Making NFA Firearms Trusts
There is an increasing interest in suppressor ownership and calibers which are short barreled rifle friendly, such as 300 blackout. Quiet firearms are more pleasant to shoot, help protect hearing and are less likely to disturb the neighbors. However, these types of items are subject to additional tax and regulations by the federal government. One legal way to simplify these paperwork and ownership issues is with a NFA Firearms Trust. These trusts can allow certain friends or family to borrow your NFA items, shorten paperwork processing time and make it easier to pass on these items to beneficiaries.
Just the other day, a member of the news media was discussing a gun related issue and referred to a NFA Firearms Trust as the “gun trust loophole”. This implies that people are “pulling one over” on the ATF. However, a little digging into the CHAPTER 9. TRANSFERS OF NFA FIREARMS rules shows that the opposite is true. According to this documentation on www.atf.gov, section 18.104.22.168, “…the NFA also defines a person to include a partnership, company, association, trust, estate, or corporation”. Rather than being a loophole, the ATF is obviously quite aware of trusts as a NFA ownership option. What makes this loophole argument so absurd is that the people who create these trusts are not trying to dodge the rules, but are rather going out of their way to follow them.
Options for making a NFA Trust include everything from writing the documents yourself (cost: free) to hiring a lawyer to create one for you (cost: in the hundreds of dollars). Since I’m not a lawyer and didn’t want to start attempting my own legal work this week, the free option was ruled out. Also, the ~$500 price tag to hire a local lawyer for something rather straight forward seemed a bit steep. So, I went with a choice in the middle ground, 199Trust.com. Seeing how they’ve done over 11,000 successful NFA Trusts and their website said “Buy Now For $59”, this was a no-brainer.
As it turns out, setting up a trust with 199Trust was both quick and simple. After filling out a form with about a dozen questions on their website, the trust paperwork was delivered as an email attachment in less than twenty four hours. The trust itself was a PDF file and came with four additional documents. These provided helpful information and examples of what a finished trust should look like, how to complete the paperwork for the trust, as well as ATF paperwork such as the Form 1 and Form 4. The last step was to print out the trust and then run up to the local credit union to get everything signed, witnessed and notarized. These extra documents really did come in handy as a reference to make sure that everything was taken care of correctly the first time around. So, from deciding to make a NFA Trust on a Wednesday morning, the signed paperwork was in my hand by the end of Thursday. If only picking out the best suppressor was this easy…