While there is no actual Assault Weapon Ban, we are being asked many questions about regular firearms and the benefits of a Gun Trust. As laws may change or what is proposed may be different from what actually happens, the answers below be reviewed with your local Gun Trust Lawyer® and we should all re-evaluate the situation when things become more certain.

Should I put my regular firearms in a Gun Trust?

Yes all firearms, accessories, and magazines should be put in a Gun Trust and the sooner you do it the more flexible your choices will be. A risk is that future transfers of certain guns (sounds like most guns) will be prohibited. If this happens you will not be able to transfer them to a Gun Trust. In addition, there are many other reasons why you should have your regular firearms in a Gun Trust See this article on putting Title I firearms in a NFA or Gun Trust.

One of the most common questions we receive is about naming your Gun Trust. Based on our experience and the problems people have encountered over the names they have chosen, here is our advice.

  • If possible do not include the words NFA, Gun, Firearms, or Weapons in the name of your trust.
  • Keep the Gun Trust name short as you are not allowed to engrave abbreviations should you ever decided to build using an ATF Form 1.

We have received numerous calls and emails regarding the December 2010 change in the laws in NC based on the poorly worded changes to NC:

NCGS Section 288.8 (b)(5) allows MG ownership for:

Persons who lawfully possess or own a weapon as defined in subsection (c) of this section in compliance with 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53, §§ 5801‑5871. Nothing in this subdivision shall limit the discretion of the sheriff in executing the paperwork required by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for such person to obtain the weapon.

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.

Many people are rushing to put their regular firearms in a trust in an attempt to protect their ability to allow children and grandchildren to use them when they are old enough.

If you have a lot of firearms, you are looking for asset protection, or multi generational insulation from legislative change, you should consider the Professional Gun Trust. There is a comparison of this trust in one of the articles below on this page.

A Gun Trust is designed for all of your firearms even if you do not have any Title II firearms. Title II firearms are sold by Class 3 Dealers and include Silencers, Short barreled rifles and shotguns, AOWs, DDs and full automatic pistols and rifles.

While it is not necessary under the current laws (2012) to have a Gun Trust to allow others to use or be in possession of your firearms, there are rumors that many firearms that are currently classified as TItle I firearms may become Title II firearms and controlled under the National Firearms Act. If this happens we will all have to be careful about constructive possession and may lose the ability to transfer these firearms to others, may have to pay a transfer fee to transfer them to others, or may lose them upon our death.

A Gun Trust can allow you to allow others to have access to your firearms and even become the person in control of them after you die. While a regular Gun Trust can your beneficiaries to use and have access to the firearms there is a risk that the people who would receive the benefit after your death may not be able to actually realize the full benefits from the value of your guns.

Many of you have asked your estate-planning lawyer about Gun Trusts and have not been able to find anyone who knows about them. This is not hard to believe because other than some materials I have produced or talked to others about there is no text book on gun trusts.

We work with lawyers in every state to help them prepare gun trusts for clients in their state while providing them a resource for the knowledge and information necessary to understand the ownership, transfer and possession of firearms.

In 2006, I recognized the need to create a Trust for NFA and regular firearms. It was at that time, that I created the Gun Trust. A Gun Trust is based on the traditional concepts of estate planning. Traditional trusts deal with all types of assets that are primarily financially based, but a Gun Trust only deals with firearms. They are not meant to circumvent federal or state laws, as many would have you believe. Trusts were clearly contemplated as owners of firearms by the National Firearms Act. The National Firearms Act (NFA), requires a tax to be paid to own, possess or transfer guns such as machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers or sound suppressors, and AOWs. They are referred to as Title 2 firearms because they are regulated under Title 2 of the 1968 Gun Control Act. Normal firearms are regulated under Title I of the Gun Control Act. Many people mistakenly call them Class 3 weapons, but Class 3 refers to a license or Special Occupational Tax (SOT) that an FFL must obtain prior to buying or selling Title II Firearms.

How can a Gun Trust protect my guns for my children and other family members?

Recently we have had many inquires as to how a Gun Trust can be used to protect firearms from future or currently pending legislation. First let me say that while no previous gun law has taken away the current owners rights, there is no guarantee that a future law would not attempt to do so. In other words, no one can guarantee you what will happen in the future. If we look at the firearms restrictions that have been imposed on US citizens over the last 200 years we see that all legislation has been designed to restrict future purchases and transfers of firearms and even attempts to totally ban firearms have allowed those who already possess them to keep their guns.

All of our Gun Trusts are designed to own regular and NFA firearms including the so-called “Assault Weapons”. Our lower end trusts are based on revocable trusts that will end at sometime after the death of the person who creates it. We do have a Professional gun trust which is designed to offer both asset protection and multi generational ownership of the firearms.

Historically a trust can only have a limited lifetime which is controlled by state law. The Rule Against perpetuity is a limiting factor that dates back to England and attempts to restrict the ability to control from the grave. The modern trend in the United State has been to increase the length of time you can control and in some states the restrictions have been abolished.

For example in Texas a trust can last 90 years after the death of the last person named in the trust dies, in Florida a trust can last 360 years, Arizona 500 years, Colorado 1000 years. In some states like Alaska, Idaho, New Jersey, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and South Dakota trusts can last forever.

The good news is that even if you do not live in one of the states that has expanded or abolished the Rule Against perpetuity, our Professional Gun Trust allows for you to elect to change the rules of your trust to follow another state at the time you create it or a later time. This means your Professional Gun Trust will be the owner of all of your firearms forever and children, grandchildren and beyond will be the authorized users of the firearms.

The Asset Protection Gun Trust is designed for the firearms owner or collector that is concerned about liability from their profession or personal life that may cause the loss of the firearms. In addition this Gun Trust can be structured for multi-generational use so that your kids, grandchildren, and future generations can use the same trust and have the same protections. The Multi-Generational Asset Protection Gun Trust uses Asset Protection techniques that can protect the firearms and other assets in the trust from your creditors as well as the creditors of your beneficiaries. Because of the complexity and cost involved with this trust, it has historically only made sense for those with $20K in firearms or where the individual desires for the trust to exist for future generations.

This Gun Trust is not designed for everyone. If you have a larger gun collection or keeping them in an asset protection vehicle so that future family members can use them is important than this Professional Version of our Gun Trust may be right for you and your family.

For those of you just looking for a good Gun Trust for NFA firearms and regular firearms without legal support you may check out the online form version. This Gun Trust comes with great instructions and a users copyrighted users guide. It is also designed for all of your firearms but at a lower price because it does not come with legal support. It can be found at GunTrust.com

While the prices and protections vary by state, here are some of the more significant differences in the trusts we offer with legal support that would be customized by a Gun Trust Lawyer® who is licensed in your state:

Feature Advanced Professional
Price $600-$750 $2500-3000
Created by Gun Trust Lawyer® Yes Yes
Customized for you by Lawyers Yes Yes
Ability to act without others Yes Yes
Special Veto Powers Yes Yes
Protect Guns For Children
Grandchildren and beyond
No Yes
Asset Protection – Protects guns from:
– Your creditors No Yes
– Your beneficiaries creditors Some Yes
– Lawsuits Against You No Yes
– Bankruptcy No Yes
– Divorce No Yes (if spouse signs waiver)
– Disqualifying you from
No Yes

Ability to change beneficiaries

Yes Yes

Authorized Users (included)

15 Unlimited
No EIN or Separate Taxes Yes Yes
Multiple Beneficiaries Yes Yes
Charitable Gifts to NRA Yes Yes
Multi State Users Yes Yes
Multi State Use Yes Yes
Multiple Owners Yes
Multiple Trustee Levels No Yes
Good for all Firearms Yes Yes
Form to Add Trustees No Included
Form to Remove Trustees No Included
Form to change States No Included
Form to allow for self
expiring Trustee
No Included

Asset Protection does not protect from fraudulent conveyance or fraudulent transfers. Divorce and Bankruptcy protections vary by state. All protections are not available in all cases and how a trust is structured will determine the protections available. The Professional version of the Gun Trust does not permit you to change the beneficiary to yourself.

If you are interested in a Professional Gun Trust to own and protect your firearms for generations as well as protecting them from your creditors and those of your beneficiaries, Contact Us to create one before the laws change and you may not be able to transfer your firearms into a Gun Trust.

If you already have a Gun Trust, it can be upgraded to the Professional Gun Trust your previous investment will not be lost. We are currently reducing the price by what you previously paid to any Gun Trust Lawyer®.

atf-logo.jpgATF hires 9 new examiners. Last week, the NFATCA posted an article that the DOJ lifted the hiring ban for the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and the ATF hired 9 new examiners.

This should significantly speed up the approval process for the purchase or manufacture of firearms restricted by the National Firearms Act. The new staff at the ATF who examine the requests for transfer ( ATF Form 4) and the requests to manufacture (ATF Form 1) should be around 30 which is almost triple the number just a few months ago when expected approval times were in excess of 6 months. We do not know if this will bring times down to 2-3 months but it seems reasonable.

We have been telling 07 Manufactures for almost a year that they need to comply with ITAR even if they do not export anything. Now the according to Joshua Prince with the Prince Law Firm, In the November 2012 newsletter ATF has declared that all 07’s must register with the DDTC unless the DDTC specifically exempts them. The penalties are huge and include 20 years in prison and 1 million in fines among other civil penalties per violation.

So what ever your reason for not registering even if ATF previously told you not to, you need to register and register soon. If you need help with this please Contact Us and we will be happy to get you in touch with someone who can help you do this correctly.

Recently we have begun to see many “Gun Trusts” that are nothing more than a traditional revocable trust with a few provisions that mention firearms or NFA firearms. As the creator of the NFA Gun Trust, we feel that we are entitled to define what is and what is not a Gun Trust. Here are a few of the more common issues we see with regular or other so-called “Gun Trusts”:

  • A gun trust should be a document which deals with regular as well as NFA firearms.
  • It should not contain language that instructs people to violate the law if they follow the instructions contained in the trust and should not allow for someone who is a prohibited person to become or remain an authorized user of the firearms.
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