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.
A bill has been introduced to require police chiefs to sign NFA paperwork in Virginia, and Arsenal Attorneys have been asked to testify in support of it at a hearing at the Virginia House of Delegates this afternoon.
According to our industry partners, the American Silencer Association (AFA), BATFE will need about a year to review all the submissions made during the public comment period for ATF 41p—the Obama Administration’s proposal to create more red tape for paperwork for NFA firearms. We learned this yesterday during our attendance at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas during which discussions took place between BATFE and ASA.
Many states have their own requirement for the registration of machine guns. Typically, once a machine gun has been acquired after BATFE has issued a tax stamp in the transfer and registration process, a machine gun owner must then register a machine gun with the state police immediately after taking possession of the firearm. Maryland requires a machine gun owner to re-file and pay a fee for machine gun registrations annually. Virginia has a single registration to be submitted to the State Police within 24 hours after taking possession of a machine gun. It is crucial for machine gun owners to confirm whether they must obey such requiremens following the issuance of a tax stamp by BATFE.
Arsenal Attorneys will be returning to the Virginia House of Delegates to support various pieces of proposed legislation concerning firearms. We will also address an overlooked area requiring clarification and reform: registration of machine guns by a trust. In a recent advisory opinion (#13-083), former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speculated the Virginia Uniform Machine Gun Act allowed registration of machine guns by a "firm, partnership, association or corporation," but his statement argued this broad definition did not include trusts.
For years, the Virginia State Police has approved the registration of machine guns by trusts. BATFE, like gun owners, relied on that policy to complete the transfer of machine guns using trusts in Virginia.
An advisory opinion by a Virginia Attorney General has been called by one academic as "an extra-judicial form of advice-giving"* for officials leading state agencies. An advisory opinion might be viewed as constructive or persuasive, but it does not necessarily have the force of law.
Arsenal Attorneys will be clarifying the status of completed, pending, and future machine gun registrations as well as determining a course of action in advising clients and in promoting any necessary reform.
* Long, Kevin L. "Distinctive Competence: The Role of Virginia Attorney General Opinions in State and Local Governance." October 2004: Center for Public Administration and Policy, Blacksburg, VA.
Today the Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 878, which, after amendment, would require a Chief Law Enforcement Officer to sign applications for NFA firearms within 30 days if the applicant is not prohibited from receiving the firearm. Now the House bill must face the challenge of receiving Senate approval before it is presented for the Governor's signature.
Arsenal Attorneys provided testimony in support of this bill and its sponsor, Delegate David LaRock (33rd District). We applaud Delegate LaRock for initiated this reform.
If the bill is enacted into law in its current form, it would read as follows.
§ 18.2-295.1. Chief law-enforcement officer certification; certain firearms.
When a chief law-enforcement officer's certification is required by federal law or regulation for the transfer of a firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer shall, within 30 days of receipt of the request for certification, provide such certification if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. If the applicant is prohibited by law from receiving the firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee shall provide written notification to the applicant that states the reason for the prohibition.
For purposes of this section, "firearm" shall have the same meaning as provided in the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. § 5845 (a).
Arsenal Attorneys proposed legislation to clarify the right of trusts to register machine guns under the Uniform Maching Gun Act (UMGA).
Arsenal Attorneys is committed to answering your questions about estate planning, firearms, business law, litigation, and criminal defense issues.
We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.