OCTOBER INTERNET SALE - $250
($50 Discount) - Mention Sale to Receive Discount
NFA firearms must be titled in the name of an individual or entity, much like other real property (land) and some types of personal property, such as cars, trucks, boats, and airplanes. If an NFA firearm is titled in the name of an individual, only that specific individual may possess it. One of the chief advantages of titling NFA firearms in the name of a trust, rather than in the name of an individual, is that more than one person may legally possess and use the trust property. Any person at least 18 years of age who can legally possess NFA firearms may be listed as a trustee of the NFA gun trust and, thereby, legally possess the trust property, which is usually the NFA firearms assigned to the trust.
For a married couple, suppose the husband owns a suppressor, which is legally registered with the ATF in his own name. The husband goes to work and leaves his suppressor at home. If the wife stays at home that day and could have access to the suppressor, she is committing a federal felony offense that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $250,000. 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861, 5871; 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b). Further, the suppressor is subject to seizure and forfeiture. 26 U.S.C. § 5872. If convicted, the wife loses her right to own or possess any kind of firearms in the future. In addition, if the husband instead left the suppressor in the wife’s vehicle, the vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture. If the husband had simply registered the suppressor in the name of an NFA gun trust and listed both himself and his wife as trustees of the trust, this situation would have been prevented. Additionally, the couple could list other individuals, such as friends and family who are at least 21 years of age and who may legally possess firearms as trustees of the trust, if the individuals agreed to be listed as trustees.
Even if a person is single, it still makes sense to title NFA firearms in the name of a trust because of the built-in flexibility of being able to amend the trust throughout the person’s lifetime to add or remove additional trustees and to identify beneficiaries as the person’s life and roles evolve (i.e., husband, father, grandfather, etc.) If the person titles NFA firearms in his own name and then decides later to title the NFA firearms in the name of a trust, the person will end up paying the $200 transfer tax (or whatever the transfer tax amount is at that time) for each NFA firearm to be transferred to the trust. This short-term thinking (titling NFA firearms in the name of an individual) could end up costing the person a large sum of money down the road.