Editors Note: Having a proper Gun Trust would avoid families having to deal with these questions.
Washington, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- ATF has found that Federal firearms licensees are often involved in the disposition of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms in estates of decedents.
As a result, ATF receives questions from licensees about the procedures involved to comply with the law.
Information regarding registered firearms is protected tax information and the release of the information by ATF is restricted. In general, the release can only be made to the executor (administrator, personal representative, or whatever term is used for the person appointed and tasked with disposing of any property in an estate).
ATF can respond to general procedural questions by the licensees, but, for specific questions, the response can only be to the person noted above.
Prior to the release of any registration information, the person requesting the information must provide documentation of their status to the NFA Branch.
The firearms must remain in the possession of the executor, until a transfer application has been submitted and approved. A transfer would include the disposition of an NFA firearm to a licensee for consignment or safekeeping.
Any unregistered NFA firearm(s) in an estate are contraband and there is no means by which these firearms can be registered. The executor should contact the local ATF office to arrange for the disposition of these firearms. The disposition of an NFA firearm to a beneficiary of an estate is on a tax-exempt basis (using ATF Form 5 to update the registry). However, in the case of multiple beneficiaries, ATF will request a release from any beneficiary who is not receiving the firearm. The laws of the State in which the decedent resided determine who is a beneficiary. The application for transfer to the beneficiary must include the beneficiary’s fingerprints and photographs.
The disposition of a serviceable NFA firearm to a person who is not a beneficiary is on a tax paid basis (using ATF Form 4). The disposition of an unserviceable NFA firearm to a person who is not a beneficiary is on a tax-exempt basis (using ATF Form 5). As noted above, the requirements of the NFA apply for these dispositions.
If the disposition is to a person in another State and the person is not a Federal firearms licensee or a beneficiary, then the firearm must be transferred to a Federal firearm licensee in the recipient’s State. After approval of the transfer and receipt by the licensee, the licensee would then apply to transfer the firearm to the purchaser.
For additional information, please contact: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives