Blog
Slider
Arsenal Attorneys

Arsenal Attorneys

Arsenal Attorneys is a nationwide law practice with offices in Fairfax, Virginia near Washington, DC and in Rocklin, California near Sacramento. We serve large and small clients, often remotely. Depending on the client's location, our services include estate planning, civil litigation, criminal defense, business law, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate, and firearms regulations. Our team of attorneys is licensed to serve clients in over 30 states. Contact us today to discuss your goals.

 

 

 

 

As you have no doubt heard the US Supreme Court on April 26, 2021 decided to hear a major gun rights case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Corlett. Corlett focuses on the second leg of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms outside the home. The Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision and its 2010 McDonald decision confirmed the right to keep or possess a functional firearm in the home. Since that time, the federal courts have disagreed concerning the right to possess and carry a firearm outside the home. Federal appellate courts in Illinois and the District of Columbia have held that the Second Amendment extends outside the home sufficiently to allow law-abiding persons to carry handguns for self-protection. Federal appellate courts in the Northeast and on the West Coast have ruled that to the extent the reach of the Second Amendment extends outside the home, the state can limit that right to persons showing a special need. Corlett could resolve this conflict between the federal courts. The law at issue in Corlett is similar to gun-control measures in several other states such as California, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey. To receive a license to carry a concealed firearm outside the home, a person must show “proper cause,” meaning a special need for self-protection distinct from the population at large. Living in a crime infested neighborhood is not considered a “special need” under this and similar statutes of other jurisdictions. Two men challenged the law after a New York judge rejected their concealed-carry applications. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the law, prompting the challengers to appeal to the Supreme Court. Currently the vast majority of states allow firearm carry outside the home for personal protection without the requirement to show a special need, or despite having a “good reason” requirement, generally consider self-defense to constitute a good reason to issue a carry permit or license. Delaware is such an example of the latter. After considering Corlett in three conferences, the justices agreed to hear the case. The Court instructed the parties to brief a slightly narrower question than the challengers had asked them to decide, limiting the issue to whether the state’s denial of the individuals’ applications to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense violated the Second Amendment. Some commentators have expressed concern that this signals that the Court is looking to make the narrowest ruling possible on the law. The case nonetheless has the potential to be a landmark ruling. It will be argued in the fall, with a decision expected sometime next year. A favorable decision from the Court would likely doom the “may issue” permit licensing schemes followed by the handful of restrictive states such as Maryland, New Jersey and California. This would mean Maryland would likely become a shall issue jurisdiction like its neighbors in DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. A more far-reaching result of the case may be to resolve how the federal courts evaluate challenges to gun control restrictions in general. Certain of the Justices, most notably Justice Thomas, have previously expressed their concern that the lower federal courts are declining to give appropriate deference to the Second Amendment. The two newest Justices, Barrett and Kavanaugh previously dissented in cases upholding gun restrictions when they were circuit court judges, Justice Kavanaugh in a DC case involving so-called assault weapons restrictions and Justice Barrett in a case challenging the per se prohibition on felons (even non-violent felons) possessing firearms and ammunition. A favorable decision from the Supreme Court on Corlett could clarify what is called the standard of review for Second Amendment cases and possibly serve as a precedent for invalidation of so-called assault weapon prohibition laws and magazine capacity restrictions. The Court has previously declined to hear such cases. One uncertainty is whether the New York defendants in the case might attempt to moot the controversy by reversing the decision to deny the unrestricted handgun licenses sought by the two individual plaintiffs in the case. In a previous case involving a New York City ordinance that restricted where handgun owners could transport their firearms, the defendants successfully avoided a Supreme Court decision by repealing the offending restriction. It remains to be seen whether New York will try a similar tactic to avoid a decision and whether the Supreme Court will countenance such an artifice. Arsenal Attorneys is a nationwide law firm headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. The firm offers services in estate planning, criminal defense, civil litigation, business law, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate, firearms law and more. George Lyon is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He was one of the plaintiffs in Palmer v. District of Columbia that forced DC to begin issuing concealed carry licenses and in the US Supreme Court's landmark Second Amendment decision, Heller, which legalized handguns in Washington, DC. Mr. Lyon is licensed by the Metropolitan Police Department to teach the DC Concealed Carry License course including the renewal course and conducts the course monthly. His upcoming class schedule is: May 15-16; June 24-25; and July 17-18. Classes are currently conducted online in light of the continuing COVID 19 health emergency with the shooting portion of the course arranged by appointment. To sign up for his course, contact Mr. Lyon at gll[at]arsenalattorneys.com.

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.

 

By George L. Lyon, Esq.

 

My clients and students frequently request my analysis of the various self-defense insurance type products on the market, some of which are not technically insurance per se. My knowledge of this topic has benefited by Recoil magazine’s occasional comparison of these products as well as an informative video by attorney Andrew Branca, author of the highly recommended book Law of Self Defense. I will give you the results of my own review of these products below. Bear in mind, policies often change, so I recommend you perform your own due diligence at the time of your decision. I recommend my analytical framework as a guide. 

 

It is important to understand that basic homeowner’s insurance even with umbrella insurance does not cover a self-defense shooting. First, these insurance products do not defend you from a criminal prosecution, and, second, they do not cover you civilly because a self-defense shooting is considered an intentional act. Homeowner’s coverage would apply if it were alleged that you negligently shot someone on the premises of your home. Some plaintiffs have made such allegations specifically to try to get within the coverage of homeowner’s policies.


With respect to self-defense insurance or insurance like products, a number of companies offer this type of service. The ones I am going to discuss here are in alphabetical order: Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (“ACLDN”); CCW Safe; Firearms Legal Protection (“Firearms Legal”) Second Call Defense (“Second Call”); United States Concealed Carry Association (“USCCA”) and U.S. Law Shield.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 22:46

Estate Plans for your 18+y.o. Child

Have you considered how your child's back-to-school needs change in college? We're not talking about the challenge of assembling IKEA furniture. We are talking about your child's first estate plan. The fact is, an 18-year-old is no longer a child, and in many respects, parents lose their rights in decisions or information concerning their adult child, whether it relates to an emergency or report cards. Here's what Arsenal Attorneys recommend for you and your college student:

  • Health-Care Power of Attorney: also known as an Advance Medical Directive, this legal document could allow a parent to make health care decisions for an adult age college student who cannot make his or her own decisions due to physical or mental illness. For an out-of-state college student, we recommend two Health-Care Power of Attorneys: one drafted based on the state law where the college is located, and another based on your own state's law.
  • HIPAA Authorization: HIPAA regulations prohibit disclosure of medical records. Parents should obtain a blanket HIPAA authorization otherwise they could be denied access to information concerning their child's well-being.
  • Financial Power of Attorney: also known as Durable Power of Attorney, this document appoints the adult child's agent to handle financial matters. This could be a crucial requirement if your 18-year-old can no longer manage his or her own financial affairs because of an emergency or accident.
  • Education Record Release: Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, parents do not have a right to see their adult child's report card, unless the child signs an Education Record Release giving parents access to grades, transcripts, and financial information at their academic institution. Your adult age child may sign a FERPA waiver granting parents access to this information.

These recommendations reflect our vision that every person should have an estate plan regardless of age, health, or wealth. We offer 'Special Purpose Estate Planning' because we believe every client's situation is unique. For example, we customize estate plans for a wide variety of concerns, including special needs children, pets, farms, vacation homes, digital assets, art, guns, and much more.

Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can create an estate plan specially designed for you.

Thursday, 06 August 2020 14:37

Seminar: Estate Planning for Firearms

Arsenal Attorneys' Matthew Bergstrom will teach a seminar for lawyers on August 20 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." Mr. Bergstrom will be joined by attorneys Michael W. Zarlenga and Sam Hosey to deliver the program. This continuing legal education program is sponsored by Strafford Publications, and attendees may earn CLE credit as may be required by their state bar. 

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. The panel will also review the use of trusts and other entities to transfer guns legally, and best practices to avoid mishaps in the administration of estates or trusts holding firearms.

Arsenal Attorneys will be opening its new office in Rocklin, California to offer various legal services, including estate planning, new and small business law, and firearms law. The firm will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary. It has served thousands of clients in 41 states.

Arsenal Attorneys are renowned for their estate planning for nontraditional assets, particularly firearms. The firm's proprietary Arsenal Gun Trust is a solution for registering, sharing, and inheriting firearms. Moreover, an Arsenal Attorneys' trust includes extensive guidance to help the client's successors and beneficiaries understand how to stay safe, obey the law, protect privacy, and exercise their rights.

The firm's expertise applies to a variety of assets which require the special handling which is often overlooked in one size fits all wills and trusts. Whether the client is concerned with the special needs of a child, a pet, art, antiques, or digital media, Arsenal Attorneys can help achieve client goals and ensure loved ones understand the client's legacy.

Managing Attorney Matthew Bergstrom leads Arsenal Attorneys. He is a member of the bar in California, Michigan, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The firm has 20 affiliated attorneys to help serve clients nationwide. Since the firm's creation, it has offered services virtually by phone and email and at its office in metropolitan Washington, DC. 

 

How Can We Help You?
Please type your full name.
Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid email address.
Please type your phone number
Please type your phone number
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
By clicking “submit", you agree to our Privacy Policy
Invalid Input

Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice. 9.1Matthew John Bergstrom Matthew John BergstromClients’ ChoiceAward 2014 Matthew John BergstromReviewsout of 16 reviews


CONTACT OUR FIRM

 
Please type your full name.
Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid email address.
Please type your phone number
Please type your phone number
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input

By clicking “submit", you agree to our Privacy Policy