The United States owns 393 million of the 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world, more than the next top 25 countries combined.
If you’re part of this statistic, you may have built up quite a collection of firearms and want to ensure they stay in the family. A gun trust is one of the easiest ways to legally pass ownership from one generation to another.
Read on to learn what a gun trust is, how it can benefit you, and how to set one up.
What Is a Gun Trust?
The best way to start answering a question like what is a gun trust is to answer another; what is a trust?
A trust is a legal method used to manage assets, reduce taxes, and avoid the lengthy probate process. The benefactor places assets within the trust and sets the terms of how they should be distributed. They also assign trustees to ensure their wishes are carried out.
The trust can also be revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts allow beneficiaries to change their terms at any time, while irrevocable trusts don’t.
An NFA gun trust applies to firearms that fit under Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968. These include automatic machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, suppressors, and other weapons.
What Are the Benefits of a Gun Trust?
A gun trust allows multiple beneficiaries to co-own and possess firearms. It also provides protection in case one of the owners is deemed incompetent. The remaining owners or beneficiaries can determine what should be done with the firearms instead of handing them over to the ATF.
How Can I Set Up a Gun Trust?
Putting your guns into a trust is a fairly complex legal process.
You’ll have to pay a transfer tax of $200 for each serviceable weapon. The tax decreases to $5 for anything in the category of “other weapons.” Only unserviceable weapons can be added for free.
The responsible person regulations set in place by Final Rule 41F change how benefactors can designate beneficiaries.
It requires them to undergo a background check. They’ll also have to complete paperwork, including an NFA gun trust Form 1, 4, or 5 and an ATF Form 5320.5. They’ll attach photos and 2 FD-258 fingerprint cards and send a copy of their application to the local CLEO or Chief Law Enforcement Officer.
The most important part of the setup process is finding a gun trust lawyer. They’ll help you through the complex process of setting up the trust.
Complete a search for “gun trust lawyer near me” and evaluate the results. Find out which one has the most experience, the best reputation, and the most affordable fees.
Where Can I Learn About Other Types of Trusts?
A gun trust is a safe, legal way to transfer ownership of firearms from their original owner to a friend or family member. It requires a complex setup process that a reputable gun trust lawyer can help you through.
Read the rest of our content to learn more about how to put valuable assets such as firearms into a trust.