Today’s hot button is the acquistion of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms. These are silencers, machine guns, short-barreled rifles or short-barreled shotguns, destructive devices, “any other weapons” category regulated under federal and state law. Use of an entity, such as a corporation, LLC, partnership or a trust simplifies the process by eliminating the requirement to seek Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) approval prior to making application to the ATF. Such approval is denied in many if not a majority of U.S. jurisdictions..
These are in high demand as perhaps the best, most flexible way to help gun owners acquire, use, share, and bequeath NFA firearms. In fact, a gun trust can serve as a complete estate plan for ALL your firearms… if they are important to you.
Guns are are not like stock certificates, a bank account, or a parcel of land. Gun ownership and/or transfer can expose an owner or a transferee such as an estate heir, fiduciary, or even a beneficiary to possible criminal exposure! It is important to know the law and to not make new law with YOUR name on it!
A “real” gun trust should be more than a document; it should be a complete management system for client gun collections, one that can be designed for each need, within a budget, and that can grow with a collection or help distribute it as the case may be. Your gun trust should be a roadmap for lawful enjoyment of firearms to help reduce the chance that you or your loved one might commit an “accidental” felony.
To help you in your planning, we have answered a few questions for you that we get asked all the time. Let us know what you would like to hear more about and we’ll find an attorney to answer them for you…
CAN I WRITE MY OWN TRUST OR EVEN DOWNLOAD A “FREE” ONE?
SURE. It’s America!
BUT THE QUESTION IS… SHOULD YOU? I mean, what could happen…
Consider that gun law is pretty complex, and it is inconsistent. Federal law provides the minimum requirements of gun law… and then each state adds to it. Gun law varies from state to state… and sometimes within a state. Trust law is also complex, and just printing out a document, even if it is “approved” for transfer of an NFA firearm, does not mean that the trust is valid or that you or a friend will not get jammed up.
Free trusts do not have the word “gun” or “firearm” in them. Often, they are found to be incomplete or invalid. There are a number of websites detailing BATFE horror stories about trusts approved that where later found invalid… risking seizure of the very firearms the trust was created to own! They contain trustee instructions that, if followed, would likely violate the law. So, what about a “conventional”trust done by your lawyer… same result although the trust is more likely to be legally valid! And equally problematic.
Let’s illustrate with some questions…
What if you are out shooting an NFA firearm with a friend… you share… and law enforcement stops by to inquire? Can you even do that with your “gun trust”?
What if you are sick, or you pass away… and your spouse innocently decides to mail your prized but tiny .22 cal silencer to her brother to have… what could go wrong? Wait, isn’t that a felony for both of them?
The scary truth is that it is easy to be accused of a felony without even firing a gun! The “accidental” felony can occur from simple possession or transfer to the wrong person, being in the wrong locale, or having the wrong firearm in either case. Possession or transfer of ANY firearm can create risk depending on the facts.
What if you are involved in a gun event… you pull your gun when threatened or you hear a noise; you shoot someone in self-defense; somebody in a store or on the street calls the police as they are “scared” of your “concealed” pistol when your coat rides up?
Do you carry concealed? Do you transport a firearm in your car? Do you have a gun in your home for self-defense? Who would you call in the middle of the night…
Doesn’t it make sense to work with an attorney who took his or her time to get educated about gun law? Better, to know an attorney who uses a nationally available gun trust system… who can handle most if not all of your legal needs… who is part of the Gun Docx™ Lawyers community… who can refer you, your friends, and family to a colleague throughout the US? Most important, an attorney who can provide you with a tested, time-proven solution that works… and is constantly being improved?
All of this is really about your safety and peace of mind. That’s why Gun Docx™ was created… and why the lawyers who developed it and all those who now use it are building a community of gun owners AND attorneys. Their Gun Docx™ System is the only comprehensive solution that gives attorneys specific gun law training, the ability to draft custom gun trusts that match client needs and goals to budget, and a way to reach out to local gun owners… throughout the United States.
Give it a look… and talk to a trained Gun Docx™ Lawyer.