So you are interested in a “gun trust?” The fact is there are a dozen or more places online offering gun trusts for sale. From mere fill in the blank forms and computer generated trusts to more extensive packages that may include a brief consultation with an attorney; any level of service you desire is available. With a plethora of options, one could get dizzy trying to decide what is the best option for them.
Today we make the case that Robert K. Merting is your best option for a South Carolina Gun Trust. Whether you live on the coast or in the mountains, own just a few firearms or have a collection large enough to fill the spare bedroom, or desire something simple to get you started or something complex to last through the lives of your children, chances are Robert has helped similarly situated clients and is familiar with the decisions you will face. This experience is the value you receive when Robert helps you protect your firearms.
All I Need is a “BATFE Approved” Trust.
There is no such thing. Let me say that again: The ATF does not approve trusts. Any site claiming to the contrary is misleading you.
The ATF approves transfers (Form 3, Form 4, and Form 5) and manufacturing (Form 1, and Form 2). When a transfer is to a Trust, or manufacturing is by a Trust, the ATF requires a copy of that Trust to prove its existence. With copy in hand, the ATF checks the box and moves onto the next requirement.
The ATF has been known to reject a transfer when they spot a problem with the Trust. However, the examiners are non-attorneys reviewing trusts from every state. They don’t know intricacies of state law, and they may accept a trust that is invalid or has other mistakes. It’s been known to happen, and it is your (and your attorney’s) job to ensure that your trust is right.
Robert has had hundreds of his trusts used in thousands of successful transfers. The ATF has always accepted Robert K. Merting‘s trusts as our standards are well above the bare minimum required for the ATF to check the box and approve a transfer. Your standards too should be higher.
My Gun Store is Offering a Free (or Cheap) Trust.
Is the store owner, or the guy behind the counter, an attorney? If not, we shouldn’t have to say more. But Robert has helped untangle many messes, and therefore we know more needs to be said.
Some shops see Gun Trusts as easy money. Take a blank form (which they bought off line on the cheap) fill it in with the purchasers name and address, throw some other semi-relevant information on there, and send it off to the ATF. Easy money!
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many of these trust forms and Form 4 combinations that were incorrect. People that had access to the firearms were not listed or in the right locations. The trust name and the name on the Form 4 did not match. The trust wasn’t executed properly. Multiple firearms placed into separate trusts create a logistical nightmare to untangle.
And what did all of these have in common? The ATF accepted the trust! See above; The ATF does not approve trusts, and their acceptance is merely of a check the box type of compliance.
Finally, practicing law in SC without a license is a five-year felony. Would you trust your firearms and legal work to someone willing to risk jail time, their livelihood, and their gun rights for a few quick bucks? We wouldn’t either.
Attorney vs. Machine
The cheapest websites provide customers with a computer generated trust. There is no support from an attorney. These sites assume you know what you are doing and how to use the documents. We know what often happens when you assume.
Do you have questions about who to place on the trust? What about the type of firearms the trust can own? Want to know what to expect when purchasing a NFA firearm? Need some guidance on filing in a Form 1? You won’t find that at these sites. Instead you’ll be left wandering the web and making your own legal interpretations. That’s fine if you’re experienced in this area or have had some legal training. It isn’t so helpful otherwise.
Robert answers your questions and provides you with more than a trust. You receive accompanying documentation that explains the purpose of the trust and how to use it. Sure this will help jog your memory, but it may prove invaluable to your spouse or children who are left behind and wondering what to do with this strange round tube. . . They’ll find not only explanations, but also Robert’s phone number and contact information. He’ll be there to help them understand what they have and how they should handle it.
What About “National Firm?”
Better alternatives have an attorney on staff you can talk with. They’ll advise you about the NFA and Federal laws. Some may even be able to provide you with generalities on state trust law. However, in most instances, these attorneys will not be licensed in South Carolina.
The firms claim to have trusts valid in South Carolina and to represent South Carolina residents. And you may ask what does their knowledge of SC trust law matter if they know NFA law? Well, a trust is a creature of state law. There is no Federal trust nor Federal trust law governing the creation of trusts. Trusts may be designed to own NFA firearms, but they are first and foremost a creation under the trust laws of the state of your residence.
There is a reason the state licenses attorneys and does not recognize attorneys licensed in other states. SC wants to ensure that our residents are represented only by attorneys who have studied SC law and proved some level of competency in understanding and applying that law. Robert provides South Carolina specific guidance and the NFA knowledge offered by any of the national or regional firms.
Further, and perhaps more relevant, Robert knows the SC gun stores and market. Are you looking for a shop in the Low Country? Robert knows several to recommend and can place you in touch with the owners or managers. Do you need someone knowledgeable to engrave your SBR in the Midlands? Robert can point you in the right direction and tell you who to deal with. Are you out-of-town and want your co-trustee to pick your firearm in the Upstate? Chances are Robert knows the shop owner by name and can help allay any confusion.
Robert commonly helps clients find the right shop for their needs. He is also on the look out for many items and can help customers find a particularly difficult to locate firearm. This level of familiarity cannot be offered by an out-of-state attorney, even if they are in a neighboring state!
Why Robert K. Merting?
If you’ve made it this far, then chances are good you’re looking for a local attorney. You see the value in having someone familiar with SC draft your trust and answer your questions. We want that someone to be Robert K. Merting, and here is why.
Robert knows the NFA. Whether it is the process for completing a Form 1, what to expect when searching for a machine gun, or how to handle a surprising find, Robert can guide you through the process. Other attorneys draft NFA trusts, but many don’t have the depth of knowledge with the NFA. Don’t believe us? Scroll through our News and Articles on NFA Firearms and compare that to any other attorney in South Carolina. We believe you’ll be impressed.
Robert knows NFA guns. As an avid shooter and owner of NFA firearms, Robert has been through this process and knows from first hand experience the road you are embarking on. He can provide more than a banal book application of the law. He can talk shop and suggest guns and equipment that you will find fun to shoot.
Robert knows SC Gun Shops. Where are you buying your NFA firearm? Chances are Robert’s been there. He likely knows the owner or manager, and the shop has seen his trusts before. If they have a question, the shop can always call Robert to help clear it up. Occasionally that call may even be to find the customer!
Support. You always have it. Robert is there to answer your questions. You may have forgotten when to fill out an assignment sheet or you might be embarking on a Form 1 application; either way, a quick call to Robert can answer those questions and get you pointed in the right direction.
Personal service. Every client has a personal consultation with Robert. These can be via phone or in person. Robert returns phone calls promptly, and the number posted here and else where is his direct line. Do not expect to talk with a secretary; Robert likes to deal directly with his clients!
You now know why Robert is your choice for a SC Firearms Trust. Contact him today to get started. Your trust will be completed promptly and properly, and your beneficiaries will thank you for a well laid out plan.