By George L. Lyon, Jr

As you may have heard, the ATF on December 18, 2020, published a notice setting forth the factors it considers in classifying firearms equipped with a stabilization brace, sometimes called an arm brace. The importance of this classification is that it can mean the difference between a firearm equipped with such a brace being classified as a pistol and thus not subject to the National Firearms Act or as a short barrel rifle requiring registration and payment of a $200 tax. Violation of the requirements of the National Firearms Act (NFA) is a felony potentially subjecting the offender to several years in prison and permanent loss of firearms rights.

ATF sealATF provided an explanation of the common errors made on its "Form 4 - Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.4)." The following is an excerpt from ATF's own recent newsletter, which can be found at this link:

Did you know that approximately 40 percent of all tax paid applications submitted to the NFA Division are incomplete and/or contain errors? Failure to properly complete necessary paperwork will result in the application being denied or returned for correction. Attempts to resolve these errors can lead to significant delays in processing the application. In these cases, the applicant is issued an error letter and given a period of 30 days to respond to ATF. Failure to respond in a timely manner will result in the application being disapproved. These delays can be avoided by taking the time to accurately complete the application in accordance with the instructions provided on the form. Below is a list of the most frequently encountered discrepancies:

Common Errors associated with ATF Form 4:
1. Missing Photos
2. Fingerprint Cards incomplete
3. Responsible Person Questionnaires (RPQs) - none submitted, too many submitted, insufficient number submitted (Must be one RPQ for each RP)
4. Trust/Individual names do not match on forms
5. Box 9 – Missing Transferor signature/date
6. Box 4d – Incorrect models
7. Box 12 – Law Enforcement Notification information not provided
8. Box 13 – Transferee Necessity Statement left blank
9. Box 17 – Missing Transferee signature/date

Arsenal Attorneys™ help clients with address these issues on a daily basis, and we've taught this area of law and regulations to lawyers across America. We recommend using a trust as the applicant on a Form 4 because our client, acting as trustee of his own trust, may authorize other eligible people to possess the trust’s NFA firearms. Additionally, the trust could provide an estate plan allowing successor and beneficiaries to keep those NFA firearms without the need for a public probate court process.

Are you interested in owning a silencer? Read the Arsenal Gun Trust™ Tutorial and FAQs to learn how to properly register, handle, and inherit NFA firearms, including short barrel rifles and machine guns.

Arsenal Attorneys™ serve clients in the area of firearms law. The firm serves clients across America from its headquarters in the metro-Washington, DC area. The firm is particularly renowned for its Arsenal Gun Trust, a solution helping clients in the registering, handling, and estate planning of firearms, particularly those regulated under the National Firearms Act. Arsenal Attorneys' team includes lawyers licensed to practice law in nearly every state where NFA firearms are lawful to possess.

We currently serve clients in the following states (subject to change): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and it is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.

ATF sealATF provided an explanation of the common errors made on its "Form 1 - Application to Make and Register a Firearm (ATF Form 5320.1)." The following is an excerpt from ATF's own recent newsletter, which can be found at this link

Did you know that approximately 40 percent of all tax paid applications submitted to the NFA Division are incomplete and/or contain errors? Failure to properly complete necessary paperwork will result in the application being denied or returned for correction. Attempts to resolve these errors can lead to significant delays in processing the application. In these cases, the applicant is issued an error letter and given a period of 30 days to respond to ATF. Failure to respond in a timely manner will result in the application being disapproved. These delays can be avoided by taking the time to accurately complete the application in accordance with the instructions provided on the form. Below is a list of the most frequently encountered discrepancies:

Common Errors associated with ATF Form 1:
• Missing Photos
• Fingerprint Cards incomplete (Often missing biometric information)
• Responsible Person Questionnaires (RPQs) - none submitted, too many submitted, insufficient number submitted (Must be one RPQ for each RP)
• Trust/Individual names do not match on forms
• Box 4a – Original Manufacturer not provided/incorrect
• Box 4i – Intent not provided
• Box 4d – Incorrect models
• Box 4h – Maker’s name, city, state not provided
• Box 7 – Missing signature of applicant
• Box 10 – Law Enforcement Notification information not provided

Arsenal Attorneys™ help clients with address these issues on a daily basis, and we've taught this area of law and regulations to lawyers across America. We recommend using a trust as the applicant on a Form 1 because our client, acting as trustee of his own trust, may authorize other eligible people to possess the trust’s NFA firearms. Additionally, the trust provides an estate plan allowing successor and beneficiaries to keep those NFA firearms without the need for a public probate court process.

Are you interested in owning a silencer? Read the Arsenal Gun Trust™ Tutorial and FAQs to learn how to properly register, handle, and inherit NFA firearms, including short barrel rifles and machine guns.

Arsenal Attorneys serve clients in the area of firearms law. The firm serves clients across America from its headquarters in the metro-Washington, DC area. The firm is particularly renowned for its Arsenal Gun Trust, a solution helping clients in the registering, handling, and estate planning of firearms, particularly those regulated under the National Firearms Act. Arsenal Attorneys' team includes lawyers licensed to practice law in nearly every state where NFA firearms are lawful to possess.

We currently serve clients in the following states (subject to change): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and it is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.

Arsenal symbol 4 color printArsenal Attorneys and our Arsenal Gun Trust services will be featured in an upcoming online seminar on August 20 for lawyers concerning estate planning for firearms entitled, "Firearms in Estate Administration: Legal Issues, Executor Liability, Transferring Title I and II Guns, Penalties -- Understanding Gun Legal Designations, In-State and Out-of-State Transfers, Use of Gun Trusts."

This CLE webinar will guide estate planners and administrators on managing the legal challenges of firearms in estate and trust administration. The panel will discuss federal gun laws and firearm designations, issues for beneficiaries inheriting guns, in-state and out-of-state transfers and legal ownership, use of trusts and other entities to legally transfer guns, and best practices to avoid mishaps in the administration of estates or trusts holding firearms.

 

The administration of an estate holding firearms can cause increased expenses, fees, taxes, and potential liability if mishandled. Managing guns within an estate requires an in-depth knowledge of a myriad of federal and state regulations to adhere to in order to avoid excessive fines and criminal liability.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) encompasses strict prohibitions and restrictions on the transfer of certain firearms. Prohibited possession can be actual or constructive with zero tolerance for inadequate processes in the acquisition. Also, state laws will apply to transfers or sales of firearms within their jurisdictions. If there is an out-of-state transfer or sale of a gun, compliance with federal and state laws becomes more complicated.

Estate planners and executors must be mindful of the possibility that some beneficiaries may be ineligible to receive firearms and consider alternative methods to align with a client's intent, such as naming alternate recipients or by creating a gun trust. Trusts can legally hold the firearms and allows a trustee to lawfully possess the firearms and minimize administration issues regarding the transfer or sale of firearms during probate.

The panel will discuss the classification, ownership, and transfer rules applicable to firearms, and the creation and use of guns trusts and other planning methods to ensure the proper administration of an estate holding firearms.

Seminar Topics will also include:

  • Firearm classification, ownership, and transfer rules
  • Federal and state gun laws
  • Title I vs. Title II firearms
  • In-state and out-of-state transfers
  • Handling the estate administration of firearms
  • Key considerations for gifts and bequests
  • Valuation
  • Legal ownership
  • Potential penalties and liability
  • Gun trusts
  • Liability issues
  • Sale or transfer of estate-held firearms
  • Best practices for estate planners and administrators

For more information, contact Arsenal Attorneys using the contact form at our website.

 

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