Need to learn some more about NFA trusts

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Need to learn some more about NFA trusts

Post by Split »

I’m finally going to take the plunge and am looking at a suppressor.
So I’m doing research and I see a lot of conflicting information. And while I understand that this is probability a lawyer question, maybe some of you have experienced this.
I know there are general trusts and NFA specific trusts. My conflict is adding and subtracting people. Is it true that with a single item trust, you can add and subtract people at will without dealing with the background checks? I’ve heard that in some instances, you can and others say you can’t.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Need to learn some more about NFA trusts

Post by elmshoots »

I am a bit surprised there are not a thousand opinions just clamoring to respond. Let me start by saying; I am not a lawyer, have never even played one on TV, and maybe more importantly, even if I was, I am not your lawyer.

That said; the question you asked is both simple and complicated. The answer technically has a high probability of being yes. Maybe the better question is not; can one, but should one? That answer probably depends on a great number of things including but certainly not limited to; how the trust is written, what are the applicable state laws, what one is hoping to accomplish, and what is a person’s tolerance for risk.

Laws are often written by politicians and wording (which tends to be the better part everything in law) sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. The unfortunate thing about that seems to be it leaves it open to widely varying opinions, and the only way to know the outcome of differing opinions is to test those opinions in a court of law. In the end, under such circumstances, the only opinion that counts is not the opinion of some dummy like me on a discussion board, not necessarily a lawyer’s opinion or even your lawyer’s opinion. It is not even a judge’s opinion, but ultimately is the judge’s or the jury’s opinion.

With a possibility of consequences reaching into the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and years of one’s life at stake, I myself, tend to have a very low tolerance for risk. So my opinion (which is worth exactly what you paid for it) is; always take the safest / most conservative path available. If a trust is not already existing and in force, one should probably seek out a lawyer that practices law in the state in which that person lives. A lawyer who has experience and a good reputation in both estate planning (trust law), and gun laws both local and federal would seem ideal. Researching and learning everything one can independently would seem logical, and proceeding with all due caution would likewise seem wise. The archives on this board have a lot of discussions related to what you are asking. A carefully reading and understanding of the applicable local statues and the CFRs dealing with what one intends to do cannot be underestimated.

In my worthless opinion, were it me, I would probably form the trust and include everyone that would be a responsible person (have access to any trust held items, and specifically any NFA items held in trust) before making any such purchase. Again, state trust law and specific trust language may dictate who that may or may not be (grantor(s), trustee(s), co-trustee(s), successor trustee(s), beneficiaries, etc.) all dependent on the interplay of state and federal laws and how exactly the trust is written. Others far wiser, more well read, and more experienced than me may hold very different views and opinions.
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Re: Need to learn some more about NFA trusts

Post by GSO »

I'll go ahead and bite as well, with several disclaimers:
1 - The whole, "I'm not a lawyer, your lawyer, didn't sleep at Holiday Inn" thing
2 - I haven't been active on this forum for a couple of years and just signed by in earlier this peripheral knowledge of recent posts is poor

That said, I have been an SOT for 5-ish years and have a gun trust created by Jim Willi ( that pre-dates this. I am also a Silencer Shop "Powered By" dealer.

The answer, like most, is "it depends." Again, not an expert, but I believe that unless it is an "un-revocable" trust, it should be relatively simple to modify. I understand that Silencer Shop sets up the regular trusts and Single Shot trusts so that members can be easily added or dropped with a simple one-page note, which I believe would have to be notarized (if not have to, I would think it is still a good idea to avoid argument later). Jim Willi set up my trust also allowing for additions or subtractions. Now that I think about it, I should contact him to go over the fine points of updating it to add my son (now 27 YO) as a trustee, since at the time he was a minor and was a beneficiary. If you have a trust, ask whoever wrote it and, if possible, get their explanation in writing. If you don't have a trust, discuss it with whoever you are working with to draft the trust. As elmshoot points out, a lot of money or time (either in litigation or prison) is at risk, so advice from a professional is recommended.
I don't collect firearms; they just accumulate...

"Be Prepared" - My motto from an early age.

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Re: Need to learn some more about NFA trusts

Post by TurnerKane »

It isn't easy to find a good law firm right now. As a rule, many take only simple cases that are initially doomed to success; high-profile cases can bring fame or be very monetary. It's sad, but these are our realities. Fortunately, law firms and individual lawyers are ready to help everyone. One of these is a law firm ... lawyer-do/. I am very pleased with the cooperation with them. You can try to contact them.
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