Do you have a gun collection? If so, do you have a gun trust? If not, it is important to talk to an attorney to ensure that your collection will be protected. Most estate planning includes beneficiary designation of most assets, however, firearms are regulated under state and federal laws and require special provisions.

Bank accounts, vehicle ownership, and real property are easily transferred from one owner to another, but firearm transfer of ownership have very specific requirements. Under Title II of the National Firearms Act, the transfer of short-barreled shotguns and rifles, silencers, automatic weapons,

and certain other destructive devices requires the approval of your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer and require a federal tax stamp. A gun collection that includes family heirlooms needs to be protected, therefore, you must make sure that all transfers comply with the National Firearms Act, as well as state laws where you and your beneficiaries reside.

A revocable living gun trust will ensure the transfer of ownership of all your firearms goes smoothly. You retain control and ownership of your firearms as long as you are living, however, it provides for the transfer of ownership to your beneficiaries when you pass. Since the trust is revocable, you are free to make any changes at any time.

National Firearm Act states that restricted firearms are not permitted to be transported or handled by any other individual unless the registered owner is present, which is a problem if the owner is deceased. However, if a gun trust is in place, these firearms can be legally transferred to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries by the trustee. If this trust is not in place and a beneficiary takes possession of the firearm/firearms, it can result in a violation of the National Firearms Act and result in fines, possible prison, and forfeiture of all rights to the firearm/firearms.

three pistols in the open safe

In order to make sure your gun collection will be properly handed down to your heirs, talk to an attorney about a gun trust. Don’t rely on a filling out a commonplace form from a gun dealer. Make sure you discuss this with an attorney.

  • Suppressors
  • Machine Guns
  • Short Barreled Rifles (SBR’s)
  • Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS’s)
  • Destructive Devices (DD)
  • Any Other Weapon (AOW)