If you are a prospective buyer of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms – silencers, short barreled rifles, machine guns, etc. – the post 41F world might be laced with trepidation. After all, it is true that everyone must now submit photographs and fingerprints along with their ATF Form 4 (transfer) or Form 1 (making) applications. Even if you are using an NFA trust.
Well, maybe not everyone.
Whereas the ATF has full authority to regulate NFA items, it accepts the fact that it has no control over US Trust Laws. In the days since the enactment of 41F, the agency itself has agreed that they have no control over the addition of subsequent trustees at any time during the life of the trust. Long story short, although the trustee must submit photographs and fingerprints for either a Form 1 or Form 4 Application, trustees added after the fact do not.
Yes! I’ve saved my spouse and 14 children the hassle of prints and photos!
Not so fast. That system works fine for a trust that owns only one NFA item. But, if the trust wants to make or transfer an additional NFA items, all of the trustees or “responsible persons” as deemed by the ATF must now submit prints and photographs.
So now what?
In an attempt to fill the void, Silencer Shop teamed up with Gun Trust USA to give NFA buyers options under the new rules: a legal NFA trust for each registered item. A buyer of a silencer for example, can now buy an NFA trust for each firearm/silencer, and legally add supporting trustees (a responsible person) after the approval and tax stamp are received.
You as the main trustee still have to submit fingerprints and photographs, but your spouse and 14 kids are now off the hook.
Silencer Shop has also included the Single Shot Trust into their kiosk network. Meaning if your prints and photos are already on file, there’s nothing left to do but buy your trust and silencer and everything is submitted to the ATF on your behalf. Everything can be done online through Silencer Shop.
From Gun Trust USA:
After you receive a tax stamp from ATF for The NFA Item, you may appoint eligible persons as Supporting Trustees to the Field1 Trust (“Trust”). A Supporting Trustee may legally possess or have access to the NFA firearm registered by your Trust, but he or she can do little more without the permission of the Trustee. You may print this form as many times as you need by using the ‘print current page’ command or by specifying that page number for printing. This cover sheet is not part of the ‘Appointment’ document.
Why Use a Single Shot Trust?
Whether new to the wonderful world of silencers or an established collector, the Single Shot Trust might be the best option for you. Some of the benefits to this trust include:
- Priced at $24.95, the Single Shot Trust is less burdensome on your bank account
- Offered for $129.95, the Single Shot Unlimited Trust option is designed for devoted users
- One-time purchase brings completion to suppressor ownership process
- Elimination of time-consuming steps streamlines processing (no notary, state filing, etc.)
- Ability for responsible persons/trustees to be added down the road affords flexibility
- Automated system allows for quick purchase/submission of trust
- Trust conveniently named for each NFA item purchased (e.g., “Q El Camino SN:0187 Trust”)
- Digitally sign (i.e., DocuSign) Form 4 and be done in less than 30 seconds
- Form 4 reviewed and submitted to ATF by Silencer Shop’s expert staff
Single Shot Trust Analysis:
Between the hope for the Hearing Protection Act, the post 41F “NFA Recession” and the new rules and regulations, tensions among consumers are uneasy at best and ‘stubbornly not buying anything’ at worst. Which in all honesty is a bit understandable. Paying $200 to wait a year or more is a maddening proposition.
But there is hope on the horizon (and I’m not talking about the HPA). A look at the data collected by NFA Tracker shows a dramatic decrease in ATF submissions after the new rules went into effect. Meaning that once the current deluge is processed, in all likelihood the wait times could be sitting at two months or less. That’s not to say you should wait to buy – it’s always advisable to buy what you want now and get in the ATF’s line for approval.
So, if there is a system in place where you can buy suppressors and no one who will be on your trust needs photos or fingerprints, we are almost back to the glory days of pre-41F trust submissions.
Some potential concerns to discuss:
- A few states require a notary for signatures on legal documents like trusts, which means you will have to mail/scan/fax in your signature pages before it is ready for use. And there is the additional charge for the trusts. But in the grand scheme of things, $25 or $130 for the unlimited use version is a drop in the bucket compared to other NFA costs.
- Then there’s the paperwork. Do you really want to deal with managing all those trust documents? The good news is that the trust documents will be scaled down to fit on two pieces of paper, front and back if you feel the need to carry them around with you (you are not required to carry trust paperwork).
- Lastly, what about the ATF? Aren’t they going to take issue with multiple trusts? No, Silencer Shop has acquired the ATF’s approval for the use of the Single Shot Trust.
But here’s something else to consider – currently it is cost prohibitive to have a secondary “used silencer” market. Transfer fees and wait times necessitate buying new. However, with a legal entity owning a single NFA item, the trust itself can be sold and transferred along with its property. No $200 transfer fees, no wait times. Obviously, some legal consultation will be required for this advanced maneuver, but even so, the wait and money savings should make it worth everyone’s while.
For those of us who love silencers and other NFA items, this is not an easy time. But US Trust law continues to be a viable option when buying silencers.