Arizona Firearms Trust


A trust is a fiduciary relationship where a person (grantor or trustor) transfers assets to a trustee (the fiduciary) for the benefit of one or more people or organizations (beneficiaries).  An Arizona Firearms Trust is a fiduciary relationship created by a written declaration (the Trust) for the purpose of holding title and ownership to firearms and firearms-related accoutrements.  The Trust involves three (3) distinct parties, each of whom has different rights and responsibilities.

The “grantor,” also known as the “trustor” is the person who creates and establishes the Trust.  The Grantor/Trustor also typically is the one who owns the firearms and who transfers ownership of them to the Trust.  The “trustee” is the person who has the duty and obligation to administer and manage the Trust as a fiduciary for the benefit of the “beneficiary.”  The “beneficiary” is the person (or persons) who have rights given to them by the terms of the Trust.  Such rights may include the following: right to possess or use one or more of the firearms during the life of the grantor/trustor; right to receive ownership of one or more firearms upon the death of the grantor/trustor.

If you own a gun safe, or more than a few firearms and you are an Arizona resident, you need an Arizona Firearms Trust.  A Firearms Trust will avoid Probate of firearms, and the possible public disclosure of your firearms.  A Firearms Trust will enable you to transfer ownership of your firearms upon your death or disability, free from prying eyes, free from government control, and in the manner that you control and direct when you create the Trust.

While a Firearms Trust will not make it any easier to obtain permission to own a fully automatic machine gun or a silencer, it will eliminate some of the burdens that used to accompany such ownership.  The Trust will eliminate the requirement for certification by a chief law enforcement officer (“CLEO”), and instead require only CLEO notification.  Another benefit is that transfer of a firearm to a beneficiary may be made on a tax-exempt basis.

In 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF” or “BATFE”) amended their regulations, adopting Rule 41F, which made several changes in the rules applicable to firearms.  The final rule affects the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) regulations by:

  • defining the term “responsible person,” as used in reference to a trust, partnership, association, company, or corporation;
  • requiring responsible persons of such trusts or legal entities to complete ATF form 5320.23, National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire and to submit photographs and fingerprints when the trust or legal entity files an application to make an NFA firearm or is listed as the transferee on an application to transfer an NFA firearm;
  • requiring that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the specified form for responsible persons (5320.23), be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the applicant/transferee or responsible person resides; and
  • eliminating the requirement for certification signed by the CLEO.
  • In addition, the final rule adds a new section to ATF’s regulations to address the possession and transfer of firearms registered to a decedent.

We do not prepare Firearms Trusts for everyone, or for any one.  Restrictions apply.  You must be a citizen of the U.S., over the age of twenty-one, never convicted of a felony, a non-possessor of a medical marijuana card, not subject to any court order prohibiting possession; not a prohibited possessor under state or federal law; not experiencing any mental disease or defect; and able to produce two (2) of the following forms of identification: valid Arizona driver’s license; CCW issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety; Federal Firearms License issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C Chapter 44 by the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; United States Passport issued by the United States Department of State.

The cost of preparation of the Firearms Trust ranges depending upon the complexity of the restrictive terms you place into the Trust, the number and value of firearms you transfer ownership of into the Trust, and the amount of time and effort put into creating your own unique, tailored Trust.  To obtain an Arizona Firearms Trust, call us at (928) 445-3230

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