Gun Trusts

 

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”[1]

However, even the reliance upon our second amendment doesn’t appear to be a definite guarantee. Advocates for gun restrictions have joined forces to form a loud voice, willing to give up freedom for what they view as security after recent high-profile gun crimes. Our country has experienced the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Batman premier movie theater shooting, the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and the George Zimmerman case.

The rash of shootings have resulted in increased effort for gun control legislation and increased restrictions upon gun owners. As Ben Franklin stated “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.[2]For those gun owners that are unwilling to give up their freedoms and wish to preserve their rights, there is a tool, that tool is called a Gun Trust.

There are two types of Gun Trusts that are available for a gun owner.

There is the Simple NFA (National Firearms Act) Trust and there is the Professional Gun Trust.

Simple NFA Trust

            1. No Picture

            2. No Fingerprints

            3. No Local Police Chief Approval

            4. Trustees may possess, so more than one person
may lawfully possess an item at one time, including
constructive possession

            5.Ensures that beneficiaries may lawfully possess
item before transfer of ownership to beneficiary

            6. Trustee can hold up to 20 years to make sure
beneficiary can take lawful possession of NFA
restricted item[1]

 

Professional Gun Trust

           1. No Picture

            2. No Fingerprints

            3. No Local Police Chief Approval

            4. Trustees may possess, so more than one person
may lawfully possess an item at one time, including
constructive possession

            5. Ensures that beneficiaries may lawfully possess
item before transfer of ownership to beneficiary

             6. Asset Protection

             7. Perpetual transfers- Multi-Generational with power
to appoint and choose beneficiaries and trustees so
that no actual transfer of ownership takes place

           8. Can hold the NFA restricted item forever in trust[2]

There are benefits for each trust. In the Simple NFA Trust, the main ideas are privacy for the gun owner, and the ability to hold the item until the beneficiaries are legally able to possess that item. In a Professional Gun Trust the trust can hold the restricted items forever, meaning that there will never have to be a transfer of ownership, which is useful to avoid laws that allow an item to be grandfathered in but then outlawed. In both trusts, the trustees are allowed to legally possesses the NFA items. Meaning that now more than just one person may legally possess, whereas an NFA item not owned in trust may only be possessed and used by the listed firearm owner. This also helps answer questions of constructive possession and whether someone within the same room or house is in possession of an NFA item and may face penalties for unlawful possession of a restricted item. The other members of the household may be listed as Trustees and also become in lawful possession of the firearms. “Once a weapon becomes a trust asset, any beneficiary (including a minor child) may use it. However, the trustee is still responsible to determine the capacity of the beneficiary to use it” [3]

There is also the assumption that future laws will not affect a current Gun Trust and that they will instead be governed by the laws currently in effect when they are created[4].

Even with firearms that are not restricted by the NFA, it is a responsible choice for a gun owner to form a trust to hold their firearms. There is a intricate web of federal and state laws that could easily cause trouble for gun owners and their families when transferring possession of firearms.[5] Gun owners can use the trust to hold onto the trust property and guarantee that the beneficiaries are eligible to take possession of such items. Guns are unable to be transferred to convicted felons, those with a mental illness, a history of domestic violence, or those who were dishonorably discharge from military[6].

A Gun Trust is a MUST for any responsible gun owner.


[3] Lichterman Law, PLC, What is a Michigan Gun Trust? http://www.lichtermanlaw.com/index.ph p/what-is-a-michigan-gun-trust/ (January 2, 2012)

[4] Charles M. Britt, III, The Benefits of a Gun Trust, http://thegunwriter.blogs.heraldtribune.com/12314/ the-benefits-of-a -gun-trust/, (May 15, 2013)

[5] Rachel Emma Silverman, Armed for the Future: Gun Trusts Help Owners Legally Pass Down Firearms, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873235506 04578408281316445350.html (June 7, 2013)

[6] Lichterman Law, PLC, What is a Michigan Gun Trust? http://www.lichtermanlaw.com/index.ph p/what-is-a-michigan-gun-trust/ (January 2, 2012)


[1] U.S. Const. amend II

[2] Luis Corrons, Libertarian Security, http://libertariansecurity.wordpress.com/tag/benjamin-franklin/ (May 27, 2011)

About worldsrants

Disclaimer: This website should not be viewed as a replacement for professional advice or aid. The information discussed here is not intended as legal advice or counsel.

Posted on January 1, 2014, in Firearms. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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