An NFA trust: Class III without the hassle

3

Want a can for your .22 so you don’t disturb the neighbors when you’re controlling varmints,  or how about a short barreled M4 for 3-Gun competition?

If you live in a city or county where your sheriff or top cop won’t sign your federal application to legally purchase a machine gun, suppressor or short-barreled rifle or shotgun, there is another alternative.

You can create a National Firearms Act Trust.

An NFA Trust is a legal estate planning document prepared by an attorney specifically designed for weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act.

Florida is one of 39 states that allow private citizens to own short-barreled firearms, suppressors or fully-automatic weapons, as long as the purchaser passes a rigid background check, pays a $200 transfer tax per weapon and completes a BATF Form 4.

But before the BATF approves a purchase, the agency requires a “chief law enforcement officer,” from the jurisdiction where the purchaser resides to sign the Form 4.

Sheriffs in Manatee, Sarasota and other counties are reluctant to sign the form, even though very few of the hundreds of thousands of Class III weapons listed on the federal registry have ever been used in the commission of a crime.

With an NFA Trust, however, you don’t need a signature from law enforcement.

Tampa attorney Cyrus Malhotra has established hundreds of NFA trusts for his clients throughout Florida.

“An NFA trust is a revocable living trust, like an estate planning document,” he said. “The only difference is the trust is specifically geared to hold Class III items.”

Not only is there no longer a need for a sheriff or police chief to approve the purchase, Malhotra said the trust obviates the need for fingerprints and photographs of the purchaser, since technically the trust owns the weapons. The trustee must still pay a$200 transfer tax per weapon.

Malhotra, a shooter and collector himself, charges $250 to prepare the trust. Other attorneys charge more.

“I’m into the hobby. I collect firearms myself, and I’m a strong Second Amendment supporter,” he said. “I want to provide this service for a reasonable fee.”

 

 

Share.

About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

3 Comments

  1. I live in PA and recently paid for a suppressor but now the Chief of police wont sign off on it. Can you help me with a NFA trust?

Leave A Reply