ATF Forms to Accompany Gun Trust Documents

Responsible Person Questionnaire

As part of the changes that went into effect on July 13, 2016, individuals submitting an ATF application to acquire NFA firearms with a gun trust must complete documentation for all ‘responsible persons’ associated with the trust. The ATF defines a ‘responsible person’ as an individual with the ability ‘to exercise power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust’ and has ‘authority to receive’ a firearm for or on behalf of the trust.

Documents required for responsible persons include:

  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF Form 5320.23)
  • Background check

Documents must be sent to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) respective to the residence of the responsible person or the applicant. CLEO sign-off is not required.

For qualified applications, a two-year exemption is available for documentation of responsible persons. However, the exemption does not apply to fingerprints and photographs. Check with a gun trust attorney to learn if a pending application qualifies for an exemption.

Responsible persons forms are not limited to those associated with gun trusts. The ATF’s final rule encompasses individuals in reference to corporations, companies, partnerships, associations, and other legal entities.

Management of NFA items with a gun trust remains a valuable planning technique. Although some additional work is now required to fulfill documentation requirements, these tools offer control and flexibility during one’s lifetime and in the event of incapacity or death. Gun trust settlors have the peace of mind their firearms will be managed effectively when they are no longer able to oversee trust management.