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Gun Trusts: What You Should Know

A gun trust is essentially a standalone estate plan for firearms and accessories. It contains special language that dictates who can own and possess your firearms after you die.

It clarifies things like the recipient must be 21 years of age, must not have a felony conviction, can’t have had constitutional rights taken away and not restored, etc. The gun trust also protects the weapons from being confiscated by law enforcement or turned over to a TF (Tobacco and Firearms Officer) and destroyed.

Some folks with collections can keep those in the family as an asset. But having the gun trust allows for privacy, especially in Florida, because there’s no registration requirement for certain items in a trust.

In essence, a gun trust enables you to maintain gun ownership privacy. Gun owners don’t have to put their names out there on some inventory list that will be filed with the court system in a probate hearing. It is much like a revocable living trust.

I’ve spoken a lot of people who tell me, “I’m just going to put my guns in my will.”

But, if you have a will in Florida, you’re almost guaranteed probate unless you put other proactive measures in the will. With a gun trust, you designate a trustee.

Say, for example, you go into assisted living or a nursing home. They won’t let you take your guns with you. With a gun trust, they will immediately go to your trustee. You can use your gun trust to designate the sale to other collectors if you want to avoid your weapons going to someone in your family who is underage, convicted of a felony, or who lives in a state where the weapons are illegal.

Let’s say a person passes away and they own ten guns and have three kids. Well, you can’t split ten guns three ways. Somebody’s feelings will get hurt, and then they’re going to court and demanding probate because this isn’t fair.

One of the first things you must do when you enter probate is to submit a list of assets. This means the gun inventory and serial numbers are now a public record. Hell, maybe these guns were bought at a private sale, and you don’t want the government to know about them. Unavoidable in probate, now they are public records.

Another scenario a gun trust can remedy is an executor of a will who has this all under control. He knows Dad wanted little Johnny to have this gun. So, the executor gives it to him. But if Little Johnny takes possession of the firearm and is caught with it, he could potentially have a felony on his record for being underage and in possession of a gun.

So, a gun trust is essentially a set of rules that define exactly what will happen to your weapons after you are gone. The guns are now registered within the trust and managed by a successor—a trustee—that you establish in advance of your passing.

For more information about gun trusts, contact Angela Tormey with ACEMaven Legal, P.A. by phone at (813) 445-8178, or email You can visit ACEMaven Legal online at:



Written By: Angela Tormey, Attorney at Law


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