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NFA Trusts

The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates the possession, use, and transfer of several different types of weapons. These weapons are technically known as “Title II” weapons and include machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices, and Any Other Weapons (AOWs). In Utah it is legal to own and use suppressors, destructive devices, and AOWs as long as the NFA regulations are followed.

NFA Trusts

Why Do You Want A Gun Trust? – As A Comprehensive Management System For NFA Weapons

Under the NFA there are two ways to acquire Title II weapons, individually or through an entity. Owning NFA weapons in your name has some distinct limitations. As an individual, the NFA suggests that letting any other person use your NFA weapons (even in your presence) is a felony transfer of the weapon. Only the individual whose name the weapon is registered to will be entitled to use the items. Many firearms attorneys have argued that the ATF defines the term “unauthorized transfer” broadly and depending on the circumstances, may include handing a Title II weapon to a friend at the firing range or even allowing a spouse to have the combination of the safe where the Title II weapons are stored.

Using a gun trust to own the weapons permits you to legally extend the use of the weapons to others by making them lifetime beneficiaries (who have the right to use weapons in your presence) or trustees of the trust (who have the right to even possess NFA weapons outside your presence). You are free to make anyone a lifetime beneficiary or trustee of your trust, as long as they are not a prohibited person.


  • Basic version, designed for simple purchase of a Title II weapon. Allows for designation of death beneficiaries and successor trustees. Permits sharing of NFA weapons through “Special Trustee” designations
  • Most Popular, designed to allow sharing while avoiding the “accidental felony”. Manages both NFA and non-NFA weapons. Permits sharing of NFA weapons through “Special Trustee” designations and full Co-Trustee appointments, if desired. Also can structured for spousal planning, if client is married, eliminating the necessity of transfers between clients and surviving spouse
  • Customized version for client with unique concerns, multi-generational planning, asset protection planning, charitable gift planning or multi-state situations

A firearms trust by Ascent Law is designed for one purpose and one purpose alone, owning, enjoying, and eventually distributing firearms, ammunition, and accessories. Typically, a firearms collection is the product of one spouse’s interest. The other spouse tolerates this interest, but does not care nearly as much about the items that have accumulated. Due to death or disability, the disinterested spouse or other family member may be forced to manage and/or distribute the collection. Because of the vast amount of federal and state regulations pertaining to both NFA and non-NFA weapons, a disinterested spouse may make a mistake as to the applicable laws. A violation of the applicable laws usually results in the commission of a felony.

Because an Ascent Law firearms trust is designed with this scenario in mind, there are detailed instructions to guide a trustee in handling the assets as well as an overview of applicable laws and regulations.

An Ascent Law NFA firearms and gun trust also has many standard trust features such as avoiding the probate process for your firearms and the public record that it would create. There is also the ability to create and update a tangible personal property memorandum which grants different people specific items of a collection.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a firearms trust, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Free Initial Consultation with a Gun Trust Lawyer

When you need a gun trust, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506