Gun trusts are becoming the norm. Instead of registering gun purchases, more people are leaning to forming special trusts for their firearms. The increase in stringent regulations in purchasing and maintaining guns is the driving force in this trend.
Why is it advantageous to form a gun trust than go through the usual process?
The Status Quo
Every citizen has the right to bear arms, but this same liberty is under heavy regulation. The purchase and keeping of firearms is legal under the law. However, any person who maintains one must undergo a series of registrations from the moment they obtain it. Similarly stringent requirements are also present by the time of its transfer.
A gun trust is a special trust covering several beneficiaries. It covers guns and weapons under the National Firearm Act. It is a simple document drafted by an attorney and may also be a DIY NFA trust document that you can find online. It is not registered with any state or municipal agency. The only time it is recorded is for tax purposes.
For this reason, the document is completely private and secure, and cannot be subject of public record requests.
Gun Transfers: Succession
Gun trusts help avoid federal transfer requirements. Under an attorney drafted or DIY NFA trust, any family member may use the firearm, as long as the member have secured proper authority documents. In succession, guns may be passed on as ordinary property under the gun trust. Even more convenient, the gun no longer needs to be probated to be transferred if it is under a valid trust.
The requirements for an ordinary gun registration process require extensive documentation for identification and tracking purposes. In gun trusts, these requirements are no longer required. It is treated as an ordinary property where only a simple legal document and tax compliance is required.
Responsible gun ownership is the core of firearm rights. Gun purchases require a great degree of responsibility. An NFA trust can help relax the registration process but the responsibility is the same.