Tuesday, 03 December 2013 07:15

Busting NFA Myths: ATF Searches

Each day we advise new and existing clients about the importance of creating and using an Arsenal Gun Trust now before threatened gun control restrictions could one day take effect, if ever.  To inform the public, we will be posting a series of 'myth-busting' commentaries becuase we're concerned about false information that could lead people to abandon plans to own NFA firearms without reason. NFA (National Firearms Act) firearms include silencers, short barreled rifles and machine guns.

Our first installment concerns a rumor claiming that any person owning or possessing NFA firearms surrenders their Constitutional rights protecting them from government searches.

While gun dealers are subject to unannounced inspections by BATFE for NFA firearms, civilian owners of NFA firearms, including trusts, are not.

The rumor probably arose from confusion about Class 3 licenses. Unfortunately many people incorrectly believe that any person who owns NFA firearms must have a 'Class 3 license.' That's not true. Only a gun dealer needs to have a Class 3 license. More accurately, Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) pay a Special Occupational Tax (SOT) to deal commercially in NFA firearms. BATFE may conduct a surprise inspection of such gun dealers once a year during business hours.

An article by the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Gun Owners explains the distinction between how an FFL/SOT is subject to BATFE searches while private citizens are not. I’ve provided an excerpt below:

As to one who is neither a FFL nor SOT, but only owns weapons regulated under the National Firearms Act, ATF may only compel you to show an agent upon request the registration paperwork, that is the Form 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or whatever else might have been used to register the weapon. See 26 U.S.C. sec. 5841(e). They do not have any right to compel you to produce the weapon. As always the Fourth amendment applies, and ATF may not enter your home or other place of storage of the NFA weapon, nor seize the weapon, without a warrant, or without falling under an exception the Supreme Court has created to the operation of the Fourth amendment, or without your consent.

Arsenal Attorneys offers the Arsenal Gun Trust to help you own NFA firearms lawfully and safely. Our solution is based on your personal situation and state law. We helps clients maintain control over their firearms, reduce the legal risk and stress of handling NFA firearms, and create a firearms estate plan for your entire gun collection–all of which are benefits of the Arsenal Gun Trust.

Thursday, 05 December 2013 09:26

End of Year Planning Checklist

As the end of the year approaches, now is a good time to review and update your estate planning. Here's a checklist we recommend:

  • Review your current will and trusts. These may need to be updated because of major changes in your life, such as births or deaths, a move to another state, etc.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 14:11

It's Still an Important Time for NFA Firearms

Midnight last night brought the end of the comment period for ATF 41P, the Obama Administration's proposal re the use of entities to register firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), such as silencers, short barrel rifles, machine guns, etc. Over 9,000 comments were posted, and we haven't yet to see any of them supporting the proposal. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 20:26

Sample ATF 5320.1 - The 'Form 1'

You can find on our website a sample of a completed ATF Form 5320.1, otherwise known as Form 1.

Want to transfer an NFA firearm? If you want to buy a silencer, short barrel rifle or shotgun, machine gun or other legally transferable firearms regulated by the National Firearm Act ('NFA'), you'll need to complete ATF Form 5320.4, otherwise known as the 'Form 4'.

After collecting more than 9,000 public comments during a 90 day period ending December 9, the US Government updated the status of BATFE's proposed rule on the transfer of NFA firearms to 'legal entities', such as trusts and corporations (docket number ATF 41P). The 'Unified Agenda Statement' maintained by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must announce an estimated date of a 'Final Action' on this proposal; however such forecasts often prove unreliable as proposals are often changed, dropped, delayed, or sped up.

For now, the government has planned a  'Final Action' of "06/00/2014."  What does this mean? 

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