Blog
06 February 2020

This is a special message for our clients in Virginia and for anyone concerned with gun control and gun trusts. All gun owners, particularly owners of NFA firearms, should contemplate the issues raised in action item #4 below.

 

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- Among several other threats to the right to keep and bear arms, Delegate Mark Levine’s House Bill 961 (HB 961) is on the agenda for the House Public Safety Committee Hearing on Friday, February 7th.

If passed out of committee, the House of Delegates will have until Tuesday, February 11th to pass this legislation, after which it would proceed to the Senate.

In addition to proposing a wide-reaching 'assault weapon' ban, including a firearms registry and a magazine ban, HB 961 proposes to ban the sale and possession of suppressors in Virginia.

Here's how you can join the fight against these infringements:

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

FIRST, if possible, attend the committee meeting on Friday, February 7th at 8:00 AM in House Room 1 of the General Assembly Building.

 

SECOND, call the committee members to express your opposition:

Committee Chairman Patrick Hope, (804) 698-1047
Vice Chairman Jeffrey Bourne, (804) 698-1071
Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, (804) 698-1002
Del. Sam Rasoul, (804) 698-1011
Del. Joshua Cole, (804) 698-1028
Del. Kenneth Plum, (804) 698-1036
Del. Kaye Kory, (804) 698-1038
Del. Daniel Helmer, (804) 698-1040
Del. Mark Levine, (804) 698-1045
Del. Alfonso Lopez, (804) 698-1049
Del. Clinton Jenkins, (804) 698-1076
Del. Shelly Simonds, (804) 698-1094
Del. Marcia Price, (804) 698-1095

 

THIRD, send an automatically generated email message to these legislators in opposition to HB 961 by using this simple online tool.

 

FOURTH, be proactive and consider your options if gun bans come into effect. If this legislation is passed by both the House and the Senate, and then signed by the governor in its current form, it would come into effect January 1, 2021, before which time a suppressor would need to be destroyed, relocated out of state, or surrendered to law enforcement. We're providing clients private consultations to address the following:

  • Firearms registry compliance versus noncompliance.
  • Advantages of converting firearms into NFA arms.
  • Using a trust to store NFA firearms in another state.
  • Limitations on relocating non-NFA arms.
  • Updating the firearms estate plan in your trust.
  • Potential to reverse gun control laws in the future.

Arsenal Attorneys is actively supporting our allies in the Second Amendment movement and the firearms industry who are leading the fight against gun control in Virginia. We encourage you to join us in supporting the efforts of the Virginia Citizens' Defense League, the NRA, and the American Suppressor Association.

 

Arsenal Attorneys™ serve clients in the area of firearms law. The firm serves clients across America from its headquarters in the metro-Washington, DC area. The firm is particularly renowned for its Arsenal Gun Trust, a solution helping clients in the registering, handling, and estate planning of firearms, particularly those regulated under the National Firearms Act. Arsenal Attorneys' team includes lawyers licensed to practice law in nearly every state where NFA firearms are lawful to possess.

Arsenal Attorneys™ help clients with address these issues on a daily basis, and we've taught this area of law and regulations to lawyers across America. We recommend using a trust as the applicant on a Form 4 because our client, acting as trustee of his own trust, may authorize other eligible people to possess the trust’s NFA firearms. Additionally, the trust could provide an estate plan allowing successor and beneficiaries to keep those NFA firearms without the need for a public probate court process.

Are you interested in owning a silencer? Read the Arsenal Gun Trust™ Tutorial and FAQs to learn how to properly register, handle, and inherit NFA firearms, including short barrel rifles and machine guns.

We currently serve clients in the following states (subject to change): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and it is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.

03 June 2019

WASHINGTON, DC: In remarks made by President Donald Trump yesterday as he departed for his state visit to London, he commented on the recent shooting in Virginia Beach in which the gunman used a suppressed firearm. When asked for his views on silencers, the President remarked, “I don’t like them at all.”

Interestingly, the President’s son, Donald Trump, Jr, has previously promoted the benefits of firearm suppressors for hearing safety and accuracy, while condemning the distorted depictions of silencers by the media.

Readers will recall that despite the President’s vehement commitment to the Second Amendment, the Trump administration recently banned bump stocks in response to the Las Vegas shooting on October 1, 2017. Could the Virginia Beach incident give rise to a similar response from the White House against silencers?

In the case of bump fire stocks, ATF overstepped its regulatory and statutory power in re-defining terms by which machine guns are regulated. Specifically, ATF said devices that could “increase the rate of fire” of a firearm could be deemed a machine gun and therefore banned. Of course, such an expansive approach could later be applied to an ever-widening range of firearm parts, such as magazines, triggers, etc.

Like machine guns, silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). A person, or a legal entity like the Arsenal Gun Trust™, may own a silencer by submitting to ATF an application including the responsible person’s fingerprints and photographs along with a $200 tax payment. Possession of NFA firearms may not be shared, unless they are owned by a trust or other legal entity.

Arsenal Attorneys™ recommend a trust because our client, acting as trustee of his own trust, may authorize other eligible people to possess the trust’s NFA firearms. Additionally, the trust provides an estate plan allowing successor and beneficiaries to keep those NFA firearms without the need for a public probate court process.

Are you interested in owning a silencer? Read the Arsenal Gun Trust™ Tutorial and FAQs to learn how to properly register, handle, and inherit NFA firearms, including short barrel rifles and machine guns.

Arsenal Attorneys serve clients in the area of firearms law. The firm serves clients across America from its headquarters in the metro-Washington, DC area. The firm is particularly renowned for its Arsenal Gun Trust, a solution helping clients in the registering, handling, and estate planning of firearms, particularly those regulated under the National Firearms Act. Arsenal Attorneys' team includes lawyers licensed to practice law in nearly every state where NFA firearms are lawful to possess.

We currently serve clients in the following states (subject to change): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

 

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and it is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.

29 January 2019

NewGroupPhoto

By George L. Lyon, Jr, Esq.

 

Arsenal Attorneys is closely monitoring developments at the United States Supreme Court, which recently agreed to review a case some are already celebrating as a seminal 2nd Amendment decision in the making. However, this case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, NY, might not have as broad and immediate an impact as many have predicted.


This case is highly anticipated because it would be the next logical step in a long, gradual process to recognize the liberties guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, and thereby lead to the reversal of presumably unconstitutional gun control laws in states like California, New York, Maryland, etc.


Second Amendment jurisprudence has been the late bloomer of US constitutional law. Since its creation in 1789, the Supreme Court did not issue significant 2nd Amendment opinions until the last dozen years. In the McDonald v. Chicago decision in 2010, the Supreme Court explicitly stated that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and hear arms was a fundamental right applicable to the states via the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The Court thus applied nationwide its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment includes the right to possess a functional firearm, including a handgun, in the home. Since that time, other than a summary reversal of a Massachusetts case upholding a ban on possession of stun guns as inconsistent with the Heller decision, the Supreme Court has not heard a gun rights case.

During this time, lower federal courts have upheld a variety of gun related legislation, including restrictions on the issuance of permits to carry handguns outside the home, magazine limits, and limits on so-called assault weapons. Until last week, the Supreme Court has declined to review these lower court decisions giving short shrift to the Second Amendment. Justice Thomas, dissenting from the Court’s refusal to hear one case, suggested the Court was treating the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a disfavored right.

 

It may very well take another case to make it clear to the lower courts

that Second Amendment rights are not second-class rights.


Last week, however, the Court accepted for full argument the aforementioned case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, NY. It involves a challenge to a New York City ordinance which restricts the right of city residents having pistol premises permits to take their guns out of their city homes. The New York ordinance only allows premises pistol licensees to take their guns to one of seven New York City gun ranges. Residents cannot take their handguns to a second home or a gun range outside the city. No other jurisdiction in the country has such a restrictive law.


The mainstream media, noting the presence of Justice Brett Kavanaugh replacing the more moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been quick to suggest that the Court may now be ready to dismantle various gun control provisions, such as ‘may issue’ concealed carry laws and assault weapons bans.
Nothing would make us happier at Arsenal Attorneys than a far-reaching, strongly worded decision striking down the nonsensical New York City law and setting a rigorous test for evaluating restrictions nationwide on firearms and other self-defense tools. We predict, however, a more modest result. While we believe the New York City law is doomed, the Court may very well decide the case on narrow grounds. Supreme Court doctrine holds that courts should avoid deciding a Constitutional issue if the Court can decide a case on statutory grounds. Such a statutory ground exists for the Court to decide this case. A portion of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 926A, states as follows:


Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.


The New York City ordinance would appear in direct conflict with Section 926A. As such, the Supreme Court could very well throw out the provision on this statutory basis and avoid deciding the case on Second Amendment grounds. Such a result might very well obtain the support of the Court’s more liberal Justices, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, with a resulting 9-0 decision invalidating the law. Likely, one or more of the Court’s more conservative Justices, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh might pen a concurrence decrying the lack of respect shown the Second Amendment by the bulk of the lower Federal courts. Otherwise, Chief Justice Roberts may be the deciding vote whether to take a narrow or expansive path in invalidating the New York City law.


It may very well take another case to make it clear to the lower courts that Second Amendment rights are not second-class rights. A gun carry case could serve this purpose well, such as Rogers v. Grewal from New Jersey and now at the Supreme Court awaiting a decision whether it will be heard by the Supreme Court. The attorney generals of 23 states just asked the Court to review this case. For now, the Supreme Court’s taking New York Rifle and Pistol Association is clearly a good start, but it is likely just another gradual step in ensuring that the lower courts respect the Second Amendment.

 

Arsenal Attorneys’ George Lyon is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He was one of the plaintiffs in the Palmer v. District of Columbia case that forced DC to begin issuing concealed carry licenses and in the Heller case that legalized handguns in Washington, DC. Mr. Lyon is licensed by the Metropolitan Police Department to teach the DC concealed carry course and conducts the course monthly. His next class is scheduled for February 23-24 in Arlington, Virginia. To sign up for his course, contact Mr. Lyon at gll[at]arsenalattorneys.com or at 703-291-3312. Arsenal Attorneys is looking for persons who have obtained their DC concealed carry licenses and who would be willing to participate in a civil rights case relating to DC’s myriad of concealed carry restrictions. Contact Mr. Lyon if you have an interest in learning more.

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We serve clients in most states across America.