Tax Stamp and Firearms Trusts

In the state of Arizona many people take pride in their right to own guns. Many people collect guns and sometimes the transferring process from one person to another can be long. If handing your firearms down to your son, daughter or best friend is important to you, a firearms trust may be important to obtain. Just like a living trust, Arizona firearms trusts make the process of leaving your beloved collection of guns behind to your loved ones a lot easier. By obtaining additional ownership of your firearms with a trust for guns that require a tax stamp, there are some advantages.

Tax Stamp Process

  •  Verify in advance that you will be able fulfill all requirements for the Class III stamp before disbursing any money as part of a restricted firearms transaction.
  • Make sure you are older than 21 years of age and have no felony or violent misdemeanor convictions and no dishonorable military discharge.


  • Consult with your local Chief Law Enforcement Official (CLEO) such as police, sheriff’s department or district attorney to verify in advance their policy regarding signing your ATF Form 4. Signature is at the discretion of the local CLEO, and some officials have a policy to routinely decline all requests. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will not issue a Class III stamp without a local CLEO signature on Form 4.


  •  Pay in full for the firearm at the Federal Firearm License-holding dealer from where you wish to purchase. The dealer will supply the ATF Form 4 and two FBI FD-258 fingerprint cards.


  • Fill out the information requested on both sides of ATF Form 4.


  • Obtain two passport photos, and attach them to ATF Form 4.


  •  Take ATF Form 4 and the fingerprint cards to your local CLEO, and request a signature on Form 4. Also, request to be fingerprinted by the CLEO.                    
  • Send two copies of Form 4 with passport photos and the fingerprint cards to the ATF address shown on Form 4. Also include a check or money order to pay the $200.00 tax for the firearm you are purchasing.


  • Fill out ATF Form 5330.20 Certificate Of Compliance to attest that you are a legal citizen and mail it to the Department of the Treasury at the address shown on the form.


  • Wait up to 120 days for the background check and processing to complete. When you receive the certified copy of Form 4 with the Class 3 stamp affixed, present the documents to the dealer and take possession of the firearm.



As you can see the process to obtain a tax stamp for a firearm is very long and the advantage of obtaining a firearms trust includes the ability to skip the following steps above:

  • No fingerprint required
  • No photograph required
  • No signature required by the Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Obtaining a Firearms Trust

Firearms trusts make life easier when you want to pass down your gun collection to loved ones later in life, especially for guns that require tax stamp. Giancarlo Estrada is a firearms enthusiast who works as a trust and estates attorney. Giancarlo’s practice is client focused, offering tailored solutions for individual client needs.