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Should you set a trust up for your NFA items?

Posted by Veronica Arino on Aug 9th 2019

What are the pros and cons to an NFA gun trust?


NFA firearms (also called NFA weapons) are certain guns and accessories regulated by the National Firearms Act. They are sometimes called “Class 3 weapons.” NFA firearms include all fully automatic and select fire weapons, short barreled rifles/shotguns, and sound suppressors (silencers).

An NFA trust is also known as a Gun Trust. These types of Trusts are specifically tailored to comply with the NFA regulations of Title II items. NFA Gun Trust helps protect firearm owners from violating the NFA by providing them clear instructions on what they are and are not permitted to do.

NFA Trust Work

You’re probably asking how does NFA Trust work? We’re giving you a list of things you can do when you set up a Gun Trust:

1. An NFA Gun Trust allows multiple people (co-trustees) to legally have possession of the firearm.

Co-trustees are considered anyone on the NFA trust who may take possession of the trust without the owner being present. This is beneficial if you have someone you trust having the capability to take your NFA item on a hunting trip or a day to the range without your presence

2. An NFA Gun Trust provides flexibility by allowing you to add and/or remove trustees at any time.

Having a lot of co-trustees may also require you a lot paperwork and the process may even be longer depending on how busy the ATF is. If gathering all of this paperwork and waiting for it to be processed is too much for you, then consider it would be just one tip is to make an amendment to your NFA trust, which isn’t too difficult to do. With an amendment, you are just removing trustees before sending in your Form 4 paperwork when purchasing an NFA item.. Once the ATF Form 4 is processed, you can easily add co-trustees back to the trust

3. With a gun trust you can easily and legally pass down your firearms to your family.

Beneficiaries will take possession of your NFA items upon death, but do not have authority over the trust itself. Therefore, when you are setting up an NFA trust you can set it up simply for passing down to family and friends while keeping them from having to go through the paperwork every time you buy NFA items. You can also recategorize co-trustees to beneficiaries instead of removing them from the trust. This is a great feature when setting up NFA trust.

The benefits of NFA Gun trust does sound good, but it also has a few disadvantages. We are here to give you all the details. Here are some things to consider:

1. Having an NFA Gun Trust requires ALL members to complete the ATF registration process.

Anyone you have labeled as a co-trustee must go through the thorough NFA process including fingerprints, photos, responsible person questionnaire, etc. for each and every NFA purchase.

2. Not all Gun Trusts are created equal.

There are several options but many are not catered towards NFA processes, hence, it can make it difficult for you with the amendments of co-trustees.

These are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a NFA Gun Trust. You may also ask if a Gun Trust is approved by the ATF? In 2016, ATF has made some new regulations, and that greatly affects NFA Gun Trust. Under the ATF’s final rule, the ATF is still going to continue to require proof that a valid NFA Gun Trust. However, the ATF is also going to require proof that each “responsible person” on the NFA Gun Trust is entitled to possess firearms. Specifically, the ATF’s final rule will also require each and every “responsible person” of the NFA Gun Trust to submit fingerprints and photographs. During the approval process, the ATF will conduct background checks on each and every “responsible person” of the NFA Gun Trust.

Despite ATF’s new regulations, NFA Gun Trust still remains the best means of acquiring or manufacturing NFA firearms even after the ATF’s new regulations took effect.