Hutchison & Steffen Aims To Protect Gun Owners’ Property With Firearms Trusts

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Firearms trusts allow for certain protections under the law to ensure that, upon death, one's firearms remain accessible to future generations. Hutchison & Steffen, one of the largest law firms in the State of Nevada, has expanded its trust and probate litigation department to include a range of firearms trust services.

Hutchison & Steffen, one of the largest law firms in the State of Nevada, has expanded its trust and probate litigation department to include a range of firearms trusts services. Firearms trusts allow for certain protections under the law to ensure that, upon death, one's firearms remain accessible to future generations. With a growing climate of anti-gun sentiment and a flurry of legislative activity underway in states across the country, a firearms trust is a layer of protection for one's Second Amendment rights.

Interest in ways to protect firearms ownership rights has really peaked in recent years, as people seek to ensure they'll be able to share their firearms collections with future generations. Applications for the manufacture or transfer of regulated firearms received by the ATF from non-individuals including trusts has increased from 840 in 2000 to over 40,000 in 2012. "With a firearms trust in place and the firearms placed in that trust, upon one's death, there is no ownership transfer," Managing Partner of Hutchison & Steffen, John T. Steffen, explained. "The property belongs to the trust and simply remains within the trust, which continues to exist. This can be particularly important to owners of extensive collections that they want to keep in the family. In the scenario of future legislation authorizing seizing or banning the transfer of particular firearms, a trust could mean the difference between a family maintaining control of its firearms collections or losing them to the government."

Although a “firearms trust” isn’t a new concept, the interest and need for such a trust has increased drastically since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an individual’s right to own firearms in DC v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. With anti-gun groups and politicians focusing their efforts and energies on adding unreasonable restrictions on firearm ownership, and a myriad of gun control laws being proposed around the country, including bans on modern sporting rifles, gun owners are now uncertain about the future of their firearms collections.

“The only way for gun owners to be certain their firearms can stay in the family for future generations is with a trust,” Steffen said.

A firearms trust currently allows for faster processing of purchases of firearms that are regulated under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) because a trustee of a Firearms Trust is not required to submit fingerprints or photographs or obtain Chief Law Enforcement Officer (“CLEO”) signature since the trustee has already gone through the vetting process. However, a new proposed federal regulation created at the request of the President will soon require all transferees of NFA items, including trusts, to submit fingerprints and a photograph, undergo a background check and obtain CLEO approval. The window of opportunity for these trusts using this streamlined process is closing fast. After this new regulation is adopted, trusts will have to follow the same process as individuals when purchasing an NFA item. A properly drafted firearms trust will still be able to protect firearms from future attempts to ban transfers to the trust creator’s children and grandchildren.

“It seems the fundamental right to keep and bear firearms is being attacked,” Steffen said. "Through protections available in the law, our attorneys create firearms trust documents that aim to ensure the owner’s firearms remain accessible to future generations."

For more information about the firearms trusts that the Firm offers, please visit hutchlegal.com/firearmstrusts.

ABOUT HUTCHISON & STEFFEN, LLC
Hutchison & Steffen, a Martindale-Hubbell® AV-rated law firm, provides a wide variety of legal services, including business law and commercial litigation, trust and probate litigation, appellate litigation, insurance litigation, landlord/tenant law, healthcare professionals advocacy, professional liability defense, alternative dispute resolution, personal injury, bankruptcy law, creditor’s rights, construction law, employment law, asset protection and business planning, real estate law, corporate and commercial law, family law, and administrative law. For more information about Hutchison & Steffen, please contact Teresa Tokumon-Phillips at 702.385.2500 or visit the Firm’s Web site at hutchlegal.com.

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Amy Veloz
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