The state and federal governments highly regulate guns. However, guns serve a very valid purpose – both for protection and sport – and can be highly prized collectors’ items. That said, collectors who have certain types of guns should take extra precautions when it comes to clarifying what will happen to their weapons after their death. A Colorado gun trust is the safest and most common way to pass on a gun from one generation to another.
A gun trust is a generic name for a trust that is used to pass down certain types of guns. A trust is a legal relationship between three parties: the settlor, the beneficiary, and the trustee. The settlor creates the trust, placing assets, in this case, a gun, into the trust. The beneficiary is the person to whom the property will eventually pass. And the trustee is the party who oversees the trust property until it is passed on to the beneficiary. Gun trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable. However, revocable gun trusts are much more common, as they allow the grantor to change the terms of the trust during his or her lifetime. Irrevocable gun trusts cannot be amended or changed once set up.
Gun trusts are an important part of a Colorado estate plan for gun owners, especially those who own weapons that are classified under the National Firearms Act (NFA) Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968. These include:
- Fully automatic machine guns,
- Sawed-off shotguns,
- Short-barreled rifles, and
- Guns with suppressors, or silencers
When these weapons are placed into a valid gun trust, the trust becomes the owner of the gun as well as the silencer, if applicable.
Of course, the sale and transfer of guns are highly regulated, and it is not uncommon for weapons to innocently end up in the hands of those who cannot legally possess them. The purpose of a gun trust is to ensure the safe, orderly transfer of a firearm from one person to another. Along those lines, the receiving party still must undergo a background check and be legally able to own the weapon.
Gun trusts can also be used to share the use of a Title II weapon among several people. For example, a silencer can only legally be used by its owner. Thus, by allowing a friend or family member to use a silencer, the owner opens themselves up to criminal liability. However, by creating a gun trust, the equipment owner can name other co-trustees who would be able to use the equipment legally.
Are You Considering a Colorado Gun Trust?
If you currently do not have an estate plan, or have a Colorado estate plan, but have not yet created a gun trust, contact the dedicated Boulder estate planning lawyers at Braverman Law Group. At Braverman Law Group, our Colorado gun trust lawyers have extensive experience setting up gun trusts for all types of guns, including both Title I and Title II weapons. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 303-800-1588.