Gun ownership can be significant to anyone who wants to own a firearm. While it’s legal to own a gun, you have to follow laws and fulfill any requirements needed to own a firearm. This will burden the heirs in case of death since they need to fill out documents, pay fees, and comply with the necessary paperwork to transfer the weapon under their name. Thus, a gun trust may solve the problem of purchasing and transferring a firearm.
What Is A Gun Trust
A gun trust is an agreement designed for the ownership and management of National Firearms Act (NFA) registered firearms. It’s a revocable trust created to own firearms, and it provides a framework to obey gun control regulations. Thus, it’s reducing the risks of handling restricted guns.
The NFA allows a single person to register multiple firearms. If an individual has a gun trust, they can modify the terms of the trust to which they’ll use and share their guns.
How does a gun trust work? It grants a trustee the power to administer their guns. They can also list individuals as beneficiaries so that they can legally possess their firearms under the trust. A gun trust also eliminates the need to pay additional registration fees and problems relating to unlawful possession or transfer of their guns.
Gun Trust Benefits
Consider the following scenarios:
- A friend or family member knows where the key of your firearms cabinet is stored.
- A friend or family member stores your NFA-registered firearms during your military deployment.
- During a hunting trip, you leave your NFA-registered firearms in your parent’s or relative’s cabin while staying there.
- You accidentally forgot that you left your NFA-registered firearms in your friend’s car during target practice.
According to the NFA, you’ll violate federal law if these individuals, who are not under the trust, knowingly have access or control of your NFA-registered firearms. The maximum penalties include:
- Up to 10 years in jail.
- Up to $250,000 in fines.
- Confiscation of your NFA-registered guns.
Having beneficiaries under a gun trust can be convenient since they can use a trustee’s firearm in emergencies. A gun trust can save you significant headaches in the future. Aside from beneficiaries that can lawfully possess a trustee’s firearms, other reasons why you should secure a gun trust include:
- Avoid The Transfer Requirements
If an individual has created a trust and transferred their firearms, they can arrange the trust to stay in existence, even after the owner’s death. The trustees and the beneficiaries can have the rights stipulated in the trust. It eliminates the hassle of paying a transfer fee, filing a transfer form, receiving permission from the chief law enforcement officer, getting fingerprinted and photographed.
- Provides Privacy When Buying A Firearm
Having a gun trust provides individuals with more privacy since they can purchase a firearm under the trust’s name. Purchases will show as a transfer to a gun trust instead of being bought as an individual.
- Avoid Probate
Probate happens when someone dies, and you’ll have to prove in court that a deceased person’s will is valid. Having a gun trust eliminates probate since anyone listed under the trust can lawfully possess the assets in it.
- Protects The Assets In The Trust In Case Of Divorce
Assets inside the trust are not considered personal possessions, thus can be shielded in case of divorce. A wife or husband can’t legally possess the assets in the trust unless they’re a trustee or a beneficiary.
While it’s a right to own a gun, the same right may be removed if proven unlawful, and there will be penalties and federal charges.
The NFA was enacted in 1934. It mandates the registration of certain firearms such as machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled rifles, etc. It also imposes an excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of said firearms.
Moreover, the state of Illinois has the most restrictive firearm law in the country. Aside from the NFA, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act applies in Illinois. Both federal laws dictate the legitimacy of several firearms.
The state firearm law tends to control who can possess or purchase a firearm, how they can buy it, and the location they can buy or keep them. The state law also:
- Impose a waiting period of 72 hours for prospective clients.
- Compel buyers to meet specific acceptablestandards for firearms ownership.
- Prohibit the sale, use, or possession of specific weapons, including fully automatic machine guns, armor-piercing bullets, etc.
- Impose harshsanctions for illegally having guns in certain locations, like a school.
Although, it’s possible for an individual to legally own and carry a firearm provided they comply under certain conditions. They will face serious criminal charges if an individual fails to comply with the requirements.
Having a gun trust can have its benefits. But, depending on your needs, you may not need the trust after all. A gun trust may be for you if you want to remove the hassle of fulfilling specific requirements for owning a firearm. If your goal is to have property management of your assets, then a gun trust is definitely for you.