How to Own Fully Automatic Machine Guns
American citizens can own fully automatic machine guns manufactured before 1986 if they follow the proper procedure by registering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE (also known as the ATF)). If you register with the ATF to purchase a fully automatic machine gun as an individual, you will have to submit a fingerprint sample and passport style photograph along with your application. You will have to convince the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in your area to sign an approval form saying that you can own an NFA weapon (which includes full autos manufactured before 1986). If you are able to obtain the CLEO signature and approval as an individual and obtain a full auto, then you must take due care to ensure that no one else could be considered to be in possession of that full auto or that person could possibly be charged with a felony. If you purchase an NFA gun trust, you do not have to worry about these things until June, 2016, when the new ATF regulations go into effect. As of June, 2016, all persons that are deemed to be "responsible persons" with the gun trust must submit a passport style photograph and fingerprints along with their ATF application. You can read more about ATF 41F and how it affects gun trusts here.
With a NFA Trust, You Get:
Protection Against the Government
- No Fingerprints (until June, 2016)
- No CLEO signature (until June, 2016. As of June, 2016, you simply have to notify the CLEO in your area by mailing them a copy of the ATF application).
- No Photograph (until June, 2016)
- The Trust is a private document and is not part of the public record
Protection For Your Loved Ones
- If you own a full auto as an individual, anyone who is near that gun when you are not around could be found to be in constructive possession of it and could face felony charges.
- If you list the people who you want to be able to be around the full auto and use the gun as Trustees, then they are legally able to use and possess the full auto with the same right that you have
Protection of Your Estate
- With a NFA gun trust, all of the NFA items that you put in the trust avoid probate after your death.
- The items in your NFA gun trust never have to be made public, and pass on to the beneficiaries as you have named them in your gun trust completely outside of the court system
Protection of Your Heirs
- The Secure Gun Trust is drafted specifically to hold NFA items, such as fully automatic machine guns.
- It is designed to protect your beneficiaries from unlawful possession of NFA items
- The terms of this gun trust require the beneficiaries to receive certification from the BATFE that the beneficiary is eligible to own NFA items before those NFA items pass to them. In the meantime, the NFA items are continued to be held in trust