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Guide to Adding a Trustee to a Gun Trust

Guide to Adding a Trustee to a Gun Trust

Guide to Adding a Trustee to a Gun Trust

Gun trusts are a very popular option for suppressor ownership because of their ease of use and flexible options. If a suppressor is held in a trust, then multiple people can legally possess and use the suppressor. In order to do this, these people must be named as trustees, and you can add or remove them at any time.

So you’ve got a new person you want to add to your gun trust? Great! We’ll walk you through the necessary steps to get them added as a trustee so that they can enjoy the suppressors held in the trust, too!

Trustee Rights in the Gun Trust

Silencers and other NFA items cannot be loaned out to friends or family like you can do with a handgun or a rifle in almost all of the United States. As you know, NFA-regulated items are special, and so they have different rules that must be followed. This is where being a trustee for a gun trust is very convenient.

Trustees are able to enjoy all of the benefits of suppressors or other NFA items owned by the trust. This is an important piece of the flexibility of a gun trust because it removes the requirement of the individual owner to be present when the NFA item(s) are being used by someone else.

What is a “Responsible Person”

People that are added to a trust as trustees are also referred to by the ATF as a “responsible person.” The official definition of a responsible person is “any individual who possesses, directly or indirectly, the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust or entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer or otherwise dispose of a firearm [or suppressor] for, or on behalf of, the trust or legal entity.”

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What to Submit to Add a Trustee

As with all things related to the government, there’s going to be some paperwork required for you to complete and submit in order to add a trustee to a gun trust. Thankfully, the paperwork is simple in nature and easy to complete. Essentially, you’re only generating two new – and very similar – documents that will be added to your trust.

The most important aspect of this paperwork submission is to make a copy (or multiple copies) of what you are submitting. It never hurts to have backup documentation of everything you’re doing when it comes to sensitive matters like NFA paperwork.

Here’s what you’ll need to send off in the mail.

Copy of the Official Gun Trust

Make a photocopy of your completed official gun trust – do not send your original – so that the government officials can easily reference what trust you’re modifying and the items that are held within the trust.

Amendment to Add Trustees

You’ll need to draft a simple document that states who you are, the trust’s info, the info for the new trustee, and that you are submitting an amendment to add this new person to the trust. This amendment document will need to be signed by both parties and notarized in order for it to be deemed official.

Trustee Acknowledgement Form

The new trustee will need to complete another simple document that simply acknowledges their role as a new trustee for your gun trust. It will also need to be signed by both parties and notarized to make it official.

Optional: Copies of Your Current ATF Form 4

The items held in your gun trust are listed in the official paperwork, so you technically don’t need to send them copies of the Form 4 paperwork for the items that you have. However, the government likes to know that the items within the trust are indeed legally held, so you can choose to submit a copy of the approved ATF Form 4 for each item held within the trust just to be on the safe side.

Just like the trust document above, don’t send them your original document. Send them a copy and keep your originals stored away someplace safe.

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Optional: Completed Form 5320.23 by All Responsible Persons to be Added

The ATF Form 5320.23 is a questionnaire for all people who are responsible persons on the gun trust, and it is a required piece of paperwork – but there’s a caveat. This form and its required documentation is not required if you’re simply adding a person to the trust. It is, however, required when you add new purchases to the gun trust.

You don’t have to send along a completed Form 5320.23, a passport photo, and a fingerprint card if all you’re doing is adding someone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t submit it at this time. If you elect to do it now, then you can eliminate a future step down the line. Otherwise, you will need to submit this aspect of the paperwork when you add a new item to the trust if there are trustees that you have added who have not already completed this step of the paperwork.

If this seems confusing to you, then don’t sweat it. Leave it out of your submission for now. No worries!

Application Limitations

The application for adding a responsible person to a gun trust is quite simple to do, but it is not without its limitations. First and foremost, you must already have a current and approved NFA gun trust on file with the ATF. The other limitation is that you cannot add new trustees while a submission is currently in progress, so make sure you’ve got all of the people you want to add lined up and ready to go when you make your application submission. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the pending amended version is completed and approved to make more changes if you forget to include a responsible person. It isn’t that you can’t do it this way, it’s just that it takes more time, that’s all.

Don’t Wait to Expand Your Gun Trust

One of the best parts of buying a suppressor from Silencer Central is that we provide a free gun trust for you as a part of that purchase. We will set up all of the original documentation for you and tailor it to the requirements of the state in which you live. Our trust documents were drafted in conjunction with an NFA lawyer, so you’ll have exactly what you need.

When it comes time to add someone to your trust, just give us a call. We have set up thousands of trusts for people and we’ve amended plenty of them as well. We will walk you through the steps outlined above, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that your paperwork for adding a trustee to your gun trust goes smoothly and is accepted the first time you send it in.

Conversely, if you need to remove someone from your gun trust for any reason, we can help you with that, too.

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