ATF Form 4 – Application for Tax Paid Transfer
Form 4 is used to transfer NFA items.
An NFA trust is a legal instrument which must be properly drafted to be valid. It is an estate planning tool which can be used to acquire NFA (Class 3) weapons, suppressors and destructive devices. The trust instrument is usually a revocable trust which can be changed or modified at any time before the maker’s death. This form provides flexibility. Trustees or beneficiaries can be added or deleted. Property can be transferred to or from the Trust. Such transfers must be documented in writing. A gun trust may own many NFA items. There is no need to set up a separate trust for each NFA item acquired. NFA items are transferred into the trust by means of an ATF Form 4. Non-NFA item such as paintings, collectables, rifles, pistols and shotguns are transferred to or from the trust by means of a bill of sale. The Form 4 and bill of sale document the transfers of property to and from the trust. This is very important as the Trustee who eventually distributes the trust assets upon its termination needs to know what the trust owns at a time when there is no one left alive to ask. It is these documents which provide a legal chain of title and evidence of ownership in the Trust.
New ATF Trust Regulation
ATF New Rule Change regarding Trusts and Corporations
(Effective July 13th, 2016)
The Department of Justice (ATF) has finalized a rule change which, affects all gun trusts and corporations which seek to acquire NFA items after the effective date of the change. The rule, once effective, would require notices to CLEO of submissions of Form 1’s and Form 4’s by trusts and corporations and also fingerprint cards, photos and background checks for all trustees and responsible officers. At present there are no such requirements. The proposed change set forth in 27 CRF 479 is to become effective July 13th, 2016.
Some of the reasoning behind the proposed rule change is to prevent prohibited persons, who are responsible persons in trusts or corporations, from obtaining NFA firearms and using them to commit violent crimes.
The rule change is not retroactive and will not affect NFA items purchased by trusts and corporations prior to the effective date of the change. In short, according to the Office of Management and Budget, until the rule change becomes effective, July 13th, 2016, NFA gun trusts and corporation will continue as they have in the past and will not be required to obtain CLEO signoffs, or have trustees or responsible persons submit photos, fingerprint cards and background checks for Form 1 and Form 4 transfers submitted to the ATF.