April 21, 2024
How to Set Up a Gun Trust in Florida (2024 Update)

by Denis Kleinfeld

A gun trust can be very helpful for those who own firearms in Florida. It offers a legal and easy way to deal with special firearms. This is especially useful if you want to share these firearms with family or plan for their future after you’re gone. A gun trust makes things simpler and ensures your rights are protected.

But, knowing what’s needed and the steps to take in Florida is very important. You’ll need to follow the state’s gun trust rules and maybe get advice from a gun trust lawyer. Doing things the right way is key to avoiding problems and feeling sure about your plan.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through setting up a gun trust in Florida. You’ll learn about the good things a gun trust can do, and also some downsides. Plus, we’ll look at what the ATF recently said about gun trusts. This will give you the tools to keep your firearms safe and plan your estate well.

Key Takeaways:

  • Setting up a gun trust in Florida is essential for firearm owners looking to manage Title II firearms.
  • A gun trust allows for shared use of firearms and simplifies the transfer process upon the trustmaker’s death.
  • Working with a gun trust attorney is highly recommended to ensure compliance with Florida gun trust requirements.
  • Understanding the benefits and potential disadvantages of a gun trust is important before making a decision.
  • Staying informed about the latest ATF regulations regarding NFA trusts is crucial for gun trust owners.

Understanding Gun Trusts and Title II Firearms

A gun trust, also known as an NFA trust, provides a special way to manage guns. It allows the entire trust to own and protect the firearms instead of just one person. This can make things easier by letting multiple people use the guns. It also helps keep the trust’s gun ownership private.

This method offers clear advantages. For example, if you’re the owner of several specialized guns, like silencers or fully automatic weapons, dealing with their paperwork can be a headache. But, with a gun trust, this process is smoother because the trust owns the guns, not you personally.

“A gun trust allows the firearm to be owned by the trust itself rather than an individual person.”

A gun trust helps avoid legal troubles. It protects the trust’s members from accidental law violations when using firearms properly. This protection can be very important when guns are used for self-defense or other legal reasons. It keeps everyone safer legally.

It also helps control who can use the guns even after the owner has passed away. By clearly stating in the trust agreement how the guns should be handled, the owner can ensure their wishes are met. This brings peace of mind and security for the future of the guns.

The Anatomy of a Gun Trust

  1. The Grantor: The person who makes the trust and puts the guns into it.
  2. The Trustees: Those who are allowed to keep and use the guns according to the trust’s rules.
  3. The Beneficiaries: People who might get the guns later, depending on what the trust says.
  4. The Trust Agreement: The document that spells out the trust’s rules and how the guns are to be handled.

It’s key to remember that gun trust laws can change from state to state. So, for the best advice, always talk to a lawyer who knows about gun trusts and local firearm laws. They can guide you properly.

The Benefits of a Gun Trust in Florida

With a gun trust in Florida, you get big benefits over owning Title II firearms by yourself. Let’s dive into these perks:

  1. Sharing Use of Firearms: A gun trust lets several trustees use the firearms legally. This shared use makes it easier for everyone to enjoy owning firearms.
  2. Avoid Criminal Liability: A gun trust helps avoid legal problems often tied to owning guns alone. Trust members can follow gun laws without fear of breaking them.
  3. Privacy: Your gun trust is private, keeping your personal details safe. This is unlike owning guns solo, which might reveal personal info. A trust keeps things confidential.
  4. Control After Trustmaker’s Death: With a gun trust, you keep control over firearms after the trustmaker passes. This helps avoid hassles and legal troubles in the transfer of guns.
  5. Control During Trustmaker’s Incapacity: If the trustmaker can’t manage the firearms, the trust can continue to. This ensures the weapons are taken care of properly.

A gun trust in Florida offers perks like sharing firearms, dodging legal issues, keeping things private, and managing weapons even after the trustmaker is gone or unable.

Case Study: John and Sarah’s Shared Firearm Ownership

John and Sarah made a gun trust in Florida in 2020. It allowed them to share and own Title II firearms legally. They decided how to use and hold the guns, making sure they followed the law.

“The gun trust let us enjoy our guns together, safely. It kept our affairs private and gave us future planning confidence.”

– John and Sarah

Control and Responsibility

Advantages of a Gun Trust in Florida Disadvantages of Individual Ownership
Shared use of firearms among qualified trustees Limited access to firearms by individuals
Avoidance of criminal liability traps Potential legal repercussions for inadvertent violations
Enhanced privacy as a private document Potential exposure of personal information
Control over firearms after the trustmaker’s death Potential complications and legal challenges in estate planning
Continued control during the trustmaker’s incapacity Lack of provisions for firearms management during incapacity

Potential Disadvantages of Gun Trusts

Gun trusts offer plusses but also downsides. It’s wise to know these limits before setting one up. This knowledge helps gun owners decide if a trust is best for them.


Gun trusts can be pricey. You’ll need to pay for legal help, as well as other costs. These include trust upkeep and management fees. Costs change based on trust complexity and legal services used.


Dealing with gun laws is tricky. Gun trusts link federal and state laws on owning, transferring, and using weapons. This is tough for those not well-versed in gun laws.

Limited Purpose

Gun trusts serve a specific role. They handle management and transfer of weapons only. For other estate needs like property or health, other planning tools might be necessary. It’s vital to see if a trust fits your overall estate plan.

Regulatory Changes

Firearm laws often change. This can affect a gun trust’s usefulness. As laws shift, the trust might need updates. Keeping the trust current can be a hassle, needing legal help at times.

Legal Liability

Trustees could face legal issues if they break gun laws by mistake. Knowing and following the laws is key. Breaking them can lead to losing gun rights or other legal trouble.

Not All Firearms Covered

Gun trusts mostly cover NFA items. NFA weapons include special guns like suppressors or machine guns. Yet, common guns are usually not part of a gun trust.

It’s critical to balance a gun trust’s good and bad sides for your situation. Talking to a trust attorney can guide you. They can help make a choice that’s right for you.

NFA Gun Trusts vs. Regular Firearms Trusts

Deciding on a gun trust requires knowing the difference between the two main types. NFA gun trusts were first used to avoid too much paperwork and allowed sharing NFA guns within the trust. But, how the ATF handles NFA guns has changed, making NFA trusts less favorable. Now, setting up a regular firearms trust is often a better choice.

Regular firearms trusts are simpler than NFA gun trusts. They don’t carry the same paperwork hassles. This makes setting up and running them easier. Gun owners can achieve their goals without dealing with too much admin stuff.

A big plus for regular firearms trusts is they can include a wide variety of guns. While NFA trusts mainly deal with NFA guns, regular trusts can handle different gun types. This means more comprehensive protection for a gun collection.

Also, regular trusts still offer what people want from a gun trust, like sharing guns, keeping things private, and managing trust assets. With the right attorney, firearm owners can create a trust that fits their needs perfectly.

In summary, because of changes at the ATF, regular firearms trusts have become a much better option for gun owners. They are easier, cover more kinds of guns, and can adjust to law changes. Getting advice from a good firearms trust attorney helps in creating a trust that’s just right.

NFA Gun Trusts vs. Regular Firearms Trusts: A Comparison

NFA Gun Trusts Regular Firearms Trusts
Historically used to avoid paperwork hurdles and enable the sharing of NFA firearms Provides a simpler and more straightforward approach to firearms trust ownership
Primarily designed for NFA firearms Covers a broader range of firearms
Potential paperwork requirements and complexities Streamlined process with fewer administrative burdens
May have limitations in adapting to regulatory changes Offers flexibility to comply with evolving regulations

Setting Up a Gun Trust in Florida

In Florida, creating a gun trust means following state and federal laws. It’s smart to get help from a gun trust attorney to avoid any legal issues. They know the rules and can guide you safely.

A Florida gun trust attorney knows all about gun laws. They can help you set up your trust just right. This way, you make sure it meets your needs and the law.

Setting up a gun trust starts by making a trust that holds certain firearms in Florida. This trust lets you share your guns legally and keep them private. You stay in control, even after you pass away.

Your gun trust has to follow NFA and Florida laws. This makes sure your trust is legal and works as it should.

With a Florida gun trust lawyer, you know your trust is right. They help with making the trust, putting in the right rules, and meeting Florida’s needs.

“Working with a gun trust lawyer is key to a good gun trust in Florida. They help you follow the laws and make sure your trust is right.”

Florida Gun Trust Requirements

In Florida, your gun trust must meet NFA and state rules.

The NFA needs you to name all trustees and follow some checks. You must also do right by the laws on moving guns around.

Florida has its own rules too. Your trust might need to go on a list so the state knows about it.

A local lawyer can help you with all these needs to make a solid, legal trust.

Florida NFA Trust Process

To make a good Florida NFA trust, you need to do a few things. Here’s a rough plan:

  1. First, talk to a trust lawyer to make plans for your trust.
  2. Then, make a trust that can hold special firearms.
  3. Include rules that meet NFA and Florida laws.
  4. Tell who’s in charge and who benefits from the trust.
  5. Sign and make your trust official with a notary.
  6. File your trust if Florida’s laws say you should.
  7. Put your guns into the trust the right way.

Every step in this process is important and must follow the law. A gun trust lawyer checks each step to make sure your trust is good to go.

Benefits of Setting Up a Gun Trust in Florida Requirements for a Florida Gun Trust Steps in the Florida NFA Trust Process
  • Shared use of firearms among qualified trustees
  • Avoidance of criminal liability traps
  • Maintaining privacy and confidentiality
  • Retaining control over firearms after the trustmaker’s death
  • Compliance with National Firearms Act (NFA)
  • Adherence to Florida trust statutes
  • Proper identification of trustees and beneficiaries
  • Potential registration with Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
  1. Consultation with a gun trust attorney
  2. Creation of a revocable living trust
  3. Inclusion of necessary provisions
  4. Identification of trustees and beneficiaries
  5. Signature and notarization of trust document
  6. Registration or filing, if required
  7. Transfer of firearms into the trust

ATF New Rules for NFA Trusts

The ATF has made new rules for NFA trusts lately. These changes have big effects on how NFA trusts work now. Let’s dig into what these new regulations mean for gun owners.

Elimination of CLEO Approval and Fingerprint/Photograph Requirements

One big change is no CLEO’s approval needed anymore to start an NFA trust. This makes starting a trust easier since you don’t have to deal with the CLEO.

The new rules also mean you and other trustees don’t need to send in fingerprints or photos. This makes setting up a trust faster, cutting out some paperwork.

Enhanced Focus on the Definition of a “Responsible Person”

The rules removed some hoops but add a big focus on what a “responsible person” is. They’re the ones who can make decisions about the trust’s firearms. Knowing this term helps trustees follow ATF rules.

Continued Benefits of NFA Trusts

Even with these changes, NFA trust members can still share and use guns legally. This sharing rule is a major plus of having an NFA trust. It makes it easier for members to possibly use the firearms together.

Keeping up with ATF rules for NFA trusts is key if you have or want one. Following these rules means you can enjoy the trust’s benefits without issues.

Since NFA trust laws are always changing, getting help from a gun trust attorney is smart. They can guide you through these laws and help protect your gun ownership rights.

ATF New Rules for NFA Trusts

Florida Gun Trusts and Estate Planning

In Florida, estate planning with guns faces unique issues. Simple firearms like rifles and shotguns don’t often cause problems. But, those controlled by the National Firearms Act (NFA) need special attention.

Dealing with NFA-controlled guns when passing them to family is tricky. It’s vital to know the laws. Creating a gun trust with a knowledgeable lawyer can help a lot.

With a gun trust, managing the transfer of these guns becomes easier. A trust aids in following laws. It also makes sure the weapons can still be used legally by their new owners.

The Benefits of a Gun Trust for Estate Planning

  • Avoiding Probate: A gun trust skips the probate process, saving time and money for your family.
  • Preserving Privacy: The trust keeps the details of gun ownership private.
  • Ensuring Compliance: A good lawyer can make sure your gun trust follows state and federal rules.
  • Facilitating Transfer: This makes it clear and easy for your heirs to inherit the guns.

Making a gun trust means choosing a lawyer who knows both gun and estate law. They can create a solid trust that fits your needs and follows the rules.

Remember, it’s vital to plan carefully when guns are involved in estate planning. A lawyer’s help is key to safeguarding your firearms for your family’s future.


Setting up a gun trust in Florida is key for firearm owners. It helps make sure they follow the law, keeps their firearms private, and plans for their estate well. A well-made gun trust lets multiple people use firearms legally, keeps owners from breaking laws, and allows them to control their guns even after they pass away.

Starting a gun trust might have some costs and be a bit complicated. But, working with a gun trust attorney who knows their stuff can make it easier. They can help with the process, making sure the trust fits the owner’s needs and meets all legal rules. With their help, setting up the trust can be smooth and correct, giving owners peace of mind.

Having a gun trust in Florida is crucial for anyone who owns firearms. It safeguards their assets, keeps things private, and lets them pass their guns down without trouble. By teaming up with a reliable gun trust attorney and staying on top of rules, people can create a gun trust that does exactly what they want and stays legal.


What is a gun trust and how does it relate to Title II firearms?

A gun trust helps manage and pass on Title II firearms in Florida. It allows many people to share and use the trust’s guns. This trust also makes it easier to transfer guns when the owner passes away.

What are the benefits of setting up a gun trust in Florida?

Setting up a gun trust in Florida has several perks. Trustees can share and use the firearms legally. It also avoids legal problems of personal ownership.

The trust keeps firearm ownership private. It allows control even after the owner’s death or if they become unable to manage it.

Are there any potential disadvantages to having a gun trust?

Yes, there are drawbacks to a gun trust. It can be expensive to create and maintain. The trust is limited to firearm-related matters only.

Trustees might face legal issues if they break firearm laws. Also, changes in laws could affect the trust’s use or cause it to become invalid.

What is the difference between NFA gun trusts and regular firearms trusts?

NFA gun trusts were once used to avoid lots of paperwork and allow sharing of certain guns. But now, regular firearms trusts are advised. They are simpler due to rule changes from the ATF.

How do I set up a gun trust in Florida?

Start by finding a lawyer familiar with Florida’s gun laws. They will help you create a trust that meets all legal requirements. This trust specifically holds Title II firearms.

The trust needs to follow both NFA rules and Florida’s regulations for trusts.

What are the latest ATF rules for NFA trusts?

The ATF has recently updated rules for NFA trusts. Now, you don’t need CLEO approval, or provide fingerprints and photos.

However, it’s important to understand the new definition of a “responsible person” in a trust. Trust members can still share NFA firearms.

Are there any specific considerations for estate planning with firearms in Florida?

Few things are as challenging in estate planning as firearms, especially NFA guns in Florida. Experts recommend creating a gun trust to handle these complex matters.