What Happens to Your Silencer When You Die?
July 26, 2013
One question that we frequently hear is “What happens to my silencer after I die?” Many people are worried that the silencer will be reclaimed by the federal government, but this is not the case. There are a couple of different outcomes for the fate of your silencer after your death.
The first scenario is that you purchased your silencer through an NFA gun trust. In which case, it’s technically the trust which owns the silencer as opposed to you as an individual. After your death, the silencer would pass into the possession of your co-trustee(s). If your co-trustee(s) is/are no longer living, the silencer will be passed onto the beneficiary. Check with an attorney licensed to practice in your state for more information on how this works in greater detail.
The second scenario is that you purchased your silencer as an individual. If this is your situation, it may be a good idea to have your will drawn up so you can declare who the silencer will be passed on to. After your death, there can be a free transfer to the beneficiary of the silencer. Your beneficiary will fill out similar paperwork you completed – ATF Form 5 (which is a form for a tax-free transfer), fingerprint cards, certification of compliance form- and submit the forms for the same background check you had. Once the forms are approved, the silencer can be transferred to the new owner. In the interim period, while the forms are being processed, the silencer is held by the executor of the will.
It is only in cases in which absolutely no one wants the silencer or is eligible to own the silencer after your death that the silencer may be turned over to ATF and destroyed. Even in that situation though, a dealer may still be willing to take the silencer to resell it.
You are able to control the outcome of where your silencer goes, for the most part. Just keep in mind that silencers are highly regulated by the federal government and have yourself prepared for the inevitable. If you’re reading this, you’ve definitely been thinking about getting yourself a silencer. Give us a call today for more information!