News & Events
Arsenal Attorneys made a presentation on estate planning for firearms at the meeting of the National Capital Chapter of Safari Club International in Sterling, Virginia on February 21, 2018. The program addressed the recommended estate planning solutions, how to address firearms law and safety concerns in an estate plan, and how to use a trust to register firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Arsenal Attorneys™ is proud to serve as the organizing committee for the National Capital Friends of NRA. Our third annual banquet will take place 6pm Friday, May 18, 2018 at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. The event will feature a fine meal, camaraderie, games, drawings, and auctions. Prizes will include firearms, collectables, historic artifacts and adventure travel. Advanced purchase of tickets is required at this link. Raffle tickets are also on sale for a full auto Uzi submachine gun. Only 200 tickets will be sold, $100 each. Attendance at the banquet is not required to win the Uzi raffle. The funds raised at the event will benefit the NRA Foundation, which provides essential funding for youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety, and much more. At least half the money raised at our event will be dedicated to grants for programs in Virginia. Since 1992, Friends of NRA have held over 16,000 events, reached over 2.8 million attendees, and raised over $600 million.
Kojo Nnamdi of Public radio station WAMU of Washington, DC interviewed Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon on October 2, 2017. Here's WAMU's own summary of the program: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. will not hear a challenge to the decision that ended the District’s restrictions on who qualifies for a concealed carry permit. Advocates for gun rights, many of whom consider D.C.’s strict gun laws unconstitutional, celebrated the decision, while gun control advocates worry about the implications for violence in the District. We discuss what the ruling means, whether or not it will be appealed to the Supreme Court, and what gun law in D.C. will look like moving forward." Listen to the full program at this link.
On July 18, 2017, Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon appeared on the Russian independent TV network, RTVi, to debate gun rights in Russia. Several Eastern European countries, including Russia and the Czech Republic, have taken up the debate of whether to adopt legislation similar to America's Second Amendment.
One panelist in the RTVi debate asked Mr. Lyon why he would carry a firearm everyday. "Because a cop is too heavy," he responded.
The full video can be found at this link.
Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon was interviewed on WMAL radio June 15, 2017 concerning the recent attack on congressmen by a gunman. Mr. Lyon discussed the difficulties of obtaining permits to carry concealed firearms in jurisdictions, like the District of Columbia, who have a 'may issue' policy rather than a 'shall issue' law requiring approval of applications by law-abiding citizens. Listen to the full interview at this link.
The Washington Post featured the work of Arsenal Attorneys in its article on September 17, 2016, "D.C. to lift stun-gun ban after constitutional challenge by gun rights advocates."
The story features the firm's representation of three clients seeking protection of their Second Amendment right to own non-lethal stun guns for their personal security.
The full story can be found at this link.
The Volokh Conspiracy, a libertarian legal blog hosted by the Washington Post, reported on Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon work in Wright v. D.C., which, according to the blog, "is a Second Amendment challenge to D.C.’s stun gun ban; the case is being litigated by lawyer George Lyon, who was one of the original plaintiffs in the Heller handgun case. Here is a summary of why the named plaintiffs want to have Tasers; I think it’s a very good explanation of why restrictions on Tasers are serious burdens on self-defense, even when handguns are legally allowed:
Plaintiff Crystal Wright is an individual who is outspoken on political matters. She operates a blog on the Internet under the name “Conservative Black Chick.” As a result of her blog posts, she has been threatened with physical harm. One person sent her an email saying that he intended to break into her home and bash her head in . . . [read the full article here]
Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon was interviewed by WUSA-9 TV concerning the conviction of former Marine Hisashi Pompey. It is the latest reminder of the importance of understanding different states' firearms laws before traveling.
Over six years ago, Pompey, a Virginia resident and Marine Corps military policeman, had visited New Jersey--armed. Unbeknownst to Pompey, the gun he legally owned and carried in Virginia was unlawful to possess in New Jersey. He was arrested after his friend allegedly took Pompey's holstered pistol following an altercation at a night club. Pompey was charged and a jury convicted him of felony possession of an unlawful firearm. He was due to report to jail just over a week ago for a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison. Fortunately, Governor Chris Christie commuted his sentence; however, as a convicted felon, Pompey may not possess a firearm without a pardon by the New Jersey governor.
To learn more about this case, and to see an interview of Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon, see this video from Channel WUSA-9 in Washington, DC.
Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon was featured in a recent article of Matt Kibbe's column 'Essential Liberty' in the Conservative Review. The article, entitled "The Responsibility of Gun Ownership," is part of a series inspired by what Kibbe proclaims as his endorsement of "the entire Bill of Rights." In embracing the Bill of Rights completely, Kibbe began the new year by resolving to buy a gun, but he did not proceed to a gun shop. Instead he contacted our George Lyon for firearms safety and shooting instruction. Kibbe was joined by his wife Terry Kibbe, who chose Lyon as an instructor because of his work in Second Amendment issues.
Managing Attorney Matthew Bergstrom appeared on ABC-affiliate WJLA in Washington, DC with anchor Autria Godfrey on January 6, 2016 to address the executive actions by President Barack Obama concerning firearms. The discussion addressed regulation which could require private citizens to become a licensed gun dealer before selling a firearm. Mr. Bergstrom also discussed the implication of the president's actions on the 2016 elections.
On November 30, 2016, Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon was featured in the Huffington Post in an article on the use of body cameras for law enforcement and, just as importantly, for criminal defense. Here is an excerpt from that article:
Although body cameras are regularly touted as a way to keep tabs on police brutality and use of lethal force, they’re also essential in much more routine law enforcement activity.
A client of Washington, D.C., defense attorney George Lyon was arrested earlier this year for allegedly having an open container of alcohol in public. She maintained her innocence and said she was arrested because she had an attitude with an officer. Lyon began to prepare a defense because the city was intent on proceeding with the case. When he requested body camera footage from the arresting officer’s camera, he found that it showed the bottles in question were nowhere near his client. The prosecution eventually dropped all charges.
Lyon said he’d be highly skeptical if he were defending a case in which an officer couldn’t provide a good explanation for a deactivated body camera.
Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon appeared on WMAL this afternoon to discuss recent court decisions and gun control politics with host Larry O'Connor.
O'Connor asked Mr. Lyon about the Supreme Court’s denial of cert re the New York and Connecticut assault weapons ban appeals from the Second Circuit. Mr. Lyon said it was not unexpected given that the Supreme Court had declined to hear a similar ban case from Illinois earlier this year. O'Connor asked if the refusal to hear the case had any particular significance, for example, did it reveal whether the court was influenced by the recent mass shooting in Orlando. Mr. Lyon explained the Court is asked to hear thousands of cases a year and only agrees to hear around a 100 or so. Thus said he does not think the decision was influenced by this recent event. Mr. Lyon said we would not likely get a Supreme Court ruling on a so-called assault weapons ban unless there is a circuit split.
George L. Lyon, Jr of Arsenal Attorneys appeared on the Al Jazeera TV network to discuss gun control issues during the "Inside Story" program hosted by Ray Suarez. Mr. Lyon discussed how the increased rate of firearms ownership has been accompanied by a decrease in deaths caused by firearms. He emphasized the importance of firearms safety training as well as addressing root causes of violence unrelated to firearms.
Attorney Michael W. Zarlenga and our firm parent law firm, Bergstrom Attorneys, was named the General Counsel of Dr. Ben Carson's presidential campaign. The New York Times recently called presidential campaigns the ultimate startup venture and with growth plans putting Silicon Valley start-ups to shame. A campaign can expect to start from scratch and then "hire hundreds of people and raise and spend $1 billion or $2 billion" with stiff competition by similarly well-funded and organized rivals. Mr. Zarlenga was tapped for this position because of his extensive experience organizing complex legal structures for fast growth for enterprises operating under strict government regulations. His experience as a corporate attorney, as the leader of a startup technology company, and as an entrepreneur make Zarlenga an effective general counsel.
In Jan. 8, 2016 episode of Inside Story with Ray Suarez, Arsenal Attorneys' Managing Attorney Matthew Bergstrom addressed executive action by President Obama for gun control.
Mr. Bergstrom said "If President Obama knew he had a stronger case he wouldn't use executive action."
Mr. Bergstrom continued that President Obama "conceded that much of his recommendations would not have stopped these high profile tragedies that gave rise to this debate in the first place."
In August 2015, Attorney George Lyon of our law firm appeared on Fox News' Washington, DC affiliate this evening to address gun control issues in light of today's murder of two TV journalists during a live broadcast near Roanoake, Virginia.
Drawing on his experience as a firearms instructor, Mr. Lyon said "While I support being armed when out and about, it's likely nothing could have been done to prevent today's killing even if the victims had been armed. The murderer stalked these reporters and attacked them at a time they were most defenseless, in the middle of an interview. Events like today's nevertheless underscore that it is important to maintain situational awareness even when task fixated and to have the means to defend your life if attacked."
In closing, Mr. Lyon called for teaching America's youth that problems must not be solved with violence. Read the full article here.
Arsenal Attorneys' Managing Attorney, Matthew Bergstrom, was a guest speaker at the 75th Annual Conference of the National Sheriffs' Association on Saturday June 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Bergstrom spoke about a regulation proposed by the Obama Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) known as 41P. It concerns firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA). Specifically Mr. Bergstrom addressed the administrative burden the sheriffs would shoulder if 41P came into effect.
In response, the National Sheriffs' Association has publicly announced their opposition to 41P because they see no law enforcement concern in the private ownership of NFA firearms, including suppressors and short barrel rifles.
Arsenal Attorneys' Managing Attorney, Matthew Bergstrom, was a featured instructor for a seminar organized by the American Bar Association on firearms, particularly gun trusts and NFA firearms. Mr. Bergstrom presented solutions for protecting clients, and he discussed the challenges lawyers must overcome in handling firearms-related issues. He encouraged the audience to provide clients informative and user friendly solutions. He cautioned that complex legal documents can easily become incomprehensible and provide a false sense of security. Instead, attorneys should focus on the needs of clients and also the needs of the clients' successors who will one day become involved in estate plans.
Arsenal Attorneys' Managing Attorney, Matthew Bergstrom, presented a seminar on firearms issues to an audience of lawyers in May, 2015 at the Hard Rock Cafe Resort in Orlando, Florida. The event was organized by MyLawCLE.com. Mr. Bergstrom particularly emphasized the importance of understanding the special firearms-related concerns of clients regarding compliance, security, privacy, and inheritance. Mr. Bergstrom also addressed various current events and their impact on clients' legal matters.
WAMU (American University public radio in Washington, DC) featured Arsenal Attorneys' George Lyon in its reporting on May 21, 2015 regarding concealed carry permits in the District of Columbia. The report quoted Mr. Lyon's blog for Arsenal Attorneys in which he analyzed the US District Court's decision in Wrenn v. DC. Arsenal Attorneys advise clients on DC firearms law, including the many nonresidents who are concerned about the lawful possession of firearms in DC. Mr. Lyon is one of the few firearms instructors certified by the District of Columbia to provide the required training for carry permits in DC, and Arsenal Attorneys offers the legal training also required for obtaining a permit.
The Financial Planners Association's Central Virginia Chapter featured Matthew Bergstrom at its February 2015 meeting in Richmond. Mr. Bergstrom addressed the special challenges of handling nontraditional assets in legal matters and particularly estate planning. Mr. Bergstrom has advised clients concerning a variety of nontraditional assets, from artwork to armaments. Mr. Bergstrom used his experience preparing Arsenal Gun Trusts for clients as a case study. He discussed the need for legal and financial professionals either to obtain expertise to understand the special needs of their clients or to identify professionals to recommend for these situations.
Arsenal Attorneys' Michael W. Zarlenga appeared in a CBS news report on February 17, 2015 concerning airline travel with firearms. In 2014, the number of firearms discovered at airport security checkpoints rose by 22%. The news story featured Mr. Zarlenga's frequent travel with firearms for hunting. He cautioned travelers about the need to confirm changing airline regulations and varied state laws concerning travel and possession of firearms. The full report can be found here.
The Wall Street Journal featured Arsenal Attorneys' Managing Attorney, Matthew Bergstrom, in an article on gun trusts by reporter Anna Prior in the Wealth Adviser section. The story, "Planners Use Gun Trusts to Smooth Firearms Transfers," discussed the need for wealth managers to address the special concerns of gun owners.
The article quoted several wealth advisers and financial planners who increasingly serve clients with gun collections: "Brian Kuhn, a Fulton, Md.-based certified financial planner with Planning Solutions Group, which manages about $500 million, says he didn’t always ask his clients if they had guns until recently. He added that topic to his routine list of estate-planning questions after a recent conversation with an estate-planning attorney, who explained the issues. Now, 'as I come across people who own guns, I’m making sure they talk to an attorney that specializes in gun trusts,' he says."
Arsenal Attorneys' Matthew Bergstrom was quoted as such an attorney who serves gun owners across America: "Think about the trust as a means to keep the client safe and legal, and to provide all of the guidance to their beneficiaries so they stay safe and legal." Further, Bergstrom explained how a trust avoids the need for a a public probate court proceeding, which clients prefer for their gun collections because they 'don't want the possibility of a public record showing who inherits their firearms.’"
The Washington Times recently featured Matthew Bergstrom in two articles by reporter Kelly Riddell concerning BATFE’s regulations of gun dealers.
The first article concerned new regulations proposed by BATFE to create new reporting requirements for firearms lost in shipment. You can find the story here.
The second article quoted Mr. Bergstrom on the overall regulatory burden on FFLs the difficult political climate. "Balancing regulation for public safety with industry growth is tricky and politically skewed against those in the business,” Mr. Bergstrom said. “If you talk about simplifying regulation on gun dealers, people will accuse you of trying to get guns into the hands of bad guys, so it’s very hard to have an honest conversation . . . And so the regulations will continue — small-business owners will be hurt.” The story can be found here.
The American Bar Association asked Matthew Bergstrom to serve as an instructor for its course on gun trusts and the National Firearms Act. This special program was served as continuing legal education for attorneys. Mr. Bergstrom discussed successful
strategies for protecting clients who are gun owners. He also detailed new and future legal issues attorneys and clients need to know when protecting a gun collection.
The Truth About Guns Blog featured an article by Matthew Bergstrom concerning lawful possession of firearms regulated under Title 2 of the National Firearms Act, including suppressors, short barrel rifles and shotguns, and machine guns. Mr. Bergstrom highlighted the need for firearms owners to understand the nuances of 'actual' verus 'constructive' possession and danger of an unlawful transfer of a firearm. TTAG is a leading media outlet on firearms issues including the law. It attracts over a millions visitors each month.
Arsenal Attorneys have become an official sponsor of the American Suppressor Association. The ASA’s mission is "to unite and advocate for the common interests of suppressor manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and consumers. To accomplish our mission, our principal initiatives focus on state lobbying, federal lobbying, public education, and industry research."