NEVADA GUN TRUST
NFA Nevada Gun Trust $125
Nevada Gun Trust
Initial Contribution Form
Appointment & Acceptance of Additional Co-Trustees Form
Non-NFA Firearm Assignment Form
*Discount for law enforcement and military
What is a Gun Trust?
Simply, it is a trust created to receive (or purchase) and manage certain federally restricted but legal-to-own, firearms. It is conceptually no different from other trusts. Gun trusts are a legitimate means to obtain legal weapons. A gun trust is a trust specifically designed to own, possess, manage, and dispose of firearms. Typically, a gun trust is drafted to hold only Title II firearms.
The Trustee of a gun trust holds the trust property as a fiduciary for one or more Beneficiaries, the Trustee takes legal title of the trust property, and Beneficiaries enjoy the equitable title to the trust property.
The trust property typically consists of restricted firearms regulated under federal law (Title II Firearms). The Gun Trust is the legal entity to which any firearm is registered.
The Trustee and Beneficiaries may use the firearms owned by the trust under conditions both specifically dictated in the trust instrument and prescribed by federal, state and local firearms laws.
Gun Trusts are not illegal, and their use for estate planning purposes does not exploit a loophole in the applicable federal firearms laws.
In fact, the purchase or ownership of restricted firearms by trusts is specifically contemplated by, and permitted under, federal firearms laws. You MUST FOLLOW ALL APPLICABLE FIREARM LAWS IN YOUR STATE.
Trusts provide neither a means to purchase illegal firearms nor an avenue to circumvent laws that prohibit specified individuals from owning, possessing, or using firearms. In addition, no party associated with a gun trust--settlors, trustees, or beneficiaries--is insulated from any criminal liability for violating firearms laws.
Finally, gun trusts cannot bypass any of the applicable waiting or “cooling-off” periods mandated before the purchase of a firearm is completed. Therefore, nothing in and of itself is legally wrong with gun trusts purchasing firearms.
For an individual to obtain Title II firearms, the signature of a local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) and the individual’s picture and fingerprints must be submitted along with the completed transfer application form.
In contrast, the transfer application process for a trust or other entity requires none of these. Instead, the trustee simply signs the application form and provides proof of the entity’s existence.
The most relevant federal laws for gun trusts are: (click on link below for additional information)
The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), and the regulations enacted and enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
Why do I need a Gun Trust?
In general, there are three major reasons for creating a gun trust.
First, they provide comprehensive estate planning for firearm owners in the event of incapacity or at death.
Second, a gun trust allows multiple trustees to lawfully own (in their fiduciary capacity), possess, or even use the firearms held in trust. In contrast, individuals, in their sole capacity, cannot jointly own a single Title II firearm. The NFA
Finally, purchasing a Title II firearm through a gun trust eases the NFA transfer process because no photos, fingerprints, or Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signatures are required. You pay the normal $200 transfer tax and submit the application as you normally would as an individual, but through the trust. The new firearms are then registered in the trust and not you individually.
Gun trusts come in multiple varieties and are somewhat flexible. Though not exclusively, they tend to be revocable so that the settlor may make changes to the trust provisions, add or subtract individuals as trustees or beneficiaries, and add to or subtract firearms from the trust corpus. Some are drafted as private trusts, while others are drafted as special purpose trusts. In addition, the durations of gun trusts vary depending on the settlor’s desire and the jurisdiction’s applicable rule against perpetuities, if any.
Is there an inventory of the firearms assigned to the Gun Trust?
The Gun Trust prepared by High Sierra Legal does not include an inventory of the firearms that you have assigned to the Gun Trust. There is no exhibit that lists your firearms. Your inventory of firearms is not disclosed to anyone, including the gun shop where you buy your firearms and accessories or the ATF. A gun shop will request a complete copy of your Gun Trust when you purchase a new NFA firearm. Thus, they would be able to see every item you owned. This is not required and keeps your property private, as it should be.
Who can own a Gun Trust?
No prohibited person is allowed to be a trustee of a Gun Trust. A person is prohibited from receiving, possessing, shipping or transporting firearms or ammunition cannot serve as a trustee to a Gun Trust. Additionally, a person is prohibited from serving as a trustee if they fall into any of the below:
1. Any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
2. Any fugitive from justice;
3. Any unlawful user of, or any person who is addicted to a controlled substance;
4. Any person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
5. Any alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States or, except as provided in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2), has been admitted to the Untied States under a non-immigrant visa;
6. Any person who has been discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions;
7. Any person who, having been a citizen of the United States and has renounced that citizenship;
8. Any person subject to a court order that:
a) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice and at which such person had an opportunity participate;
b) restrains such person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner
or child; and
c)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii)by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; and
9. Any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime of domestic violence.
Please see, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) for a list of unlawful acts
It is unlawful for the trustee to sell or dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any of the prohibited persons listed above.
Additionally, you may be in federal violation for the following:
1. Willful Blindness.--Trustees of gun trusts can also incur liability under the doctrine of “willful blindness.” Willful blindness occurs when an individual has uncertainties and suspicions but deliberately overlooks those concerns in order to remain ignorant. “If there is knowledge that [an individual] could have had, should have had but chose not to have, [that individual is] still responsible.” For example, a trustee could willfully overlook the fact that one of the beneficiaries abuses narcotics, but the trustee would be criminally liable under the doctrine of willful blindness.
2. Straw Purchase.--Another potential liability for trustees is the “straw purchase” doctrine. A straw purchase occurs when a person uses a third party, a “straw person,” to purchase a gun on behalf of someone else. Usually the actual buyer is someone who is prohibited from owning a gun and needs to hide his or her identity. The GCA prohibits both the intermediary and the actual buyer from engaging in a straw purchase. However, it is often difficult to prove if the intermediary actually knew that the person he sold the gun to was someone who could not pass a background check. Only licensed gun dealers are required to do background checks on firearms buyers. The maximum penalty for participating in a straw purchase is ten years. Although straw purchases are difficult to control, they account for over one-third of all gun trafficking investigations. The use of a gun trust would not shield a trustee from criminal liability under the straw purchase doctrine.
Transferring your already registered NFA firearms into the Gun Trust?
You will need to pay the $200 transfer tax (or the tax amount at the time of transfer) for each NFA firearm that you currently own and that are registered in your name to be transferred into the Gun Trust via the ATF Form 4 application.
There is no limit to the number of NFA firearms that may be assigned to your Gun Trust.
You may transfer your Non-NFA firearms to your trust yourself without having to transfer them via the tax stamp Form 4 application.
More information on the Gun Trust
Gun Trusts Do Not Bypass Applicable Waiting Periods
Gun trusts do not bypass any waiting or “cooling-off” period that is mandated before the purchase of a firearm. In fact, the transfer application process of a Form 4 takes months, whether it is an individual application or a trust application. Regardless, the use of gun trusts to purchase firearms does not bypass or shorten any applicable waiting periods.
Gun Trusts Do Not Make the Purchase of Illegal Guns Easier
Despite allusions to the contrary, gun trusts do not allow a prohibited person to own, use, or possess a firearm in any way. In addition, gun trusts do not permit the purchase of an illegal firearm or weapon. Gun trusts may only hold legal firearms that individuals may purchase under federal firearms laws.
Gun Trusts Do Not Exculpate Anybody from Criminal Liability
No party associated with a gun trust (i.e., a settlor, trustee, or beneficiary) is exculpated from any criminal liability that they might otherwise face under federal gun laws. People prohibited from buying or owning firearms cannot serve as trustees. The trust may not transfer a firearm to a person who cannot otherwise lawfully buy or own firearms.
In addition, the trustee is responsible for determining the capacity of the beneficiary and the laws that apply to the beneficiary before distributing a Title II firearm. Unlike traditional revocable trusts, which can be revoked at any time by the settlor, the BATFE must approve termination of the gun trust and distribution of its assets to its beneficiaries as it would any other transfer.
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