Blog
05 May 2020

By George L. Lyon, Jr, Esq.

 

As you may have heard the Supreme Court last week dismissed as moot the New York State Rifle and Pistol case that many had hoped would clarify for the lower courts the standard court should use to review second amendment cases. While not unexpected, the 6-3 decision was still a disappointment. Justice Alito wrote a dissenting opening which Justices Thomas and Gorsuch joined arguing that the case was not moot and that the city ordinance at issue was unconstitutional. In the penultimate paragraph of his opinion, Justice Alito made the following comment:

“We are told that the mode of review [by the lower courts] in this case is representative of the way Heller has been treated in the lower courts. If that is true, there is cause for concern.”

Justice Kavanaugh issued a short concurring opinion in which he stated he agreed “with JUSTICE ALITO’s general analysis of Heller and McDonald. Post, at 25; see District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570 (2008); McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742 (2010); Heller v. District of Columbia, 670 F. 3d 1244 (CADC 2011) (Kavanaugh, J., dissenting). And I share JUSTICE ALITO’s concern that some federal and state courts may not be properly applying Heller and McDonald. The Court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the Court.”

The comments by these two Justices indicates in my opinion that they are both ready to take up another second amendment case of which there are several that have been pending at the court while the court considered New York State Rifle and Pistol. Presumably Justices Thomas and Gorsuch are also disposed to take up additional second amendment cases. We may very well see the court agree to hear one or more of those cases within the next few weeks. Yesterday, on May 4, the court delayed any announcement of whether it would accept or reject consideration of the numerous second amendment cases currently pending.

Separately, there have been a number of developments regarding District of Columbia concealed carry and firearm registration that are discussed in my most recent blog post on the Arsenal Attorneys web site. The following is a link to that blog entry:
https://www.arsenalattorneys.com/firearms-blog/important-news-on-dc-concealed-carry-licenses-and-firearms-transfers.

As I discuss in the blog, while the current medical emergency is in effect, I will be conducting the DC Concealed Carry Class (conducted separate from my law practice for Arsenal Attorneys), including the renewal portion of the class, on line via Zoom. Our next three classes are May 16-17, June 27-28 and July 18-19. The portion of the class for renewal students is given in the afternoon of the first day. Range sessions will be scheduled as soon as indoor ranges in Virginia can reopen. You can contact me directly for signup instructions.

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 including the renewal course and conducts the course monthly. His next class is May 16, 2020 to be conducted online. To sign up for his course, contact Mr. Lyon at gll[at]arsenalattorneys.com or at 703-291-3312.
This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

25 April 2020

By George L. Lyon, Jr, Esq.

 

There have been a number of important developments affecting DC Concealed Carry Licensees, and new and renewal applicants.


First, due to the Corona virus medical emergency, indoor ranges are closed and in person classes are difficult, if not impossible to conduct classes and shooting qualifications. This especially impacts persons with DC carry licenses up for renewal while the Corona virus emergency is pending.


I brought this fact up to MPD and DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who in turn spoke to Chief Newsome about extending the expiration date on expiring licenses. The DC council then passed legislation giving the Mayor authority to extend expiring licenses (carry as well as other licenses) through the current medical emergency. Chief Newsome then exercised that authority by extending licenses expiring during the medical emergency for the duration of the medical emergency and for an additional 45 days thereafter.


With respect to handling training while the emergency lasts, MPD gave me the thumbs up on conducting the classroom portion of the DC Concealed Carry training online. Mark Briley of Capital Defense Instruction and I just completed our first online course with nine new students and 20 renewal students. The course went off without a hitch. We will be conducting our May 16-17 course also online. Spots are currently available in that course for new and renewal students.


On the not so good side, DC Concealed Carry License renewals are now taking up to two months to process. There are a couple of reasons for this.


First, there was a large number of new licenses granted approximately two years ago following the Wrenn and Grace cases that changed DC law on carry permits to ‘shall issue’, and those licenses are now expiring. Thus, MPD is currently processing an unusually large number of renewals. Second, Chief Newsome has ordered all renewal applicants to go through a full background check. Apparently, the chief thinks some people received licenses who should not have received them, and it appears MPD is being very stringent in evaluating the results of these background investigations.


This has led to some very questionable results such as licenses being denied because of police contact that did not even result in arrest, or refusing to license or renew individuals who have an arrest record even though they were never convicted of a crime.


In light of this situation, we now advise renewal applicants to submit their renewals at least two months in advance of expiration.


DC concealed carriers should also be aware that DC regulations require that they carry their guns on their body in a holster. This raises an important safety issue regarding off body carry such as in a purse, backpack or fanny pack. A firearm should always be carried so that the trigger guard is covered. Any carry device that does not cover the trigger guard is a safety hazard. We know of one case in which MPD arrested a licensed carrier where the gun was equipped with a Techna Concealed Carry Clip, a device that clips an unholstered firearm to a belt. That device should not be used in the District of Columbia, and, quite frankly, should not be used at all because the trigger guard is s not covered.


We remind you as well that DC regulations require that the firearm be fully concealed. Avoid inadvertent disclosure or printing of the firearm under clothing. Also, if the firearm is taken off the body while in a vehicle, which as discussed above potentially creates a problem, store it in a case, or car safe, or somewhere out of sight. An individual managed to get into trouble who simply put the gun in the floorboard of his vehicle. He was arrested for that following a traffic stop.
Although DC is ‘shall issue’, it is still not gun friendly.


Lastly, long time Washington DC FFL Charles Sykes has retired and is no longer handling handgun transfers in DC. In accordance with a provision passed several years ago, MPD is undertaking to perform handgun transfers until another FFL begins performing handgun transfers in DC. (There are several FFLs in the District, but none perform handgun transfers to the general public.) According to Lt. Hall, who heads MPD’s gun control section, normal FFL procedures apply to transfers via MPD. Unfortunately, MPD is continuing Mr. Sykes’s practice of charging $125 per transfer. We clearly need a gun store in the District.


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 including the renewal course and conducts the course monthly. His next class is May 16, 2020 to be conducted online. To sign up for his course, contact Mr. Lyon at gll[at]arsenalattorneys.com or at 703-291-3312.
This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

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.

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