NFA Trust Bleg

I have made the decision to set up a NFA Trust and buy a suppressor or two in advance of the ATF 41F implementation date of July 13th. I’m going the trust route for a couple of reasons. First, it will make estate planning easier as the suppressor will be passed on to the trust beneficiary without the need to pay another $200 tax. Second, other members of the trust will be allowed to use the suppressor without my being with them. It circumvents the potential constructive possession problem for the Complementary Spouse as she does know my safe combination. The issue of fingerprints and photos is irrelevant for my purposes but it is nice to be able to avoid it – for now.

There are a number of prototype NFA trust documents being offered on the Internet. You can get them from suppressor dealers like the Silencer Shop, manufacturers like Silencerco, and a number of attorneyrelated websites. The cost of these prototype documents are in the $99-199 range. This is a significant cost savings over the estimated $350-500 that an attorney would charge for a “custom” NFA trust. At last year’s Annual Firearms Law Seminar, the BATFE attorney from the NFA section offered some horror stories on NFA trusts that were set up without the hands-on assistance of an attorney.

Yesterday I took advantage of a Gearhog discount offer of a NFA trust for $49. This was a 75% discount off the normal price of $199 from www.199trust.com. This discount offer runs for another two days. My rationale was that I’d not be out of much money if I decided this trust document didn’t meet North Carolina trust law standards.

  1. Has anyone gone the prototype or prewritten trust route? If so, did you run into any problems?
  2. If you did go the prototype trust route, did you have it reviewed by a local attorney to make sure it met the trust law of your state?
  3. Would you suggest having a local estates attorney review the trust? 
  4. What were your reasons for using a trust instead of purchasing the NFA item as an individual? 
  5. If you went the prototype route, did you later have the trust rewritten by a local attorney?
I would love to know your experiences. You can either leave a comment below or email me at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.

6 thoughts on “NFA Trust Bleg”

  1. I have used the 199trust.com forms for 3 SBR and 2 suppressor stamps since November 2014 without any issue at all. SBR's were eFiled, the Suppressors were paper filed via my dealer (tarheelstatefirearms.com).

    1. To more specifically answer your questions…

      1. No problems at all.
      2. I did NOT have it reviewed by an attorney. I DID have it notarized by the friendly folks at the local bank.
      3. I don't see any reason to have it reviewed by an attorney. The proof of 5 approved stamps is good inidication that the NFA branch will accept it as is.
      4. I used a Trust for the convenience (trust was created and notarized in ~1 hour), the ability to have >1 'owner' is a huge plus in my opinion.
      5. My trust is as is from 199trust.com

    2. To more specifically answer your questions…

      1. No problems at all.
      2. I did NOT have it reviewed by an attorney. I DID have it notarized by the friendly folks at the local bank.
      3. I don't see any reason to have it reviewed by an attorney. The proof of 5 approved stamps is good inidication that the NFA branch will accept it as is.
      4. I used a Trust for the convenience (trust was created and notarized in ~1 hour), the ability to have >1 'owner' is a huge plus in my opinion.
      5. My trust is as is from 199trust.com

    3. Tim – thanks for sharing your experience. Given it was the same prototype trust document, this makes me feel much better. Now I just have to fill out the paperwork and get it notarized.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up on this. I pulled the trigger on one. It says the limit you can get is 10 (for the discount price) and I am trying to figure out why one might want that many?

    1. There are reasons.

      First, you might want to have different sets of trustees for different items.

      Second, in order to make the eventual final disposition of the firearms clear (i.e. one beneficiary for each trust so that you don't have to have additional documentation to clarify which beneficiary gets which items).

      Third, if the implementation of 41F doesn't require sending in additional documentation (fingerprints and photographs) on new "responsible persons" added when there are no outstanding transfers to the legal entity, having multiple trusts may be a way to get around the most odious part of 41F: My current trust has four trustees, and I have proof that all are able to pass NICS checks (two have one carry card each, I have three, and my brother has at least four). Of the four, none of us particularly wants to give fingerprints/photographs, and one positively refuses. If I could fill a trust with items while I was the only "responsible person" and then add in more "responsible persons" without the others having to send in additional paperwork, it would allow me to continue acquiring Title II firearms after July 13. Assuming this would work, it would be a reason to get several functionally identical trusts.

      -HSR47

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