*** On July 13th, 2016 the new BATFE 41P rules went into effect changing aspects of a trust. Does a trust still make sense for you? Contact us to find out ***
~NFA (National Firearms Act) Trusts are a legal entities that anyone interested in owning a suppressor, machine gun, short barrelled shotgun or any other weapon (AOW) regulated under the Federal National Frearms Act should strongly consider. The benefits include:
- No Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign off. Individuals that wish to purchase NFA items must get the signature of their CLEO before submitting the forms to the BATFE for approval. Trusts do not have this requirement allowing you to bypass this step and not worry about a CLEO that refuses to sign the paperwork, as some do.
- Control. A NFA trust actually allows you to more thoroughly control your NFA items. Through a trust you can allow multiple individuals access to your NFA items whereas, as an individual, only you are allowed to possess the NFA items. A trust also allows you to bequeath your NFA items directly to named individuals upon your death without going through the probate process. Moreover, in the event of your disability or incapacitation, the trust contains automated procedures on how to handle your NFA items. A properly drafted trust will address these and many more issues.
- Once the trust is established you have the flexibility to amend it and add items to it.
-As a tax document the trust documents and assets of the Trust remain private beyond what is submitted to the BATFE.
-A properly drafted gun trust can allow various persons to possess and use NFA Class 3 weapons owned by the trust. There can be more than one trustee, all of whom with authority to possess the trust’s NFA Class 3. BATFE regulations for individuals limit the possession of NFA Class 3 weapons to the registered owner only. Gun trusts can be drafted to allow various persons to use the trust’s NFA weapons over the years without the need to transfer them upon the death or incapacity of a trustee or beneficiary of the trust. Family members or friends can be designated as authorized “users” of trust Class 3 weapons.
Can I Do it Myself? It is risky. The BATFE examiners are not attorneys and do not review submitted trusts for compliance with the applicable state laws. Their initial approval guarantees nothing. Later should the trust come under scrutiny by an attorney it can be found to be invalid casuing the items to be illegally possessed. Individuals who run afoul of the NFA can be subjected to fines of up to $250,000 and 10 years in prison.
Is There an Annual Fee? No Maryland has no annual fee for trusts. Nor is there any annual filing requirement.
Why Dont I Just Set Up/ Use My Existing Corporation? Corporations are less private. Further they are required to pay $300 annually in Maryland and make certain filings every year.