A Firearms Trust is a legal Trust that can be used in the United States and Florida to register National Firearms Act (the “NFA”) firearms with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (the “BATFE” or “ATF”). The ownership of NFA firearms is heavily regulated in the United States; it regulates the sale, use, possession, and transfer of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, silencers, destructive devices, and AOWs.


Federal and Florida law permits individuals, business entities, and Trusts to purchase NFA firearms, if allowed by state law. To obtain permission for an individual to obtain these items, the BATFE requires completion and submission of appropriate form(s), along with a payment of $200 for a tax stamp. A Gun Trust can be used to eliminate some of the red tape to acquire NFA firearms.

The ATF requires that all individuals obtain approval from their local Chief Law Enforcement Officer as part of the application process to purchase/transfer certain NFA. With a Gun Trust, no Chief Law Enforcement Officer signature is required, no fingerprints are required and no photographs are required. That said, the Firearms Trust must comply with specific legal requirements to be valid. The Trust commands the grantors, trustees, and beneficiaries of their rights, duties, and qualifications.

The Trust also controls what happens to the firearms should you become incapacitated. This protects your family and/or your friends, who are often the ones caring for you. While caring for you and your property, they may come in contact with the restricted items and put themselves at risk of violating the law without their knowledge. The Trust would help protect these friends and family giving authority to them to be in control of the restricted firearms and by providing clear instructions on who is allowed to do what.

When you die and you have a Firearms Trust, your firearms are not subject to probate or made part of a public record, they remain property of the Firearms Trust and in the possession of the Trustee(s). Once again, as with incapacitation, family members and/or friends are not unknowingly placed at risk of violating the law. Your beneficiaries will be protected by the Trust and provide for how the items can be legally transferred.

It is important to keep in mind that when an individual purchases certain NFA  firearms, that individual is the only person permitted to use or have access to them. It is a violation of law to allow others use these NFA firearms when the owner is not in their presence. When you use a Firearms Trust to purchase the firearms, you can designate additional owners and authorized users. These authorized users can be changed to match your current situation.

Swimmer Law Associates, P.A. is experienced in the field of Firearms Trusts; feel free to contact our office to discuss your specific needs.