There are more than 50 differences between a traditional trust and an NFA Gun Trust. Only a few of the issues will be discussed here. Most trusts do not instruct how to purchase, who may use, or who may have access to Title II firearms. They also do not give the people involved with the trust enough information to properly sell or transfer assets. If you become incapacitated, a normal trust may require the sale of your firearms or transfer to an ineligible individual or one who does not know the restrictions on these highly restricted firearms. When you die, these restricted firearms need to be transferred properly and only to those who are legally able to be in possession.
An NFA Gun Trust provides information to determine if:
- it is permissible to transfer the items;
- the items are legal in the state where they will be transferred to;
- the beneficiary is legally able to be in possession of or use the firearms;
and most importantly
- the successor trustee is given the ability to determine on their own, when and if the beneficiary is mature and responsible enough to receive the firearms.
A normal trust allows the trust to be revoked even if its assets become illegal upon revocation. Also a normal trust allows a trustee to resign while they are still in possession of restricted firearms. A trustee may also find that with a normal trust, an agent acting under a power of attorney may take actions that are in violation of the NFA and subject them to criminal penalties. Most people using traditional trusts purchase NFA firearms incorrectly. They usually purchase them as an individual and then transfer the weapons into the trust. While the ATF may approve a transfer from the dealer to the trust, they never approved an individual transfer from the dealer nor a transfer from the individual to the trust. Each of these is a violation of the NFA.