Firearms Trust Planning

A Gun Trust is Your Legal “Gun Safe”
Gun rights and owning guns are important to you. You store them safely. You use them safely. Let us help you own, share, and transfer them safely. A gun trust is a trust designed to help you avoid legal issues now, and if you become disabled or die. It also helps you to avoid the likelihood of an “accidental felony” due to unlawful sharing, gifting, or selling a firearm.

Gun trusts and firearms planning helps you acquire, own, share, and transfer your firearms the way you want. Free trusts, DIY trusts, online trusts, and any conventional living trust put you and your family at risk. Get a trust designed specifically for guns.

What is a gun trust?
Simply put, it’s a revocable living trust specifically written to own guns and gun-related accessories. Trusts are commonly used for estate plans. A gun trust is specifically written for firearms with detailed instructions about how the firearms will be used and for whom. You can change it when you want, and you can share your firearms on your terms.

How are gun trusts used?
Most gun owners prefer using an entity to make it easier to acquire National Firearms Act (“NFA”) firearms they can own in their state. Using an entity avoids the need to apply through your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer for a “sign-off” before applying to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“BATFE”) to purchase or transfer your firearm. Unlike a corporation, a gun trust does not require annual state registration or fees.

A gun trust does far more. It’s an estate plan for your firearms. It’s your rulebook about how your guns may be used. A gun trust can avoid probate of your guns at death. It can provide that certain guns will be distributed to certain people. It provides rules and instructions that prevent accidental felonies when others use or are instructed to transfer a firearm as a sale, gift, or bequest.

How does a gun trust work?
You appoint a Trustee who is given power to administer trust assets for the benefit of named individuals (the beneficiaries). You can be the Trustee and beneficiary, too. The trust is “funded” with guns and accessories so that the trust owns them. The guns and accessories are generally transferred by assignment or bill of sale.

Why choose a gun trust?
A purpose-built gun trust safeguards you from the risks associated with owning and transferring firearms to your beneficiaries. A gun trust protects your privacy, property, family, and friends.

An improperly drafted gun trust creates serious problems. Such trusts include the “free” or do-it-yourself trusts that can be downloaded from the internet or acquired from a local gun shop. The only attraction is price. Many such trusts are SILENT about compliance with gun laws.

What could happen without using a “real” gun trust?
An invalid or noncompliant trust risks firearms confiscation or even commission of an “accidental” felony. This can occur when you innocently “share” treasured but regulated firearms with your family or friends. Penalties may be severe for conviction under the NFA – up to 10 years in prison as well as fines up to $250,000, or more. The cost of using a free gun trust could be tremendous.

What is the “Accidental Felony” I hear about?
Local, state, and federal laws control registration, possession (even temporarily, such as when shooting) and how to transfer firearms. Regardless of the person’s intent, some transfers may be a felony!

A gun trust helps you and yours enjoy your firearms collection within the law and reduce exposure to criminal penalties for doing so improperly. We offer two versions of gun trusts.

SILVER (Any Firearm)
Offers the best combination of benefits and planning options for most clients. Identifies specific and remainder beneficiaries, contains detailed guidance on sharing benefits, and provides reference materials and attorney consultation.

GOLD (Collections)
Designed for clients with larger collections or complex goals such as multi-state firearms ownership, separate planning for individual beneficiaries, or even multi-generational planning for family benefits.

Stay safe, secure, and within the law. Know how to protect your loved ones from an “Accidental Felony” using an attorney-backed solution from Affinity Law Group, LLC.

Affinity Law Group attorneys with this focus area:

Tabitha Atwell
Kathleen Bilderback