The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates the sale, possession, and transfer of certain firearms. NFA Firearms, also known as Title II firearms, include short-barrel rifles, short-barrel shotguns, machine guns, and silencers (otherwise known as suppressors). In order to possess, transfer, or create any of these firearms, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives must provide approval. The approval also entails a $200 tax and registration under the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).
An NFA Gun Trust is a legal instrument with the capability of owning an NFA firearm. When an NFA Gun Trust is the lawful owner of an NFA weapon, multiple people may have access to or benefit from the use of an NFA firearm, whereas only the individual listed on the NFRTR may possess the firearm if owned individually. A Gun Trust can properly and legally direct who and how NFA firearms may be used and possessed. Improperly registering or unlawfully possessing NFA firearms carries penalties such as fines of up to $10,000 under the National Firearms Act and up to $250,000 under the Gun Control Act, imprisonment, forfeiture, and a bar on owning future firearms.
NFA Gun Trusts are largely beneficial to owners of a firearm regulated under the National Firearms Act or those that are planning to come into possession of such a firearm in the future through either creation or a transfer. Outside of possessory benefits, other advantages of NFA firearm ownership under an NFA Gun Trust include privacy in gun ownership, the avoidance of probate, and no annual fees such as ones that accompany ownership through a limited liability company. Further, beneficiaries who are distributed firearms from an NFA Gun Trust are excused from paying the $200 tax stamp imposed by the ATF.