NFA Trusts


Unlicensed Dremel
August 22, 2014, 09:07 AM
Guys, just a heads up, if you didn't know. This is part of my business....

Start with the premise that trust route > individual route for several reason for NFA items.

The BATFE had a 90 day comment period on a proposed rule to take away ONE (but certainly not all) of the advantages of the trust route awhile back - that being the "end run" around CLEO signoff & fingerprints (which granted, is a BIG deal if your CLEO is anti-gun).

However, the BATFE has decided, for now, to NOT adopt this rule, at least for about 4-5 more months; maybe longer - the future is uncertain as to whether they will ultimately cut off the end run around CLEO signoff down the road a few months or years.

HOWEVER, regardless of whether they do or don't, the main point is this: Right now this advantage is NOT "cut off", and most importantly, if and when they do adopt this rule, there is roughly a 90% chance that you'll be "grandfathered" if you go the trust route now, and won't have to go back and do the CLEO signoff & fingerprints. Not guaranteed, but highly likely you'll be grandfathered.

So, get one now while the getting is good! Now is the time to act and get your SBSs, SBSs, Suppressors, etc.

This is the best place to get one done: . The Apple firm (Mr. Goldman) is the premier expert on the NFA trusts, and he covers all 50 states. He is your lawyer, but he also gets you a second lawyer in your state, to make sure the trust complies with your state laws. Reasonable fee for what you get - two actual lawyers, not paralegals or "spithouse lawyers", on your case/trust, tailored to your situation. Yes, I have a financial interest in this, but trust me - Mr. Goldman's office is excellent to deal with and he's the best. His website there is a treasure trove of good info, whether you get one or not.

(Note: there are other large advantages of the trust route as well, such as estate planning - providing for continuity for the items to stay in your family after your death, as well as a huge advantage in picking "co-trustees" - friends and family - who can also shoot all the items legally).

If you enjoyed reading about "NFA Trusts" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Aaron Baker
August 22, 2014, 07:29 PM
However, the BATFE has decided, for now, to NOT adopt this rule

That's news to me. Have a source for this? Last thing I heard was that they were going through all the comments received in the comment period, and that because of the volume, they would be taking until 2015 to respond to them.

This is part of my business

Hard to tell from your profile location or your post--are you licensed in Oklahoma or Montana?

there is roughly a 90% chance that you'll be "grandfathered" if you go the trust route now

I won't bother asking where you came up with that percentage. But what do you mean by grandfathered? The rules they're amending cover transfers. They can't apply those rules ex post facto to require anyone to go back and get approval on a stamp that's already approved. Nor will anyone be exempt from the new requirements just because their trust is already in existence. Do you just mean that if your application is already in process when the rule changes, they probably won't kick it back to you for resubmission under the new rule?

He is your lawyer

How is he your lawyer unless he's licensed to practice law in every state? Local counsel might consult with him, but are you saying that the attorney-client relationship is formed between both the client and local counsel AND the client and Mr. Goldman?

Reasonable fee for what you get

Is he still charging around $600?

Yes, I have a financial interest in this

That's an interesting point. In Kentucky, this would be considered advertising. Are the rules of your bar similar? I'm always very careful not to directly advertise my services in my posts on this forum, but to provide commentary that's permitted by my bar. Actual advertising of my services, such as my website, had to be submitted to my bar for approval before I was allowed to post it. Kinda sounds like you're only posting to advertise your legal services.

I apologize if my post doesn't seem High Road. I'm not just being harsh because I'm also a lawyer who does NFA trusts--you're clearly not in competition with me unless you're licensed in Kentucky. It's just, frankly, that you only joined a few months ago, and the first post I've seen from you in the NFA subforum is an advertisement for your services, and some of what you're saying seems a little off.


Unlicensed Dremel
August 24, 2014, 10:29 AM
Aaron, I'm going by what Mr. Goldman's office told me as for the roughly 90% chance of them being grandfathered. It's a guess, by nature, because no one knows for sure what the powers that be at BATFE are going to decide to do - once the comments are in (as they are), then evaluated, then can act or not act - just up to them - and if they do act, my understanding is that it's unclear whether a "grandfathering" clause will be added - but Mr. Goldman's office evidently believes (for some reason) that it's highly likely that a grandfathering clause will be present. I'm not sure why - haven't studied it in detail myself. Only a very small part of my business. Mr. Goldman is the expert on this, so if his office says that's the case, then I believe it. I suppose it's possible that they could be wrong, but... In fairness, I guess I should say that I don't think Mr. Goldman's office said "90%" - that's me - I think they said "highly likely" or similar. But even if it's 51%, if one was otherwise inclined to do a trust, it would be worth it, because even if no grandfathering clause, one still would retain the other benefits of a trust (co-trustees, estate planning aspects). However, if one's SOLE reason is because of an anti-gun CLEO (or even primary reason), then yes, I guess in fairness I should say that I believe it to be somewhere between 51% and 90% chance making it a significant (yet minority) chance that you'll get hosed and "revoked" after the trust is done** - how about that - better? :)

It's not advertising - it's (accurate) information, and frankly a public service announcement for gunnies. However, feel free to report me. I welcome scrutiny. :) The rest of your questions I'll answer by PM. Hang on. Thanks.

Oh, and yes, $600 for the basic one (but there's a premium product choice as well, for people who want some additional aspects done to the trust) - pretty good deal, seems to me, for what you get - but I'm sure one on a tight budget could get it done a bit cheaper, or just draft it up it themselves.

**However, think about that for a minute. Suppose that prior to a rule change, there are say, 1,000 to 10,000 people nationwide, give or take, who have anti-gun CLEOs who will NOT issue the "permission", ok? Those people nevertheless do a trust (or have done over the years), and start buying items. Suppose that they get on average, 2 items each owned by their trusts. Is the BATFE *really* going to make them go back and try to get CLEO signoff, and then when they fail (as they will, because anti-gun CLEOS are anti-gun CLEOs), the BATFE is then going to go take back the items and revoke or "quash" the trust? Really? Are they going to compensate the people for the items they take? Would they have to so compensate, constitutionally? I don't know. I suppose it's possible, but it seems extreme and unlikely to me that this scenario would actually happen - hence the guess of the likelihood of the grandfather clause being present. We'll see. :)

[Note: One other aspect of this which might lead to the answer to one of your questions relates to agency law (which I'm NOT an expert on) and the procedure for making regulations. If a rule is proposed and a comment period ensues - as happened here - wouldn't the presence or absence of a grandfather clause be known? I.e. wouldn't it be illegal for the agency to add a provision? I don't know, but my guess is yes, that's illegal. Which if so, should in theory mean that we already know whether a grandfather clause is in there. But I bet what's really going on here is what so often happens in the drafting of code and regs - that is just that the rule is silent on this issue as to revocation or grandfathering - likely is some combination of silent / vague / ambiguous. But I don't know for sure - that's a good question for Mr. Goldman's office that I'll ask him the next time I chat. I trust Mr. Goldman's information received so far on this, however, because he's an excellent lawyer, and as I say, the premier expert on NFA trusts, or certainly among the premier lawyers in this area.]

Aaron Baker
August 24, 2014, 06:30 PM
I'm not part of Mr. Goldman's network. But I will say that many of my clients need more than just the drafting of a trust--they often need explanation of how NFA trusts work, how the tax stamp application process works, etc. If this is a part of your business, I'd suggest becoming a little clearer about what the "grandfathering" issue is.

What it's NOT: an issue related to already-approved tax stamps. The regulation that's been proposed governs transfers of NFA firearms, not possession of NFA firearms. The federal Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws, and any attempt to impose a regulation that required owners of already-approved tax stamps to go back and fulfill more stringent transfer requirements would be illegal.

So the majority of the discussion in your post isn't relevant. The ATF isn't trying to do that, no one is suggesting they are, and they couldn't if they wanted to.

The only "grandfathering" issue is whether they will require you to meet the more stringent requirements if you've already submitted the application, but haven't received the approved tax stamp yet. That's the only potential problem that I've seen under discussion, and while there's no definitive word on it, the representatives of the ATF have indicated that they believe that those applications will be approved rather than kicked back.

That, of course, makes sense, since 60,000 pending applications being kicked back would be a paperwork nightmare.

The legal field that covers this stuff, by the way, is administrative law, not the law of agency.

Although I charge quite a bit less for trusts than Mr. Goldman, I'm not begrudging any attorney their fees if they are a subject-matter expert in the area. Different states and areas have different markets and bear different prices. (For instance, I happen to know the market in South Carolina is so saturated that you can get a good trust done for less than $200.) But if you plan to advise clients about how this all works, you should probably have a few more in-depth conversations with Mr. Goldman.

Also, for the record, I think "hey guys, did you know you can still use trusts for NFA firearms" is general info, and "hey guys, trusts are still useful, and I do them through this network!" is advertising. But that's between you and your state bar. I'm not going to report anyone, and I couldn't anyway, because you haven't said where you practice.


August 27, 2014, 07:42 AM
I bought a brand new copy of Quicken 2007 from eBay for $5, sent the trust papers and check on 12/3/13, and my Form 1 came back 08/25/14, two days ago.

Yay! Now my Magal lookalike build can make some more progress...

August 27, 2014, 11:45 PM
I did the nolo living trust for $35-40...ish through Amazon.

They said I could rename the trust if I wanted. I ignorantly named it my first, middle and last name... Emailed them and they said it could not be changed. I emailed claiming I was annoyed since Amazon said I could and received a full refund.

So I received a full RLT for free. I have 6 items on it as we speak. Suppressors and SBR's.

If you enjoyed reading about "NFA Trusts" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!