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.





NCFNRA 16083A6592Arsenal Attorneys are proud to lead the volunteer committee for the second annual National Capital Friends of NRA (NCFNRA) banquet taking place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia. The event will feature a VIP reception, entertainment, auctions, drawings, and games.  

Honored guests will include Congressman Dave Brat, Delegate Dave LaRock, Gemtech CEO Ron Martinez, Silencer Shop CEO Dave Matheny, National Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson, and Liberty Farm's Martha Boneta. 

In its first year, NCFNRA broke several records in fundraising for the NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering grants for public interest grants, including youth shooting sports, law enforcement training, hunter safety, the National Firearms Museum, and more. This will be an even bigger and more exciting event to celebrate the Second Amendment. 

Contact Arsenal Attorneys if you wish to volunteer, donate, or sponsor the event. 

Tickets sold out last year well before the event, and we're experiencing stronger demand this year.  Buy your tickets now at this link.


Arsenal Attorneys' latest newsletter, dated March 28, 2017, is now available online.  To subscribe, use the newsletter subscription form on the bottom of our home page.  In this issue, we address:

  • ATF's flip flop on silencer wipes
  • The headaches of renewing of DC carry permits
  • The annual National Firearms Law Seminar
  • A review of the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, and
  • Details about the upcoming National Capital Friends of NRA banquet on May 18 in Arlington, Virginnia.

The newsletter can be found online at this link

JAC 5758 2We wanted to address the most frequently asked questions we receive concerning gun trusts. This information will be useful to a variety of people, especially if you're considering an Arsenal Gun Trust, if you're already an Arsenal Attorneys client, or if you need help with a gun trust you obtained elsewhere. Below, we'll address amendments to trusts, what to do if you're moving, how to register new NFA firearms under the new '41F' rules, and how to use a restatement to make a complete revision of your trust using our new Arsenal Gun Trust design--even if you're not already an Arsenal Attorneys client.

Amendments. We often receive requests for help with amendments to gun trusts. We're happy to help prepare such documents. Common reasons for amendments include a move, a birth, a marriage, a divorce, a death--or any other major life change that could change your wishes about who may possess and/or inherit your firearms.

Moving. Amendments most often come to mind when people move. If you move, you should make a written statement identifying your new address as the 'place of administration' of your trust. You should also submit ATF Form 5320.20 as required to report your new residence as the location where your NFA firearms are now located. Ignore the fact this form's title refers to interstate travel because it should also be used for permanent relocations, even inside the same state. You may handle these matters yourself, or we're happy to help you. We believe a cost-effective and preferred solution is a 'restatement' per below.

Registering New NFA Firearms. If you wish to register a new NFA firearm, the '41F' regulations would likely require the fingerprints and photographs of other people in your trust. Since late January 2016 our Arsenal Gun Trust has used a new design to minimize the impact of 41F so only you need to provide fingerprints and photographs. Of course, you'll still want to use a trust so that others may have possession of your trust's NFA firearms and your beneficiaries may inherit the trust's NFA firearms without fingerprints, photographs, and a new tax stamp.

Restatement. Instead of an amendment to add/remove people or update an address, and to obtain our new Arsenal Gun Trust before your next NFA registration, we recommend a 'restatement.' It's a complete revision of your existing trust using the new design of the Arsenal Gun Trust we launched in late January 2016. This is available to existing clients at a discount, and we can prepare a restatement for people who obtained a trust elsewhere. If you're not already an Arsenal Attorneys client, a restatement would establish an attorney-client relationship so you enjoy our services and support. These relationships have provided peace of mind to people who previously felt uneasy about the DIY trust they created without the help of a qualified attorney.

Turnkey Package. Our popular Arsenal Gun Trust 'Turnkey Package' is pictured above. This kit organizes your Arsenal Gun Trust documents, and it can serve as the primary filing system for all documents related to your life as a gun owner. In this custom binder system you'll find tabs organizing your trust documents, amendments, tax stamps, receipts, warranties, training certifications, concealed carry documents, hunting licenses, and more. We also include LokSak tactical document bags to protect the trust and tax stamp documents you must store with your NFA firearms. Contact us if you'd like us to prepare a Turnkey Package for you. It will help simplify your life, and in an emergency your successors and beneficiaries will know they can find your important firearms records in your binder.

Contact us to discuss your questions or needs related to gun trusts and NFA firearms. And remember, we can help you with estate planning, business matters, civil litigation, criminal defense, administrative law, personal injury and much more.

Monday, 27 March 2017 00:00

Renewing DC Concealed Carry Licenses

lyon and millerResidents and nonresidents may obtain a Concealed Pistol License (“CPL”) in the District of Columbia, but only if they satisfy very stringent requirements. By now, about 110 applicants have received licenses. D.C.’s concealed carry regime is similar to Maryland’s in that the CPL is only good for two years. So, a Concealed Pistol License holder must apply to renew his or her license every two years. Because the first licenses were issued in early 2015, licenses are now starting to come up for renewal.

The District is charging $75 to submit a renewal application. Additionally, the District is requiring each applicant for renewal to meet a training requirement. Thus the applicant for renewal will need to submit proof of an additional 4 hours of classroom training, including training in DC law of self-defense, and 2 hours of range training from an MPD certified concealed carry instructor. The range training has been waived for veterans with comparable experience.

For now, D.C. does not appear to be requiring the resubmission of the extensive documentation required to obtain the initial permit. At least at this stage, the applicant is required to certify that the conditions existing that gave rise to the initial license application still exist. So, for example, if an applicant based his application on carrying large sums of money or other valuable property, the applicant must certify that this is still the case. Submission of fingerprints, etc. required for the original application is also not required for now. The District is running a criminal background check on renewal applications prior to issuing the renewed carry license.

Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon represents clients in CPL applications, appeals, and renewals, and he is also a DC-certified instructor to provide the training required for applications renewals. He is pictured above with journalist Emily Miller, who received George's help in completing the training for her own CPL. Just like a CPL, George's instructor certification must be renewed every two years at a cost of $400. 

You may watch a video of George and Emily discussing DC's arduous process in a video at this link.

Last week manufacturer Dead Air Silencers announced ATF had changed its interpretations of the use and replacement of 'wipes' in silencers by their owners. Previously, industry had relied upon the Bardwell ATF opinion letter ( in which ATF explicitly states:

“In regard to the two parts in your cited example, we consider a
baffle to be a silencer, but a wipe, which is usually nothing more
than a rubber or plastic disc with a hole in it, is generally not
considered to be a silencer. Thus an individual owner could
replace a wipe.”

ATF informed Dead Air it no longer shares the opinion of the Bardwell letter, and asked the silencer manufacturer to immediately cease its unrestricted disribution of wipes. Consequently Dead Air immediately discontinued sales of what were disposable accessory wipes for their products. Dead Air announced they were in the process of developing longer-lasting inserts which even if considered part of the silencer would allow these designs to continue functioning.

We can only speculate why ATF has changed its interpretation of their earlier opinion letter, but it's possible they are preparing to restrict what they see as the next threat to proliferation: home manufacturing of firearms, particularly using 3D printers. It is a felony to manufacture a silencer at home prior to receiving an ATF-issued Form 1 Tax Stamp.

Arsenal Attorneys are concerned not only by the decision to regulate wipes as “suppressor parts” per se, but also with the inconsistency in policy that leaves the public vulnerable to swift and arbitrary changes to the rules.  

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 2.50.38 PMArsenal Attorneys' Matthew Bergstrom will be one of the speakers at the 20th annual National Firearms Law Seminar during the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta on April 28.  Early pricing for registration is availalbe through March 31st.

From the event website:

Organized by the NRA's Office of the General Counsel, the National Firearms Law Seminar provides a unique opportunity for attorneys who represent firearms owners and firearms-related businesses to meet and discuss key legal issues relevant to this expanding area of the law. Attorneys in attendance will also earn Continuing Legal Education credit

The 2017 Seminar will include discussions about current constitutional litigation across the country, new federal and state laws and regulations, defending firearms dealers and manufacturers, preventing unjust verdicts in self-defense cases, how best to organize and operate gun ranges and clubs, developing and managing a firearms law practice, and legal ethics. Speakers will include Massad Ayoob, Stephen Halbrook, Professor Nelson Lund, James B. Vogts, James P. Vann from BATFE, Matthew Bergstrom, Judge Richard Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Morgan Shields of the NRA Office of the General Counsel, and NRA-ILA Senior Research Attorney Chris Zealand. The special luncheon speaker will be Sandy Froman, former NRA President.


Here is the full agenda of the seminar:


8:00 - 8:20 Registration and Continental Breakfast


8:20 - 8:30 Welcoming Remarks

M. CAROL BAMBERY, Law Seminar Steering Committee Chair, Board Member, National Rifle Association of America, General Counsel, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies


8:30 - 10:10 SECTION 1

Second Amendment Litigation: Ongoing Challenges, STEPHEN P. HALBROOK, Ph.D., Attorney at Law/Author

Constitutional Overview of the Second Amendment, PROFESSOR NELSON LUND, George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School


10:10 - 10:20 Break


10:20 - 12:00 SECTION 2

Responsibility for Criminal Firearms Violence: Defending Firearm Manufacturers and Retail Dealers, JAMES B. VOGTS, Partner - Swanton, Martin & Bell, LLP

Skirting the Quicksand: How to Avoid Unjust Verdicts in Self-Defense Shootings, MASSAD AYOOB, Massad Ayoob Group, Expert Instructor and Author


12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH, Civil Rights Progress, SANDY FROMAN, Former NRA President


1:00 - 2:40 SECTION 3

Oh Say Can You 501(c): Tax Exemption and Other Compliance Issues for Gun Clubs and Ranges, MORGAN SHIELDS, Assistant General Counsel, NRA Office of the General Counsel

Firearms Law Practice Development and Management, MATTHEW BERGSTROM, Arsenal Attorneys


2:40- 2:50 Break


2:50 - 4:30 SECTION 4

New Federal and State Laws, CHRISTOPHER ZEALAND, Senior Research Attorney, NRA Institute for Legislative Action

Changes to ATF Forms and Regulations, JAMES P. VANN, Division Counsel, Washington Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives



Ethical Pitfalls for Busy Lawyers, JUDGE RICHARD DIETZ, North Carolina Court of Appeals




For more details about the seminar, visit this link

To learn about events throughout the NRA Annual Meeting, visit this link.


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


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