Firearm Heirlooms: Passing Down Guns—The Legal Way

Why do Americans own guns? A 2013 research answered this question and showed that personal safety and protection is the number one reason. Hunting came second, and recreation landed on the third spot.

Beyond safety and certainty, though, the report showed that most people see guns as valuable family treasures they can pass down from generation to generation. But how exactly does this ‘passing down’ happen?

The Authority of National Firearms Act

Handing down a gun is different from passing down a car or a kitchen cabinet. Such items are under a will directly to the ownership of the heir, after they pay taxes. A trust owns these things and the heir becomes the trustee after proper estate planning. Unlike these items,the act of passing down guns is governed by a countrywide regulation.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates gun transfersstrictly. Estates that involve firearms require the person who made the will to follow theNFA’s rules very carefully. You may face criminal penalties if you hand down a weapon just for the sake of family tradition.In fact, just having a gun appraised may lead to its seizure. These complexities render a simple last will and testament not enough reason for passing down weapons.

According to practitioners from 2A Services, LLC, a revocable living trust (more commonly known as NFA trust or gun trust)created specifically for the transfer of weaponsis what you need to avoid problems associated with the mentioned complexities.

Gun Trust You Can Trust

A gun trust has many benefits. First things first: more than one person can be a trustee, meaning more people can possess and use the items without requesting permission from local chief law enforcement officer.

Further, since the firearms are in a trust, if the current trustee dies, there would be no transfer procedure. Trustees and beneficiariesstill have the rights granted to them in the terms of the trust.

Setting up a gun trust may be a little tricky, however. You will find complex terms, so it is best towork with legal professional when drafting it.

Pass down your firearms with the National Firearms Act in mind. Consult a lawyer for a proper gun trust.