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South Texas Gun Trust Attorney

There are a number of weapons that are regulated under the United States National Firearms Act (NFA), including machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, suppressors (silencers), and certain other firearms and devices. These are frequently referred to as Class III weapons. NFA-regulated weapons require more stringent procedures for the sale, transfer, use and possession of the same. Specifically, owners are required to apply for a $200 tax stamp when they purchase the weapon, and a new stamp is required every time the weapon is transferred to another person.

Given the stringent procedures for the sale, transfer, use and possession of NFA weapons, and the severity of fines and/or punishment for violations of those procedures — the NFA authorizes a fine of up to $250,000, up to ten years in prison, and the forfeiture of the weapon and any "vessel, vehicle, or aircraft" used to conceal or convey the firearm — the regulatory obstacles may appear intimidating. However, with a properly drafted trust under which the weapons will be owned, NFA-classified weapons owners will have an instrument designed to protect their ownership, transfer and possessory rights both while alive and at death or incapacitation.

In fact, ownership of non-NFA-regulated weapons through a trust has advantages as well.

Setting Up A Gun Trust In Cameron County

Under current law, it is possible to avoid many of the hurdles frequently associated with the ownership of NFA-regulated weapons by establishing what is known as a gun trust or NFA trust. With a Gun Trust, multiple people can legally possess, use, purchase and know how to gain access to the firearms; this is especially important in homes that are shared with spouses and children given the potential for spouses and children to be deemed in "constructive" possession of the NFA weapon. Additionally, ownership through a trust allows for more confidentiality, avoids having to obtain your chief law enforcement officer consent on the ATF Form 4 transfer and avoids the ATF requirement that an individual supply two sets of fingerprint cards and two photographs to the federal government.

In addition to the above, there can be many other advantages associated with establishing a gun trust. Perhaps most importantly, you can protect your family members from any unexpected legal issues that may arise from the possession of an unregistered weapon. Another advantage is that you can provide clear direction to the trustee regarding what should be done with the weapons and when, which can include a directive to the trustee to determine whether the beneficiary(ies) is responsible enough to own a weapon. The trust will also provide guidance to your beneficiaries about the nuances of ownership and transfer of NFA-regulated weapons.

At The Franke Law Firm, P.C., we will answer all your questions about owning NFA-regulated weapons, leaving a gun to your child and walk you through the process of setting up a gun trust. Attorney John P. "Buddy" Franke can advise you on the requirements for establishing a gun trust and also advise you on issues regarding restrictions on the ownership of NFA-regulated weapons. Contact The Franke Law Firm, P.C.

Contact our South Padre Island office to discuss your questions with an experienced gun trust lawyer in South Texas. You can reach us by phone at 956-772-4088 or via email.

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