How To Use A Gun Trust

Step 1: Complete Your Trust

Before using your trust, it must first be signed by you and all co-trustees and acknowledged by a notary. Depending on your state, the notarization process may need be witnessed by one or more parties.

Split Signing

If some of your co-trustees cannot attend the trust's notarization, you can have them notarize their forms independently from the rest of the trust. This is called split signing. Our trust documents include a separate page for each co-trustee which allows them to be signed and notarized individually.

Finding A Notary

Many banks, UPS stores, and law offices offer notary services. Most notarizations are not very expensive (about $10), but the price will vary depending your notary and state laws.

Funding Your Trust

Your trust must own property in order to be valid. Before submitting a request to manufacture or transfer an NFA firearm to the ATF, you must use the included assignment pages to transfer an asset to the trust.

Step 2: Transfer Firearms To Your Trust

Transferring NFA Firearms

  1. Fill out Form 4.
  2. Create a complete copy of your gun trust.
  3. Complete two FD-258 fingerprint cards for each responsible person.
  4. Obtain a 2X2-inch photograph taken within the last year for each responsible person.
  5. Fill out a Form 5320.23 for each responsible person.
  6. Create a check or money order (payable to "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives") for $200.00. Many people advise that you use a check and not a money order so you can see when the ATF cashes your check. This is a great way to confirm if the form actually arrived and is being processed. If you use a check, list the serial number of the item the tax is for on the Memo line.
  7. Place all of the above items into an envelope and send them to the following address:

    National Firearms Act Division
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    P.O. Box 5015
    Portland, OR 97208-5015

    Remember that the trust must first be signed and notarized before being submitted. Also, be sure to submit copies of all pages of the trust paperwork (the main trust document) including Schedule "B" and other trust amendments you have made, if any.

  8. Finally, have each responsible person submit a copy of their Form 5320.23 to their CLEO.

If you would like additional information about filling out the ATF forms, please see our ATF Forms Page.

Manufacturing NFA Firearms

The process of manufacturing an NFA firearm is very similar to transferring one. The difference is that you must fill out ATF Form 1 instead of Form 4.

Transferring Other Assets

Transfering non-NFA firearms and other assets is much simpler than transferring NFA firearms. The only thing you need to do is fill out an entry on your assignment form.

Step 3: Possess And Operate Your Firearms

Possessing NFA Firearms

In order to use or possess one of your trust's NFA firearms, you'll need to have in your possession the tax stamp and the trust document, including all amendments. The tax stamp will show that the ATF approved the trust and the transfer, and the trust paperwork will show that you are a trustee of the trust.

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