The Gun Trust: Your Estate Planning “Weapon”

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The national trend is driven by the National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulates the transfer or sale of certain guns and other weapons, in part by requiring a sheriff or police chief to approve the transfer with an authorized signature. However, NFA Gun Trusts allow firearm enthusiasts and gun collectors to legally bypass the law enforcement signature requirements and transfer ownership of their weapons without a local police chief or sheriff approval. It also bypasses the need for fingerprints.

There are ongoing debates across the nation concerning the role of guns in our society. Consequently, there is new motivation for Second Amendment supporters to add a particular “weapon” to their estate plans: the gun trust.

Whether owned for sport, collection, or protection – or the sheer aesthetics of the craftsmanship - firearms cannot be passed from generation to generation like any old trinket without some special planning. Enter the “gun trust,” which can provide just the right silver bullet for that special planning.

Gun trusts are not new. However, they can be a solid way to hedge your bets with the specter of restrictive gun laws in the future. A recent article in Yahoo! News examined this topic recently in an article titled “Amid National Gun Debate, Existing Laws Force Collectors to Turn to Trusts.

Generally speaking, firearms are a controlled kind of object. Accordingly, passing down the family silver is not going to be the same as passing down a controlled weapon. Without planning you risk running afoul of more than a few laws, but the one that comes to mind is the National Firearms Act (NFA). The penalties include prison time and fines can be severe.

Consequently, gun trusts are drafted to comply with the NFA and are referred to as “NFA gun trusts.”

If a firearm or accessory (such as a silencer) is part of your gift to future generations, consider the gun trust as the next planning weapon in your estate arsenal.

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Reference: Yahoo! News (March 5, 2013) “Amid National Gun Debate, Existing Laws Force Collectors to Turn to Trusts