Blog
29 May 2016

silencer shop logoWe now have public confirmation of what we’ve privately advised our clients for months: The firearms industry will be a step ahead of new gun control regulations by the Obama Administration.

This week our friends from Silencer Shop™ of Austin, Texas announced their solution to minimize the effects of ATF’s ‘41F’ rule. ATF announced this new rule in January. It will apply to applications to register NFA firearms that are postmarked July 13 or later. 41F will not apply to previously registered NFA firearms, and it will not apply to applications to register new NFA firearms postmarked before July 13, 2016.

The NFA, or National Firearms Act, regulates firearms including silencers/suppressors, short barrel rifles (SBR), short barrel shotguns (SBS), machine guns/full auto, among others. Before an NFA firearm may be either transferred or made, an application with a tax payment must be submitted to ATF. 41F will require that each NFA application include the new ATF Form 23. For an application by a trust, Form 23 requires the fingerprints and photographs of each ‘responsible persons’ in the trust at the time of the application (more about this later).

For maximum convenience, Silencer Shop™ will be providing kiosks to each of the 300 gun dealers in its network. Each kiosk will contain scanners and cameras to capture fingerprints and photographs of each responsible person connected to an NFA application. Thus, the new 41F rule would make little difference in silencer purchases because the customer could complete Form 23 at the point of sale.

If a responsible person in a trust is not available to accompany the customer to the gun shop, that responsible person may use a kiosk at any of the 300 gun shops ‘powered by Silencer Shop™’ to submit their fingerprints and photograph for the customer’s application.

Arsenal logo 1-color printIf you prefer an even simpler process, we recommend you obtain or update a trust using Arsenal Attorneys™ new Arsenal Gun Trust™ design. Remember what we said above, Form 23 must only be completed by a responsible person who is in a trust at the time an NFA application is submitted. As part of our new design, we will customize forms enabling an Arsenal Gun Trust™ client to temporarily remove a responsible person. Therefore, the client-trustee would be the only person who must complete Form 23.

Combined with the new Silencer Shop™ kiosk, suppressor transfers using the new Arsenal Gun Trust™ design will be easy under the new 41F rules taking effect July 13. If your local gun shop is not ‘powered by Silencer Shop™’, you will still have the possibility to simplify Form 23. Your gun dealer can still fingerprint and photograph you himself, but you’ll want to make sure to use our new Arsenal Gun Trust™ so no other ‘responsible person’ must complete Form 23 for your suppressor purchase or other NFA applications.

To obtain a new Arsenal Gun Trust™, or to change your existing trust to our new Arsenal Gun Trust™ design, you can use our convenient online questionnaire. By now, the news reports about 41F have caused a spike in NFA applications leading up to July 13. Silencers particularly are in short supply. We hope the innovations like the Silencer Shop™ kiosks as well as the new Arsenal Gun Trust™ design will lead you to conclude that 41F will truly make little difference in your ability to register NFA firearms.

More than ever the Arsenal Gun Trust™ is a cutting edge solution for registering, handling, and inheriting NFA firearms. Your Arsenal Gun Trust™ will allow other people to share possession of your NFA firearms, and a trust is the only legal way to inherit firearms without the possibility of a public record in probate court. We will also design your trust to be multigenerational and portable, subject to state law. The new Arsenal Gun Trust™ design will also help you and successors understand how to comply with ATF regulations and firearms laws. If you ever need support in the future, Arsenal Attorneys™ will be ready to assist.

If you already have an Arsenal Gun Trust™, or you have an NFA gun trust from elsewhere, we can update your trust with our new design. To request an update of your trust, use our online questionnaire to request a 'restatement.'

We look forward to serving you.

21 May 2016

nra annual meeting 2016Meet up with Arsenal Attorneys today at the Expo of the NRA Annual meeting in Louisville. We’ll be visiting our friends from Silencer Shop (Booth #5835). We’d enjoy seeing any of our clients from across America who have come to this year’s NRAAM. Bring any questions you have about our Arsenal Gun Trust™ services and changing ATF regulations.

Yesterday our lawyers attended the Annual National Firearms Law Seminar™ organized by NRA’s Office of the General Counsel and sponsored by the NRA Foundation. We’ll have the latest news to share about gun laws. Our experience at the seminar confirmed the Arsenal Gun Trust™ is ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting and helping clients deal with changing gun laws.

There’s been much excitement about the new regulations known as ‘41F.’ They will take effect July 13. In all the excitement, we’ve noticed people are unaware of what 41F will not do. 41F will not affect NFA firearms registered in applications postmarked before July 13. Also, if you add or remove people in a trust, 41F will not matter. If your trust is designed to continue beyond your lifetime, 41F will not prevent your successors and beneficiaries from keeping your trust and NFA firearms (along with the tax stamps).

What will 41F do? 41F only affects new applications to register NFA firearms starting July 13. For all so-called ‘responsible persons’, a new form will need to be submitted for NFA registrations. That ‘Form 23’ will require photographs and fingerprints. Your gun dealer will be allowed to complete your fingerprints and photographs at the point of sale, so there’ll be minimal burden. For the other people in your trust, they might need to complete Form 23 depending on the design of your trust. In the Arsenal Gun Trust, many people in the trust are not responsible persons. Also, we provide clients a new customized method for temporarily removing people. Consequently, all the other people in your trust could avoid the effects of 41F.

Regardless if you have a trust or not, this is an important time to obtain the new Arsenal Gun Trust™. We can create a new trust for you or update your existing trust—even if you obtained your trust elsewhere.

If you come see us at the Silencer Shop™ booth at the NRA Expo, you’ll have a chance to see why we call this period the ‘Golden Age’ of silencers (or suppressors, if you prefer). Technology has never been better. The product range has never been wider. And the law has never been better. Thanks to the Arsenal Gun Trust™, your ownership of NFA firearms, including short barrel rifles (SBR), short barrel shotguns, machine guns/full auto, can continue to be easy, safe, and private.

If you can’t make it to the NRA Annual Meeting, contact us any time by phone or email. We serve clients from across America. We are perhaps the only law firm direct attorney-client relationships in the area of NFA firearms and NFA gun trusts. We use no middle man. We look forward to hearing from you.

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.

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