not constitute a violation of Chapter 44, Title 18, U.S.C., Chapter 53, Title 26, U.S.C., or any provisions of State or local law.
  9. Enter credit card payment information
  10. Sign and Submit. By clicking a check box, your application will be submitted.

Within a few minutes I received a confirmation email showing that I had submitted my application and it was Pending Research because the manufacture I had selected was not listed in their database. This morning I received a new update saying that my status was changed to Submitted/In Process. I will keep updating this blog as I receive more information but it already feels faster than the paper system.

It was interesting to see that there was no certification of citizenship that was required my many ATF agents in the past. We had always taken the position that a Trust is not a person and as such cannot have a citizenship. If you are submitting the paper forms, we still recommend submitting the Certification, in case you agent wants it. For instructions see https://www.guntrustlawyer.com/certification.html.

ATF Online submission of Form 1 Status Updates.

  • Thursday August 8, 2013 Electronic Form 1 Submitted to ATF online
  • Friday August 9, 2013 Status changed to Submitted/In Process
    (with paper it will take 1-2 months and as much as 6 months to cash your check and change the status to In Process

introduction-to-gun-trusts.pngNFA GUN TRUST CLE
I have been asked to teach a CLE on Gun Trusts on September 11, 2013 for LawReview CLE.

Traditional estate planning can be problematic when dealing with firearms. This course will explain how a Gun Trust is designed to acquire, manage, use, and transfer firearms, including those restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The course outlines the different types of firearms, federal and state laws, as well as an analysis of how to use a Gun Trust.

The agenda will cover

Introduction
Types of Firearms
State Law Federal Law
Types of Ownership
The Gun Trust
Ethical and Malpractice Issues Conclusion

If you are an attorney and interested in becoming a Gun Trust Lawyer, you can also request information by filling the contact us form and checking the box to indicate you are an attorney.

David Goldman will be facilitating a discussion at Elder Concert 2013. Elder Concert is a statewide conference for the elder care professionals that is presented by the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Florida State Guardianship Association, the Florida Geriatric Care Managers Association, Florida Atlantic University and the University of South Florida.

‘Bequesting a Felony – Geriatrics and Guns’ will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 10:45am to 12:00pm in Boca Raton and on Friday, October 11, 2013 from 1:30pm to 2:45pm in Tampa.

Obama reported to sign UN Gun Treaty while Congress is on Vacation:

Obama.jpg
Jay Carney said Obama will sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty “before the end of August…We believe it’s in the interest of the United States.”

I have previously written on how the UN Arms Treaty can prohibit the future transfer of firearms for citizens of the United States. For the Treaty to become effective it must be ratified by the U.S. Senate. This requires 67 votes. You should contact your Senator and let them know you do not want them to approve the UN Arms Trade Treaty also known as the UN Gun Treaty.

To read more about the UN Gun Treat follow this link and for more commentary on the treaty follow this link

While the UN Gun Treaty could prohibit future transfers of firearms, a Multi Generational Gun Trust could protect your firearms for future generations by not subjecting the firearms to restrictions on the transfer of firearms to future generations. If you or your family has a firearms collection you would like to protect, contact us to find out more about our Advanced and Professional Gun Trusts.

California NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Class 3 items that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of class 3 firearms in addition to the compliance that is required with the national Firearms Act.

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

Machine Guns  (special permission is required)
Any Other Weapon (AOW) (except Pen Guns or Assault Weapons) *1
Destructive Devices (DD)
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)  (C&R only)
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)  (C&R only)

In California you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.

Silencers
Pen Guns

*1 AOW’s other than Pen Guns are ok as long as they are not an assault weapon.  With the exception of AOW assault weapons that were owned prior to the registrations period are ok.  AOW’s are not required to receive a Curio or Relic classification.

Note In California most Class 3 items other than AOW’s must be classified as a Curio or Relic  (C&R).

SBS and SBR, that are C&R  as well has AOW’s as described above do not require any special state permits.

Permits for Machine guns and DD’s are controlled and at the sole discretion of the DOJ and are rarely issued to civilians or anyone who is not involved in the movie industry.

CA’s Assault weapons laws apply to assault weapons whether they are C&R or not.  An assault weapon in CA if meets certain requirements found in the statutes. One of these is  semi automatic center-fire rifle with  the capacity to accept a detachable magazine that has an overall length of less than 30 inches is an AW.  This would mean if you made (through a form 1) a SBR out of an M1 Cabine, it would likely be considered an AW under California law.

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

North Carolina will become the next state to legalize hunting with a suppressor. As of 10/1/2013, a suppressor will be legal to use on firearms while hunting. The NC Wildlife Resource Commission made the changes which are not found in the NC statutes and also not found in the in the NC Hunting Regulations which were printed before the legislation passed. here is a link to the legislation as well as the press release. If you plan on hunting in NC after October 1, 2013, I would suggest keeping a copy of the legislation and press release with you as many police officers may not know that it will be legal to hunt with a suppressor after 10/1/2013.

Every time a state legalizes hunting with a suppressor, the sales of suppressors in that state dramatically increase which creates a longer approval wait time. Given that current approval times in most states is more than 6 months. it would be advisable to purchase your silencer now if you have any plans on hunting with a silencer in 2014. Remember that if you use a Gun Trust, you do not have to obtain your local sheriffs permission to purchase a silencer as well as creating the flexibility to have multiple authorized users. There are many things that are different with Title II firearms (lile suppressors) and it would be a good idea to request our free report on What is a Gun Trust and Why you might need one.

Last week I called the ATF to check on one of my personal applications and a new one that I recently filed. The person I spoke to told me that while older applications were taking 6-9 months, new applications were expected to take 9-12 months for approval.

The Firearmsblog has reported a similar conversation with ATF.

While we had previously reported that the ATF was increasing their staff by 30% it appears that this has not helped clear the backlog and they are more than 46,000 applications in the backlog.

A NFA Trust or Gun Trust is a type of revocable living trust that is created for the main purpose of possessing Title II firearms. In our review of many so-called Gun Trusts we have seen that most do not properly address firearms ownership, transfer and possession. (If you have a gun trust you would like reviewed, just let us know and we woudl be happy to review it under the federal laws for free) Many are regular trusts and many only have a few firearms related terms. If almost every provision in your trust does not deal with firearms, it is not a real Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer®.

A Gun Trust is a NFA Trust that is appropriate for regular firearms as well as Title II firearms (those sold by Class 3 SOT FFLs). Often times, people who wish to purchase Title II firearms with a trust choose to hire an attorney who has not studied and does not fully understand the NFA and estate planning. As a result, many so called NFA Trusts or Gun Trusts other than those provided by a Gun Trust Lawyer® do not comply with the Gun Control act of 1968, the National Firearms Act and other local and state specific gun laws. These trusts often contain several defects or mistakes and may lead to illegal possession or transfer of Title I and Title II firearms.

Mistake #1: Omitted Necessary Provisions

A generic revocable trust often times does not contain necessary provisions that are necessary for the possession of Title I or Title II firearms. A real Gun Trust should mention several provisions, including but not limited to: National Firearms Act (NFA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF or BATFE), ATF Form 1, Form 4, Form 5320.20, Title II firearms, prohibited persons, etc. An experienced Gun Trust Lawyer® will insert and define these terms into a Gun Trust to meet important requirements that are unique to Gun Trusts.

Mistake #2: Failure to include required provisions or execute the Gun Trust properly

Each state has its own requirements to create a valid Trust. While this is a Gun Trust it will have to be executed with the formalities required for type of trust that is used. Many states have signing requirements and these can differ depending on if the trust is revocable or irrevocable. In addition, it may be difficult for the ATF to recognize the trust as valid if one moves or the trust is attempted to be used from different states in the future. It is important to create the trust with the requirements necessary for ATF approval in each state to prevent problems in the future.

Mistake #3: The Trustee or Beneficiary is a Prohibited Person

Under the NFA, a “prohibited person” cannot own or possess any firearms. Thus, it is important that a valid Gun Trust not only mentions prohibited persons but also defines them so that future managers of the trust can easily identify illegal transfers. Your Gun Trust should make it impossible to appoint a prohibited person as a Trustee and properly deal with a beneficiary who is or later becomes a prohibited person so that you do not put your family or friends at risk or criminal prosecution. In addition, the state where the beneficiary lives at the time of your death, which is unknown at this time, must be dealt with to prevent firearms from being sent to a state where they are not legal.

Mistake #4: Title II Firearms Have Not Been Properly Transferred to the Gun Trust

A Gun Trust cannot legally own a firearm unless it is legally transferred into the trust. Simply signing a trust agreement does not transfer ownership of a firearm to a trust. A firearm must be transferred from the current owner, to the Gun Trust, according to applicable state and federal law. Opening a bank account in the name of the Gun Trust, and purchasing Title II firearms with the trust’s funds (by using a check or debit card from the Gun Trust’s checking account) is a simple way to ensure that the trust, and not you, owns the firearm(s). Your gun trust should be able to deal with the ability for you to purchase the firearms with personal funds and properly document the purchase so that invalid transfers do not take place. Our Gun Trusts come with the forms and instructions to help you properly purchase and transfer firearms to your Gun Trust. You should never use your own personal funds to purchase Title II firearms without proper documentation that it was done on behalf of you as Trustee of the Gun Trust as this can lead to the illegal possession of the firearms by co-trustees of the Gun Trust.

Mistake #5: The Gun Trust Allows a Beneficiary to Possess Title II Firearms

The majority of revocable living trusts or so called Gun Trusts allow beneficiaries and or other people to use, possess, and receive distributions of trust assets. A properly drafted Gun Trust prohibits a person who is a mere beneficiary from using or possessing a Title II Firearm. Only trustees or legally eligible authorized users under the terms of a Gun Trust have the legal right to use and possess Title II firearms owned by the trust.

The ATF changes the rules and interpretation of the NFA all the time. It is important to use a Gun Trust Lawyer® who keeps up with the changes and will not charge you every time you have a call or question regarding how to use your trust properly. Gun Trust Lawyers® will answer questions this week, next month, or next year about your trust free of charge. The unlimited support is include with your legally supported Gun Trust so you do not have to worry about future legal charges for questions or the next time ATF changes their procedure.

We have created over 5000 Gun Trusts for clients all over the country and work with lawyers in each state to have state specific issues dealt with. Today with families being located in multiple states and not knowing where your beneficiaries will live when you die, it is more important than ever to have your Gun Trust deal with multi state issues correctly. To find out more about Gun Trusts request information using our contact us form on this page or call us to begin the process.

Contact Information