NFA Gun Trust Terminology and Definitions
The settlor is the person creating the NFA Gun Trust. The settlor of the NFA Gun Trust is also considered to be a trustee. The settlor is a responsible person in the trust and must supply a passport photo, FD-258 fingerprint cards with the ATF 5320.23 Responsible Persons Questionnaire when they are purchasing a NFA firearm.
A trustee (see settlor) and co-trustee(s) in a NFA Gun Trust are the responsible persons in a NFA Gun Trust. This means that they are allowed to use the and posses the NFA firearms that reside within the NFA Gun Trust. They are also subject to supplying passport photos, FD-258 fingerprint cards with the ATF 5320.23 Responsible Persons Questionnaire when they are purchasing a NFA firearm.
Who is a “responsible person”?
Federal explosives laws define a "responsible person" as an individual who has the power to direct the management and policies of the applicant pertaining to explosive materials. Responsible persons generally include sole proprietors and explosives facility site managers. In the case of a corporation, association, or similar organization, responsible persons generally include only those corporate directors/officers, and stockholders, who have the power to direct management and policies as they pertain to explosive materials.
For example, a corporate vice president whose duties include acquiring and approving contracts with explosives distributors would be considered a responsible person. Other corporate officials whose duties do not include the power to direct the management and policies of the applicant pertaining to explosive materials, for example, a vice president responsible solely for human resources, would not typically be considered a responsible person. Each applicant for a license or permit must assess the corporate and other management responsibilities for all key personnel and determine whether or not these duties place the individual in the position of being a responsible person. [18 U.S.C. 841(s), 27 CFR 555.11: definition of "responsible person”].
The successor trustee is in charge of the NFA Gun Trust upon the death of the settlor and the co-trustees. In a NFA Gun Trust you must appoint a successor trustee. The successor trustee can play multiple roles, meaning the successor trustee can also be a beneficiary/and or a co-trustee in the NFA Gun Trust. The successor trustee is not a responsible persons in the NFA Gun Trust, unless he is named as a co-trustee. If he isn't a responsible person and named as a co-trustee, the successor trustee is not allowed use the NFA firearms. They are also not required to submit a passport photo, FD-258 fingerprint cards and the ATF 5320.23 Responsible Persons Questionnaire for the NFA Gun Trust. They are in charge of distribution of the trust contents to the beneficiaries when the trust can no longer be managed by the settlor and/or co-trustees (if applicable).
Beneficiary - Beneficiaries
The beneficiary or beneficiaries of the NFA Gun Trust are the persons who will own the NFA items upon death of the settlor. The beneficiaries must meet all of the current requirements of a responsible person in order for the beneficiary to legally own the NFA firearms. You can designate how many items in the NFA Gun Trust go to each beneficiary or you can designate a percentage of the NFA Gun Trust contents to each beneficiary. The beneficiaries are not active members of the NFA Gun Trust and not considered to be responsible persons. Thus, they are also not required to submit passport photos, FD-258 fingerprint cards and the ATF 5320.23 Responsible Persons Questionnaire for the NFA Gun Trust.
Beneficiaries can transfer the NFA firearms to themselves or a NFA Gun Trust that they have created through the ATF Form 5 - Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.5) Walk-Through Guide.
Information located within this webpage is current as of July, 2018. Information located within this article is an original guide created by National Gun Trusts and not to be cited or used without the written permission of National Gun Trusts.