Professional Gun Trust Services
A gun trust is used to acquire, own, transfer and bequeath weapons. There are classes of individuals who cannot own a weapon. Contact the Law Office of Todd A. Wilson for any gun trust service you require.
If you give your gun to one of these classes of people (or your will administrator does so), you'll commit an accidental felony. Those who are prohibited by federal and state laws from possessing a gun include:
- Felons, including those under indictment
- Persons discharged from the military dishonorably
- Persons convicted of misdemeanor in areas such as domestic violence
- Persons subject to certain types of restraining orders
- Persons unlawfully using or addicted to any controlled substance
- Persons declared by court as mental defectives or committed to a mental institution
- Persons who have renounced United States citizenship
- Fugitives from justice
- Illegal aliens
Why do You Need a Gun Trust?
You need a gun trust to legally purchase and own any Title II/Class 3 firearm subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA). The list of firearms includes silencers, fully automatic guns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns.
In most States, it's legal to own a NFA firearm but this is strictly regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE aka ATF). The Gun Trust is sent along with the ATF application form to the ATF.
The ATF, upon approval, issues a certified copy of the application along with a tax stamp. If you want your ATF approved, call us at 512-827-9212. We offer FREE consultations and you can schedule your appointments online.
Like all other trusts, the creator (grantor) of the gun trust will have to choose a trustee to manage the trust along with a beneficiary who'll finally receive the assets of the trust. The grantor can also act as a trustee.
After the gun trust is created, you can open a corresponding bank account to allow for the purchase of NFA firearms. Even if you purchase a Title II gun individually, you still have to apply to the BATFE, just as when you purchase through the gun trust.
However, you can legally share the weapon with others only when you purchase through a gun trust. But if you own a weapon individually, you are not allowed to share it with anybody, including family, hunting buddies, and range companions.
Types of Gun Trusts
There exists 3 types of gun trusts:
- Gun trusts that are specifically designed to cater to a person's unique circumstances
- Gun trusts that are particularly created to acquire and own NFA weapons
- General living trust that doesn't specifically cater only to NFA weapons
Avoiding Legal Consequences
If you handover your firearm to a 'prohibited person', you could commit a felony. In some conditions, loaning, gifting or sharing a particular firearm is even considered a crime that can result in hefty fines or conviction.
These are some of the concerns that you should be aware of when you own a gun as an asset. That's why it's important for every gun owner to stay informed of all these complex and evolving gun laws.
Staying unaware of the law is considered as 'accidental felony'. But if you possess an NFA firearm, passing them on to others involve risk. Whether you use it in your home or at the range, sharing NFA firearms can lead you to trouble.
Important Points to Consider
Before you get your personal firearm, you should consider the following:
- Unlawful possession or transfer of regulated firearms can lead to a 10-year federal prison term and a $250,000 fine per count
- 'Sharing' a firearm can amount to crime where 'unlawful' possession or transfer occurs
- Innocuous 'access' such as living in the same house or having access to guns owned by others can pose legal troubles related to actual or constructive possession and unlawful transfer
- Possession by or transfer to a 'prohibited person' may expose you to criminal liability
Very few gun owners and attorneys are fully aware of these risks. Most of them don't know how to avoid such serious legal consequences. If firearms are part of your life, visit us today at 401 Congress Avenue, Suite 1540 and discuss these laws.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Gun Trust?
A Gun Trust is a legal concept designed specifically to own and manage the ownership of weapons. A Comprehensive Gun Trust satisfies two broad criteria:
- Allows you to legally transfer any weapon you own to your loved ones while protecting your administrator against 'accidental felonies'
- Allows for the purchase, ownership, and management of NFA (Class 3/Title II) weapons while avoiding the numerous legal pitfalls inherent in such weapons that would legal to 'accidental felonies'
Who needs a Gun Trust?
Anyone who owns a gun can benefit from the protections a Gun Trust affords. If you are concerned with taking legal safeguards to protect your administrator from committing an accidental felony, you may benefit from a Gun Trust. If you want to purchase and own a NFA (Class 3/Title II) weapon, you may also benefit from a Gun Trust.
What can I do with my Gun Trust?
Gun Trusts allow you to:
- Safely make specific gifts of your weapons to loved ones at death without fear of committing an accidental felony
- Avoid probate for your firearms
- Purchase NFA (Class 3/Title II) weapons
- Share your NFA (Class 3/Title II) weapons with others without committing an accidental felony
Do I need a Gun Trust if I only own a rifle/shotgun/handgun?
You don't legally need a Gun Trust to own weapons, but Gun Trusts set up legal safeguards to avoid accidental felonies. Very few estate planning attorneys are knowledgeable and incorporate gun laws and regulations into their estate planning.
This leaves open the very real possibility that your administrator and beneficiary can commit accidental felonies by transferring and acquiring your gun, per your wishes, when you pass.