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Friday, 14 February 2014 12:15

Arsenal Attorneys Testify Before State Senate on CLEO Signatures Featured

Arsenal Attorneys' Matthew Bergstrom testified before the Virginia Senate on February 12 in support of House Bill 878. Arsenal Attorneys worked with members of the firearms community to initiate this reform championed by Delegate David LaRock.

The bill addressed the problem of chief law enforcement officers (CLEOs) who fail to respond to the requests of law-abiding citizens to register firearms regulated under Title 2 of the National Firearms Act (NFA), such as silencers, short barrel rifles, and vintage machine guns. Currently, when a CLEO ignores such requests or refuses to consider any such application by any person, there is no recourse for the citizen.

HB 787 would've required a CLEO to make response, yea or nay, to the request. It did not change which firearms are legal in Virginia, nor would it force a CLEO to accept requests for ineligible applicants.

Opponents testifying against this reform expressed their wish to use any means available to obstruct law-abiding citizens to own  legal firearms. From this point of view, even a law abiding citizen should be at the mercy of an individual CLEO. Outside the committee meeting, anti-reform activities falsely claimed the bill intended to make bazookas legal.

Speaking in favor of the bill, Mr. Bergstrom argued for the rule of law. He said the current system is broken because it is subject to abuse because there is nothing to stop a CLEO from rejecting NFA registrations based on personal politics, ideology, or prejudice. Regardless of the vote, Mr. Bergstrom said, Arsenal Attorneys would continue helping clients successfully overcome these obstacles, but the principle of the matter required support of 878 to prevent what is obviously a case of abuse or neglect perpetrated by some CLEOs. 

Ultimately HB 878 failed to proceed; however the amount of attention this issue received in Virginia and across the country is progress. We applaud Delegate David LaRock for his efforts at reform and to protect the rule of law.

Pictured left to right following the Senate vote are Matthew Bergstrom, members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, FFL Mark Attanasio of Immortal Arms, and Delegate David LaRock. 


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Arsenal Attorneys

Arsenal Attorneys is a nationwide law practice with offices in Fairfax, Virginia near Washington, DC and in Rocklin, California near Sacramento. We serve large and small clients, often remotely. Depending on the client's location, our services include estate planning, civil litigation, criminal defense, business law, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate, and firearms regulations. Our team of attorneys is licensed to serve clients in over 30 states. Contact us today to discuss your goals.