Using Your Minnesota Gun Trust as Target Practice

Minnesota Gun Trust
Minnesota Gun Trust

A Minnesota Gun Trust is not as complicated as you might think.  Yes, there are legal issues to consider like age and background of the person managing the guns.  Also, a few extra forms to satisfy.  But all in all, a worthwhile process to reduce the risk of probate.

Before I proceed, lets cut straight to the chase:  having a revocable trust and property funding it with guns is more important than “I want a gun trust”.

On the other hand, I receive plenty of calls asking me about the process for a trust document for weapons or guns.   Thus, let me move forward with a few issues to consider.

Number 1 Issue for a Minnesota Gun Trust

As you know, the US Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) has many rules and standards applicable to gun ownership.  To nobody’s surprise, these same rules apply to you and your list of trustees who handle the guns.  Sometimes, the ATF refers to this person as the “Responsible Person”.

The number one issue for every person wishing to create a Minnesota gun trust is identifying a “trustee” that is authorized to take possession of the weapon(s) being transferred.   

What type of firearms can you transfer into a Minnesota Gun Trust

As a general rule, if your firearm has a serial number, you can transfer your firearm into a Minnesota Gun Trust.

If the gun does not have a serial number, then I like the idea of preparing as if it had a serial number.

Minnesota Gun Trust for antique guns

Yes, antique guns and unserviceable weapons can be transferred into a Minnesota Gun Trust too.

Forms and documents for a Minnesota Gun Trust

Yes, there are many forms and documents needed to transfer a firearm into a Minnesota Gun Trust.  Again though, filling out forms is a lot easier versus family members running to a court house to probate hunting weapons.

Here is a short non exclusive list of the forms generally needed to transfer a firearm into a Minnesota Gun Trust:

  • A valid Revocable Trust,
  • Certificate of Trust,
  • Assignment of Firearm,
  • ATF E-Form 5 (for each firearm),
  • A formal list identifying all Responsible Persons,
  • Finger print card (FD-258) for all Responsible Persons [order  this form versus printing it], and
  • ATF Form 5320.23, which is a questionnaire for each Responsible Person (order a form for each Responsible Person).

Who is a Responsible Person?

According to the ATF, a responsible person is any person associated with an entity or an estate or an individual.

From a practical perspective, a responsible person is any person who might become a trustee for your Minnesota Gun Trust.

Minnesota Gun Trust Trustee vs Responsible Person

The person in charge of an estate is called a Trustee.  A trustee for a Gun Trust is responsible for the firearms.

Yes, while a gun owner is living they are the trustee.  On the other hand, a gun owner can identify reasons when or why they  want to identify a different person as the trustee of a firearm.

On its face, I know this element seems confusing.  As a result, I find consultations are extremely valuable during this process.

What information does the ATF need from the Responsible Person?

Here is what the ATF needs from the Responsible Person:

  • Full legal name,
  • Social security number,
  • Home address,
  • Address for the last five years,
  • Country of citizenship,
  • Place of birth (City and State),
  • Ethnicity,
  • Gender, and
  • Home telephone number.

Taxes to transfer a firearm into a Minnesota Gun Trust

The following types of transfers are tax exempt or less than $5 per transfer:

  • Your firearm is unserviceable,
  • Your firearm is being transferred to an heir or operation of law,
  • Any reasons under Section 5811.

How to transfer guns into a Revocable Minnesota Gun Trust

If you need help creating a Minnesota Gun Trust, please contact this law office for help.