Book Review: The Legal Guide To NFA Firearms And Gun Trusts

posted on May 30, 2019

One of the most useful books to come across my desk in some time is The Legal Guide To NFA Firearms And Gun Trusts. Written by seven attorneys that specialize in firearms law, National Firearms Act (NFA) law and gun trusts, it does a lot more than just explain the legal process of owning an NFA gun or forming a trust. It is one of the best explanations of federal gun laws I have seen, making the book worth a look just for that information.

While intended for both lawyers and NFA gun owners, the language is easy to comprehend, and definitions are given throughout for words with specific legal meaning. There are 13 chapters, covering everything from firearm safety to individual ownership of Title II firearms to the specifics of forming gun trusts.

In recent years, there has been a large increase in the number of firearm trusts for multiple reasons. One of the foremost has to do with the acquisition and ownership of NFA items, especially suppressors. Under current law, an individual lawful owner of a suppressor could not let his wife or son have access to it or take it to the range. That’s where firearm trusts come into play. If a trust is formed, then any of the trustees, so long as they are not prohibited persons, would be allowed to possess the NFA item without fear of prosecution. There are also good reasons to form a trust for estate purposes, which are explained clearly in this book. In particular, there was a new rule that came into effect in 2016 called “Regulation 41F” that changed the nature of gun trusts, and both the positive and negative aspects of that change are explained.

Finally, there are appendices of ATF forms, FAQs and a very useful explanation of the specifics of an NFA trust by attorney Sean F. Healy. Now in its second edition, the book is subtitled “Keeping Safe at the Range and in the Courtroom: The Definitive Guide to Forming and Operating a Gun Trust for Gun Owners and Their Advisors,” and the paperbound, 8 1/2"x11", 261-pp. guide is well worth the asking price of $40.


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