200px-Texas_flag_map.svg.pngWe work with more than 20 lawyers in Texas to provide Gun Trusts to their clients. As of this month Gun Trust Lawyer® David Goldman has been licensed in Texas. Texas is one of the biggest markets for NFA Trusts and Gun Trusts. Because of this we have seen many so called Gun Trusts that are nothing more than revocable trusts with a few gun or NFA terms.

There are many problems in using a traditional Gun Trust in Texas and most states because they tend to instruct your family and friends to do things that may be illegal or cause criminal liability to the others involved with your trust.

Much the same way as Nolo has stated that their product should not be used to create a Gun Trust, a traditional revocable trust should not be used to create a gun trust.

Keeping Your Personal Representative or Executor Out of Jail

If you own firearms, you should reevaluate the trustees, successor trustees and beneficiaries in any estate planning documents. It is important to avoid people who are prohibited people from owning or being in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Many people do not even know that they may be a prohibited person. There is not an easy way to determine if someone named in your documents is a prohibited person or not without asking them a bunch of questions. In addition, certain items you may own may be illegal in some states and even if the person is not prohibited, it may be a crime for them to take these items to a location where they are prohibited.

House File 284 was recently introduced to lift the ban on owning or using a silencer or suppressor. Iowa is one of only eleven (11) states that ban the device for some individuals. The bill sponsor has stated that a suppressor is a usefull tool for preventing hearing damage. Currently the use of a suppressor in Iowa is a Class D felony. Lets hope Iowa changes this law and permits suppressors. If you have an Iowa Gun Trust and the law changes you will be permitted to purchase suppressors within the state. There are still many benefits for an Iowa Gun Trust or gun trust even if you do not own Title II firearms like suppressors. For more information on how a Gun Trust can help you please request our information by filling out the form on this page.

ATF_Logo.jpgUsing an eForm to file your Form 1 or Form 4 can save several months processing time. We have seen that it can reduce the time from 9-12 months to 3-6 months. As we have outlined before, the ATFonline.gov website is not the easiest to use or understand and thus there have been many questions which ATF has attempted to address in this guide.

On January 15, 2015 the ATF released a new version of this Guide

The Topics covered include:

We often get questions from people who are 18 and want to know if they can form a Gun Trust?

The good news is that you can form a gun trust at the age of 18 with a Gun Trust Lawyer®. If you are going to purchase NFA firearms or pistols, you must be at least 21 years to purchase from a dealer. If you purchase NFA firearm from an individual you only need to be 18.

You only need to be 18 to be in possession of a NFA Firearm and other trustees who are on your trust who are over the age of 21 may purchase NFA firearms on behalf of the trust.

We often get questions from people about using a regular trust or existing trust that they already have to purchase a suppressor. First a trust or Gun Trust is not required to purchase a suppressor. A suppressor is a Title II firearm, that is sold by a Class III FFL. It can be purchased by an individual, trust, or business entity. Currently, an individuals must obtain a CLEO signature as well as provide fingerprints with the application to purchase a suppressor. Any purchase from an individual, trust, Gun Trust, or business entity must pay a $200 tax stamp and complete an ATF Form 4.

That being said, a Trust or Gun Trust has many other benefits besides the CLEO and fingerprint submission.

  1. A Gun Trust may submit an application electronically and between 2-6 months in processing.
  2. The ability to tell your representatives how to properly transfer these firearms upon your death.
  3. The ability to transfer assets to children, even below the age of 18, when they reach an appropriate age while giving the someone the ability to make distribution decisions based on mental state, physical location, legality of the transfer, and age.
  4. The ability for the Trustee to refuse assets transferred by will or other means if NFA and state requirements are not complied with.
  5. Requirement to comply with NFA and State laws for transfer of NFA related assets.
  6. The ability to make uneven distributions to heirs to conserve value of assets.
  7. The ability to purchase Title II firearms, without creating a violation of the duties of the trustee.
  8. The ability to use the firearms in the trust without creating liability to the beneficiaries.
  9. The instructions and formalities on how to: manufacture items under a Form 1, how to purchase items correctly under a Form 4, how to properly document and transport Title II firearms with a Form 20.
  10. Protection for yourself and your family from Constructive Possession – a violation of the NFA.
  11. The ability to add others to your trust at a later time and create additional authorized users of the firearms.

Some Gun Trusts can even be designed to include:

While the NRA’s comment is only 17 pages it incorporates many comments and references many including mine. On page one of the NRA’s comment they state

Many Hundreds of comments already published in opposition to 41P exhaustively catalog its various problems and potential for absurd consequences. For example, a comment submitted by David M. Goldman details how 41P is based on an unsophisticated and inaccurate view of the law governing trusts and estate planning.

The NRA’s comment primarily leads with the following 3 issues.

While ATF could change, what is published, they have updated their Unified Agenda Statement for 41P to show that Final Action is not expected until June of 2014.

This date could continue to roll forward or with enough political pressure the date could be moved up. The June date should be thought of a target date that may or may not change as we get closer to it. You might think of it like “average life expectancy”. You could die sooner, you could die at the average age, or you could live many years longer than the average. Also, it is important to remember that just because we hit an implementation date does not give us any better idea of what may be implemented.

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Joshua Prince and Tom Odom have put together over 400 pages of comments and exhibits. Below are the broad topics that their extensive comment covers. If you enjoy reading about the Second Amendment, you will enjoy the extensive research and history that is included in this document. Joshua said they were able to shave off 40 or 50 pages by incorporating my comments by reference. I have included their conclusion below for you to read.

  1. PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITIES HAVE DENIED INTERESTED PERSONS A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED RULEMAKING
  2. ATF’S PROPOSED RULE RAISES IMPORTANT CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

The NFATCA has posted a comment to 41p, requested a hearing and has some unusual arguments claiming must of the proposals and even some of the current procedure is not authorized by congress. IN addition, they have an interesting Legal Memorandum prepared by Stephen Halbrook that’s worth taking a look at.

His memo covers

I. NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO REQUIRE FINGERPRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF “RESPONSIBLE PERSONS” OF TRUSTS AND OTHER ARTIFICIAL PERSONS

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