As more lawyers begin to dabble with Gun Trusts we are seeing many who do not understand firearms and their unique nature which can often involve criminal penalties related to the improper transfer, possession, and use related to firearms or ammunition.

While it is fine to transfer a pair or sox, coins, most personal property to your trust without doing anything other than assigning it, the transfer of restricted items like firearms or ammunition is a different matter. If you can sell a gun to an individual in your state without going through a dealer you should be able to transfer a firearm to your trust without going through dealer. This is the case in most states.

In a few states like California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania where all personal transfers of some or all firearms must go through a background check, there may be no exception for transferring a firearm to a trust even if it is your own trust. Sure an argument could be made that there is no transfer and as such you should not have to go through a dealer, but why would one take the risk.

In response to House Bill 13-1224 which prohibits the sale, transfer, and possession of “large-capacity ammunition magazines” John Suthers, Colorado’s Attorney General, prepared a letter to Executive Director Davis at the Department of Public Safety. This letter does not discuss the issue of a person compared to a trust or other business entity that owns the magazines prior to 7/1/2013. It is still recommended that you use our special magazine assignment for Colorado to deal with the possibility that a trust may not be considered a “person” under the new statute. This conditional assignment becomes void if a trust is later determined not to be a proper owner under the law.

To read the text of the letter please continue reading this article.
Continue reading

Thumbnail image for 50calsilencer.jpgWhile in some states, it is illegal to hunt with a Silencer, in the following states it is legal to hunt with a suppressor (often referred to as a “silencer”).

In states where hunting with suppressors have been legalized, we have seen substantial increases in the sales of suppressors and the wait times for approval from the ATF have also increased. Many states that have legalized suppressors still have CLEOs who refuse to sign for individuals to purchase them. An NFA Gun Trust or a more flexible Gun trust can not only avoid the CLEO signature requirement in most states, but can also provide many benefits to firearms owners and their families. To learn about the benefits, please fill out the contact us form at the top of this page and request information on what a gun trust is and how they may benefit you.

Remember these laws change frequently, so please verify this with your state prior to hunting with a suppressor.

New Silencer – SWR: Specwar 762; Multi-caliber Sound Test.

A Gun Trust can be used to purchase suppressors in most states like the Specwar 762 from SWR. The multi-caiiber suppressor had sound suppression to the 135-131 db range when looking at 10 shot averages. Most suppressors try to obtain results less than 140 db to create a hearing safe level.

Tomorrow Sarah Gervase, with the NRA is presenting a summary of the major provisions of the NFA just before my presentation of the use of Gun Trusts as we provide many lawyers with information on Gun Trusts I wanted to highlight some of the major points of her talk with some exerts from her paper.

This presentation will focus mostly on individual buyers and transferors, as many of those in attendance at the Firearms Law Seminar have more personal interest in and interaction with individuals who collect or own these arms for their own enjoyment. There will be some basic information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers, however, and a future Seminar presentation can focus on those areas if there is sufficient interest. In the meantime, readers of these materials who need more in-depth information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers are encouraged to review ATF’s website at http://www.atf.gov for the latest relevant requirements.

A quick note about holding a client’s property. Be very careful about holding any firearms owned by a client or about accepting firearms as payment for services. Here’s a horror story. An attorney represented a man accused of bank robbery. The attorney took possession of the allegedly stolen money and a sawed-off shotgun. That attorney was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months for possessing a short-barreled shotgun used in a bank robbery. It was unprofessional conduct to take the fruits and instrumentalities of the crime. In re Richard R. Ryder, 381 F.2d 713 (4th Cir. 1967).
Continue reading

Using a Gun Trust for multiple people is a common scenario that we discuss with people. Our general recommendation is that it is not a good idea to have several people contribute firearms to a single trust for the purpose of sharing ownership and use of the firearms.

While it is not such a bad idea, if people are going to be contributing firearms to your trust, most people want to use a trust like a company where each person will have equal rights. The equal rights scenario is a generally a bad idea because your gun do not necessarily go to who you want.

Imagine the following example. Adam, Burt, and Charlie want to form a trust so that they can each use all the firearms in a single Gun Trust. Adam is married and has children, Burt is single, and Charlie has a live in girlfriend. Each is planning on purchasing a silencer so that there will be three silencers to share. It would be important to add Adam’s wife and Charlie’s girlfriend on the trust to protect them from constructive possession and inadvertent transfers which are both violations of the NFA and have penalties that can include 10 years in jail and a 250,000 penalty.

If you are interested in a real NFA Trust or Gun Trust and looking to implement it quickly and without the additional cost of a lawyer being involved we are offering a special on the Online version of the Gun Trust for only $199.

This is anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 of the normal price of the Gun Trust with legal support. The Online Gun Trust comes with a great manual which describes and give examples and hyperlinks to sample forms to purchase NFA firearms. It can deal with people who live in multiple states and allows you to add 3 additional authorized users. Additional authorized users can be added with an Amendment.

Many people are rushing to put their regular firearms in a Gun Trust in an attempt to protect their ability to allow children and grandchildren to use them when they are old enough and in an attempt to offer protections from pending legislation which would restrict the right to transfer firearms to future generations.

While Silencers themselves do not seem to have been made illegal in CT, it seems that almost anything that you can put them on has or will become illegal soon. In addition SBR, and most SBS are now illegal to buy, acquire, or possess but there is an exception for those which are registered prior to Jan 1, 2014 which were legally possessed prior to the bill’s effective date.

Below are some of the highlights of CT’s gun related legislation
Continue reading

We are getting many questions regarding recent laws but one of the most common is “Whether a Gun Trust can prevent me from having to register my firearms or magazines?”

If you live in a state where registration is required, a Gun Trust will not prevent you from having to register your firearms and or magazines that are located in that state. If you would have to register them as an individual, your trust or you will have the same obligation.

The only way to avoid a state required registration is if the items are no longer subject to the state’s laws. e.g. if the firearms or magazines are located in another state.

Yes that’s right, in states where it is still legal, you should transfer your high-capacity magazines to your Gun Trust as soon as possible. Given that some states like Colorado, New York, and Maryland have recent passed legislation that will or has limited the ability to transfer certain firearms and magazines those of you who still have the opportunity to transfer your magazines should take advantage of it.

In most states you can simply list the number, brand (if known), caliber, and number of bullets they hold on one of our assignment sheets that come with the trust. There it does not matter if you do not have the make, model, and serial number of a magazine as many do not have this information at this time. Just list what you know e.g. ( 25 Magpul 30 round 556 magazines, 8 metal 30 round 556 magazines).

If you live in Colorado, please continue reading Continue reading

Contact Information