Mississippi NFA Gun Trust Attorney
The National Firearms Act (NFA) is a federal law that regulates the so-called Title II weapons. These are not the kinds of guns that you can buy at your local gun shop or Wal-Mart. Title II weapons are machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices, and AOWs (Any Other Weapons, a sort of catch-all provision which can include things like pen guns and cane guns).
These items are legal to own in many states, but they must be registered with the federal government. The registration process takes several months and requires a $200 tax stamp in most cases, as well as the approval by your local sheriff and submission of fingerprints and photographs to the FBI.
A trust is a legal instrument created by a person or an organization that holds property for the benefit of another, known as a beneficiary. The trust provides that the property be managed by a trustee until such time as the beneficiary is ready and able to have it. Trusts are governed by the terms of the instrument itself, as well as the law of the state designated in the instrument.
Why a Trust for Your NFA Firearm?
NFA items are strictly regulated by the federal government. After an item has been purchased by and transferred to its registered owner, only that owner may be in possession of it. Where a gun owner might loan a friend their shotgun to go hunting or their pistol to go to the range, you cannot do that with an NFA regulated weapon. Possession by anyone else, whether actual or constructive, could be a violation of the law. This single requirement makes a trust an ideal way to own an NFA weapon.
For instance, if an individual purchases an NFA weapon by themselves, without using a trust, and they later become incapacitated, die, or are otherwise ineligible to possess the item, then any family member or friend who comes in contact with it may be breaking the law. An NFA trust can avoid these types of illegalities.
In creating an NFA trust, the trust itself is the owner and anyone listed in it may legally possess the weapon. Thus, a husband may purchase an NFA weapon and name his wife as trustee, or an individual may name selected friends and family members as part of the trust. This allows the weapon to be possessed and used by members of the trust, as well as passed on to beneficiaries, and avoids potential violations of federal law. Individuals can be added and subtracted as necessary, depending on the type of trust.
Benefits of an NFA trust
NFA trusts offer flexibility, convenience, and peace of mind. In addition to allowing a trustee to lawfully possess the weapon, as well as providing a plan in the event the owner dies or becomes incapacitated, an NFA trust avoids the requirement of having your local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) approve the application. Some CLEOs refuse to sign NFA applications, and there is no legal recourse if they do.
A trust also avoids having to submit fingerprints and photographs as part of the application, which saves money and can significantly decrease the length of the application process. This also allows for privacy, as some gun owners do not want to draw attention to the fact that they own an NFA item such as a machine gun or a suppressor.
At the Stegall Law Firm, my goal is to provide a custom NFA trust that benefits each of my client’s particular circumstances and objectives. For more information, or to get started, please contact me online or call me at (901) 205-9894.
Click here to read Mississippi Criminal Law Articles on NFA Gun Trusts