Blog
20 May 2016

2016 annual firearms law seminarToday members of Arsenal Attorneys™ are attending the 19th Annual National Firearms Law Seminar™ during the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville. The seminar is the nation’s premier event for Second Amendment law.

This year’s seminar topics include:

• Second Amendment Litigation Update

• A Second Amendment Roadmap through the Federal Circuits

• Gun Control through Executive Action

• ATF Compliance Inspections under the Gun Control Act and Recent ATF Rulings and Guidance

• Arming Our Military Personnel on U.S. Soil: What are the Regulations in Place and How Can They Be Changed? (Lunch Speaker, Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC, Ret’d)

• Gun Trusts After 41F and Firearms in Trusts and Estates

• First Party and Third Party Liability Claims Against Firearms Instructors: Avoidance and Protection

• Lawyers, Guns and Money: Ingredients for Ethical Challenges

• Gun Rights Restoration by the Numbers: Fixing the Most Prevalent Disabilities

• Preemption: The Next Frontier in Firearms Regulation & Litigation

This event is an opportunity for Arsenal Attorneys™ to maintain its knowledge in firearms law and Second Amendment jurisprudence. The program is also an occasion to gather with professional colleagues and clients from across the United States. The presentations provide a wide ranging review of recent developments in the law, and informal interactions throughout the program often discuss new strategies for defending clients and protecting our Constitutional rights.

Each year’s seminar includes a special lunch program. This year’s lunch speaker is Lt. Col. Oliver North. He will address the arming of military personnel on U.S. soil. Colonel North is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the NRA board of directors.

The seminar event occurs on the Friday of each year’s NRA Annual Meeting. Next year’s location will be Atlanta. The seminar is organized by staff of NRA’s Office of the General Counsel, and it is supported by the NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Annual National Firearms Law Seminar™ is just one of many educational programs supported by the NRA Foundation. According to the NRA:

For more than two decades, The NRA Foundation has served the needs of freedom-loving Americans across this great nation. We continue to teach freedom through programs that instill knowledge about our nation’s great history. We build partnerships with leaders in our communities and provide grants that are instrumental in funding programs that support our shared vision. Since our establishment in 1990, we’ve exceeded more than $267 million in funding through more than 35,000 grants in support of the shooting sports. These grants provide essential funding that benefits programs such as youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety, and much more.

Arsenal Attorneys™ are avid supporters of the NRA Foundation. This year our law firm has volunteered to form the organizing committee of the National Capital Friends of NRA. We will hold our first annual banquet on Friday, June 17 at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. The event will feature dinner, games, drawings, and auctions. Prizes will include firearms, gear, training, travel, and more. We are also selling 200 raffle tickets to win a Barrett .50 caliber rifle system (you do not need to be present to win the Barrett raffle). Proceeds from the event will support the NRA Foundation. At least half of the money we raise will be used for educational grants in our home state of Virginia.

You may purchase individual tickets, tables, and raffle tickets using this link.

18 May 2016

By George L. Lyon, Jr., Arsenal Attorneys™

Tuesday’s Federal District Court decision in Grace v. District of Columbia, preliminarily enjoining enforcement of DC’s “good cause” requirement for issuance of a Concealed Pistol Carry License, is another encouraging decision from a Federal court upholding Second Amendment rights. However, it is not going to be the last word on the subject. This decision is relevant to Second Amendment jurisprudence as well as to individual gun owners desiring a DC carry permit, DC residents and non-residents alike.

Judge Richard Leon’s decision held that the right to carry a firearm in public for personal protection is a core component of the Second Amendment’s right of the people to keep and bear arms. As such, he analyzed DC’s “good cause” requirement under “strict scrutiny” the highest level of Constitutional means/ends review. His analysis found DC’s restrictive policy of only granting permits to persons who could show that they had received specific threats, been victims of stalking or violent crime, or who are required to carry large sums of cash or other valuable property for their employment to be unconstitutional.

Judge Leon acknowledged that DC has a compelling governmental interest in limiting violence and crime, but found that its chosen method to do so was vastly over-inclusive. Essentially, DC’s position is that public carriage of guns – even by law-abiding citizens – increases the risk of violence (a proposition that has little support in the social science literature) and that therefore it could limit carrying of guns to just the few people who could show a heightened need for self-defense distinct from the general population.

Judge Leon, however, held that it was impermissible to attempt to limit what he called the secondary effects of the exercise of the Constitutional right, by limiting the Constitutional right itself. Citing the Supreme Court’s opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, he explained that the adoption of the Second Amendment took that policy choice off the menu. In other words, the city does not get to decide on a case by case basis whether the right to bear arms is really worth having.

The decision in the Grace case comes one day after a decision by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals which held that a gun store could challenge an Alameda County California, zoning ordinance that restricted it from operating within 500 feet of a residential area. That decision found that the Second Amendment necessarily includes a right to sell firearms to the public, just as the First Amendment necessarily includes the right of a book store to sell books to the public. This 9th Circuit decision is of particular significance to DC because DC has a similar zoning ordinance that is likely unconstitutional.

Expect DC to ask Judge Richard Leon to stay his decision while the District appeals it to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and expect Judge Leon to refuse to stay his decision. However, DC will undoubtedly ask the DC Circuit for a stay, and if history is any lesson, the odds of the DC Circuit granting the stay pending appeal are substantial. So DC may not be a ‘shall issue’ jurisdiction any time soon.

Arsenal Attorneys™ provides consultations on applying for DC Pistol Carry Licenses, for DC residents and non-residents. If you are interested in exploring your options to obtain a carry license in DC, call our office at 703-291-3312.

Mr. Lyon is an attorney for Arsenal Attorneys™ and a Metropolitan Police Department certified Concealed Pistol Instructor. Mr. Lyon is also a Maryland State Police Certified Handgun Instructor.

13 May 2016

ATF sealWe're approaching July 13, the effective date for new rules for using trusts to register firearms regulated by ATF under the National Firearms Act (NFA), such as silencers/suppressors, short barrel rifles (SBR), short barrel shotguns (SBS), AOWs, full auto, etc.  The new rules, known as 41F, will create additional red tape for applications, but they will not be a significant change due to the recently updated design of the Arsenal Gun Trust™.

Under 41F, ‘responsible persons’ would need to submit their fingerprints and photographs, but only for applications to register new NFA firearms postmarked July 13 or later. This new requirement only applies to responsible persons at the moment an application is made. If a responsible person is added to the trust at any other time, no fingerprints or photographs are needed. Thus you could add/remove/re-add responsible persons before/after NFA applications so they will not be subject to the new 41F requirements for fingerprints and photographs.

In other news, ATF had previously said photographs and fingerprints would not be required as part of NFA applications if they had already been submitted to ATF within the previous 24 months. That is no longer true. ATF has reversed their position, and they will require fingerprints and photographs for every responsible person if, repeat if, they are in a trust at the moment an application is being submitted to register a new NFA firearm.

Separately, ATF has not yet confirmed whether they will continue to accept Form 1 application to make an NFA firearm under 41F.

For now, we are encouraging clients to submit as many applications to register NFA firearms as possible so they are postmarked prior to July 13.

Starting July 13 we strongly recommend that anyone with an existing trust, regardless of where he obtained his trust, should request a ‘restatement’ by Arsenal Attorneys™. This will enable us to completely revise your existing trust using the new design of our Arsenal Gun Trust™. The new design provides you and your successors guidance about 41F. It also uses a multigenerational design subject to your state’s law. It also includes forms customized for you to add/remove responsible persons yourself whenever you wish. Therefore you could temporarily remove the other people in your trust so they are not subject to the new 41F requirements.

Under the new rules, NFA gun trusts will continue to be extremely important for allowing possession by other people and inheritance. In fact ATF confirmed that a trust that conintues for future generations may keep the original tax stamps. Therefore your successors and beneficiaries could be grandfathered by your trust. Arsenal Attorneys™ is uniquely qualified to advise you on how various state laws could determine how long your trust may last and what firearms it can hold.

To request a new Arsenal Gun Trust™ or a restatement of a NFA gun trust you already have, complete our online questionnaire

Arsenal Attorneys™ is perhaps the only law firm offering direct attorney-client relationships for the creation of a gun trust for NFA firearms. We use no middle man, so you know who is responsible for the work. Our multistate practice could also enable us to continue providing you support even if you or your successors relocate to another state. 

Our law firm provides a variety of other services, including general estate planning, business services, criminal defense, and civil litigation. While we serve a variety of clients, we are renowned for our solutions tailored for the special needs of gun owners and the firearms industry. We represent many new and growing businesses in the firearms industry, including gun ranges and manufacturers. Arsenal Attorneys™ has also served as the general counsel for a presidential campaign. Please consider us when you face a new opportunity to pursue or an emerging problem to solve.

If you're located in metropolitan Washington, DC, watch for details of special events organized by our law firm. Our "Essentials of Self-Defense Law Seminar" is very popular and takes place at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. We also lead the committee of the "National Capital Friends of NRA", and we will host our first annual banquet at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia on June 17. You may order tickets for the banquet at this link.

To request more information about our services and upcoming events, review our website or use our contact form.

06 May 2016

MP SuppressedWe recently received a question about buying a used silencer in a private transaction from a seller who is not a Class 3 gun dealer (FFL/SOT). This topic generated the discussion we’re sharing in today’s blog by Arsenal Attorneys™. By the way, these comments are based on the assumption an Arsenal Gun Trust™ is being used to make NFA registrations simpler, safer, and covered by an estate plan. By the way, under the National Firearms Act, the legal term for a firearm muffler is ‘silencer’, although many people prefer ‘suppressor.’ Also, a silencer/suppressor is legally considered a firearm even though it is not a gun.

Generally, private sales, or transfers, of firearms are popular because they can provide the parties privacy, convenience, and possibly a good bargain for a hard to find item. While some states restrict or ban the private transfer of non-NFA firearms, NFA firearms may be privately transferred in most states if both parties involved are residents of the same state.

Legally speaking, before a transfer may happen between a seller (the transferor) and a buyer (transferee) who reside in the same state, the transferor and transferee would need to sign ATF Form 5320.4 (Form 4) and submit it with a tax payment. No gun dealer would be needed, subject to your state’s law. After ATF responds by issuing a tax stamp, the silencer may be transferred.

Financially speaking, is a used silencer worth transferring? Silencers typically lose value faster than other firearms. As far as the $200 tax payment for a new tax stamp, it would apply to the transfer of a used silencer or to the purchase of a new silencer. A used silencer could be an attractive option if it is rare and in good condition. Be careful, however, because it could be difficult to judge the condition of a silencer if you cannot examine its interior components. Nevertheless, a used silencer might be an attractive option during the current period when silencers are often out of stock.

What about the transfer of a used silencer from an out-of-state seller? Assuming you’re able to confirm the condition of the silencer, it’s unlikely to be a good deal because an interstate transfer would add more costs and time to the transaction. Here’s why. The seller would need to submit a Form 4 with a $200 tax stamp to transfer the silencer to his local FFL/SOT. Then that FFL/SOT would need to submit a Form 3 to transfer the silencer to an FFL/SOT in the buyer’s state. Then the buyer would need to submit a Form 4 with a $200 tax payment to transfer the used silencer from the local FFL/SOT to himself. Besides the added expense of the additional $200 tax stamp, both dealers would likely charge transfer fees. Of course, two Form 4’s and a Form 3 would require more time to complete. Please note, if the out-of-state seller is an FFL/SOT, then only a Form 3 to your local FFL/SOT and Form 4 to you would be required.

SerbuUsed NFA firearms other than silencers might be more attractive in interstate transactions. For example, tax stamps for AOW’s, such as the Serbu Super Shorty (pictured) are only $5. Machine guns are often so valuable that the extra $200 tax stamp are a relatively minor expense.

Bear in mind, starting July 13, the so-called '41F' rules will require additional paperwork to reigster NFA firearms. Our updated design for the Arsenal Gun Trust™ can minimize the effects of 41F

 

Arsenal Attorneys™ is perhaps the only law firm offering direct attorney-client relationship in nearly every state that allows NFA firearms—we use no middleman. Therefore we can provide you direct support when it comes to interstate issues, particularly if you or your successors relocate to another state.

If you’d to learn more about our Arsenal Gun Trust™ and begin the process for us to create your documents, visit this link.

05 May 2016

One of the most frequently asked questions about firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), is whether you need a 'Class 3 License' to own silencers/suppressors, short barrel rifles (SBR), short barrel shotguns, AOWs, full auto, etc. A license is only need by a gun dealer or manufacturer who wishes to engage in the commercial sale or production of NFA firearms. That is why you might here a gun dealer or gun maker called an 'FFL'--Federal Firearms Licensee. An FFL must obtain a Class 3 license and pay a Special Occupation Tax (SOT) to deal in NFA firearms.

For ordinary people, an NFA firearm may be transferred or made, subject to state law and federal law, by first obtaining a tax stamp from ATF. The tax stamp is proof the NFA firearm was registered before it was sold or built. To obtain a tax stamp, the applicant must submit ATF Form 5320.4 ('Form 4') or ATF Form 5320.1 ('Form 1') along with a tax payment. The tax is $200 per firearm, but it is only $5 for firearms classified as 'Any other Weapon' ('AOW'). Interestingly, the amount of tax on NFA firearms has never changed--not since 1934.

The easiest and safest way to register NFA firearms in this process is our Arsenal Gun Trust. It can simplify the tax stamp paperwork, and it can be used to allow other people to have access or possession of NFA firearms. Additionally the Arsenal Gun Trust™ can serve as an estate plan for your entire gun collection so the people inheriting your arms can avoid the court system.

To request an Arsenal Gun Trust™, complete our online questionnaire

Arsenal Attorneys™ is perhaps the only law firm offering direct attorney-client relationships for the creation of a gun trust for NFA firearms. We use no middle man, so you know who is responsible for the work. You and your successors will likely have the opportunity to seek our support in the future even if you relocate to another state, which would be an entirely different jurisdiction with its own laws. Not only is the Arsenal Gun Trust™ designed to be portable and valid in other states, subject to local gun laws, but our national law practice could be there just when you need us.

Our law firm provides a variety of other services, including general estate planning, business services, criminal defense, and civil litigation. While we serve a variety of clients, we are renowned for our solutions tailored for the special needs of gun owners and the firearms industry. We represent many new and growing businesses in the firearms industry, including gun ranges and manufacturers. Arsenal Attorneys™ has also served as the general counsel for a presidential campaign. Please consider us when you face a new opportunity to pursue or an emerging problem to solve.

If you're located in metropolitan Washington, DC, watch for details of special events organized by our law firm. Our "Essentials of Self-Defense Law Seminar" is very popular and takes place at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. We also lead the organizing committee of the "National Capital Friends of NRA", whose banquet at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia raises money for educational programs.

To request more information about our services and upcoming events, review our webiste or use our contact form.

03 May 2016

gun-rangeArsenal Attorneys will be representing our client, DC Gun Range and DC Guns and Ammo, in the opening of a gun range and retail gun shop to be located inside the District of Columbia. The Washington Free Beacon recently reported on these events: 

 

DC to Get First Range, Gun Store

Facility will be a ‘forum for people to express their right to keep and bear arms’

BY: Stephen Gutowski
May 3, 2016 1:25 pm

The first gun range and gun store within the city limits of Washington, D.C. is scheduled to open within the next year.

DC Gun Range and DC Guns and Ammo will be located under the same roof at a site on Queens Chapel Road in the city’s northeast quadrant. They will be a short distance from the National Arboretum in a neighborhood that features a number of restaurants and nightclubs.

Currently, the city of more than 600,000, which has enacted some of the strictest gun control measures in the country, does not have a single gun store or public shooting range.

Leon Spears, the first and one of the few people certified by the Metro Police Department as a gun carry instructor, is hoping to change that. Spears owns the company developing the range and gun store. Despite hostility to guns from many city officials, Spears said the government has not yet tried to stop his project.

“The government hasn’t really given me any flack,” Spears told the Washington Free Beacon. “It hasn’t been an easy process but it hasn’t been difficult. It’s just tedious.”

The gun range will house 30 shooting lanes, with 24 open to the public on a daily basis and the other six reserved for private instruction. The facility will offer rentals, gun lockers, classrooms for training, a café, an observation area, self-sustaining solar power, private gated parking with special spaces for electric cars, and a lounge area. “It’s going to be more like a club feel,” Spears said. “It’s not going to be … where the average Joe is going to feel uncomfortable, but it’s not going to be a hole in the wall place by any means. I’m just going to try to make DC proud. That’s really the goal.”

Operating a range that’s pleasing to the community is a top priority for Spears. “We’re going to do it up,” he said. “I don’t want people’s expectations to be disappointed. I want people to have pride. This is our range. We don’t have to leave the city anymore.”

Spears said the range will be a one-stop shop for law-abiding gun owners in the District, and will employ as many as 20 people. “We’re going to be a gun store and a range,” Spears said. “There’ll be gun sales, rentals, transfers, and ammo sales. We’re going to be about a 20-employee operation when fully staffed.”

The planned range has already caused some concern among public officials, though. “If two nightclubs make residents uncomfortable, I can’t imagine how a gun range would make people feel,” Walter DeLeon, a neighborhood commissioner whose district includes the planned range site, told the Washington City Paper. The paper also expressed concern that the proposed range would be located near a proposed homeless shelter, which it said might “complicate” the shelter proposal.

Spears said he anticipated opposition to his plan but believes people will come around to it. “I know there will be people that love the concept,” he said. “I know there will be people that hate the concept. I really believe it’s not going to be 50/50. I believe it’ll be 80/20. That’s my expectation in my heart of hearts.”

“Most people will love the idea that it’s providing a forum for people to express their right to keep and bear arms.”

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