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Suppressor, legal question.

beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
edited October 2013 in Ask the Experts
I know we're not lawyers here, but an associate of mine has a legal related question about suppressors, I was hoping someone could shed some light on.

Suppose I do the Federal paperwork, pay the tax, and legally buy a suppressor under my name.

What happens when I die? If my family is in de-facto possession of this suppressor after I'm gone, are they now instantly criminally liable?

Short of forming a suppressor-owning corporation, is there any legal way to transfer this suppressor to them (or anyone else) after my death? Does my family have to surrender this suppressor to the BATFE, or destroy it?

Any thoughts on this, or perhaps a link to a good discussion on the topic?

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    mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,456 ******
    edited November -1
    A tax exempt transfer on ATF Form 5 can be used to transfer any NFA item (except restricted dealer sales sample machineguns) to your lawful heir. Keep in mind that the person you wish to leave the suppressor to must in fact be legally able to own and possess it and that includes abiding by all state and local laws so if your leave it to a nephew in (say) New Jersey he is SOL.
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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The executor of your estate will be the one to process the paperwork. So, your suppressor must be included in your estate; you may need to discuss the wording of your will with your attorney to make sure it is correct.

    In states where, uh, "personal items" are not registered, some folks just arrange for their family to distribute their, uh, "stuff" after their death; if you list everything you own in your will, it could be tied up in the estate for 6 months to a year.

    Neal
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    11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,588 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This may help answer your questions- http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/1999/09/090599-openletter-nfa-estate-transfers.html

    The EXECUTOR of the estate ONLY is permitted to possess an NFA firearm that was registered to a decedent "for a reasonable time" to arrange the transfer to an heir. There is no Federal tax on such transfer.
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    Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,492 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have heard others in free States refer to an "NFA trust", would this be helpful to BTS in this situation?
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    competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,698 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Riomouse911
    I have heard others in free States refer to an "NFA trust", would this be helpful to BTS in this situation?


    There would be no real advantage to a trust. In fact, it can make transferring it to heirs more complex -- and potentially more costly, as it may require a tax-stamp to be paid for again. The trust is primarily used when a person is in a jurisdiction where state laws make it legal to own the NFA item, but the "chief law enforcement officer" (usually a sheriff) won't sign off on the paperwork for a legal transfer.
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    FreudianSlippersFreudianSlippers Member Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by competentone
    The trust is primarily used when a person is in a jurisdiction where state laws make it legal to own the NFA item, but the "chief law enforcement officer" (usually a sheriff) won't sign off on the paperwork for a legal transfer.

    That's not just the primary reason to set up an NFA trust; it's the only practical reason for most individuals.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    LOL, this wasn't one of those fake "my friend" questions!

    I really do know an older guy who is a diehard gun collector who wants to get a suppressor, but he doesn't want to leave a gigantic hassle for his kids and grandkids with NFA items after he's gone. He specifically asked me the question.

    Anyway, thanks for the answers. I think that BATFE bulletin covers this pretty well, and I've passed a copy on to him.
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