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Thread: NFA Trust - So many questions -

  1. #1
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    NFA Trust - So many questions -

    @Chance's thread and the specter of substantial anti-gun governmental sentiment has me thinking about establishing an NFA Trust, particularly for the acquisition of silencers. I'm a Texas resident, but reside part-time in a non-silencer friendly state (IL.). As a result, my NFA items would have to stay in Texas, when I am in IL.

    To make things easier, I think I want to establish a trust - because the NFA item(s) in question would be stored at my permanent residence in TX, where multiple adults live.

    It seems, if I lock the NFA items away and only I have the key, I do not need to have those individuals be co-trustees, but it also seems it would be simpler to have them be co-trustees to avoid any potential problems. Is this a correct understanding?

    Since the passage of 41F - it's unclear to me what has primarily changed in trust formation.

    I think it's that for all pending Form 1 or Form 4 applications - all co-trustees must submit fingerprints and a passport photo?

    But my understanding is that if I am the sole trustee and I acquire the tax stamp first, I can then add co-trustees without them needing to submit anything beyond the questionnaire from the ATF?

    Do I have to wait for the ATF to acknowledge the amended trust, prior to allowing the co-trustees to possess the NFA items?

    If I have it correct - that I do not need to have all individuals in the residence listed as co-trustees, assuming only I possess the means to access the NFA item, but they can be added at a later date without any issues, once I have the tax stamp and NFA item in question...Then the last question is -

    Who should I use to establish my NFA Trust?
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  2. #2
    Jim Willi - gun trust guru. Based in Texas.


    I donít mean this in a bad way, just....youíre way overthinking it.


    The issue with having the items locked up, is perfectly acceptable. Thereís no need to list anyone else other than a beneficiary.

    No, you donít have to wait for ATF to Ďapproveí an added trustee, as long as you have no items pending at the time.

    There is no difference to establishing a trust pre/post. The issue is that now trustees must file prints for each item purchased or made.
    Last edited by Dan_S; 06-24-2020 at 01:24 PM.
    Fredís Principle: The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.

  3. #3
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_S View Post
    Jim Willi - gun trust guru. Based in Texas.
    Austin, I believe.
    .
    -----------------------------------------
    Not another dime.

  4. #4
    Then again, if youíre looking at a trust solely for storage purposes, forget it.


    Storage is just that - storage. Put them under lock and key, and forget about it. There is no requirement for storage to take place within the limits of a trust, if one doesnít live full time at that address, etc etc.

    A phone call to Jimís office would be considerably better than an Internet forum, for legal advice, however, and he is more than willing to talk to clients, or potential clients, in my experience.
    Last edited by Dan_S; 06-24-2020 at 01:35 PM.
    Fredís Principle: The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.

  5. #5
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    I recently got one through Arsenal Attorneys and was happy with what I got. I primarily chose them because Iím active duty and they have representation in a huge amount of states.


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  6. #6
    Site Supporter Gray Ghost's Avatar
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    A few points that you may find helpful:

    1) Neither the ATF nor its regulations have anything to do with trust formation or whether a trust is valid. Those are controlled by state law. A trust can actually be created orally, but some kind of written instrument is usually used. All you need are a grantor, a trustee, a beneficiary, and a res (the property being put in trust). I have found that it makes sense to use a written trust instrument that is in the sort of form the ATF is used to seeing. They have non-lawyer examiners looking at them, and it is easier not to have to argue with them.

    2) There is nothing that says only the trustee can possess the trust property. The trustee holds title to the res for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Given the sort of property at issues in an NFA trust, the beneficiaries wouldn't get much benefit if they couldn't use the property. I know of no case law on this either way, but I write my trusts to make it explicit that any beneficiary may possess the trust property with the consent of the trustee.

    3) In practical terms, I would install a safe or lockbox at your Texas location that only you have access to and keep your stuff in there. Simple, and the ATF will not hassle you about it.

  7. #7
    "The issue is that now trustees must file prints for each item purchased or made."

    1)That's my understanding. IANAL, and I haven't bought anything post-41, so take this with a grain of salt.
    IIUC, you are correct, you can get the stamp approved as a trust of one, then add people. But when you want stamp#2, all those people need to be dropped from the trust until the stamp comes, or submit prints, etc.

    One of the big vendors (SilencerShop??) came up with the notion of doing one trust per item, i.e. you use TrustA to get the stamp, then add family members, then create TrustB to get the stamp for the second item, then add everyone, and so on. It would be tedious if you had TrustA through TrustZ and wanted to drop a trustee from all or them, and of course it you want to carry paper trust copies that's a lot of paper, etc. But it does help with the problem of corralling a lot of prints for every purchase.

    2)If you ever envision a Form 1 build, pick a short trust name, for ease of engraving. Not, for example, the 'Ignatius Alonzo Whomever Family Consolidated Universal Sooper Dooper National Firearms Act Trust' or something like that, which is only slightly longer than mine :-(.

  8. #8
    AR-14 Enthusiast fatdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whomever View Post
    ne of the big vendors (SilencerShop??) came up with the notion of doing one trust per item, i.e. you use TrustA to get the stamp, then add family members, then create TrustB to get the stamp for the second item, then add everyone, and so on. It would be tedious if you had TrustA through TrustZ and wanted to drop a trustee from all or them, and of course it you want to carry paper trust copies that's a lot of paper, etc. But it does help with the problem of corralling a lot of prints for every purchase.
    I pushed most of my NFA items through, form 4's and form 1's for two separate trusts, before the new ATF trust rules went into effect. Anything filed before the rule effective date was grandfathered so nobody including me filed fingerprints and photos, although picking up the items I had to 4473 and NICS.

    Everything post the trust rule change date where fingerprints and photos required I have followed the path mentioned above, one trust per item. One reason I am ok with that is my state's revocable living trust rules. No registering, no filing, etc. It is just a piece of paper, so there is no big deal to me in creating multiple trusts and adding whomever or amending it later. An RLT is just a piece of paper with a notary stamp in Alabama. I agree making changes to all of them would be a bit tedious, but no real expense involved.

    Fifteen years ago when I started the NFA trust route, I had my AL based attorney who is expert on wills and trusts in our state under our state laws draw it all up for me after furnishing him with the articles written in Small Arms Review about some considerations for a trust that dealt with NFA firearms. I was a tiny bit leery at the time of some of these attorney's who claim to know all the ins and outs of every state with respect to the subject of trusts.

  9. #9
    @whomever


    You are absolutely correct in what youíve said. I guess I thought that was just...implied....by what I said, so did g think to flesh it out further.
    Fredís Principle: The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.

  10. #10
    I'll second the recommendation Dan_S made for Jim Willi.


    Read everything here (the information he provides on his website is excellent):

    https://texasguntrust.com/

    Any unanswered questions afterward, call the man - he is a good dude.

    Willi's trust will provide you with all the documents you need to add/remove persons from the trust at any time you deem it necessary.
    Addition/removal of persons is as simple as having the applicable documents notarized and added/included with your trust documents.

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