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.
For 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.
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.
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