We can make it possible for you to buy an NFA firearm. We can prevent members of your family and the executor of your estate from becoming "instant criminals." We give you accurate information so that you can make intelligent choices.
Our experience with both firearms law and estate and trust law can help ensure that your guns don't cause you or your family unexpected problems.
No Signature Required
In order for an individual to lawfully acquire an NFA weapon, his or her police chief or CLEO must sign a form called a "BATFE Form 4." Many chiefs are reluctant, or refuse, to sign the form either for political reasons or concern about potential liability. There is no way to compel a chief to sign the form. If your chief refuses to sign, and you do not have an NFA trust, you will not be allowed to purchase any NFA weapons.
Avoiding Confiscation and Criminal Liability
Ordinary revocable trusts do not give the trustee the powers needed in order to deal with NFA weapons and with BATFE. Before distributing any NFA Item, the trustee must be sure that your beneficiary is not a "disqualified person" under State and Federal law. He or she must also determine which laws apply, including statutes in your beneficiary's home state.
Penalties for violating the National Firearms Act can be severe
Forfeiting the weapons is only the beginning. Individuals who run afoul of the NFA can be subjected to fines of up to $250,000 and 10 years in prison. An ordinary revocable trust does not give the trustee any instructions on dealing with firearms. An NFA trust provides the trustee with a "roadmap" to help him or her and your beneficiaries stay out of trouble.
If you die or become disabled, your firearms will be part of your "probate estate." A Probate Court proceeding will be required to deal with your guns. Any member of the public can find out about the items in your collection and who will receive them.
Some people have used Corporations and LLCs to acquire NFA Firearms
Corporations and LLCs must pay ongoing fees and need to file tax returns. Trust offer significant advantages over corporations and LLCs, which are primarily intended to be "business entities" and are subject to annual fee and tax return requirements. After you have signed your NFA trust, there are no additional fees. No tax returns are required. Unlike a corporation or an LLC, a trust is a totally private arrangement. Other than BATFE only you and the people you tell will have any information about the trust assets.
Spouse and Children as "Registered Owners"
An NFA firearm can never be handled or transported by anyone other than the registered owner. NFA firearms owned by trusts may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used by any trustee or "manager" of the trust.
Example: You own a suppressor, SBR, SBS, or machine gun as trustee of your NFA trust. You, your spouse, and your adult child are all trustees of the trust. Any of you may use and transport the firearms without the others present.