With Colorado’s new gun laws set to go into effect July 1, there are steps that owners of high-capacity magazines and select guns can take to protect their assets.
While all those who own any of the soon-to-be-outlawed guns and magazines prior to July 1 will fall under a grandfather clause and be allowed to continue to possess anything that was obtained before that date, there will be an issue of transferring those items to anyone else or willing them to a family member in the future.
In order to keep those guns and magazines in the family and not be required to turn them in when the owner dies, Krystal Woodbury, shareholder with The Law Center in Highlands Ranch, said people need to set up a trust prior to July 1.
If an owner does not have guns in a trust, they are associated with that person’s Social Security number, she said. A trust, however, places the firearms under a tax ID number, which allows for legal transfer to the beneficiaries named in the trust.
“The laws are very specific, but very vague at the same time,” Woodbury said. “After July 1, it is a violation of the law to sell, transfer or accept a large-capacity magazine. So whoever the owner is on July 1 is the owner forever. When they die they can’t be transferred in state, they can’t be sold, and they can’t be possessed. The owner has to be the owner forever here in Colorado.”
Unless, that is, the owner sets up a trust. Those named in the trust, as long as they are allowed to legally possess a firearm, may then receive the firearms. Depending on how the trust is set up, those named may also be allowed to use the firearms prior to the death of the owner of the trust.
“You can be as specific or as general as you want when setting it up,” Woodbury said, adding that a family security trust that names decedents as beneficiaries is valid for 1,000 years in Colorado. “You must make sure the beneficiaries can legally possess a firearm, however, and perform a background check on each of them. The beneficiary also has to certify that they have not been convicted of a felony.”
Woodbury will be making a public presentation on what the new gun laws mean for those who own firearms from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 5 at the Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce, 300 W. Plaza Drive, Suite 225, in Highlands Ranch. She will address revocable and irrevocable trusts as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as talk in depth about each of the new laws.
The presentation is free, but an RSVP is required by calling 303-791-3500 or by visiting the chamber’s page on www.meetup.com.