NFA Gun Trust lawyer Missouri
What is the National Firearms Act (the “NFA”)?
The National Firearms Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1934 that imposes a excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms. It also requires the registration of these firearms. The NFA was passed shortly after the repeal of Prohibition and largely as a consequence of gangland crime during the Prohibition Era. The attempted assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt also provided impetus for the passing of the law.
What weapons are taxed and must be registered under the provisions of the NFA?
Machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, destructive devices (e.g. grenades), silencers and suppressors and a category called “AOW”, which means “any other weapons”, such as pen guns, cane guns and certain revolvers designed to fire a shotgun shell are just some examples. All of these weapons are collectively called NFA firearms or Title II weapons and the NFA regulates their sale, use, possession and transfer.
Who do I register an NFA weapon with and is there a cost?
To obtain permission to purchase NFA firearms, the weapons must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (aka “BATFE” or more commonly referred to as the “ATF”). Certain forms must be completed and the cost is $200 for a tax stamp, which is the cost of registration.
What if my state doesn’t allow ownership of NFA firearms?
In most states, all NFA weapons are legal to own. In other states, such as California for example, certain NFA firearm are illegal, including silencers.
Missouri, however, allows ownership of all NFA weapons.
What are the penalties for violation of the NFA?
Violations of the NFA are punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison, forfeiture of the individual’s right to own or possess firearms in the future, as well as all firearms in violation. Certain violations are also punishable by a penalty of up to $10,000.00. A willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax imposed by the NFA is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine, which falls under the general tax evasion statute.
Why should I create an NFA Gun Trust in Missouri?
There are two big advantages to creating an NFA Gun Trust to acquire NFA firearms.
First, if you register with the ATF as an individual, you are the only person who can possess and use that firearm. Like to shoot with your friends at the range? That’s a violation of the NFA law. With a trust, you can name co-trustees who can use the weapons with you. That could include family, friends, whoever, as long as they are otherwise able to possess a firearm.
Second, like other trusts, a NFA trust has a plan for when you pass away and who will own the weapons then. If you own NFA firearms as an individual, your family will have a lot of red tape to go through with the ATF (and added expense) to transfer the items when you pass. If you have an NFA gun trust, the process is much easier. You only have to file one form. Your other listed trustees take possession and you’re done.
Are there benefits of creating an NFA Firearms Trust over a corporation or LLC?
Yes. First, creating a corporation or LLC is initially more expensive than creating a trust. Second, a corporation and LLC, depending on the state, has annual fees associated with them. Corporations in Missouri for example have to file an Annual Report to the Missouri Secretary of State. Third, business entities often have to file sales tax and income tax returns or gather information to add to an individual’s tax return. This is not only a headache but could add to the cost of filing a return. Trusts, on the other hand, do not have this requirement.
Frankly, NFA trust were developed to avoid all of the hassle of owning NFA firearms through a business like a corporation or LLC.
What does it cost to set up an NFA Gun Trust at Legacy Law Center?
Our firm charges a flat fee of $349.00. This includes drafting the documents, reviewing the documents in person at our office (or by telephone if the client prefers) and finalizing the documents. The client receives the original documents in a binder, which is tabbed with the different documents included in the trust. We also create a PDF digital copy of the trust, which we keep for our records and which we forward to the client so they have a digital copy which can be printed at any time if they lose the originals. The $349.00 is an “all in” fee, i.e. that’s it. No other charges…we don’t charge for copies, extra meetings. That’s all you will spend.
How long does it take to set up an NFA Firearms Trust in Missouri and how soon could I acquire a weapon after it’s created?
We can gather all the information we need to complete the trust from the client in a ten minute telephone call. We usually can have a draft of the documents to the client within a few days and ready for signature, if the client is ready, within 14 days (often sooner). Once the trust is created, there is no further waiting period for them to start the process of obtaining an NFA firearm. It’s a fast process but a thorough one.
Can’t I just buy some trust online instead? Why should I use your firm?
You can always buy some trust online. Many of these trusts have been found to be invalid for various reasons, most often because they are drafted generally and without state specific requirements included.
NFA Gun Trusts are not something to be taken lightly. You’re going to be investing quite a bit of money in acquiring NFA weapons and then sending a bunch of documents that you don’t really understand how they work or what they say to a federal agency like ATF for review. Is that a situation where saving a few bucks is more important than doing things by the letter and getting the advice of an experience attorney?
For our reasonable fee of $349, you’re not only going to get the assurance that your trust was drafted by an NFA Gun Trust lawyer Missouri, you’re going to get the instructions and explanations of how the documents work from the attorney who drafted it, how the ATF process works and other tips in terms of keeping your records straight in case you’re at the range one day and the ATF is doing a random audit.