NFA Gun Trust

Protect Your Second Amendment Rights

The NFA Gun Trust is a somewhat specialized creature in that, while its design is in keeping with Alabama trust law, its purpose is primarily to hold in trust Federally regulated firearms. As such, it is crucial that the drafting attorney has a firm understanding of not only the Trustor’s intended purpose in establishing the trust, but also of Alabama trust law and Federal laws regulating NFA, or Title II, firearms. The last being the most sensitive because even an inadvertent mistake as to the Federal laws involved can carry potential criminal charges. It is for that reason that we take the time not only to understand the needs of the client, but also to educate the client on the function and legal implications of his/her NFA Gun Trust.

The NFA refers to the National Firearms Act, originally enacted in 1934 to tax and regulate the manufacture and transfer of firearms defined under the Act. Over the years a series of modifications have brought us to the NFA in its current form which regulates the sale, use, possession, and transfer of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, suppressors (silencers), destructive devices, and AOW’s (any other weapon). These items are commonly referred to as NFA firearms or Title II firearms and sometimes, incorrectly, as “Class 3” firearms or weapons.

WHY HAVE AN NFA GUN TRUST?

NFA Gun Trust clients generally have one of three concerns in mind:

  1. NFA Gun Trust as an asset protection vehicle. This is generally the individual with a significant investment in firearms that needs to be shielded from liability, while fulfilling the intent to leave them to specific beneficiaries.
  1. NFA Gun Trust as insurance against the uncertainty of possible future gun control legislation. This is a growing portion of our NFA Gun Trust clientele, often surging in times of political unrest and pending gun control legislation. During late 2012/early 2013, the focus of the pending legislation at that time was a reclassification of many firearms, accompanied by a forced registration and limitation or ban on transfer. In essence, many law abiding gun owners would have been faced with the choice between violating Federal law by not registering certain firearms, or registering them and having to surrender them upon death because of an inability to pass them to heirs. Our NFA Gun Trust is designed to address such concerns and protect your 2nd Amendment rights against the possible implications of future changes gun control laws. As the gun control lobby seeks new ways to take your firearms, we continue to be more creative in legally protecting your Constitutional right to own and possess firearms.
  1. NFA Gun Trust as a way to streamline the process of acquiring certain Federally regulated items, such as suppressors, fully automatic firearms, short barreled shotguns and rifles, etc. Prior to taking possession of any such items, one must complete the application for a Federal tax stamp (form 4) necessary to legally possess that item. The application process, however, requires fingerprints, background checks, and the approval of your local chief law enforcement officer, generally your county Sheriff. From there, the traditional approval process takes around ten months before the stamp is issued and you can take possession of your purchase.

    When you purchase your item, such as a suppressor, into your NFA Gun Trust, you can avoid much of the hassle and delay associated with the tradition approval process. Your NFA Gun Trust is a legal entity rather than a real person, eliminating the need for fingerprints, background checks, and the approval of your local sheriff. Furthermore, with the added availability of electronic filing, anecdotal evidence shows a possible decrease in approval time of 50-70%, with some individuals receiving approval in as little as three to five months. Another benefit of purchasing or transferring your NFA regulated items into your NFA Gun Trust is the ability to legally confer the right of possession of your NFA items. If you file your form 4 and purchase your tax stamp in your individual name, only you can legally possess it. For you wife, father, brother, etc., to be in possession without your physical presence is a Federal offense carrying potential jail time. As a named co-trustee in your NFA Trust, any individual otherwise capable of legally owning a firearm can also legally possess your NFA item, such as your suppressor, without fear of criminal prosecution.

Whatever your need for an NFA Gun Trust, the attorneys of Pruitt, Tudisco, & Richardson, P.C., have the knowledge and experience with NFA Gun Trusts to meet your specific goals and keep you in compliance with the complexities of both State and Federal law. Not sure if an NFA Gun Trust is right for you, feel free to give our attorneys a call and we’ll be glad to walk you through the decision.

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