• Ryan D. Very, Esq.

Gun trusts

Only hours after President Obama proposed legislative and executive gun control expansions, some lawyers have been advocating that their clients use gun trusts, which are legal entities set up in connection with gun ownership. The theory is that gun trusts established now will protect the gun transfer rights of owners by 'superseding' subsequent federal gun control measures. In theory, gun owners will eventually be able engage in gun transfers which would otherwise be illegal by using a trust. I'm not sure how advisable it is to create a legal entity for the specific purpose of engaging in a gun transfer which would otherwise be illegal. But it has been suggested that gun trusts protect the Second Amendment rights of even the least-deserving. President Obama implicitly recognized the power of gun trusts when he argued today that expanding background checks would reduce the use of gun trusts as 'cutouts' by violent criminals. It should be remembered that there are sensible benefits to gun trusts, such as easing the transfer requirements for legal guns, especially after death. If you are thinking of creating a gun trust, contact a careful Second Amendment lawyer who is familiar with trusts and the nuances of state and federal gun ownership laws. Improper transfer of guns to a trust is likely to result in criminal sanctions.

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