The Gun Trust Loophole Exposed by Christopher Dorner

Much has happened in the months since I wrote about how you can use a specialized gun trust to safely bequeath firearms to your heirs.

Between Connecticut and Christopher Dorner, the public debate surrounding gun control and the second amendment has truly ignited, and I for one am not stepping into that fire.

Instead, I’m just going to rake the coals.

On Monday, The New York Times ran an article about gun trusts that reviews an important loophole in traditional firearms legislation.

Essentially, you are not required by law to pass a background check, be fingerprinted, or generally be approved by law enforcement if you buy a gun through a trust.  

The late Christopher Dorner, whose manhunt captivated the nation before ending in his death, apparently exploited this rule to obtain a gun and silencers without a background check.

That said, the article wisely notes that few who use gun trusts do so explicitly to circumvent these regulations, and also that many gun stores impose these regulations on prospective buyers anyway.

However, it’s important to be aware of such loopholes in the trusts you create–especially when they’re suddenly on the minds of lawmakers and lobbyists. Expect more developments on this issue as Washington refocuses on the gun debate in coming months.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, good luck and good hunting.



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The Fisher Law Office is known for its experience in estate planning, probate administration, asset protection, and business development. Annapolis attorney Randall D. Fisher has practiced for over 20 years, maintains the highest peer review rating for ethics (AV Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a sucker for long walks on the fairways.

Find out how to reach Randy via or find him at, on Twitter @thefisherlawoffice, or at

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