There were several proposed gun laws in North Carolina that may potentially affect how hunters acquire and possess weapons. Recently, new gun legislation passed and made it legal for suppressors (also referred to as silencers) to be used for hunting. Like Elmer Fudd, it will be easy for hunters to “be vewy, vewy quiet” starting October 1, 2013.
How does the new law affect those who use or want to establish a gun trust? Gun trusts are used to “store” both non-NFA and NFA items, such as suppressors, so hunters can gain more flexibility by using a gun trust to possess, share, and use their firearms. The other popular question that the new law has prompted is: How does one acquire a suppressor?
As with any NFA item, approval to purchase a suppressor must be granted through a background check, approval from a local sheriff, paying a $200 fee, and an application to BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). When applying for federal approval to transfer NFA Class III items, individuals will need to complete an ATF Form 4, and our North Carolina gun trust attorneys have provided a Sample ATF Form 4 and instructions on completing the document. However, even with federal approval, the Charlotte Observer reported that a sheriff in Western North Carolina has already denied 100% of the applications he’s received in the short time that the law has been active.
This is where the benefits of a gun trust become very attractive. If a hunter chooses to establish a gun trust in North Carolina, they would be able to legally bypass several of the requirements above and protect themselves and designated users under the law. With a gun trust the hunter would not need to wait or rely on a sheriff’s approval, will not need to be fingerprinted or photographed, and can legally share firearms with family members or friends identified in the trust. Learn more about the benefits of North Carolina gun trusts.
North Carolina is not the first, second, or third state to legalize suppressors for hunting. Thirty-nine other states already permit their use, which means the Tar Heel State is now part of the majority.