Using an NFA Trust allows you to give access to your silencers to others.
Trustees can be easily added or removed from your trust with amendments
Silencer Shop provides all relevant amendments and instructions to allow you to operate your trust simply and easily.
How to Amend a Gun Trust: A Comprehensive Guide
Utilizing a gun trust offers you advantages compared to filing as an individual on your ATF Form 4 applications.
The most common thing folks use gun trusts for is to allow friends and family access to NFA items.
The people who have access to your items are called responsible persons, or trustees, and are appointed to your trust using amendments to the trust. There are also amendments to remove responsible persons if the need arises.
The process is pretty simple, but we will walk you through it to ensure your trustees are added correctly.
Silencer Shop provides all necessary documents to amend your Single Shot or Traditional NFA trusts. Please note that the discussion in this article pertains specifically to the trust documents offered by Silencer Shop.
The language, terms, and titles may differ in your trust (e.g., Settlor vs. Maker vs. Grantor), and trust laws vary from state to state. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer legal guidance; it should not be considered a replacement for guidance from a licensed attorney in your state.
A gun trust, or NFA trust, is a legal entity created to hold ownership of firearms. These trusts offer benefits for estate planning and federal firearms law compliance, but they do not replace a will or other estate planning.
You'll need the required amendment or addendum documents to amend your traditional NFA gun trust.
For all Silencer Shop trusts, these are provided to you in an email after you purchase your trust.
The procedure for amending your trust is done by completing two gun trust amendment forms between the trust maker and the new trustee.
One document appoints the trustee to the trust, and the second confirms their acceptance of that appointment. In most states, these documents require notarization to be considered valid.
Below, we will discuss the process and forms needed to add or remove trustees from Silencer Shop's Single Shot Trust; however, the procedure is generally similar for the traditional Silencer Shop NFA Gun Trust.
The most significant difference between Silencer Shop's Single Shot Trust and its traditional NFA Gun Trust is that the Single Shot Trust is designed for use with a single firearm/silencer and a single initial trustee. This makes the filing quick and simple.
Because each firearm has its own trust, you can choose different responsible persons for each separate firearm (e.g., home trustees vs. ranch/lease trustees), and you don't need to submit additional fingerprints or Form 23s when you buy a new NFA item.
The benefit of the traditional NFA Gun Trust is that you can keep all your NFA firearms under one trust. However, if you add trustees and later want to add more NFA items to the trust, you'll need to either remove the additional trustees or have them submit fingerprints and Form 23s with the new filing.
Adding a Responsible Person to a Single Shot Gun Trust
When you buy a Single Shot Gun Trust (or Single Shot Trust Unlimited), you will also receive the necessary paperwork for adding responsible parties to that specific Single Shot.
A complete set of amendments and addendums and a guide on how to use the trust is included in the email sent to you once your trust is formed.
The Single Shot trust refers to the new trustee as a "supporting trustee."
Single Shot Trusts require adding supporting trustees after your ATF Form 4 or Form 1 is approved. This simplifies the submission process because only one responsible person (you) is on the submitted form.
We've made this process as simple as possible for you.
The documents you'll need to amend your Single Shot trust are:
1. Appointment of Supporting Trustee to the Trust
Document #2 in the Single Shot trust packet allows you to add eligible persons as supporting trustees (and thus responsible persons) to your trust.
Because the form is provided upon purchasing the trust, you'll fill out the document, sign it, and have it signed by a notary* and witness.
The form can be printed and used as many times as you need once you've received your approved tax stamp from the ATF, but you should ensure all supporting trustees are legally eligible to possess NFA items. All completed forms appointing additional supporting trustees should be stored with the original trust.
2. Acceptance of Supporting Trustee Appointment
The person you want to appoint must accept the appointment.
Document #3 in the Single Shot trust packet, entitled "Acceptance of Supporting Trustee Appointment," is essential to confirm the new trustee understands their obligations as a responsible person and attests that they are lawfully able to possess the NFA trust assets.
This form should be filled out and signed by the new responsible person (with a notary* and witness present) and stored with the original trust.
To ensure your trust documents are safe and secure, we recommend you take all of this paperwork, scan it to a PDF, and provide a copy to all your responsible persons!
It's up to you to provide everyone with all the necessary paperwork.
Federal regulations require you to keep a copy of your tax stamp (your approved Form 4) with you when you have your suppressor. If a trust filed your Form 4, you must keep a copy of the trust and supporting documents (such as a trustee appointment) with the approved Form 4 to show that you are a trustee with the authority to possess the suppressor.
NOTE: You do not need physical copies of these documents with you; PDF files saved to your phone will suffice.
Removing a Responsible Person from Your Single Shot Trust
You might want to remove a responsible person from your trust for several reasons. If any trustee becomes a prohibited person, they may no longer possess NFA items and should be removed from your trust.
The documents you'll need to remove a responsible person from your Single Shot Trust are:
1. Form to Remove a Supporting Trustee from the Trust
Before removing a supporting trustee, always ensure they have returned all NFA items and other assets that belong to the trust.
As the trust maker, you'll complete and sign Document #4 in the Single Shot packet titled "Form to Remove a Supporting Trustee." This will require a notary* and witness when filling out the form.
Provide a copy of this completed document to the removed trustee and keep a copy with the original trust.
2. Acceptance of Termination of Appointment as Supporting Trustee of the Trust
Although it is not necessary to accomplish the removal of a trustee, it is a good idea to ask for written confirmation from the ex-trustee to confirm their removal.
Document #5 of the Single Shot Trust packet is provided for this purpose and, once signed by the ex-trustee, can prove that any subsequent action by that person is not authorized under the trust. This form also calls for a notary* and a witness.
Whenever a document pertaining to a trust is filled out, we recommend keeping it with you. This instance is no different. Make copies of everything you update, and scan it in to ensure you have backups.
Don't forget to keep the originals in a safe place!
*Depending on your state, this might not be required. Always check your local laws and regulations.
Adding and Removing a Responsible Person to a Traditional NFA Gun Trust
Traditional NFA trusts keep all your NFA items under one trust and allow you to add responsible persons to access those items. You can add trustees before submission or after approval.
Additionally, you should not add a responsible person while you have a submission process, as it can lead to ATF processing delays.
Adding and removing a responsible person to your trust follows the abovementioned steps. Any supplemental paperwork you will need is emailed after your trust is formed.
Review the steps above to add or remove a person from your traditional NFA Gun Trust.
FAQs about Amending a Gun Trust
Can you remove someone from a gun trust?
Absolutely. To remove someone from your gun trust, you must complete an Amendment to Remove Trustees.
This document generally requires notarization.
How do you write an amendment to a trust?
Traditionally, drafting amendment documents required the help of a trust attorney and usually came with a sizable fee.
With Silencer Shop trusts, we include all necessary amendments with your trust at no additional cost.
Can I add people to my gun trust?
Yes, you can add new trustees or "responsible persons" by completing an Amendment to Add Trustees and having them sign a Trustee's Acknowledgment form.
In most cases, these forms require notarization.
What is the gun trust amendment?
A Gun Trust Amendment refers to documents to modify an existing r NFA firearm trust, such as adding or removing responsible persons.
Understanding how to use and amend your gun trust is key to getting the most out of your NFA collection. Luckily, we make this process as easy as possible by providing all relevant documents and information on completing these amendments.
If you want to add your friends or family to your trust and allow them to experience the joys of shooting suppressed unencumbered, you can quickly appoint them to your gun trust with two simple documents.
And, in the unlikely event that you must remove an individual from a trust, we've got you covered — a couple of quick forms, and you're done.
Amending your gun trust is that simple.
Disclosure: This blog post is not, and does not intend to be, legal advice. Consultation with an attorney is highly recommended, and this article is not a substitute for appropriate legal advice in your state.