Getting NFA items in non-NFA friendly parts of the United States


PDA






Bullnettles
March 8, 2010, 08:17 PM
Today, I have started my quest to get a suppressor, plus more things as I find a need for them (or want :D). I live in Harris County, Texas and learned today that they are not NFA friendly from a local Class 3 dealer. I will be forming a trust, and since I didn't see anything on here about actually forming one, I figured I would write up a how-to if that's ok by the moderators? This will be a fairly long process, but I will fill you guys and gals in on it as I complete the steps. This evening, I contacted a local lawyer who does NFA trusts for people via email. Hopefully, tomorrow I will have an answer on what steps I need to follow. BTW, this is off topic, but I got to see my first suppressor today and I now have the bug. Cheers and have a good night. Please let me know if you have an interest in this thread being a part of THR or not, I just thought it may help people in my circumstances.

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting NFA items in non-NFA friendly parts of the United States" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Zak Smith
March 8, 2010, 09:09 PM
Go for it!

There are several online guides or "how-tos" for the NFA "Trust" method - it's not much of a mystery or that involved; just make sure the Trust is executed properly or the BATF might become upset with you at a later time. It's actually easier and/or more convenient to do than a regular "individual" Form 5 transfer.

-z

Bullnettles
March 8, 2010, 09:39 PM
Wow, just found out the legal fees... I will be doing this the hard way. Does anyone know the following?

- If I create a generic, revocable living trust, can I purchase NFA items using it?

- Why does it have a section for a list of items, ie, may I add items to this as I buy them?

- I understand any comment made is to be taken with a grain of salt, just need a little guidance if you know which way to go.

The reason I ask these questions is I found a form online that I would like to use instead of a $600 lawyer fee... Once again THR, I thank you!

Zak Smith
March 8, 2010, 09:44 PM
There has been at least one case of the BATF objecting - after the fact - to a trust that was set up improperly. Considering the penalties if this happens, it makes sense to get the trust made up and executed properly the first time, by a lawyer IMO.

Bullnettles
March 9, 2010, 12:37 AM
Good thing I have a lawyer friend to check it over before I file for it. I had forgotten about him until about 30 minutes ago. Thanks for the heads up about getting it checked Zak!

medalguy
March 9, 2010, 01:00 AM
Bullnettles, you can find a bunch of info on NFA trusts in Texas over on texasguntalk.com forums. I too live in Harris Co and have several NFA items. I'm considering purchasing more but will form a truse to do so because of the curent administration. To try to answer some of your questions:

1. You can purchase NFA items by a trust but be sure it's set up right. IMO, it's too important to use Willmaker or similar software.

2. You can add or delete items as you buy or sell them.

I highly recommend using a lawyer up front rather than having to use one to "fix" things that ATF decides they don't like later. Just my .02. BTW, there are several attorneys on texasguntalk that are qualified to do trusts.

Aaron Baker
March 9, 2010, 01:22 AM
Here's what you need to know about trusts (and NFA trusts):

If you can find an example of it on the internet, it's probably not good enough to use.

Seriously--I'm a lawyer, and I drafted my own NFA trust. I won't be sharing it online because I don't specialize in trusts, and although I'm confident enough to use it for myself, I wouldn't want anyone else getting in trouble if it isn't sufficient.

There are some good attorneys out there that specialize in NFA trusts. Find one and pay him the $600 or so that he's asking. It'll give you piece of mind, and is way cheaper than the 10 years in jail you could get if you screw up your trust.

Any trust you find online isn't going to be state-law-specific to your state, probably wasn't drafted by a lawyer, and probably isn't going to allow you to legally own NFA items. Or maybe it would be just good enough for you to legally own them, but when you pass on, your heirs could be in violation of federal laws without even knowing it. There's lots of stuff that could go wrong with an NFA trust is my point.

Don't take the risk. Do it right.

Aaron

CoRoMo
March 9, 2010, 12:03 PM
Yes, please post back with your how-to instructions. It'll benefit many to know how you did yours, as opposed to dropping $600 for something that can be done correctly and easily enough on one's own.

medalguy
March 9, 2010, 01:35 PM
As I stated above:

I highly recommend using a lawyer up front rather than having to use one to "fix" things that ATF decides they don't like later. Just my .02. BTW, there are several attorneys on texasguntalk that are qualified to do trusts.

CoRoMo
March 9, 2010, 02:14 PM
Don't get me wrong, I would also recommend it; if you can afford to blow that kind of cash on things that can be properly and easily accomplished on your own. It'll buy you peace of mind, or some level thereof, if you believe the attorney knew what he was doing, and you don't believe you could have done it yourself.

But I would then recommend that you post those $600 safeguards that the lawyer performed, on the internet so that those who can't afford it, can still get a legit trust drafted.

It's sort of like a $600 brake job, you can always pay someone to do it, or you can just do it yourself and save a lot of money. A botched brake job could be serious, but it is simple enough to do yourself, and to do correctly, if you get the right tools and just apply yourself.

MisterPX
March 9, 2010, 08:40 PM
Quicken willmaker 2009, as the 2010 software does not have RL trusts

sgtdevildog
March 10, 2010, 08:46 AM
I recently got a similar quote for the out of state trust lawyer for $600 - I believe they end up getting an in-state lawyer they are "associated" with to then draw up a state specific trust. I contacted a lawyer who is on one of our local gun boards who did one for substantially less. Don't know if it's as "special" as a $600 one but as long as you're using it for nothing more than the occassional NFA suppressor, etc. and not using for real estate planning, wealth protection, etc. a simple attorney produced one should work. YMMV - I would try to find a local attorney and compare costs.

hirundo82
March 10, 2010, 08:21 PM
I'd ask around and see if anyone in Harris County will sign. I know it wasn't possible a year or two ago, but according to the people at Talon Arms they are hearing that Sheriff Garcia and DA Lykos may both be willing to do Form 4 signoffs. At least this is according to a post at Texas CHL forum (http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=30603&hilit=suppressor&sid=9f82a7ee95b5d1f3152e04fd1e5cd822#p354521) from them a couple months ago.

Jim K
March 10, 2010, 09:54 PM
To quote the old Army song, "I don't know but I been told..."

If I understand correctly, if you go the trust route, and if for any reason the trust is dissolved or revoked, the NFA item does not become yours, since you are not the trust. The NFA item has to be transferred to you by the trust (with a Form 4) before the trust goes away. So if the reason for the trust was that your CLEO will not sign the papers, the trust cannot make that transfer either and you are caught in a trap.

If the trust goes away without making the transfer to you, the item becomes illegal and is subject to confiscation. Also, what happens if it is a living trust, and you die. Can the trust transfer the item to your executor, or does the item become part of your estate? I may be wrong, but these are definitely things to check with your attorney and BATFE.

Jim

CoRoMo
March 11, 2010, 10:46 AM
It's not that precarious. My trusts aren't going to spontaneously dissolve, and if I choose to revoke, the property will be transferred out. People make this sound like a bear trap waiting to close on your hand. Trusts are not new, and they aren't so complicated that it should intimidate everyone. Sure, college age kids with no 5-year plan shouldn't go this route just so their buddies can be trustees of the property. You have to know where you're going with this.

The trust will contain language to deal with instances if it is revoked or in the event of a death. The title II property would transfer to whomever can receive it. If I revoke my trust, I'll transfer the property into my individual ownership, or whatever I choose. There's no trap if the CLEO won't sign off because CLEO isn't always the only one who has to sign off; there are other officials whom you can petition.

There's not a huge difference in trust ownership and individual ownership in that regard. If I own a can individually, and I die or otherwise cannot own it anymore, it would be transferred to someone else. In fact, there is so much more flexibility in a trust ownership vs. individual ownership. But you really have to have a modicum of stability.

Here is a very good post that should be included here.

http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=7074

A lot of good info.

sgtdevildog
March 11, 2010, 11:01 AM
Yup - what he said.

Bullnettles
June 23, 2010, 03:59 PM
Thread revival! Due to the help of a fellow THRian, I have just created a trust for less than $100 through an online service. Now I need more help. I want to make sure I have this right; I file for the trust with whatever I want listed, then send off the to ATF, THEN once I get it approved, I add it? It seems I would buy, add, then send to ATF while Cl. 3 holds my suppressor. Door number one or number two?

Jim K
June 23, 2010, 08:41 PM
"There's no trap if the CLEO won't sign off because CLEO isn't always the only one who has to sign off; there are other officials whom you can petition."

As I understand it, the only reason for the trust in the first place is to get around a CLEO who will not sign off on the Form 4. But if the above is true, why not go that route in the first place and forget the trust?

Jim

mrnkc130
June 24, 2010, 01:45 AM
in texas trusts are not filed anywhere, just get it notarized.

send in your cert, form 4, check and a copy of your trust with the suppressor listed in the schedule a.

thertel
June 24, 2010, 01:55 AM
In my case I went the trust route because it is simply easier than needing fingerprints, and sign off for each item I want to add to my collection. I just got back another approved form 4 for a new toy. I'll be sending off my Form 1 to create an SBR next week.

Bullnettles
June 24, 2010, 10:55 AM
Thertel, how do you have the items listed in your trust? I would prefer something like "All NFA items". Do I have to itemize?

thertel
June 24, 2010, 12:04 PM
I update my Schedule A (which lists all trust assets) after every purchase and transfer. Sounds silly but what I do is add the item I am submitting to the schedule A with the following comment next to it "(item has been paid for and will enter trust possession upon BATFE approval of Form 5320.4, until approval it is in possession of <fill in the dealer name>)".

I hear a lot of people say that you do not need to send your schedule A with the trust documents but I find that everything runs super smooth by sending the Trust, Schedule A, $200, and a neatly filled out form 4.

I've done 5 transfers over a 3 year period and have only had one problem (some idiot forgot to sign the form.......) and I've had to calls or questions from the BATFE.

Bullnettles
June 24, 2010, 02:34 PM
Thank you! That helps a lot, I will be getting one soon now that the trust is completed (no Notary yet).

Bullnettles
June 29, 2010, 03:49 PM
Ok guys, just got her notarized, just wanted to tell somebody! I'm going to wait a little bit so that the stamp comes in around my birthday, haha.

CoRoMo
August 23, 2010, 02:13 PM
I really need to hang out in this sub-forum more often. Jim, sorry I didn't reply sooner.
As I understand it, the only reason for the trust in the first place is to get around a CLEO who will not sign off on the Form 4. But if the above is true, why not go that route in the first place and forget the trust?
I'd say that is the PRIMARY reason, but certainly not the ONLY reason. While it's clearly less expensive to buy the $14 Quicken software than to pay for fingerprints/photos (at least around here), I don't know that anyone would use cost as a sole reason. I think the BEST reason to go the trust route is the possession flexibility that is created between the trustees. That alone makes the trust route worth it, for those who have multiple parties who might have possession of the items. For those NFA owners with no friends/family, this reason does not apply.

Bullnettles:
Was it my PM that you are referring to in post #17? I'll send you another one in case you don't look in here. Didn't mean to dig up your thread, but hey, it ain't really dead, it's just sleeping and waiting until you post pictures of you new can!

Acera
August 23, 2010, 11:15 PM
Bullnettles, a couple of questions for you, if you have the time.

Which site did you use for the online portion??

I just sent an email to these guys to check on their price for the exact same thing.
http://www.texasnfatrust.com/

I bet they are not that cheap, but have a really good FAQs page.


Next who are you using for your transfers and purchases? I've dealt with some of mine with Art of Republic, but have heard some disturbing things about who he sells to sometimes. I've been looking for a new dealer. The new store in Spring wants $75 per transfer, but Operators Edge in The Woodlands is at $50 ($20 regular gun transfers) so they might be my next source.

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting NFA items in non-NFA friendly parts of the United States" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!