UPDATE! With the passage of SB-880/AB-1135 the so-called "Assault Weapon Ban" or "Bullet-Button Ban" a properly written Gun Trust, on the cutting edge of the law, may be the only way to keep previously legal firearms from being destroyed when you die. It won't allow assault weapons to be transferred or conveyed, but it will provide for their on-going maintenance, and the use and enjoyment of future trustees and beneficiaries.
You may not own a firearm, but statistically you might as well: The U.S. population is currently just under 320 million and our government estimates there are roughly 347 million firearms in civilian hands. The majority of American gun owners are passionate about their Second Amendment rights. If you are gun owner, or if you love a gun owner, you need to continue reading to learn how you and your loved ones can avoid becoming “accidental felons.”
If you've ever purchased a firearm in California, you’re aware of the many state and federal laws which govern the ownership and transfer of firearms. You may remember being asked questions under penalty of perjury, you had to provide positive identification and proof of residency, and you were required to pass a written safety test and demonstrate a general knowledge of safe firearm handling.
If you've never purchased a firearm, or if it’s been a while, you might not have any idea how many confusing and often conflicting laws control the transfer and ownership of firearms in California. Neither would your heirs.
Putting firearms in a will or traditional trust exposes your loved ones to possible state and federal criminal charges, and ignorance of the law is no defense. If your kid borrows your key ring, and one key opens your gun safe, you might both be instantly guilty of several felonies even though you were otherwise in full compliance with the law. Or if your wife gives grandpa’s old rifle to Jimmy who has a prescription for medical marijuana -- she and Jimmy could both go to jail.
During your life, a properly written gun trust can protect you, your family, and your collection should laws change, or should you or a family member become a “prohibited person” disallowed the possession or ownership of firearms due to a conviction, a restraining order, or one of the many other barriers to gun possession.
When you’re no longer around to provide guidance, a gun trust can protect your family by providing instructions for the proper handling, transfer, or sale of your guns and by preventing illegal transfers which might occur with a will or regular trust.
Even if your heirs do not share your passions, a firearm trust can help preserve the value of these unique assets by providing instructions for long-term maintenance and storage or for obtaining top dollar should you allow for future sales.
If you value your Second Amendment rights and wish to pass these values on to your heirs, we can prepare a Family Armory Gun Trust which provides firearms safety and marksmanship training, incentives for maintaining and promoting our Founding Fathers' values, and to help preserve multi-generational heirloom collections originated by brave law enforcement or servicemen which might otherwise be illegal to transfer to an individual.
If you're interested in owning an AOW such as a Serbu Shorty or a Taurus Judge, an NFA Gun Trust can make that possible and may provide further protection against future gun bans.
Whether you own one gun or several, whether you own guns as a hobby, an investment, or simply for self defense, you have a responsibility to ensure that those firearms are handled properly, now and in the future.
You will leave a legacy: Make sure it isn't a legacy of prison time for your heirs or your surviving spouse.
Here's a link to a brief video interview on the subject.
Our gun trust lawyer is a Collector of Curios and Relics (C&R) with a 03 FFL from the BATFE and a COE from the California DOJ. He is also a member of a small study group comprised of some of the top legal minds in firearm law, criminal law, and estate planning law, so his knowledge is up-to-date and he is eminently qualified to discuss your firearm planning. Call (818) 348-6700 to discuss protecting you, your heirs, and your guns today, before it’s too late.