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Who is a Responsible Person in a Gun Trust?

On July 13, 2016, ATF Final Rule 41F went into effect. ATF Rule 41F requires all Responsible Persons in a Gun Trust to submit background information every time the Gun Trust purchases or manufactures a Silencer or SBR. The background information includes:

Responsible Person Questionnaire, (ATF form 5320.23)
Photographs, and
Fingerprints

Additionally, the Rule states that “Responsible Persons” are required to submit the following documentation to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO):

Copy of the Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF form 5320.23)


So… who is a
“Responsible Person?”

A Responsible Person is anyone that could have control over the NFA items in a Gun Trust. In a Trust Shop Gun Trust the Responsible People are the Settlor, Trustee, and Co-Trustees. The Successor Trustee and the Beneficiary of a Gun Trust from the Trust Shop, are not “Responsible People.”

Sometimes Gun Trusts from other places use different names for the people involved with the trust. Some of the more commonly used names are: Settlor, Grantor, Creator, Maker, Trustee, Co-Trustee, Partner, Agent, Member, Officer, Board member, and Director.

The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what title a person has, but rather how much authority, power, and control they have. If a trust gives a person any kind of control over the NFA items, that person is considered a “Responsible Person.” Likewise, just because a person is appointed to one of these roles (Co-Trustee, Partner, Agent, etc.), that doesn’t mean they are necessarily “Responsible Persons.”

In a nutshell, a person is considered “Responsible” based on the amount of authority they are given by the trust, NOT based on their title.


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