Written by attorney David Grant Voeller

Do I Need a Gun Trust?

There are approximately 80 million gun owners in America with nearly half of all U.S. households owning at least one firearm. With over 20,000 gun related laws in the United States today, owning and eventually passing on a firearm as a legacy must be done with careful planning and consideration. Most federal and state gun laws carry stiff penalties on the improper possession or transfer of a firearm. If not done properly, the seemingly innocent transfer of a firearm to an heir could result in a fine up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison. Having a gun trust in place sets forth the rules for owning and transferring firearm that will ensure you or your loved ones don't end up inadvertently committing a felony and paying a catastrophic price!

The potential benefits provided by a gun trust include probate avoidance, simplification in acquisition of NFA regulated firearms like supressors, machine guns, and short barrel rifles, avoidance of annual state registration fees, and guidance to help avoid prevent accidental felonies when others use or are instructed to transfer a firearm as a sale, gift, or bequest.

In addition to providing protection when owning or transferring regular firearms, gun trusts also allows for much easier ownership of National Firearms Act restricted firearms and weapons like machine guns, short barrel rifles, and suppressors. With a gun trust, you can legally own these NFA restricted weapons without having to first get written permission from your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer; something that few Chief Law Enforcement Officers will give. Furthermore, since a gun trust has no face or fingerprints, these identification items are not required to be sent to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives when you apply to purchase a restricted firearm. To purchase a NFA restricted firearm through a gun trust, all you need to do is send an application, a copy of your trust, and a $200 tax to the BATFE. Using a trust makes the process of purchasing an NFA restricted weapon much easier while preserving your privacy.

Once you have a gun trust and transfer or purchase firearms into the trust, the trust will be the legal owner of the weapons. However, as trustee, you will have the legal authority to manage and handle the weapons. With exceptions to NFA regulated firearms, you can freely remove or sell firearms from the trust at any time. If you want to transfer or sell an NFA regulated fiream, you will need to notify and get permission from the BATFE first.

As a founding member of GunDocx Lawyers, The Voeller Law Firm provides the most up to date and cutting edge resources to help you own and transfer regulated and non-regulated firearms. By providing trusts that are highly recognized and accepted by the BATFE, we are able to provide a fast and streamlined method to owning NFA regulated firearms.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of having a gun trust, please feel free to contact us.

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