Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gun Trusts Have Variety of Benefits

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gun Trusts Have Variety of Benefits

Article excerpt

Sarasota attorney Cindy M. Clark has an NRA sticker on her laptop and guns on her mind.

She's a lifelong shooter with a passion for the Second Amendment and a strong desire to help gun owners safeguard their rights and their collections.

Clark focuses on gun trusts.

Until I met her, I mistakenly believed gun trusts were just a convenient way to buy National Firearms Act weapons without having to get approval from a sheriff or police chief.

The truth is, they can accomplish so much more.

Gun trusts are estate-planning tools, Clark said. As a certified financial planner, she understands them better than many.

Of course, the government also allows us to use these trusts to buy NFA weapons: suppressors, short-barrel rifles and shotguns, and machine guns.

"A trust is essentially a contract between three parties: The trustee, the grantor and the beneficiary. With a trust, the grantor gives property to the trustee along with instructions as to how to distribute the property for the beneficiary's benefit," she said. "The trust laws are written in a way for one person to be in all three roles."

She offers a basic NFA trust at workshops throughout the area with Felex Yukhtman, owner of Gun Point. The next workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on June 28 at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. The price for a standard NFA trust at the workshop is under $100. In person, they're slightly more.

Once they have one of these trusts, a shooter can present a copy to an NFA dealer, pay for the NFA weapon or suppressor, pay the $200 federal tax stamp, fill out the ATF Form 4, and then wait six months until the purchase is approved.

Without the trust, the shooter must submit a photo and fingerprints, as well as a signature from their "Chief Law Enforcement Officer," or CLEO.

"And no one wants to go CLEO shopping," Clark said.

I was more impressed with the benefits of her other trusts -- her "hybrid gun trusts." Sure, they function as a vehicle for an NFA purchase, but they have many more benefits, especially for those of us with extensive collections.

"If you leave your guns to your wife, what happens if she remarries and her new husband is anti-gun? …

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