NFA items with a gun trust

by Erik  

One of the most popular ways to apply for an NFA item is using a gun trust. A gun trust is simply a revocable living trust specific for firearms that addresses any legal stipulations that may result in dealing with NFA/Class 3 items. These should be prepared by an attorney and not created on your own. There are several cases where the BATFE has over-turned cases as a result of a self-created trusts with Quicken or other legal software. I am not a lawyer and I do not play one on TV. Any information contained in this article is provided without warranty.
Gun trusts are more commonly used as a means of applying for NFA items because they offer a certain amount of legal protection should you unknowingly violate the Nations Firearms Act. It also allows you to list other individuals who can obtain or possess NFA items under the same trust. Finally, like any other trust, it allows you to legally transfer the property to a beneficiary once you die. Applying with a gun trust has several advantages:

It eliminates the need for a passport photo, finger prints, and chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) signature which is required if you apply as an individual. In some states or counties, the CLEO will not sign off for NFA items and therefore using a trust may be the only option.

It also allows you to add or remove individuals to the trust, and unlike applying as an individual, will transfer the NFA items to a beneficiary.

There are numerous attorneys which specialize in gun trusts and the fee for preparation usually runs between $250-500. Most of them can be delivered electronically via e-mail within a few days. It will need to be notarized, signed an initialed by all parties included. The notary CAN act as a witness as well.
A copy of your gun trust will need to be included with your NFA paper work and a $200 check for each item you apply for.

The wait time for NFA items fluctuates depending on the demand and speed of the examiners. Expect to wait anywhere from 5-8 months. It doesn't matter which method you choose to apply with, you are stuck waiting. The only part that happens quickly is the government cashing your check. Once the form is returned from the Department of Justice, you will need to complete a standard form 4473 to take ownership.

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