The Best Way to Skin a Cat

No, I’m not really going to tell you how to skin a cat. The cat would never stand for such abusive behavior anyway. What I’m going to do is give another answer to the question, “Should I purchase a silencer as an individual or as the trustee of a gun trust?” As I’ve explained here and here, the answer to that question in my humble opinion, is yes, you should purchase any NFA item as the trustee of your gun trust. The other day, a new client told me why he had just purchased a gun trust from me. He reason was new to me. It made sense to me, so I’m passing it on to you.

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First, a little background. Both he and his wife were adding silencers to their gun collections. He, and maybe she, also planned to purchase more than one silencer this time and more in the future. In addition, he was preparing to submit a Form 1 application to make a short-barreled shotgun. As he said to me,

“I was concerned that I might get confused and inadvertently attach her silencer to my rifle. If I were to go hunting without her and have a run in with a ranger, I could get into trouble for a very simple mistake.” He continued, “by purchasing our silencers through a trust, neither of us has to worry about that.”

Of course, his rational only applies to situations like his. Still, one of the basic reasons to purchase NFA items through a trust–and to hold all your firearms in that trust as well–is to eliminate confusion. Confusion of the sort he worried about. The confusion that always reigns after someone dies–you, in this case. “What are we supposed to do with these silencers or short-barreled rifles? Your family will ask. A well-drafted gun trust will have the answer to those and other questions.

Actually, the more I think about this, I realize that one of the best reasons to own your firearms in a trust–all of your firearms, including NFA firearms and your regular firearms–is that in setting up the trust, you will have to give some serious thought to what firearms you own, who has access to them, who you want to receive those firearms when you die, and 1. whether they know anything about the rules and regulations governing firearms, and 2. whether they can legally possess firearms.

If you’re into firearms safety, those are always good questions to ask and answer. Establishing a gun trust incentivize you to do just that.

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