May 2009 Archives: NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog  

May 2009 Archives

May 29, 2009

CNN Says "Ammo hard to find as gun owners stock up"

Bullet Boy, a blog on shooting sports, has an article quoting CNN where they discuss a report on the Ammo shortage.  We have seen shortages all across the country with no end to the shortage on the horizon.  If you see ammo, it may be the time to pick up some extra while it is readily available.  With the fear of increased taxes on bullets or new gun-control measures we do not expect to see lower prices any time soon.

May 28, 2009

Guns and Ammo as a hedge against inflation

Carteach0, a blog of shooting topics, has an article on Guns and Ammo as a hedge against inflation.  While Guns and Ammo have increased in value significantly over the past year, the prices of Machine Guns have gone crazy.  Many Machine Guns have doubled or tripled in value over the same period of time that we have seen our land and stock accounts cut in half.  You should read the article linked-to above for more information on inflation and preservation of wealth.
May 27, 2009

Governor Charlie Crist Vetoed Concealed Weapons Trust Fund Raid

This morning, Governor Charlie Crist used his veto pen to veto the $6 Million raid on the Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing Trust Fund sweep put in the budget by the legislature.

Governor Crist deserves our profound appreciation for his veto.

The legislature intended to take $6 million from the Division of Licensing Concealed Weapons and Firearm Trust Fund that is intended, by law, to be used solely for administering the concealed weapons and firearms licensing program.  That would have been a DEFACTO TAX ON GUN OWNERS.

Please Call, Fax, or Email Governor Charlie Crist and thank him for the VETO OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT TAX created by the intended sweep of $6 Million from the Division of Licensing Trust Fund.

Phone number: (850) 488-4441 or (850) 488-7146
Fax number:  (850) 487-0801

Send your email to the Governor at this address:
May 27, 2009

Sotomayor and the 2nd Amendment

Jeff Soyer of the Alphecca Blog has an article on the anti 2A efforts of the recent Supreme Court nomination where he quotes the Second Amendment Foundation.

The nomination of Second Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court is a slap at gun rights and the Second Amendment.  For more on this please click the link to his blog above.
May 26, 2009

BATFE and Seizure From Invalid NFA Trust

Last week there was an issue where an individual was contacted by the ATF in an effort to seize his Title II firearms because of an irregularity with his Trust. A Gun Trust Lawyer® reviewed, amended, and restated the trust in question, creating a valid and enforceable trust that deals with the unique issues of NFA Firearms ownership, transfer, and possession. The BATFE had a justifiable reason to pursue the forfeiture action and the original reports on the subguns forum were accurate. After discussions with the BATFE and presentation of a valid Trust the BATFE decided to cease and desist their forfeiture action at this time and the individual is no longer in jeopardy of having his items seized, being arrested, or being fined.  The BATFE and individual have requested that the details not be disclosed.  The BATFE does not want to jeopardize similar ongoing investigations involving invalid trusts.  We can state that the issues involved with this action have been covered elsewhere on this website.

If you created a trust with Quicken or Legal Zoom, you should follow Legal Zoom's and Intuit's advice and have your trust reviewed by an attorney to avoid potential problems. The creators of these programs did not anticipate that individuals would be using the documents in situations that could result in criminal liability.

You may choose to have the trust reviewed to determine if the trust is valid, or reviewed to see if there are issues with the NFA that are not dealt with in your trust, but either way it is important to have your trust reviewed by someone who is familiar with estate planning as well as the NFA.
May 22, 2009

BATFE seeks to seize NFA firearms from an Invalid Quicken Trust

Joshua Prince alerted me to a blog post on a developing situation he ran across on Subguns where an individual used Quicken to attempt to create a trust for NFA purposes.  Unfortunately the BATFE has now decided that his Quicken trust was invalid and is seeking to seize his MAC-11 and Silencer.  He could also be subject to a prison sentence of 10 years and $250,000 in fines.

This is a very unfortunate situation that could cost the individual severely. Its important to remember that just because the ATF approves your transfer, it does not mean that you are legally in possession.  This is the second situation involving invalid trusts and the ATF that we have seen this month. It looks like the ATF is beginning to look more closely at the trust documents they are receiving.

If you created a trust for NFA purchases in Quicken, Legal Zoom, or used another generic trust that was not reviewed before by a lawyer before submitting it to the BATFE, you should contact a NFA trust attorney to review your trust for validity.  If you need help finding a local NFA Trust Lawyer we can help.  We work with attorneys in more than 40 states including Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®s and South Carolina NFA lawyers to help review and create valid NFA trusts.

Note: At this time the link to the subguns has been taken down because of questions.  We believe this posting is authentic based upon correspondence with the individual but will update this post as the situation and our agreement with the individual (if any) allows.

Note: We have verified that the claims by the individual are true and they have been resolved by a Gun Trust Lawyer® (see the May 26th posting for more details).

May 13, 2009

Vermont NFA Firearms Lawyer

We now have a relationship with NFA Firearms and Estate Planning Attorney in Vermont and can help clients form Gun Trusts all over Vermont including Burlington, Rutland, Barre Montpelier, St. Albans, Winooski, Newport, Vergennes and other cities in Vermont.

A Vermont NFA Gun trust is a great way to purchase, hold, transfer and use both NFA firearms as well as "Assault weapons" and other firearms when you want to protect your family and friends from unintentional criminal liability that goes with the improper use and or transfer of these items.

The Gun Trust can also help preserve your right to transfer the items to your children or family in the event there are legislative changes that might forbid such activity in the future.

If you would like to discuss how  NFA trust can help your and your family purchase own or possess firearms, Contact an attorney familiar with Firearms and estate planning or a Vermont Gun Trust Lawyer®
May 12, 2009

Florida Legislators Attempt to Raid CCW Trust Fund

The Florida Legislature is attempting to raid the concealed weapons and firearms licensing trust fund.  This will effect resident and non-resident CCW license holders!

the NRA is asking that you contact Governor Charlie Christ by phone, fax or email to ask him to veto Conference Report SB-2600.  Section 59 is what authorizes the sweep of 75% of the trust funds for other purposes.

Phone number: (850) 488-4441 or (850) 488-7146
Fax number:  (850) 487-0801

Send your email to the Governor at this address:
May 7, 2009


ELLEVUE, WA and REDWOOD CITY, CA - The Second Amendment Foundation, The Calguns Foundation and three California residents today filed a lawsuit seeking to vindicate the right to bear arms against arbitrary state infringement.

Nearly all states allow qualified law-abiding citizens to carry guns for self-defense, but a few states allow local officials to arbitrarily decide who may exercise this core Second Amendment right. In the action filed today, Plaintiffs challenge the policies of two California Sheriffs, in Sacramento and Yolo counties, who reject the basic human right of self defense by refusing to issue ordinary people gun carry permits. Of course, violent criminals in the impacted counties continue to carry guns without police permission.

State scientist Deanna Sykes believes her sexual orientation and small stature makes her an appealing target for criminals, particularly as she often transports firearms as a competitive shooter and firearms instructor. "I am highly qualified to defend myself against the sort of crime that the Sheriff cannot, despite his best efforts, completely eradicate," Sykes said. "Violent crime is a real risk in our society, but happily, we enjoy the right to defend ourselves from it."


May 4, 2009

Possession of SBR by Photographer or Marketing Company

Recently I was contacted by a photographer who was hired to do product shots for a manufacture of short barreled rifles.  They wanted to ship the firearms to the photographer so that he could photograph them in his studio.  The photographer was concerned about violating the NFA.

Although dealers and manufactures have the ability to transfer these restricted items, individuals and other companies who are not licensed by the ATF must comply with both the federal and state laws in place regarding possession, transfer, and use of these firearms.

Your possession of the SBR would violate the NFA, and potentially state laws.  When you ship the items back to the manufacture you could be violating state and federal firearms laws.  Generally, in situations like this, it might be best to go to the manufactures site and do your marketing efforts at their location to avoid violating state and federal regulations on firearms.
May 4, 2009

Can a Felon Possess a Firearm in Florida?

antiquefirearm250x186-495.jpgAt first glance, Florida has a funny quirk with the way firearms are defined that allows a Felon to possess certain firearms that are not defined as firearms under Florida law.  Upon further investigation, the federal law also exempts antique firearms from the definition of a firearm.  I was recently asked if a convicted felon could possess a black powder gun for hunting in the state of Florida. The answer to this question depends on the gun itself. 

Florida Statutes 790.001(6) defines a Firearm as as any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun. The term "firearm" does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime.

Florida Statutes 790.001(1) defines an Antique Firearm as any firearm manufactured in or before 1918 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system) or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1918, and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1918, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
So it would appear that a Felon could own certain black powder guns in Florida as long as the firearm was not used in the commission of a crime.  There has even been some case law dealing with black powder firearms owned by a felon.

In 2005, Florida's 5th DCA, affirmed the lower courts ruling that David Bostic, a convicted felon, had violated the law by being in possession of a firearm.  Bostic had claimed that his black powder firearm was an antique firearm and thus exempt from the restrictions place upon him.  The court agreed that he was able to own an antique firearm but disagreed that his firearm was an antique.  The court stated that Florida case law defines replica as a reasonably exact reproduction of the object involved that, when viewed causes the person to see substantially the same object as the original. The DCA found that Bostic's gun was not a replica because the original did not have a fiber optic sight that was present on his gun.  The court also stated that merely having an ignition system similar to that found on an antique firearm is not sufficient to render a firearm a "replica" of a firearm manufactured in or before 1918.

In Williams, the Florida Supreme Court in dicta dealing with the concealment of an antique firearms states that the result of such an interpretation to allow convicted felons to be in possession of antique firearms is absurd.  And that a basic tenet of statutory construction is to not yield an absurd result.

While these two cases seem to contradict each other, both courts find a reason to deny the felon possession of an antique firearm.  There are no cases which state approve the possession of an antique firearm by a felon.

This topic was also covered on the Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog by Florida Criminal Lawyer