A Gun Trust is a carefully drafted document which creates something that can legally hold title/own your firearms. Like all trusts, there must be a trustee (who controls the firearms owned by the trust) and at least one beneficiary (who may benefit from the use of the firearms owned by the trust).
With regard to the first point, the National Firearms Act (Title II of the Gun Control Act) governs the transfer and possession of certain types of weapons and their components, including machine guns, silencers, the “drop in Auto Sear” which converts a semi-automatic AR-15 into a fully automatic machine gun, among others. These “Title II” weapons are highly regulated and they must be registered with the ATF. The “transfer”, which is broadly defined, of these Title II weapons requires the filing of a form and approval by ATF, paying a transfer tax, and registering the weapon to the transferee with the NFRTR. Because “transfer” is so broadly defined merely handing or allowing a friend to fire a Title II weapon registered in your name, could open you both up to FELONY prosecution.
A Gun Trust can be drafted so that you and your friends and family can safely enjoy the use of these Title II weapons without the risk of accidental felonies. Furthermore, a well-drafted gun trust will outline who is prohibited from EVER possessing a Title II weapon in any capacity, again preventing the risk of additional accidental felonies with lifelong and life-altering consequences.
With regard to the second point above, whether you own Title II weapons or more common firearms (those not regulated as Title II weapons), a well-drafted Gun Trust can be an important component of your estate planning. Again, it can prevent your estate administrator, who may or may not be knowledgeable about firearms and firearm laws and regulations, from committing or causing others to unknowingly commit accidental felonies.
Additionally, a Gun Trust drafted to meet your specific needs can prevent your children, family, and friends from fighting over who gets “Dad’s Guns”. Furthermore, in instances where your possible heirs have no interest in your gun collection, a Gun Trust can provide an avenue to either turn your guns into liquid assets to be passed down or put them to a creative use that will provide a living legacy to you and your collection.
For these reasons, every gun owner should consider whether and in what way a well-drafted Gun Trust can prevent accidental felonies or simplify the administration of one’s estate upon passing, which will significantly decrease the burden left on your family and loved ones.
Establishing a Gun Trust is not difficult and extremely affordable. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Russell Kruse, Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C., 434-973-7474 www.TGBLaw.com
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