How Can We Help?
Fill out my online form.
Whether you own one gun or many, whether you use them for sport or self-defense, it is important to consider the legal implications of passing those guns on in your estate. Some firearms are family heirlooms. It is not only important that we use them responsibly but also that we pass them on, legally. The simple fact of gun ownership creates risk in our legal system. Local, state and federal laws are confusing and expose the unwary to commission of the “accidental felony”.
Why You Need a Gun Trust
A separate Gun Trust is most appropriate and should exist as a separate component to your estate plan because it avoids “accidental felonies” by holding legal title to the firearms, provides legal benefit to your Trustee and beneficiary, and allows legal transfers of firearms by gift, sale, or sharing.
Please consider the addition of a Gun Trust to your estate. There is no worse inheritance than that of a felony, ten year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
According to Missouri law, a person commits a crime if such person knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
- 1. An explosive weapon;
- 2. An explosive, incendiary or poison substance or material with the purpose to possess, manufacture or sell an explosive weapon;
- 3. A gas gun;
- 4. A switchblade knife;
- 5. A bullet or projectile which explodes or detonates upon impact because of an independent explosive charge after having been shot from a firearm;
- 6. Knuckles; or any of the following in violation of federal law:
- A. A machine gun;
- B. A short-barreled rifle or shotgun; or
- C. A firearm silencer.
There are several persons prohibited from possessing firearms and these prohibitions carry over to your Trustees (fiduciaries) and beneficiaries. Some of those prohibited from firearms possession include certain felons, drug addicts, persons dishonorably discharged, those subject to a restraining order and those convicted of a crime of domestic violence.
In order to transfer an NFA regulated firearm that weapon must be registered with NFA and the transfer requires prior NFA approval. The lawful transfer of an NFA firearm generally requires the filing of an appropriate transfer form with ATF, payment of any transfer tax imposed, approval of the form by ATF, and registration of the firearm to the transferee in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). ONLY previously registered firearms may be lawfully transferred. However, some firearms may be removed from the scope of NFA because their status as a collector’s item, modification, or elimination of various component parts.
One of the most simplistic means to avoid the numerous pitfalls of “transfers” and “possession” is by establishing a Gun Trust. With proper documentation, the Trustee may convey trust property for use by a beneficiary. When establishing a Gun Trust it is critical to consider the capacity of the Settlor, the Trustee, and the beneficiary.
For a free consultation on the most appropriate estate plan for you and your family, please contact Michelle White at The Roberts Law Firm, P.C..
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.