Why would I want a gun trust to own my firearms?
Potential benefits of a Florida gun trust may include:
- Protection for yourself, friends, family and loved ones from committing an “accidental felony.”
- No Chief Law Enforcement Officer (C.L.E.O.) signature or fingerprinting required when purchasing N.F.A. firearms in a gun trust.
- Ability to pass on your firearms collection upon your death in the manner you desire, even if your beneficiaries are minors, without the use of a guardian.
- Avoidance of probate for firearms in trust upon death. Probate can be time consuming and expensive and is public in nature.
- Incapacity planning to provide for care and maintenance of your firearms.
What does the phrase “accidental felony” mean?
B.A.T.F.E.strictly regulates the transfer of N.F.A. firearms, and the term “transfer” is broadly defined. In practice, that means that anyone other than the registered owner who handles or has access to the firearm is at serious risk of violating the N.F.A. and subjecting themselves and the owner of the firearm to a felony conviction. For example, all of the following would be N.F.A. violations where an N.F.A. firearm is registered to a single individual:
- Allowing a friend to use or borrow your N.F.A. firearm, even if you are present, such as at a shooting range.
- Providing the combination to a gun safe containing N.F.A. firearms to a spouse or family member.
- Leaving your N.F.A. firearm in the possession of a hunting partner, even for just 2 minutes.
A gun trust allows you to provide written permission for others (not “prohibited persons”) to use or have access to a N.F.A. firearm. This is typically accomplished through appointment of other trustees and/or naming of beneficiaries.