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Why should you use an NFA Gun Trust?

When most people hear about NFA Gun Trusts, the first benefit they think about is not needing the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signature or fingerprints. While that is a huge benefit when it comes to managing your busy life, there are several other reasons that may be more important:

Multiple People Can Share Possession

Most people have family members or friends who may need access to their NFA items from time to time. NFA Gun TrustFor example, imagine you're not home and your spouse ends up using the suppressor on a home defense gun.  (Yes, you should definitely use a suppressor in that situation.) If you registered using a trust, and added your spouse as a trustee, you're good to go - but, if you registered as an individual, your spouse will have committed a felony. As a second example, imagine going hunting with your son.  If you head to one blind and he goes to another - he's committing a felony if he takes the suppressor and you registered it as an individual. There are countless examples like these - where registering using a trust simply makes more sense.

It's a More Flexible Option

We often talk to young people who think the previous reason doesn't apply to them because they're single. It turns out that using a trust is also more flexible than registering as an individual because trustees can be added or removed at any time. For you young/single people out there, if you're ever going to get married or have kids you'll definitely want to register using a trust now.  Moving a suppressor from an individual registration to a trust or corporation requires an additional $200 tax stamp. Keep in mind that it's your responsibility to ensure the trustees can legally posses a suppressor (i.e. they're at least 18 years old and that they haven't committed a felony).  Because of this, most people limit the trustees to either family or close friends.  

Registering Using a Trust is Faster

At Silencer Shop, we submit 10's of thousands of NFA applications every year - and we consistently see that trust registrations get approved roughly 4 weeks faster.  Of course, this does vary; but, the ATF process is long enough already without adding any additional time.

No CLEO Signature or Fingerprints Are Required

We already mentioned this, but it is a big deal for a lot of buyers. Using a trust does not exempt you from a NICS background check, but it does eliminate the added hassle of needing a CLEO signature and fingerprints. The CLEO signature was added as a requirement in the NFA process long before computer background checks were available - and the requirement has never been removed.  In this day and age, pretty much everybody agrees that a CLEO signature isn't an effective background check; although, it's hard to say if and when it will ever be removed since the government is involved in the process...


We hope it's clear why using a trust is a great way to register any NFA item - such as suppressors or short barrel rifles. Fortunately, setting up a trust only takes a few minutes - and only has to be done once. If you're looking into buying an NFA item of any kind, from anybody, we highly recommend you start out the process by using a gun trust.

15 responses to “Why should you use an NFA Gun Trust?”

  1. Marc Chevalier says:

    If I wanted to have you set up a trust for me and my four sons and two son-in-laws–what would be required to do that?

    Also–do you have a suppressor that will work on a 300 Win Mag, 308 and 5.56mm?

    Looking forward to doing business with you.


  2. Michi says:

    Well guys, looks like that just changed with the executive orders. 41p is on its way, and soon, perhaps tomorrow. (1/5/2016.)

  3. Michi says:

    … Let’s just hope that 60-90 day time to implementation thing you guys mentioned is correct… And I really do hope Form 4s that have been pending go in soon. I’m sure Silencershop is about to get a deluge…

  4. Michi says:

    Update for everyone. 180 days to implementation, CLEO notification versus signoff.

    Very interested in how Silencershop is going to work with this though; we mail you our photos and fingerprint cards?

    Overall, could have been a lot worse.

  5. Jack Hornor says:

    Does one set up a trust through your company or use a local attorney? Also, to add additional names to the trust, are all additions required to go through a background check?

  6. George says:

    I own a few suppressors as an individual. Can I set up a gun trust now, with a few firearms, but not the suppressors at this time becasue of the $200 transfer fee each. Then in my will transfer the suppressors to the trust for the $5 inheretance fee?

  7. Ken says:

    I’ve set up a Trust through you and 3 out of 4 silencers have transferred to my dealer. If I understand it, you have filed the Form 4’s and I’ll be appraised of the progress. I also have 2 SBR’s coming to my dealer that need to be transferred on Form 4’s. When I look at the Form 4, the transferee is required to sign section 14. How did you file the Form 4’s without my signature, and will I have to sign the Form 4 to transfer the SBR’s?

    • says:

      If you are using a trust or LLC then you don’t need to sign the form 4 for silencers. However you do need to sign for SBR’s. So to answer the question you will have to sign the form 4 when your FFL creates the paperwork for your SBR.

  8. Twan says:

    I own all of my guns and plan on not sharing my silencers or and SBRs with anyone else but myself nor will I ever add anyone else to use them. Is there any reason I should set up a trust or is it more easier, cheaper, and absolutely no reason to add the additional work? Will I then only have to pay the tax stamps and fill out the forms?

    • says:

      You can file as an individual. The advantage is that you aren’t paying for he trust. If you don’t have any freinds or relatives to leave the silencers too then indvidual is the easiest way for sure. If you are thinking about inheritance then the trust makes it easy for the person that will recieve it.

    • says:

      Stainless has historically been stronger than titanium on SBR’s and Full Autos. Titanium is ligher but the welds haven’t been the strongest in the past. However we haven’t had any issues with the Sig silencers.

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