A Gun Trust is a specially designed revocable trust, which is established for the limited purpose of owning your firearms, with a specific focus on NFA Firearms. NFA Firearms are guns and other items that are regulated under Title II of the National Firearms Act, sometimes mistakenly referred to as Class 3 firearms.
Unlike a traditional revocable trust, that is primarily designed to own real estate, bank accounts and traditional investments; a Gun Trust provides instructions on how handle and own NFA Firearms. For example, an NFA Firearm Trust will specify who may have access to your Class 3 firearms, and how to handle your firearms in the event of your disability.
Many gun owners also like the potential protection from future changes in the law that may limit or prohibit the ownership, transfer and sale of certain firearms. Other benefits of a Gun Trust include:
- A Gun Trust is not required to obtain the signature of the Chief Law Enforcement Office (CLEO) when acquiring a Title II firearm from an individual or Class dealer.
- There are no finger prints or photographs required for a Gun Trust to acquire a Title II firearm.
- The ability to designate additional owners and users of Title II firearms, thus avoiding constructive possession, which can be deemed an illegal transfer.
Gun Trusts are becoming increasingly popular among gun enthusiast. In our own practice we have experienced a recent surge in gun owners requesting our assistance in establishing a Gun Trust. This Gun Trust surge appears to be a national trend. According to a recent New York Times article, transfers of restricted firearms to trusts or corporations have more than doubled in the last four years, to more than 39,000 in 2012 from about 15,000 in 2008.
In the current legal and political environment, the popularity of the gun trust is certain to grow. If you are interested in finding out more about how a Gun Trust can meet your particular needs, please contact our office for a free initial consultation at (513) 985-2500.
Paul is a lawyer with Phillips Law Firm, Inc. whose practice focuses on estate planning, probate and representing entrepreneurs and business owners.