It’s been over two years since 41F’s implementation and we’re still getting the age-old question of whether or not gun trusts are a viable option since its debut. What left some people a glass case of emotions at one point has subsided. We covered the overview of 41F when the addendum was approved back in 2016, but since it’s a recurring topic that comes up in discussion, we wanted to review what the fears of this implementation were, and what the actual outcome of this addendum yielded.
For background purposes, and those who may not know, the biggest impact 41F made pertained directly to trusts and responsible persons. The process used to be a little bit simpler in what needed to be submitted when forming a trust, but pre 41F was a determining factor for many in terms of how to apply due to its ease. It made sense to take the path of least resistance, and, back in the day, gun trusts won out against individual filing on the basis of just how much simpler trusts were.
For many intents and purposes, 41F evened the playing field between filing as an individual or via a trust (an honorable mention goes to filing as a corporation, but due to the rarity of people its applicable to, reach out to us if you want to know more). The main difference between pre and post 41F is that the grantor and all trustees now need to supply all of their information in order for the application of that serialized item to be submitted to the ATF. What that means is not only paperwork (read: fingerprints, passport photo, and personal information) for the individual filing, but also for every single responsible person listed on the trust.
The good news is that once everyone listed on the trust submits each of their respective information to us, we securely store it for future applications and you don’t have to worry about collecting everyone’s info again (pending any changes or updates to your trust).
Now that the playing field is even in the application process, it’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense. Our biggest piece of advice is to ask yourself which one is best for you and your long-term goals. And, remember, there’s no wrong answer to that question.
Filing as an Individual
If you picture only yourself using the silencer or wanting the silencer to be solely in your possession, then an individual filing would probably be the better option. By filing as an individual as well, you’re not incurring the additional upfront cost of developing a trust.
Silencer Shop Note: We don’t want it to sound like we’re talking you into a trust, but we’ve seen many of our customers be shortsighted in terms of who is allowed to use their silencer. We get that it’s the easier upfront option to file as an individual, but we tend to get calls a few years later where the customer wants someone else to be able to use their silencer, like a kid, wife or friend, and they end up forming a trust.
Filing as a Trust
We’ve written before about the benefits of a gun trust. But as a refresher, keep in mind that each responsible person listed on the trust is required to submit all of their information before any paperwork goes to the ATF, so this process may take a little bit more time depending on how quickly everyone can get to a kiosk and submit their respective information.
Another option is forming a Single Shot Trust, which lets you file one silencer per one trust, giving you the benefit of trust flexibility paired with the ease of filing as an individual. For more information on how a Single Shot Trust works, check out the product description here.
All in all, the wait times process has now become more uniform between filing as an individual versus as a trust. The ATF doesn’t prioritize one way over the other. The only caveat to that statement is if you form a trust that has, for example, 15 trustees, or if there’s a trust the ATF isn’t acclimated to seeing. If they’re having to go through and make sure all 15 people named have submitted all of their information, or they’re looking for information in a unusual-looking or complicated trust, it makes sense that it would make the process a little bit longer than a trust naming a few people or a trust that is a common template.
So is getting a gun trust after 41F still a viable option? It sure is as long as it falls in line with what your goals are for your silencer.
When purchasing your nfa gun trust can I put all my firearms on there or only nfa items? I'm planning on filing a form 1 myself since your form 1 is "out of stock" but would like to have a nfa trust opened by you.
What about existing trusts filed before 41F are they grandfathered in. Do I need to submit additional paperwork to make my existing trust valid and can the original trust still be used to buy new suppressors?
Wow... Not sure why we didn't cover that in the article! Great question. If you have a pre-41F approval, you do not need to do anything to make that trust/approval "valid." If you are submitting your old trust for a new (post-41F) form 4, then that will depend on how your trust was written. MOST old trusts work just fine but some have watery language regarding the authority of trustees and beneficiaries that may cause issues when the ATF is looking for Responsible Parties. If you're curious, you can shoot a copy of your trust to us and we can take a look for you. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and the preceding information should not be construed as legal advice.