The state of Washington has joined the nationwide trend to expand rights to own firearms regulated by Title 2 of the National Firearms Act ("NFA"), such as silencers, short barrel rifles, and vintage machine guns. Effective June 12, 2014, it is legal "for a person to possess, transport, acquire, or transfer a short-barreled rifle [SBR] that is legally registered and possessed, transported, acquired, or transferred in accordance with federal law," according to the bill unanimously approved by the Washington Senate.

Arsenal Attorneys is ready to help clients in Washington, as well as 35 other states, buy or build short barrel rifles and silencers using our Arsenal Gun Trust. Before obtaining an SBR, an applicant must receive a tax stamp from ATF. A tax stamp is required before taking possession of an NFA firearm you purchased from a gun dealer. A tax stamp would also be required prior to making an NFA firearm. For example, regardless of whether you build an SBR from scratch or if you retrofit a gun to become an SBR, you must obtain a tax stamp first.

Ordinarily, applications for tax stamps must include fingerprints, photographs, and the signature of the chief law enforcement officer ('CLEO'). Once the tax stamp is issued, an individual person who owns an NFA firearm must be careful becuase it can be a felony if someone else has potential access to that firearm. Also, inheritance of an NFA firearm can pose risks. Our services address these issues.

By using our Arsenal Gun Trust you can simplify the ATF process by avoiding fingerprints, mugshots, and local police sign-offs. The The Trust also enables others to possess your NFA firearms legally. Finally, your Arsenal Gun Trust can serve as an estate plan for your entire gun collection to help your loved ones obey the law and protect the privacy of your firearms. 

If you're interested in learning more about our services for clients in Washington and the 36 other states served by Arsenal Attorneys, visit our website to obtain informational materials about the Arsenal Gun Trust.  

SBR Sterling Arsenal

Arsenal Attorneys just received confirmation ATF has completed the next phase of its relaunch of the internet-based ATF eFile system. According to ATF, the public may now submit ATF Form 1 (also known as 5320.1 -- "Application to Make and Register a Firearm") using the eFile website. ATF originally launched eFile in August 2013 to offer the public a faster process to register firearms regulated by Title 2 of the National Firearms Act ("NFA"), including silencers, short barrel rifles (SBR), short barrel shotguns, and machine guns. Thus, instead of waiting 12 months for a tax stamp requested through a paper application process, applicants could use eFile to obtain a tax stamp in as little as 90 days.

Previously eFile exhibited technical problems, and ATF shutdown the eFile website on April 4, 2014 to correct these glitches. Now that eFile will be accepting Form 1, ATF has assured the public eFile will soon be ready to accept Form 3 and Form 4 for the transfer of NFA firearms, including silencers, machine guns, and short barrel shotguns. 

The Form 1 is used when you want to make your own NFA firearm. This situation usually involved the building of an SBR. An applicant might begin with a stripped lower receiver, or perhaps they wish to retrofit a firearm to become an SBR. We advise each of our clients in how this can be done. 

How can you take advantage of this good news?  

The eFile system is only available to those using a legal entity, such as our Arsenal Gun Trust. In addition to becoming eligible for the faster eFile process, our clients also enjoy a simpler application process because an Arsenal Gun Trust avoids the need for fingerprinting, mugshots, and the signature of your local police chief. Additionally, you may use the Arsenal Gun Trust to allow other people to possess your NFA firearms legally. Finally, in most cases, we can design your Arsenal Gun Trust for your entire gun collection so your firearms could pass to the next generation privately and without a court proceeding. You may use the same Arsenal Gun Trust for the purchase or manufacture of multiple NFA firearms. Contact Arsenal Attorneys to learn more about these services. We offer a variety of options for every budget in most states.

Below is ATF's official announcement of concerning eFile and its ongoing effort to issue tax stamps faster:


We are pleased to announce the following updates to the eForms system:

  1. Performance enhancements – We were able to address some of the technical issues. You will see improvements in the overall performance of the system.
  2. We are able to add the ATF Form 1 back to the eForms system. Our plans are to closely monitor the performance of the system in order to determine if we will be able to add additional forms back to the system.

Below is an update on the status on our processing of paper and electronic NFA applications. In the future, this information will be available through links on the eForms login screen:

In follow-up to ATF's letter dated April 16, 2014, regarding the status of the eForms system; this update is being provided to inform the industry of ATF's progress in addressing eForms and paper NFA applications. To accommodate the substantial increase in application volume that has recently occurred, ATF is working diligently to decrease processing times while continuing to enhance the eForms platform.


What is our progress to date?

From a peak of over 81,000 pending NFA applications at the end of February 2014, as of June 18, 2014, ATF has reduced the number to less than 63,000 applications pending (23% reduction in pending applications). In the last four weeks, although the NFA Branch received over 17,800 applications we processed more than 22,400 applications.


NFA pending application reduction


The statistics in the table below represent the processing of NFA Forms over the past four weeks.



Date (Week of)         5/28/2014          6/4/2014        6/11/2014        6/18/2014

All Forms                      4,815                 5,629              5,635               6,323

eForms                         1,199                 1,204              1,905               1,682

Paper Forms                 3,616                 4,425               3,730               4,641


At the same time, ATF has directed additional resources to NFA application processing:

  • There are currently 15 Legal Instrument Examiner (LIE) applicants currently in the background investigation phase of hiring.
  • The use of overtime funding has been authorized for those employees processing NFA applications.
  • ATF has cross-trained LIEs from various other ATF branches to support NFA application processing. This is an ongoing process and has already beneficially impacted application processing.
  • ATF has dedicated additional data entry contract resources to reduce the time it takes for an application to be entered into the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). As a result, data entry time has already been reduced from eight weeks to two weeks.


Sunday, 20 July 2014 13:06

Moving with NFA firearms?

Whether you're moving across state lines (interstate) or across the street (intrastate) you need to file a Form 5320.20 (Form 20) with ATF.  If you're moving out of state, you need to submit a Form 20 about 3 months prior to your move so you can receive the pre-approval from ATF before transporting your NFA firearms.  If you're moving within your home state, ATF requires written notification of the move and requests that you submit the Form 20 as your written notification.  It's as simple as that. Remember that you must comply with the local state laws of your new home.

If you already have an Arsenal Gun Trust, we can assist you with a change of address for your trust and even change the governing law of your trust if you have changed your home state. While we're at it, we can always add/remove persons in your trust and make modifications.  Contact us to discuss these options.

If you don't have an Arsenal Gun Trust™ yet, contact us to learn how it can help you obey the law.

Are you building an SBR you intend to use with multiple calibers or barrel lengths or have you bought a manufactured lower and want to be able to change the caliber or barrel?  Here’s what you need to know.

ATF only allows one caliber and/or barrel length in the description on their forms and this does not include the use of “multi” for those specifications. 

Form 1.  If you are building an SBR, you simply put the caliber and barrel length for the first configuration you intend to build.  You can include an additional letter to ATF with your Form 1 detailing the other configurations you intend to use for your new SBR (be sure to include all the information needed for your Form 1: caliber, barrel length, and overall length for each configuration).

Form 4. You should list the caliber that is stamped on the lower for your Form 4.  You can include a letter to ATF with your Form 4 detailing the other configurations you intend to use for an SBR (be sure to include caliber, barrel length, and overall length for each configuration). 

If you change a configuration to one with a longer barrel removing it from the SBR classification, ATF has stated such temporary changes are permissible and can allow you to travel with your firearm out-of-state (without a Form 5320.20) as long as the shorter barrel stays in your home state.  NOTE: If you still own and possess the shorter barrel (whether configured on the lower or not) the firearm is still considered an NFA firearm and cannot be removed from the NFA registry unless you no longer have the short barrel.  SECOND NOTE:  ATF has been known to change their opinions on policy issues periodically.  Due to the discrepancy of a registered SBR with a longer barrel not needing a Form 5320.20 but still being considered an SBR may be a policy that changes.  To be safe, we encourage always obtaining a Form 5320.20 prior to traveling interstate with any registered SBRs.

Before obtaining or building an SBR, an applicant must receive a tax stamp from ATF. By using our Arsenal Gun Trust™ you can simplify the ATF process by avoiding fingerprints, mug shots, and local police signatures. The Trust also enables others to possess your NFA firearms legally. Finally, your Arsenal Gun Trust™ can serve as an estate plan for your entire gun collection to help your loved ones obey the law and protect the privacy of your firearms. 

Additionally, as we stated in our June 24, 2014 blog, ATF has re-launched Form 1s on the e-file system and Form 4s are to be re-launched in the “short term”.  You can only take advantage of ATF’s e-file system if you have a legal entity such as a Trust.  Contact us to learn how we can help you. 

Today, July 26, 2014, the District Court of the District of Columbia has overturned the DC's ban on the carrying of firearms in public. An excerpt from the case, Palmer v. DC, follows and the full opinion can be downloaded from the link below this blog entry.

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly . . . the Court grants Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

Arsenal Attorneys will continue monitoring developments closely. Watch for an order staying this decision while an appeal proceeds. Our firm maintains an office in Washington, DC and we have DC-licensed attorneys ready to advise clients about these matters. Arsenal Attorneys' main office is located in Fairfax, Virginia beside NRA headquarters. We serve clients in nearly 40 states, and we are particularly known for our Arsenal Gun Trust, which is a solution for owning NFA firearms (e.g. suppressors and short barrels) and for estate planning for gun collections. 

The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department has issued formal, written guidance to its officers entitled "Impact of Palmer v. District of Columbia on Firearms Enforcement" dated July 27, 2014. Below is an excerpt of that guidance, which was signed by Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier. A copy of the original guidance can be downloaded from a link at the bottom of this blog entry. All of the following text is taken directly from the DCMPD document, and it does not constitute legal advice from our law firm. Please note, no such guidance was necessarily provided to the other law enforcement authorities exercising jurisdiction in various areas of the District, including the US Park Police and the US Capitol Police, among others. Our law firm includes attorneys licensed in the District of Columbia, where we also maintain an office. We welcome prospective clients to contact us with their questions.


Immediate impact of Palmer v. District of Columbia on Firearms Enforcement

Effective immediately, pursuant to the decision in Palmer v. District of Columbia issued on July 26, 2014, and the directive of the Attorney General o fthe District of Columbia, members of the Metropolitan Police Department shall not enforce D.C. Official Code §22-4504(a) until further notice.


D.C. Official Code §22-4504(a)

D.C. Official Code §22-4504(a) No person shall carry within the District of Columbia either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, or any deadly or dangerous weapon capable of being so concealed.


Residents of the District in possession of an unregistered firearm may be charged with Unregistered Firearm and, if applicable, Unregistered Ammunition if they do not also reside in a jurisdiction where they could legally possess the firearm. At this time, individuals who do not live in the District shall not be charged with either unregistered firearm or unregistered ammunition, but other charges may apply.


There is no change to any other criminal charges, such as Unlawful Possession of Firearms (§22-4503) (which, among other things, prohibits possession by felons, fugitives from justice, and anyone under a CPO requiring them to relinquish firearms0, and Possession of a Firearm while Committing a Crime of Violence, or a Dangerous Crime (§22-4502).



You stop a man on the street carrying a firearm and: 

Scenario 1: The man says he is a resident of the District, but the gun is unregistered.

  • You should charge him with Unregistered Firearm. 

Scenario 2: The man lives in Vermont, which does not require a license or permit for either open or concealed carry of a handgun.You run his name, and no criminal record is apparent.

  • You should record any relevant information for potential further investigation, and he is free to leave.

Scenario 3: The man lives in Virginia, where no license or permit is required to openly carry a handgun. However, when you run his name, records indicate that is a convicted felon.

  • Under District and federal law, felons may not legally possess a firearm. You should arrest him for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (§22-4503).


D.C. Official Code §7-2502.02(a)(4)

In addition, members of the Firearms Registration Section are prohibited from refusing registration of handguns solely on the basis that the objective of the applicant is to carry the handgun in public for self-defense.









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