Category Archives: Gun Trusts

What happens to the Class III weapons upon the passing of the Grantor(s) of the Gun Trust?

The suppressors, silencers, fully automatic weapons, SBRs or other Class 3 weapons would typically go to the beneficiary. A properly drafted trust will address what the trustee must do to be in compliance with the law, and as well as what to do if the beneficiary is a minor.This is a brief synopsis regarding a revocable living trust, but is not intended to be all inclusive.

We encourage you to become familiar with Florida Statute 736 which details the rights and responsibilities of a trustee under a trust.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to discuss whether gun suppressors (silencers) should be permitted during hunting

At its semi-annual public meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hear discussion on whether gun suppressors (silencers) should be permitted during hunting.  Florida hunters may use silencers when hunting for wild hogs, coyotes and a few other small animals, but the new proposal applies to deer, coyotes, and various birds and animals. Florida sportsmen requested the proposed rule change, not the suppressor manufacturers, as some people are claiming.  Hunters are trying to save their hearing and be more considerate of others by the requested change.  To date, 32 states allow hunting with suppressors.

If the draft proposal was successful at the Sept. 10 meeting, another meeting will be held for final approval, at which the public will be permitted to speak.

Check back on our blog for any updates.

If I currently own a silencer when I transfer it to the gun trust will I have to pay the $200 tax stamp again?

Yes, once you transfer it to the trust, it is considered a new owner, so the ATF requires the $200 tax stamp again. If you put the item into a trust, at the time of your death, if you pass the items to an heir, they will not need to pay the $200. If you do not put it into trust, at the time of your death, in order to take possession of the item, your heir would have to pay the tax stamp.

Class 3 Weapon Owners – Warrantless Searches

There is a commonly held belief that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) can conduct warrantless searches of the homes of people who own weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) or class 3 weapons.  This is a misconception that is likely confused with the BATF’s right to conduct certain warrantless searches of individuals that hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from warrant-less or unreasonable searches.  To search one’s home, the Fourth Amendment requires a state or federal official to obtain a judicially sanctioned search warrant that is supported by probable cause.  Obtaining an NFA regulated weapon does not result in an automatic surrender of one’s Fourth Amendment rights, and it does not provide the BATF with the right to search one’s home without a warrant.  However, upon request by a BATF agent, the owner of an NFA weapon is required to produce the registration paperwork that was used to obtain the weapon (e.g., Form 4).  See 26 U.S.C. § 5841(e) (2012).  The situation is different for someone who holds a Federal Firearms License.  Numerous restrictions and duties are imposed on FFL holders, including: the BATF’s right to examine the inventory and records of an FFL holder’s business or location where the NFA weapons are kept (even if that location is a home).  See 18 U.S.C. § 923(g) (2012).  For a more in-depth look at the laws regulating NFA firearms, one should read 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

What is the minimum age to purchase and possess firearms in Florida?

This summary is split up between long guns (e.g., rifles, shotguns) and handguns, and is further broken down into differences between federal law and Florida Law.  In most cases, Florida follows the federal law.

I. Federal Law – Long Guns

Federal law prohibits anyone with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from selling or transferring a long gun to any person under the age of 18.[1]  Federal law does not provide an age limitation with respect to the sale of a long gun by a private seller to someone under the age of 18.  There is also no minimum age requirement for the possession of a long gun.

II. Florida Law – Long Guns

Florida Law is stricter than federal law regarding the possession of a long gun by someone under the age of 18.[2]  In Florida, a person must be at least 18 years of age to possess a long gun.[3]

III. Federal Law – Handguns

Federal law prohibits dealers from selling or delivering handguns to anyone under the age of 21.[4]  Federal law also prohibits the possession of a handgun by any person under the age of 18.[5]  Federal law allows the sale of a handgun by a private individual to a person over the age of 18; thus, possession of a handgun by a person over the age of 18 is also allowed.[6]

IV. Florida Law – Handguns

According to Florida Law, a person over the age of 18 may lawfully possess a handgun, and may purchase a handgun from a private individual.[7]  However, Florida Law prohibits dealers from selling handguns to anyone under the age of 21.[8]

[1] 18 USC § 922(b); 27 CFR § 478. 99(b)(1).
[2] Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 790.17(2), 790.18.
[3] Id.
[4] 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (c)(1).
[5] 18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(1).
[6] 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (c)(1), (x)(1).
[7] Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 790.17(2), 790.18.
[8] Id.