What is a Gun Trust?

Let’s face it, obtaining certain firearms in the United States can be a difficult task. Title 2 firearms, like machine guns, suppressors, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns, require you to jump through many hoops in order to obtain one of these weapons.

For an individual to obtain one of these weapons the person must submit fingerprint samples, a passport style photo, pay a hefty fee, and obtain a signature from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO). Even if you get approved from the CLEO, owning a title 2 firearm as an individual has many restrictions and a violation could result in up to 10 years of prison time. This is one of the reasons why gun trusts were created: to avoid the hassles of obtaining a title 2 firearm.

Title 2 Firearms: Individual Restrictions

As mentioned above, owning title 2 firearms as an individual comes with a lot of red tape. For example, when you own a title 2 weapon you are the only person allowed to operate or handle that firearm. Even something as simple as your spouse knowing the combination to your gun safe can result in an accidental felony.

Additionally, after you pass away, your title 2 weapons must pass through a probate before they are distributed to your beneficiaries. When your estate passes through probate, your possessions become public court records that are easily attained by anyone who wishes. These restrictions and the items needed to obtain a title 2 firearm are why gun trusts were created.

Benefits of a Gun Trust

There are many reasons a person could desire a gun trust to be drafted. Avoiding fingerprint samples and other hoops you have to jump through are only one of these reasons. Avoiding probate is also a good reason to get a gun trust drafted, however, it should be noted that gun trusts are a safer way to owning any firearm.

When you draft a gun trust with Jim Alder, you are not the owner of the firearms in question. Rather, it is the trust itself that owns the weapon. You, and any other trustee named in the gun trust, are free to use and handle the firearms named in the trust. Without this trust, you would be the only one permitted to operate and handle the firearm and anyone else doing so could result in a felony charge as well as prison time.


If you are interested in obtaining a gun trust for estate planning, or a more flexible usage ability, you will need an attorney familiar with gun trust law, like Jim Alder in Salt Lake City, UT. You can contact us here or call us at 801.463.2600.