Ownership of Class III (Title II) NFA Weapons: Trust

Nevada Gun Trust Ownership of NFA Firearms

A trust, specifically a Revocable Living Trust, is a popular method for more people to legally own and possess Class III (Title II) firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) in states that permit such ownership. Considering the advantages a trust possesses, it is clear why it is so popular. This is often the choice for people who live in jurisdictions where their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (“CLEO”) refuses to sign off on Form 1s or Form 4s (or drags his/her feet).

Advantages of Trust Ownership:
A properly formed trust for NFA/firearm purposes has many distinct advantages:
- Multiple possessors in the form of trustees;
- No fingerprinting or photographs needed;
- No CLEO sign off;
- Faster processing time than an individual application (no CLEO signoff delay);
- Some limited liability protection of the trust assets (they are owned by the trust, not an individual);
- Potentially low cost to create;
- No annual fees like a Corporation or Limited Liability Company;
- Anonymity (no reporting or registering);
- Upon death of the Settlor/Trustor, the trust property transfers to the beneficiaries.

Disadvantages of Trust Ownership:
Some disadvantages can also come with a NFA Gun Trust:
- Trust must be valid or else potential civil and criminal liability exists;
- The trust must be tailored specifically to NFA issues or problems can occur when the trust property is to be distributed;
- It can be expensive to create or difficult to find a lawyer knowledgeable on the appropriate issues in creating a NFA Firearms trust.