NFA Trust: "ATF takes longer and diggs deeper into your background to discover why"?


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brighamr
July 21, 2008, 03:49 PM
It is my joy in life to finally be in the middle of purchasing my first NFA item. (A YHM can for those who care). In any event, thus far it has been 3 months since I origionally paid for the can.

I had to have it transferred to a class III dealer first, because none of the dealers in my area stock anything. Then 3 months later after the transfer went through, and the CL3 received my item, he asks me why I'm using a trust?

The CL3 basically stated: "BATF knows why you're using a trust, usually it's because something on the local law enforcement level is holding up a regular CLEO signoff. As such, they'll take at least 2-4 weeks extra time digging into your background to identify your reason. I suggest you just go through your CLEO as it saves a lot of time. Also, if state law ever changes and your trust is voided, you wont own the item. You'll have to get rid of them as fast as possible."

OK, I have a CWP and have been cleared for an FFL, which basically means there's nothing on the local or federal level keeping me from buying NFA. In fact, the only record on my record is a speeding ticket from long ago. I went the trust route because I don't feel it necessary to be finger printed and photographed, and make an extra 80 mile round trip every time I want to buy a suppressor (40 miles each way to the court house). I don't care about any "extra time" BATF will take.

All that aside, is this CL3 just a moron? Or do any other CL3's tell their clients the same thing?

At this point, I'm thinking my next NFA purchase will be routed through a different dealer...

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Kharn
July 21, 2008, 03:56 PM
The NFA branch doesnt do the background check, the FBI does. The trust route is also several weeks faster than the individual route since the FBI isnt running your fingerprints.

They verify the legality of the item at your location regardless of individual or trust, and they know that many CLEOs do not understand the process and will not sign.

But, you do risk a change in the law voiding the ability of a legal entity to own firearms, at which point you'd need to get a pile of CLEO signatures and pay a new $200 tax for every item being transferred into your own name as an individual. If the CLEO will sign, that's the route you should go.

Kharn

PTK
July 21, 2008, 04:05 PM
Utter and complete BS... the NFA trust route, just like the LLC route, is perfectly legal. As stated, they verify the trust/LLC is legal, verify the state laws re:NFA, and have a NICS check done on you by the FBI. Remember, you are the grantor/trustee of the trust, so they still have the individual name to check.


Basically, your C3 dealer is being... odd.

brighamr
July 21, 2008, 04:13 PM
Kharn - appreciate the explanation.
PTK - that's what I figured, thank you.

I realize the trust route is completely legal, and in my case (planning to buy multiple items) it will save me about $400 in gas alone, not including taking time off work to see the CLEO.

Looks like I'll be searching for a better CL3 for the next transfer. If anyone can recommend one in south west montana, or south central I'd appreciate it :)

redneckrepairs
July 21, 2008, 04:15 PM
You nfa guys dont want my opinion of the " corperation/trust /llc set up purely to purchase items . Of course this assumes a level playing field on the CLEO approvals and such . I have a corp , and an llc . however any nfa i would do i would do first as being ME .

ctdonath
July 21, 2008, 04:19 PM
To each their own on self vs. trust NFA transfers.

Sounds odd that it's allegedly taking so long; IIRC trusts usually get processed faster. Go ask on one of the NFA boards (subguns.com, silencertalk.com) for better interpretation.

Correia
July 21, 2008, 04:20 PM
I'm an NFA dealer.

I'm not aware of anything official at ATF that changes the amount of time.

But here's the thing. Your dealer might not be crazy. Just because something isn't official, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, or he hasn't seen it happen.

CLEO signature is easy in Utah, so we don't get very many trusts buying stuff. However, we do get some, but I'm not aware of any significant difference in processing time. Right now, everything in our region is being slow.

brighamr
July 21, 2008, 04:56 PM
Correia,

That's the funny thing. CLEO signoff's here are pretty simple as well, but this guy says the only people who do trusts are trying to get around their criminal background??? that just strikes me as odd. Thanks for your perspective, I appreciate it.

Ltlabner
July 21, 2008, 05:27 PM
Here in SW Ohio the only way to get cans, SBR's, etc are via the trust/LLC.

The CLEO of Hamilton and Clermont county have made it clear they will not signoff on anything.

As such, the trust/LLC dance for classIII stuff is pretty comon in this area.

feedthehogs
July 21, 2008, 05:48 PM
however any nfa i would do i would do first as being ME

I'm sure most would avoid the additional expense of setting up a trust or paying yearly corporate state fees if the local cleo would sign off.

Problem is the way the statement is written, the cleo does not have to sign even if they know of no reason why you shouldn't own a class 3 item. This leaves a cleo to invoke his/her personal beliefs on whether civilians should own such items.

The wording needs to be changed as to command the cleo to sign if they know of no legal reason you should not own a class 3 item.

My local cleo and his past alumni have purely stated that they will not sign claiming thru the authority of the dept legal advisor that they could be held liable if one were to do harm with said item and they approved it.

One individual even went to court and had a judge issue a writ of mandamus to sign and the cleo refused. Nothing ever came of it and everyone uses a trust or corporation.

MikeB
July 21, 2008, 05:54 PM
Sometimes a trust/llc transfer has nothing to do with avoiding dealing with the CLEO signature. It's the only way a group of people can legally share an item. We have an LLC for our family purchases. This way anyone in the immediate family, all named officers of the LLC; can legally have the item/s in their possession.

DoubleTapDrew
July 21, 2008, 07:51 PM
but this guy says the only people who do trusts are trying to get around their criminal background???
I'd like to start doing a trust to avoid losing a day's pay to go to the CLEO, paying $15 each for 2 fingerprint cards, and a few bucks and another hour or so for passport photos, go back and pick it up when the CLEO has signed it. Add that stuff up and it's almost as much as the tax itself. Plus your family members can't use it or even transport it without you being there.
It would suck to have to transfer all the stuff to yourself if they changed the laws though.

TexasRifleman
July 21, 2008, 09:15 PM
There are much bigger reasons to go the trust/corp route than the CLEO signoff.

Plus your family members can't use it or even transport it without you being there.

BINGO

The biggest advantage is who can possess the items.

In an individual tax stamp only the named individual can be in possession of the item. With a trust/corporation any of the named officers can be in possession (as long as age and other things match up).

That can potentially be huge.

Vegaslaith
July 22, 2008, 12:17 AM
It would suck to have to transfer all the stuff to yourself if they changed the laws though.

Does anyone know of any time when laws have actually changed and Trusts were no longer a valid way to own NFA items?

Sebastian the Ibis
July 22, 2008, 12:34 AM
LLC's and trusts can be set up in state where you do not live, and they are a common tool for keeping houses out of state intestacy law.

Therefore it would seem that it would make sense to set up a trust in a gun friendly state so that they don't meddle with the trust/ corporation law.

Has Anyone thought about this?

CDignition
July 22, 2008, 01:18 AM
NFA law will never change. Hasn't since 1934. My trust took 28 days mailbox to mailbox.. usually in the summer, people are taking Vacations and such, so Im sure they are slower than usual.

DoubleTapDrew
July 22, 2008, 03:58 PM
NFA law will never change. Hasn't since 1934
Except 34 years later in 1968, then 18 years later in 1986, 22 years ago. We are due for another change, but hopefully for the better this time.
If more people had to go through the same hoops with something more commonly owned like a vehicle or kitchen knives, there would be serious outrage.

brighamr
October 30, 2008, 08:17 PM
Hi Everyone!

Today is October 30th. My trust is still pending.

Just thought you'd like an update. If anyone else here has recently purchased/recieved an NFA goodie, can you share how long your transfer took and if it was trust/self/llc?

OcelotZ3
October 30, 2008, 11:13 PM
I had a SBR inheritance transfer take about 30 days near the end of last summer.

Another double transfer of an M16 & M14 (from the same estate to an external buyer) took >2 months to go through, and that was done a few months after the in-family estate transfer. And the buyer already had a number of NFA items.

Both were estate -> "self"

MGshaggy
October 31, 2008, 10:09 AM
The NFA Branch is indeed looking closer into trusts than they did a couple years ago when the practice first started. No longer will a simple certificate of trust suffice; they now require the full declaration so they have a copy of the terms of the trust for their files. A bit of free legal advice - if you use a trust or corp, retain a lawyer in your state to make sure you've complied with all necessary formalities in creation of the trust, and have not inadvertantly created a trust subject to invalidation for something such as merger of the parties (I've seen that a couple times with friend's trusts). A technically invalid trust may be approved for an NFA transfer, but if/when the NFA Branch looks closer at the trust, you may be in for a very unpleasant surprise.

And lets be honest here - BATFE is not going to get any more friendly to the NFA crowd, and most likely will be much more belligerent under an obama administration; you don't want to give them a reason, like an invalid trust, to come after you. As I understand it, Ken Houchens, who was pretty good to the NFA community as acting director of NFA, is now gone from the helm of the NFA Branch, and the new director is far more anti-gun.

An off the shelf software package is a good start, but a trust is a legally binding document and you should know and understand all the terms of your trust. Also, trust law is a creature of your state law, and it is subject to changes by the legislature and by developments in the caselaw of your state. While a trust is a good vehicle for holding NFA assets, its not difficult to screw it up if you don't know what you're doing. Do your due dilligence and make sure you've got it right; an hour or two of lawyer time could save you a lot more in the long run.

Flame Red
October 31, 2008, 10:22 AM
LLC's and trusts can be set up in state where you do not live, and they are a common tool for keeping houses out of state intestacy law.

Therefore it would seem that it would make sense to set up a trust in a gun friendly state so that they don't meddle with the trust/ corporation law.

Has Anyone thought about this?

I am no lawyer so you get what you paid for, but I understand that NFA trusts are only valid in the state they are setup. You cannot take your NFA to another state, unlike 'individual' that can be moved to another state with another form.. That is one of the big differences between 'individual' and 'corporate' form 4's.

I believe the extended delays are because of the large backlogs of NFA transfer that is swamping them because of the pending Coronation of His Highness, the Obomination.

taliv
October 31, 2008, 10:35 AM
dunno, dude, but I've transfered a MG and two cans since july. I think you're getting screwed.

brighamr
October 31, 2008, 11:22 AM
Called today. Got approved on 10/28.

I'm tending to agree with this statement: I believe the extended delays are because of the large backlogs of NFA transfer that is swamping them because of the pending Coronation of His Highness, the Obomination.

Another funny thing, when I origionally called for status check last month, the lady asked my serial then sent me back to the investigator. When I called today, the guy asked for my serial, the make, who it was going to, and basically dragged it out as long as possible before telling me it was approved.


Taliv - were your transfers trust/corp/individual? I'm trying to figure out if wait times are effected cause next month I plan to buy several NFA goodies.

I'll update again when the paperwork actually gets here.

MGshaggy
October 31, 2008, 11:47 AM
I don't think the coronation of 'Glorious Leader' has anything to do with it. Typically backlogs with NFA approvals have to do with either backlogs at the FBI in checking fingerprint cards (NFA approvals take a back seat at the FBI to criminal investigations and NSA/DHS needs), or simple laziness/ineptitude/political hackery at the NFA branch. In my experience, things have been noticably slower since Ken Houchens left early this year. Last year I had a couple MGs and suppressors returned in less than a month. My last NFA transfers a couple months ago (a SBR and another suppressor) have surpassed the 3 month mark.

damien
October 31, 2008, 04:58 PM
As such, they'll take at least 2-4 weeks extra time digging into your background to identify your reason.

I say give the ATF that extra work to do. Keeps them out of everyone else's hair.

3gunplay
October 31, 2008, 10:54 PM
I was wondering how they can do a background check on a trust if you can add someone to it after the fact.

rojocorsa
November 1, 2008, 12:38 AM
I am impressed.
I don't understand all of this paperwork and bureaucracy, but all of that just to get so called NFA items?

How does that deter crime or murder? It is total BS!

I know this is cliched, but the more I hear "ATF should be a convenience store, not a government-run agency" the more it think it SHOULD that way.

Flame Red
November 1, 2008, 09:52 AM
I don't think the coronation of 'Glorious Leader' has anything to do with it. Typically backlogs with NFA approvals have to do with either backlogs at the FBI in checking fingerprint cards (NFA approvals take a back seat at the FBI to criminal investigations and NSA/DHS needs), or simple laziness/ineptitude/political hackery at the NFA branch.

Respectfully, for trusts there are no fingerprint cards (or pictures needed either). Trusts and corporations don't have fingerprints :)

Trusts used to get approved in a month or so. Now seem to be about 4 months.

rfurtkamp
November 1, 2008, 09:56 AM
Another funny thing, when I origionally called for status check last month, the lady asked my serial then sent me back to the investigator. When I called today, the guy asked for my serial, the make, who it was going to, and basically dragged it out as long as possible before telling me it was approved.


That's normal process, once it's in the system they want to verify you have some sort of legitimate access to the status of the item. Every transaction I've ever done with them over the phone has had that 'delay' - and I'm thankful for it. It's accessible with a modicum of privacy.

As far as taking it out of state on a trust or LLC, the entity is legal, the item is legal. File your transit form and you're golden.

I'm also not generally phased by the bugaboo of threatened changes regarding the ownership of firearms by trusts or corporations; if you've paid a tax for ownership, you can clearly illustrate legal possession before any date of restriction by the entity. You *will* be grandfathered.

And to get back at the original question, trusts aren't to hide a prohibited owner status, they're there to provide an alternative. Do I really want to beg Sheriff Mommy the Inept for his blessing every time I want a toy?

wired
August 23, 2009, 12:30 PM
Trusts dont get a background check. You dont even give them enough information on a trust NFA transfer to even begin a background check. There are no fingerprints, no SS# etc.

CleverNickname
August 23, 2009, 06:19 PM
LLC's and trusts can be set up in state where you do not live, and they are a common tool for keeping houses out of state intestacy law.

Therefore it would seem that it would make sense to set up a trust in a gun friendly state so that they don't meddle with the trust/ corporation law.

Has Anyone thought about this?
When the gun is transferred from the dealer to the LLC or trust, it has to be transferred to a member of that LLC or a trustee of that trust. The dealer can't make the transfer unless that member or trustee is also a resident of the same state as the dealer. If it's an LLC or trust with a single member or trustee, then your plan won't work.

zoom6zoom
August 23, 2009, 07:21 PM
Gee, if they'd take suppressors off the NFA, they'd probably cut their workload by at least half and save the gov'mint all that money.

LRaccuracy
August 23, 2009, 09:47 PM
I have gone the "regular route" and I have done a NFA Trust and they both come back in about the same time. I can't tell you how many people I have helped with their trust and they never had a problem of taking any longer than someone else's. The DOJ must have been backed up when they received your trust. Hmmmmmmm....

danbrew
August 23, 2009, 11:04 PM
Keep in mind that YOU don't own the item in question - it is owned by the trust.

This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Mr_Rogers
August 24, 2009, 12:33 AM
Something I've been meaning to check on when I have time - perhaps someone has a quick answer.

My suppressors are in a corporation. They are used for corporate purposes. Can I issue a letter to an employee that permits him to possess the suppressor on company business?

CleverNickname
August 24, 2009, 09:41 AM
If he's an actual employee and it's not just "here I'll pay you $1 a year and call you an 'employee' to try to fool the ATF", then sure.

middy
August 24, 2009, 09:54 AM
In my experience, dealers are nearly always wrong about nearly everything. Just smile and nod.

Gun Trust Lawyer
August 30, 2009, 10:05 AM
I have begun to receive reports that indicate the time for approval of Form 4's is down to 10-12 weeks. I know many people who's applications have been in process for much longer. It appears that the new applications are being done quicker or it might just be that certain compliance people are more efficient.

Gun Trust Lawyer
August 30, 2009, 10:07 AM
If your corporation owns the items, only the officers listed with the state can use them. Other employees cannot use them, with a trust, you can amend the trust and add trustees and they can use the items without having to update the state or pay the state to update the records.

WoofersInc
August 30, 2009, 02:31 PM
As of today I am at 117 days waiting for my form 4. This is one that was sent in as an individual, not a trust.

danbrew
August 30, 2009, 04:19 PM
I need a really experienced gun trust lawyer for a problem I have with a home made trust that I did a few years ago. I've got about $90,000 worth of Class III items tied up in this trust and have now discovered that I have some MAJOR problems with it. Any advice or pointers that anyone can point towards an experienced gun trust lawyer in Illinois would be sincerely appreciated.

(I saw the gun trust lawyer post above, but he's in Florida, and I have some unique issues in Illinois that I think would be best served by an Illinois attorney).

Gun Trust Lawyer
August 30, 2009, 04:32 PM
We have a bunch of lawyers in most states. We may not have one in IL because the items you can have are so limited. Basically you can only have AOW's and DD's. 90K of destructive devices is a lot. One of our lawyers in another state may be licensed in IL. If you call monday or email me I would be happy to check for you.


David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
331 East Monroe Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel (904) 685-1200 Fax (904) 212-0678

http://www.GunTrustLawyer.com/

btg3
August 30, 2009, 09:00 PM
a problem I have with a home made trust
No surprise there...nope, nil, nada, zip...

Seriously, hope you get some good help and find a smooth resolution to the situation.

Gun Trust Lawyer
August 30, 2009, 09:26 PM
At least it is you that has the problem and not the ATF like with this guy.

BATFE and Seizure From Invalid NFA Trust (http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/2009/05/batfe-and-seizure-from-invalid.html)

Oldfalguy
August 30, 2009, 09:37 PM
In regard to some CLEO's not signing because of some mystical legal department telling them about liability is weak since there is case law on the books that is on point. The real point is if CLEO no want to sign they do not need a reason so the use of Corps and Trust has flourished. My CLEO's here had been good about it until 2 years ago and now the Chief wants to met you- fine idea to me but my paperwork has been sitting in the PD for 2 years waiting to get a call and I have called them...that is how I found out about the new requirement and this Chief has already signed 5 form 4 for me- go figure-

Gun Trust Lawyer
August 30, 2009, 10:02 PM
I recently did a NFA trust (http://www.guntrustlawyer.com) for a person who was waiting 12 years for approval from their local CLEO.

Caimlas
August 31, 2009, 04:55 AM
FBI has been taking a lot longer to run fingerprints in the last year for a number of reasons (increase in government/clearanced people is, I suspect, one of them). It took well over 3 months for my process to get completed after I'd finished the paperwork for a very basic security check.

CleverNickname
August 31, 2009, 09:47 AM
Gun Trust Lawyer, can you provide a cite that says corporate employees can't possess corporately owned firearms? That would mean that any salesmen for class 2 firearm manufacturers couldn't possess the title II firearms they sell. Neither could security companies issue title II firearms to the guards they employ.

danbrew
August 31, 2009, 06:02 PM
Phwew. I spoke with a fella from ATF last night (I had planned on simply leaving a message on his voicemail, but he picked up), and we talked for a good hour or so and then he faxed me an affidavit this morning and we were able to resolve the issue.

Thankfully! Appreciate those kind folks that sent me the email, especially James - the contact info for their counsel was invaluable. Thanks James!!!

danbrew

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