Gun trusts are a great way to keep firearms in a family. They have offered a cheaper and easier way to pass certain firearms between generations. However, new rules will make them somewhat less beneficial.
Certain firearms, such as machine guns and silencers, can be very difficult to transfer. A person-to-person transfer requires notice to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Local law enforcement has to sign off on the transfer and a $200 transfer fee must be paid. Fingerprints and background checks must also be obtained. Gun trusts have offered a way around many of those burdens and allowed families to pass on their firearms without having to cut through too much red tape. However, as Private Wealth reports in "It Will Soon Get Tougher To Create A Firearms Trust" that is about to change.
As of July 13, 2016, new rules will be in place that will make transferring firearms into a gun trust more difficult. Every "responsible person" in the trust will need to go through fingerprinting and background checks. This includes the trust grantor, trustee and some beneficiaries. Notice will also need to be given to local law enforcement, however they will not need to sign off on the transfer.
Fortunately, gun trust applications received prior to July 13, 2016 will be grandfather into the existing rules. That means that if you are considering a trust as a way to pass on your firearms, now is the time to discuss it with a wills and trusts attorney. Please let me know if I can assist.
Reference: Private Wealth (March 30, 2016) "It Will Soon Get Tougher To Create A Firearms Trust"