With the popularity of owning NFA weapons such as suppressors and short-barreled rifles, and the threat of gun control legislation looming in Washington, many people have been inquiring about setting up a trust for their firearms. This article will go over some basic facts about Mississippi gun trusts.
You can put all your guns into a gun trust, not just NFA-regulated ones. While I don’t recommend putting in other types of property like land, heirlooms or money, a gun trust can allow for all types of firearms: machine guns, silencers, short-barreled rifles, non-NFA semiautomatic rifles, and handguns.
A Mississippi gun trust can continue after your death. For how long depends on who is in the trust. Mississippi has not abolished the rule against perpetuities, which states that a conveyance of property is invalid unless it vests within 21 years of a life in being at the time the interest in that property was created. So take the last person alive from when your trust was created, and the trust can continue for 21 years after their death. At the end of that time period, or within it, the property must pass to a beneficiary outright.
A Mississippi gun trust can be revocable. Revocable means that you can make changes to it. This includes adding or removing trustees, adding or removing weapons, and changing terms of the trust. When you die the trust becomes irrevocable, meaning your heirs cannot make changes but can continue to use the property.
You can move to another state and your trust will still be good. You will not have to make any changes to the trust itself if you move, but you will have to notify ATF that your NFA weapons will be going to another state. Your trust will still operate under Mississippi laws.
None of your trustees have to submit paperwork to ATF. I call this the honor system. ATF only conducts background checks on whoever is applying to have an NFA weapon transferred into the trust (usually you, the trust settlor). None of the trustees must go through a background check to be in the trust or to use NFA trust weapons. Of course it goes without saying that you’d want only people who you know are eligible to have guns to be in your trust, and the trust has provisions that call for the immediate removal of anyone who is not eligible or becomes ineligible. Note: there is currently a proposal to require all trustees of a trust to submit fingerprints, photographs, and other information (probably some kind of background check). Whether it becomes a requirement is yet to be seen, but it is not as of this writing.
These are just some of the facts about how gun trusts work. For more information, please contact Mississippi gun trust lawyer Patrick Stegall. Mr. Stegall drafts trusts for clients all throughout Mississippi and can answer all of your questions about the NFA registration process. Please email him at email@example.com or call him at (901) 205-9894.