Suppressors, Short Barrel Rifles, Short Barrel Shotguns, and Machine Guns!
I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment, and as such it is a pleasure to provide services and legal aid to clients wishing to exercise their constitutional rights. AWV Law has crafted a NFA (National Firearms Act) Gun Trust that will be sure to successfully navigate the ATF approval process and protect your property. From a simple single generation trust to a complex multi-generational trust that will last for a century, AWV Law can help.
Getting started on an NFA Gun Trust is simple and can be completed over the phone and/or through email. Call or email my office any time. My services include updating NFA Gun Trusts if you need to add or remove Trustees, change beneficiaries, etc., as well as assisting you with the application process and even selecting products. Simply put, I am a firearm and 2nd amendment enthusiast and I am always happy to be of help.
1. What is a Tax Stamp
– When you submit an application to transfer or make a NFA regulated firearm, you must pay a $200 tax for the transfer. Once your application is approved, an actual stamp is affixed to your application. It is at this point that the process is complete and the NFA firearm is yours.
2. What methods of applying for a Tax Stamp are available?
– A person can apply as an individual, a LLC, or a Trust to obtain:
a. permission to transfer a NFA firearm (i.e. from a dealer to an individual)
b. permission to make a NFA firearm (i.e. you can make your own short barrel rifle or suppressor)
3. What are the advantages of using a NFA Trust to obtain a tax stamp?
– It is easier to speak in terms of the disadvantages of the other methods.
Applying as an individual requires submission of fingerprints, passport photos, and a CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) sign-off. A NFA Trust requires none of this. Further complicating this matter is the fact that many CLEOs, including the Bexar County Sheriff, will not sign off on NFA applications. All they are doing is verifying that their records don’t indicate you are a person prohibited from owning a firearm, yet they see it as giving you permission to exercise your constitutional rights. Thankfully, Texas is in the process of passing “Shall Sign” legislation requiring CLEOs to sign off.
Applying as an LLC also does not require fingerprints, photos, and a CLEO sign-off, but DOES require yearly fees paid to the Texas Comptroller as well as filing of tax returns with the IRS.
An NFA Trust is a living revokable trust that is fully amendable. It has specific language that deals with the many common issues of NFA firearm ownership. It assures that you can have control over who has access to your NFA firearms and protect yourself from criminal liability. A NFA Gun Trust also assures that your property goes to who you want it to in a TAX FREE transfer when it vests.
4. How does the application process with a NFA Trust work?
– The first step is to obtain your NFA Trust, you can’t even start the process without it. Once you have your trust, you sign it, notarize it, and take it to a Class III dealer to begin the transfer paperwork. NEVER give a dealer your original, always take a copy and keep the original in a safe place. The dealer then sends your application and a copy of your NFA Trust to the ATF, where their examiners verify your NFA Trust is legal and do background checks on the Trustees and any responsible person named in the NFA Trust. Once approved, they send your paperwork back with a Tax Stamp and your dealer completes the Transfer.
WAIT TIMES: wait times vary depending on the volume of work the ATF examiners are dealing with. I have had e-filed forms be approved in less than 30 days, and I have waited up to 9 months for a suppressor with a mailed in form. Current wait times seem to be around 3 months.
5. Can my Class III dealer write me a NFA Gun Trust?
– No. If your dealer offers to write you a NFA Gun Trust and you do not consult with an attorney during the process, the dealer is committing Unauthorized Practice of Law, a felony. A NFA Gun Trust is a legal document that can only be prepared by someone representing themselves or a licensed attorney. Oftentimes, dealers also offer pre-written legal documents that you fill in yourself, which is a bad idea because they are not tailorable to your requirements and are sometimes illegal documents.
6. Can I use Quicken Will Maker or another such program to make my own NFA Gun Trust?
– Yes, you could do this, but it is highly inadvisable. These trusts will contain NO specific language that deals with common NFA issues. There are many examples of such NFA Gun Trusts that have been rejected, or accepted and then later disqualified, thereby placing the client in the position of committing felony possession. This is also an issue with many so-called “Bargain Trusts”, the sub-$100 NFA Gun Trusts that many dealers offer clients to get their business. There is a saying in the NFA game, “Buy Once, Cry Once”, in other words, spend the money to do it right the first time, because you are married to your document and NFA items pretty much for life.
7. How does an NFA Gun Trust work?
– You (the Settlor) create a trust, placing property into the trust. You are the lifetime beneficiary and trustee of the NFA Gun Trust. You will name someone to inherit your property after you pass (Beneficiary). The Trustee of an NFA Gun Trust is the person or persons that have the right of legal possession of all NFA items owned by the Trust.
8. What is a Trustee and who should I name as a Trustee and how many Trustees can there be?
– You can name anyone as Trustee that is not a prohibited person. If you are married, your spouse should be named as a trustee. Anyone you want to be able to possess your NFA items outside of your presence should be a trustee. As an example, lets say you do not include your spouse as a trustee, and you then leave town, your spouse is alone in your home with access to NFA firearms. Your spouse is technically in unlawful possession of these NFA firearms. Pick Co-Trustees carefully, as they have certain powers and must be responsible. Anyone named as Trustee must sign the trust document at the time of execution. A person must be at least 18 years old to serve as a Trustee or possess NFA or any other firearm. A person must be 21 to purchase NFA firearms.
9. What is a Successor Trustee and how is that different from a Trustee?
– A successor trustee is a person named in the Trust document that will be appointed fi the current trustees fail to serve or are disqualified to serve as trustee. The successor trustee is not a trustee with legal rights to possess NFA items.
The major categories are convicted felons, those with a conviction for domestic violence and an affirmative finding of family violence, and those that have been adjudicated mentally incompetent.
11. Can a convicted felon ever own NFA firearms?
– No, except in the extreme circumstance when someone is essentially pardoned by the governor. A felon cannot own, or even be in possession of a firearm, ammunition, or body armor. This means no Concealed Handgun License, no hunting, etc.
12. Can a person who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent ever own NFA firearms?
– Yes. It is possible to have your gun rights restored if you have subsequently been found mentally competent.