Gun Trust FAQS

What is a Gun Trust or an NFA Trust?

This is a Trust specifically written to address firearms and NFA regulated items. An NFA Gun Trust has no annual fees and isn’t required to be filed with the Secretary of State. A NFA Gun Trust is private and any trustee may lawfully possess the Trust’s firearms. A NFA Gun Trust also speeds the NFA application process and does not require a CLEO’s signature, your photograph or fingerprints to be submitted to the B.A.T.F.E.

Your NFA Gun Trust does not need to be filed with the State of Texas.

What is a Settlor?

A Settlor (also called a Trustor or a Grantor) is the person that initially creates a Trust by a written declaration of trust. The Settlor typically transfers the original assets into the Trust Estate to form a Trust.

What is a Trustee?

A Trustee is an individual (or individuals) who hold the assets of a Trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries and manages the trust and its assets under the terms and conditions of the declaration of trust. In many cases, the Settlor is also the initial Trustee of the Trust and will manage the Trust until the Settlor’s death at which point the Trust is taken over by a successor trustee.

What is the NFA?

The NFA is the National Firearms Act currently codified as 26 United States Code (USC), Chapter 53 Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C, Chapter 53) as amended by Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The NFA imposes a $200 tax on certain firearms to discourage possession of these firearms. Once the tax was paid, the owner receives a Tax Stamp that was required to be kept with the firearm to identify the owner and in which State the firearm was located. The NFA was amended to restrict Any Other Weapons (AOW). NFA items are also referred to as Title II weapons.

Illegal possession, use, transfer or ownership of a Title II weapon carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, loss of the firearm and loss of the vessel, vehicle or home where the firearm was found.

The NFA requires that Title II items be registered with the B.A.T.F.E. through an application process utilizing an ATF Form 1 or ATF Form 4 and pay a tax (typically $200.00) for each Title II item.

What is an Short Barreled Rifle?

SBR is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and designed to use the energy of an explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled barrel for each single pull of the trigger that has a barrel of less than sixteen (16) inches in length measured from the breech face to the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device.

What is a Short Barreled Shotgun?

SBS is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and designed to use the energy of an explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger that has a barrel of less than eighteen (18) inches in length measured from the breech face to the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device.

What is a Machine Gun?

Machine Gun is a firearm or weapon that shoots or is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one cartridge without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger and shall include the frame or receiver thereof.

What is a Silencer or Suppressor?

A Silencer or Suppressor is any device for silencing, muffling or diminishing the report of a portable firearm or any combination of parts designed, redesigned and intended for use in assembling or fabricating such item. This includes an actual suppressor or items that can make normal household (no regulated) objects into suppressors.

What is AOW?

Any Other Weapon that is regulated by the NFA.

What is a Destructive Device?

Destructive Device includes explosive devices, a rocket having a propellant charge of more than four (4) ounces and a projectile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter (1/4) ounce, large caliber weapons with a bore diameter or more than one-half (1/2) inch (excluding shotguns).

What is a Title I weapon?

A Title I weapon IS NOT subject to the laws and regulations of the NFA.

What is a Title II weapon?

A Title II weapon IS subject to the laws and regulations of the NFA.

What is a Form 4?

The ATF Form 4 (5320.4) is the form that the B.A.T.F.E. requires for the sale or transfer of a suppressor / silencer, SBR, SBS, Machine Gun, AOW or Destructive Device. This is the form you will commonly fill out when you purchase an NFA regulated (Title II) item from a seller or dealer.

What is an ATF Form 1?

The ATF Form 1 (5320.1) is the form that the B.A.T.F.E. requires to be completed when an individual builds, manufacturers or creates a suppressor / silencer, SBR, SBS, AOW or Destructive Device.

How do I Transfer a Gun to a TRUST?

A standard (Title I) firearm can be transferred to the Trust Estate simply by listing the firearm in Schedule A of your NFA Gun Trust and executing a bill of sale.

NFA items can be transferred to your NFA Gun Trust by submitting an ATF Form 4 and after approval, listing the NFA item on Schedule A.

Can I Create an NFA Gun Trust with a friend?

Sure. Anyone can be a Settlor/Grantor of an NFA Gun Trust. However, you need to be aware of the implications. What if the friendship ends, who will have control of the NFA items and where will they be stored? Also, your friend may have the power to modify the terms of the trust, sell or encumber trust items, or even terminate the trust. We generally recommend that close friends be included as Co-Trustees with the Settlor

Can I be the Creator of the Trust (Settlor) and the Sole Beneficiary?

No. Texas Law states that if the Settlor is also the sole Beneficiary, no Trust is created.

Can I be the Creator of the Trust (Settlor) and the Sole Trustee?

Yes. Texas Law allows an individual to be the Settlor and Sole Trustee.

Can a Trustee also be a Beneficiary?

Yes. Texas law allows a Beneficiary to also serve as a Trustee.

How Many Trustees can an NFA Gun Trust Have?

As many as the Settlor desires.

May a Trustee be Removed?

Yes, a Trustee may be removed at any time under the terms of our NFA Gun Trust.

Who May Possess NFA Regulated Items or Firearms Owned by the Trust?

Only a trustee. The NFA defines possession to include loaning and “constructive possession” (which could include anyone that has access to the firearm).

It is not legal to let just anyone use your NFA item if you are close by, inside a closed fence, on private property or within their view.

How do I Purchase an NFA Regulated Item Using a Trust?
  • By purchasing the NFA item in the Trust’s name
  • By filing an ATF Form 4 or Form 1 stating that the Trust is the purchaser and paying the $200 tax to the B.A.T.F.E.
  • A Trustee of the Trust must sign the ATF Form 1 or ATF Form 4.
How Long Does It Take the B.A.T.F.E. to Process a Form 4 or Form 1?

Currently, 6-8 months

Are Markings / Engravings Required for a SBR or SBS?

Yes. If you have manufactured a Title II weapon such as an SBR, the B.A.T.F.E. requires that the Trust name, City and State be permanently engraved on the receiver of the weapon. In addition, the B.A.T.F.E. will not allow trust names to be abbreviated. Therefore, keep your trust names short.

Can I Use Casey Davis’s NFA Gun Trust in a State Other Than Texas?

Maybe, but you do so at your own risk. Our NFA Gun Trust is drafted according to the laws of the Texas Property Code. Many state’s codes are very similar, but some differences may exist that would affect the validity of your trust.

How do I Add Title I Firearms to the NFA Gun Trust?
  • By transferring the item to the Trust via a bill of sale.
  • By purchasing the gun in the Trust’s name
Can I Remove Items from the Trust?

Yes, at any time. However, if it is an NFA regulated item, must transfer through B.A.T.F.E. and pay transfer fee.

When Will My New NFA Gun Trust be Active and Valid?

As soon as notarized and the Trust is “funded” meaning that some item of value is added to Schedule A and ownership is transferred to the Trust Estate. We suggest that a Title I firearm be added to Schedule A to “fund” the trust.

Do not purchase NFA items or submit your Declaration of Trust to the B.A.T.F.E. with an unfunded trust. The Trust will be deemed invalid because it has not been “funded” and is not yet a valid trust.

Do I Need to Keep a Copy of the Trust and Tax Stamp with Me When I Transport an NFA Regulated Item?

Yes. Leave your original Trust and Tax Stamp in a safe place, such as in your gun safe. Keep a photocopy of your Trust and Tax Stamp with your NFA item when you travel or transport the item anywhere. This makes it very easy for any Law Enforcement Officer to determine that you are lawfully in possession of the item.

Who Submits the ATF Form 4 or ATF Form 1?

A Trustee of the NFA Gun Trust in the name of the Trust as the Transferee.

Will Using a Gun Trust Shorten the Time It Takes B.A.T.F.E. to Approve a Form 1 or Form 4?

Yes, usually by at least a month because a background check is not required.

I Don’t Live in the Dallas, Texas area. Can You Still Establish an NFA Gun Trust for Me?

Yes. We can establish an NFA Trust anywhere in Texas. Just give us a call.

My Title II (NFA firearms) Dealer Has Offered to Draft a Trust for Me (or Given Me a Form Trust and Given Me Advice on How to Fill It Out. Is This Legal?

NO. The dealer is practicing law without a license which is a 3rd degree felony in the State of Texas. In addition, dealers that are engaging in this activity are regularly reported by rival dealers and reported to the B.A.T.F.E., which may cause the dealer to lose their Federal Firearms license.

Will My Listed Beneficiaries Receive the Assets of the Trust When I Pass Away?

In Texas, if your Trust contains community property, your spouse may have a claim to her share of the community property contained within the trust. However, if you are not married, or if the property you place into the Trust Estate is separate property, the answer is yes.

Can a Trustee Live in Another State?

Yes. However, the B.A.T.F.E. must be notified (utilizing ATF Form 5329.29) if the NFA regulated items are transported outside of the State of Texas.

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