Gun owners in Maine, Massachusetts and other states*, including New Hampshire, have come to rely on Red Dog Legal to help them create their NFA gun trusts. As the market-leader in providing NFA trusts in Maine and Massachusetts, Red Dog Legal has prepared hundreds of gun trusts for our clients since 2014 and can provide valuable know-how that general practitioners lack. NFA gun trusts are our specialty.
Our fee includes comprehensive services, including support with the ATF submission process.
Our flat fee includes legal guidance to clients in selecting the appropriate terms for their NFA trusts, the drafting of a comprehensive suite of gun trust documents, guidance on execution of the documents, and guidance on the ATF application process. We know that submitting your first NFA application can be intimidating, and that's why our flat fee includes legal guidance and support, not just documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an NFA Trust?
An NFA Trust or “gun trust” is an legal document designed for acquiring and holding legal title to weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act (or “NFA”). Weapons regulated by the NFA go by various names such as “NFA Items”, “NFA Firearms”, “Title II Firearms” or “Class 3 Firearms”, and include suppressors (or “silencers” per the National Firearms Act), short barreled rifles (or “SBR”, for short), short barreled shotguns, machine guns, destructive devices, and “Any other weapon” (abbreviated as “AOW”).
Are NFA Trusts Similar to Conventional Trusts?
Yes, gun trusts are similar in some respects to conventional estate planning trusts. For instance, as with conventional trusts, an NFA trust will hold property subject to certain terms and conditions. And there will also be a settlor (also called a “donor” or “grantor”), who donates property to the trust; one or more trustees, who will act on behalf of the trust; and one or more beneficiaries of the trust, who will ultimately receive the assets held by the trust or the proceeds of their sale. Additionally, a gun trust can be either revocable (capable of being revoked or amended) or irrevocable (incapable of being revoked or amended). Furthermore, gun trusts do not require any registration, disclosure or public filings. The only people who know about your trust are those you choose. That’s where the similarities between gun trusts and conventional trusts end.
Unlike conventional estate planning trusts, a gun trust is a trust tailored specifically for the complex regulatory issues involved in possessing, owning, and transporting NFA items such as SBRs and suppressors. A properly drafted NFA trust will address National Firearms Act regulations as well as those imposed by local and state law. This is critical, as violation of the NFA or state or local law can be punished severely. For instance, violation of the National Firearms Act can result in fines of up to $250,000, forfeiture of all firearms weapons and up to 10 years in prison.
A high-quality gun trust drafted by a lawyer specializing firearms law will contain provisions that grant trustees of the NFA Trust the authority they need to use and enjoy the NFA Trust’s property and to properly administer the NFA Trust – but also protect the rights of the settlor and the beneficiaries. Such a trust will also provide instructions on dealing with both routine and unanticipated events. Unlike assets held by conventional trusts, the sale or distribution of firearms held by a gun trust requires compliance with state and federal law, and therefore requires careful thought and planning. Choosing an experienced NFA trust attorney is particularly important for gun owners in Massachusetts, as Massachusetts gun laws are complex and full of ambiguities – something which Massachusetts gun owners are all too aware. At Red Dog Legal, we can help you navigate ambiguities such as Form FA-10 reporting, the Massachusetts Assault Weapon’s Ban or “AWB” and licensing matters.
What are the Benefits of an NFA Trust?
If one uses a Gun Trust to acquire an NFA Firearm, the Gun Trust will purchase and hold title to the firearm. Using a Gun Trust to acquire NFA Items, rather that acquiring them as an individual has many advantages, including:
1. Sharing of NFA Items
Using an NFA Gun Trust, you can appoint other trustees who can lawfully possess firearms held by the trust. In contrast, if you own a Title II Firearm individually, only you, as the registered owner of that Title II Firearm, may lawfully possess that firearm.
2. Estate Planning
Using a gun trust, you can control who will receive your firearms when you die, or provide that the NFA trust shall continue to operate for as long state law will allow. A trust can last generations in Massachusetts and indefinitely in Maine. A qualified NFA Gun Trust lawyer can draft a comprehensive multigenerational NFA Trust that can serve as a legacy for your family's enjoyment and security.
3. Contingency Planning
Are you concerned about who will store your firearms if you become incapacitated or are become legally prohibited from owning guns? A gun trust can allow you to plan for these sorts of contingencies. You will also have the option to add one or more trustees (in multiple states) who are knowledgeable about firearms, including NFA Items, who can see to it that your firearms are properly cared for, stored, or transferred in compliance with state and federal law.
What NFA Items Can I Own in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, you can own SBRs, machine guns, manufactured short barreled shotguns, AOWs and destructive devices. Only law enforcement personnel (while acting in their official capacity) may possess suppressors. The most common NFA item for a Massachusetts gun owner to acquire with an NFA trust is an SBR. In fact, most of our Massachusetts clients make their own SBR. Massachusetts residents who have a close friend or family member in Maine or New Hampshire, can appoint that friend or family member as a trustee, who can acquire suppressors on behalf of the NFA trust, and which can be used and enjoyed by trustees in Maine or New Hampshire. The suppressor cannot enter the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, however.
What NFA Items Can I Own in Maine?
In Maine, all NFA items are legal (silencers/suppressors, SBRs, short barreled shotguns, machine guns, Destructive Devices, and AOWs). Hunting with a suppressor is now legal in Maine, subject to purchase of an additional permit.
What NFA Items Can I Own in New Hampshire?
All NFA items are legal in New Hampshire.
Do you support Gun Rights Organizations?
Absolutely! We actively support the NRA, GOAL, Commonwealth 2A, and Gun Owners of Maine – both financially as well as with pro bono legal services.
Do you have other questions? Red Dog Legal offers free consultations.
For more information, please call Red Dog Legal at (207) 206-0287 or send us a message using our Contact Form.
* with local co-counsel
Custom Attorney Drafted NFA Trust Prices
Maine NFA Gun Trust—$325*
Massachusetts NFA Gun Trust—$375*
New Hampshire NFA Gun Trust—$325*
*Limited time offer (until December 31st): $50 off the above prices
All of the above prices include legal guidance and support.