As of today - July 13, 2016 - rule 41F goes into effect for purchases of NFA firearms such as suppressors (silencers) and SBRs. For purchases going forward the process is essentially the same for individuals and trustees of gun trusts. So one of the key benefits of using a gun trust is now lost: simpler registration process. But there are still benefits to using a gun trust rather purchasing a NFA firearm individually.
After identifying the NFA firearm to be purchased, the trustee sends Form 4 (in duplicate) to the ATF with payment of the transfer tax (usually $200 per firearm) and a copy of the entire trust document. The trustee must also include a Form 5320.23 (“Responsible Person Questionnaire”), two Form FD-258 fingerprint cards, and one passport-type photograph for each responsible person (any current trustee). The trustee must also send a copy of Form 4 and a duplicate Form 5320.23 to the chief law enforcement officer (usually the sheriff) in the place where the trustee resides. Other responsible persons for the trust (any other current trustees) must also send a duplicate Form 5320.23 to the chief law enforcement officer where they reside. If purchasing from a dealer or broker, they should help complete this process as part of the sale. It is important not to list the NFA firearm on a list of trust property (some trust forms use a Schedule A) until after the ATF has issued the tax-paid stamp approving the transfer.
Thomas J. Bouman