Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00

Does Your eFile NFA Tax Stamp Say Draft?

Draft form 4 Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 6.51.57 PMOn rare occasions, some of our NFA clients have received approved Form 1’s submitted through the BATFE’s eFile system with the word “DRAFT” watermarked across each page of their tax stamp approved with an ATF agent’s signature.

While your tax stamp and NFA firearms registration is most likely valid in these cases, the draft watermark on your documents is a technical error by the ATF requiring a correction.

You may request a corrected form by sending an email to your ATF examiner, or directly to eForms.Request [at]

Be sure to reference the DRAFT watermark still present on your approved tax stamp, and also include the serial number of the respective NFA firearm as well as the control number issued on the top left of your eForm.  ATF response times vary for corrected documents, but we have seen relatively quick corrective actions completed in as little as a couple of days.

Arsenal Attorneys TM is dedicated to helping our clients navigate the NFA regulations and ATF policies.  If you have questions about NFA firearms, we welcome you to contact us. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 00:00

ATF Says Soda Can Launcher is NFA Firearm

Can Cannon Production[Note: X Products have changed the design of their Can Cannon so it no longer must comply with the National Firearms Act. For more details see our blog from April 2016.  The following information provides background information when ATF declared the previous design of the Can Cannon an SBR].

Yesterday we learned of another example of how ATF policies can cause surprise and confusion as well as concern about the future.

X Products LLC market a product called the Can Cannon, which launches soda cans using a device attached to an AR-15 lower receiver.  It uses blank 5.56 NATO cartridges for the necessary propulsion.  As a novelty item, it enjoyed considerable publicity as an alternative to a firearm and conventional ammunition.

That changed today when the company announced that ATF had classified the Can Cannon as a firearm regulated under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).   The announcement from X Products LLC follows:


Dear Customers,

We recently received a complete evaluation from the [ATF] on the legal status of the Can Cannon dated: August 26th, Received September 11, 2015. The evaluation of the Can Cannon as currently produced is in and of itself not a firearm and not controlled, however when placed on a rifle receiver is considered a (SBR) short barrel rifle, and when placed on a pistol (AOW) any other weapon.

We are submitting a revised design to address the issues in the [ATF]’s determination letter. We will update our customers throughout this process.

For any questions or inquiries about this matter, please email

A copy of the determination letter will be available on our site shortly.

Best Regards,

X Products LLC


Besides the impact on the bottom line of X Products LLC, this decision creates an immediate legal risk for customers who already possess a Can Cannon.  Those devices are now NFA controlled firearms and require registration with ATF and payment of a tax ($200 in the case of an SBR or $5 for an AOW).  It’s likely some of those customers will not learn about this ATF decision, and they will make no attempt to complete the registration process potentially exposing themselves to felony prosecution for the unregistered possession of an NFA firearm. 

For those who intend to comply with NFA regulations, they face red tape and possible difficulty or impossibility of obtaining the signature of their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), such as their sheriff.   They must also ensure no one else has possible access to their Can Cannon outside of their presence and control.   Inheritance also becomes a problem particularly because such an item could be mishandled if the owner dies or becomes incapacitated. 

The Arsenal Gun Trust™ addresses these very concerns by making NFA registration simpler and safer.   The Arsenal Gun Trust™ avoids the burdensome NFA requirements of fingerprints, photographs, and CLEO signature.  Our Trust design also allows possession by other people, and in most states our solution can provide an estate plan for your Can Cannon and the rest of your gun collection.

In conclusion, its important to monitor changes in ATF regulations and firearms laws that could affect your existing gun collection.  In fact, during gun control debate in the US Congress in early 2013, some called for the NFA rules to be extended to all firearms.   For help with a Can Cannon, other NFA firearms, and estate planning, contact Arsenal Attorneys™ to learn about the Arsenal Gun Trust™.

George Lyon TV

Attorney George Lyon of our law firm appeared on Fox News' Washington, DC affiliate this evening to address gun control issues in light of today's murder of two TV journalists during a live broadcast near Roanoake, Virginia. 

"Today's murder of two young TV journalists in Virginia by a deranged former co-worker -- who passed a background check for his gun purchase -- demonstrates not that we need more gun control laws, but that we need to examine our mental health system to better identify and treat potentially violent individuals," Mr. Lyon said.

He continued, "Calls for more gun control will do nothing to prevent future tragedies like what happened today. The murderer in Southwest Virginia passed a background check just like so many other perpetrators of recent mass killings."

Drawing on his experience as a firearms instructor, Mr. Lyon said "While I support being armed when out and about, it's likely nothing could have been done to prevent today's killing even if the victims had been armed. The murderer stalked these reporters and attacked them at a time they were most defenseless, in the middle of an interview. Events like today's nevertheless underscore that it is important to maintain situational awareness even when task fixated and to have the means to defend your life if attacked."

In closing, Mr. Lyon called for teaching America's youth that problems must not be solved with violence.

George Lyon is one of the original plaintiffs of the Supreme Court's landmark Heller decision.  He is also a plaintiff in the Palmer case which compelled the District of Columbia to issues permits for carrying concealed firearms.  He serves clients of our firm in a variety of matters, including firearms law, civil litigation, commercial law, and administrative law. 



Thursday, 13 August 2015 00:00

Arsenal Gun Trusts Now Available in Vermont

Vermont postcardAs of July 2, 2015, Vermont legalized the ownership of suppressors, and Arsenal Attorneys immediately thereafter extended its Arsenal Gun Trust services to the Green Mountain State.

Our law firm serves clients directly, with no middle man. Clients enjoy the full benefits of an attorney-client relationship and follow on support that only a law firm can provide.  We offer clients a personal consultation and legal solutions customized for their individual needs.  

The Arsenal Gun Trust is a highly personalized solution offered through a very convenient process.  Regardless of their location, clients in the states we serve may take advantage of our services through teleconferences, email, and priority US mail delivery of their finished documents.  These clients turn to our firm because of our leadership in the field, and particularly because of the proximity of our main office in the Washington, DC area to the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the National Rifle Association.  

Contact us to learn more about our services. 

hunting deerOn August 1 Minnesota became the 36th state to legalize game hunting with a suppressor, and in October 2015 Maine will be the 37th to do so.  

In these states, hunters using suppressors enjoy greater hearing safety (for themselves and their dogs), greater situational awareness, reduced noise complaints, and greater accuracy because of recoil reduction.

Critics' claims that suppressors will lead to increased poaching have proven unfounded.

Arsenal Attorneys serve clients in nearly every state where suppressors are legal to own.  Contact us to learn how our Arsenal Gun Trust we helps clients obtain, handle, and inherit firearms safely and legally.


Sheriffs officeOn August 7, 2015, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 562 into law, thereby making the Tar Heel State the 14th to implement Shall-Sign/Shall-Certify legislation for applications to own firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), including suppressors, short barrel rifles and machine guns.

Ordinarily applicants who wish to obtain NFA firearms (whether by transfer or by their own making) must provide the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) the following:  a set of fingerprints, a set of photographs, and an BATFE application signed by their local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO).  All of these requirements must be repeated by the individual applicant for each and every NFA firearm they wish to register with BATFE.

The CLEO is usually the sheriff or chief of police.  In some local jurisdictions, CLEOs have refused all requests for their their signatures, and thereby obstructed applicants who have their full legal rights to own these legal firearms.  In response, 14 states, including North Carolina, have enacted legislation requiring CLEOs to grant signatures to eligible applicants.  These reforms will undoubtedly help applicants dealing with CLEOs who unjustly refuse signatures for NFA applications; however prospective NFA firearms owners should still think carefully before seeking a CLEO signature.  

In the 14 shall sign states, and the 40 total states which allow ownership of at least some NFA firearms, NFA applicants still have the option to use an alternative like the Arsenal Gun Trust.  By using a trust, no CLEO signature is required for NFA applications whatsoever, and neither are fingerprints or photographs.  Thus the applicant avoids that time consuming red tape and loss of privacy.  

By using an Arsenal Gun Trust, the applicant may also help ensure their NFA firearms are handled safely and legally because other eligible people can be named in the trust to grant them legal possession.  Without a trust, individually owned NFA firearms could create criminal liability if another person has possible access to the NFA firearms in the absence of the registered owner.  This concerns arises even when a spouse has the combination to your gun safe or if you leave your gun case in your friend's locked car.

Additionally the Arsenal Gun Trust may act as an estate plan to help beneficiaries inherit firearms privately, legally, and safely. In fact, in most states the Arsenal Gun Trust can used for an entire gun collection, including non-NFA firearms and accessories.  Therefore, your gun collection could be inherited without probate court.  Additionally, the Arsenal Gun Trust provides guidance to your successors to help them understand how to stay safe and comply with the law.

While 'shall sign' legislation could become an important solution for worse gun control laws in the future, firearms owners should always explore all the alternatives, including an Arsenal Gun Trust.  Contact Arsenal Attorneys to discuss your goals and determine how we can help you and your loved ones protect your gun collection.


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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.


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Fairfax, VA 22033