October 2009 Archives: NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog  

October 2009 Archives

October 29, 2009

GUNPAL, Inc. is a transaction-neutral online payments platform with a philanthropic spirit

"GUNPAL, Inc. is a transaction-neutral online payments platform with a philanthropic spirit," announces Founder/CEO Ben Cannon. "It is also the first serious competitor for PayPal Inc."

A percentage of each transaction is donated to a selected charity at no additional cost to the user. The initial list of organizations includes the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and the Supercomputing Disease Research Center. Users can also suggest charities for consideration.

An avid supporter of constitutional rights, Cannon created a discrimination-free online payments application, starting with the recognition of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Prohibited by PayPal's "Acceptable Use Policy", the $3 billion firearms and accessories industry has adopted GUNPAL as the payments platform of choice. "Firearms can only be sold by licensed dealers. GUNPAL is more convenient than other forms of payment as its comprehensive transaction tracking system is secure and reliable for our audits," says Mitchel Chapman of WBtactical.com, a licensed firearms dealer.

An estimated one hundred million firearm owners nationwide now have a platform with which they can trade ammunition, scopes, and other accessories securely and hassle-free. As a socially responsible company, GUNPAL directs its firearm buyers to government documentation on current firearm laws and regulations and will provide licensed dealer listings by buyers' zip codes in a future release. Having dominated the firearms niche, GUNPAL is already targeting other under-served markets with several new projects under way.

With every line of code written in-house, most of the engineering effort has been dedicated to fraud prevention. GUNPAL's unique anti-fraud and anti-phishing systems take a finer-toothed comb through customer data for maximum privacy and security. Reduced fraud cuts operating costs resulting in lower fees for most common transactions as compared to PAYPAL. Cannon's first company, GeoVario, LLC, was the natural choice for web-hosting services.

Founded in 2004, GUNPAL is a transaction-neutral online payment system that allows easy transfer of funds to anyone with an email address. Privately funded, GUNPAL has revolutionized the transfer of money with its pro-constitutional voice, unique anti-fraud approach, and philanthropic spirit. The company is expected to expand its services internationally in the near future.


For further information and questions, please contact pr@gunpal.net or visit http://www.gunpal.net

-Ben Cannon
CEO
GUNPAL, Inc.

October 19, 2009

Tennessee Gun Rally and 50 Cal Silencer

50calsilencer.jpg
This weekend I was up in Tennessee for a 2A rally that was sponsored by Barrett firearms. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg has come to Tennessee to declare that acts that are legal in Tennessee and most states are illegal because they end making it easier for New Yorkers to get guns.

There were lots of TV reporters and state officials. I did find it odd, that none of the TV stations covered the 2A aspect and only focused on the New York issue.

While up there I got to see a 50 Cal silencer and took a picture of it next to a 22 silencer for perspective. You would not believe how big the 50 Cal silencer is. I would guess that it was 7-10 lbs.

October 14, 2009

Free NRA Freedom Membership

nra_bw.jpgI just received an email from Wayne LaPierre asking that I let our readers know about a Free Membership in the NRA that they are offering.

This free introductory NRA membership comes with a subscription to our bi-weekly e-newsletter, The NRA Freedom Times, valuable member discounts and free admission to NRA's Annual Show which features over five acres of guns, gear and outfitter displays all for free.

If you know any non NRA members have them sign up for a free membership so that we can all work together to protect our rights.

October 8, 2009

What is a NFA Firearms Trust?

WHAT IS AN NFA FIREARMS TRUST

NFA Firearms (also called Title II Firearms) are guns and other items regulated by the National Firearms Act (the "NFA"). Many people mistakenly refer to them as "Class 3" firearms or weapons. The NFA regulates the sale, use, possession, and transfer of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, silencers, destructive devices, and AOWs.

In most states, some or all of these items are LEGAL to own. In addition to state regulation, federal law regulates these items under the NFA. Individuals, business entities, and trusts are permitted to purchase NFA firearms if allowed by state law. To obtain permission to transfer or make these items, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (the "BATFE" or "ATF") requires completion of a Form1 or Form 4 along with payment of $200 for a tax stamp.

While a traditional trust can be used to purchase NFA firearms, there are many problems with using a traditional trust and therefore only an NFA Firearms Trust should be used.

We work with more than 75 lawyers in over 43 states to help individuals and their families educate and protect themselves from unintentional violations of the NFA. The process of creating an NFA Firearms trust involves discussing the client's objectives, determining what and how their family makeup will influence the structure of the trust, as well as trying to limit future legislative and transfer tax risks associated with NFA firearms ownership. Once the trust is designed an attorney who is licensed in the proper state reviews the trust and then forwards the trust to the client. The client reviews the instructions and FAQs and has a phone consultation to discuss any questions or comments on federal and state laws. If necessary, modifications are made, then the all grantors and trustees sign the trust. Once the trust is properly executed, NFA items can be purchased.

If you are looking for a NFA Firearms Trust Lawyer Contact Us and we can help.

October 6, 2009

Why Do I Need an NFA Firearms Trust?

WHY DO I NEED AN NFA FIREARMS TRUST?

No CLEO Signature Required

The ATF requires that all individuals obtain approval from their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (the "CLEO") as part of the application process to obtain a Title II firearm from another individual or Class 3 dealer. Many CLEOs around the country are refusing sign or even acknowledge the ATF Forms. There is no legal remedy in most states to force the review of these forms. If using an NFA Firearms Trust to purchase a weapon, the Form 4 does not require the CLEO's signature.

No Fingerprints or Photographs are Required

When using an NFA Firearms Trust to acquire Title II firearms, no fingerprints or photographs are required. This is a cost savings and can also significantly decrease the time required to take possession of the items. Often fingerprints have to be retaken because they are not acceptable for the FBI's criminal database.

Privacy

Individuals who submit their ATF forms to their CLEO are often concerned about who will have knowledge of their firearms. They also express concerns that they will come under additional scrutiny because the police will have knowledge that they are in possession of these more restricted firearms. With an NFA Firearms Trust, neither the CLEO nor the police are given notice that you will be in possession of or own the NFA firearms.

Incapacity

If you become incapacitated your family or friends are the ones who step forward to help you. In doing so, they may come in contact with the restricted items and put themselves at risk of violating the NFA without knowledge. An NFA Firearms Trust help protect these individuals from violating the NFA by providing them clear instructions on what they are and are not permitted to do.

Death

When you die your individually owned firearms will be part of your "probate estate." Probate proceedings will be necessary to transfer your guns under your will or to your heirs and are part of the public record. Since a family member or a friend usually handles probate proceedings, it is important not to unknowingly place them at risk of violating the NFA. With an NFA Firearms Trust, your firearms are not subject to probate or public record. Your beneficiaries will be protected because they will receive guidance on how and under what circumstances the items can be legally transferred to others. If you have children, an NFA Firearms Trust has specific provisions to protect them and make sure they do not receive the property if they live in a location where it is illegal to possess NFA firearms, and most importantly they are mature and responsible enough that you would want them to have the firearms.

Co-owners and Authorized Users

If an individual purchases Title II firearms then he or she is the only one permitted to use or have access the firearms. Many people incorrectly believe that it is ok to let others use their NFA firearms when in their presence. However, the NFA would consider this a transfer and be a violation of the law. When your spouse or someone else knows the combination to your firearms safe, you may be violating the restriction on letting others access or possess your firearms. Improper possession through constructive possession is a form of unauthorized possession, and a violation of the NFA. If you use an NFA Firearms Trust to purchase Title II firearms, you can designate additional owners and authorized users. You can eliminate the risk associated with an improper constructive possession with a simple signature authorizing that person to be in legal possession of the items. This can help protect you and your family from the penalties of violating the NFA.

Reducing Risk of Legal Changes

Many groups are attempting to limit the ability to transfer firearms to their family or friends. With an NFA Firearms Trust an adult child, family member, or friend can be made a co-owner of the trust. While the ownership of the NFA Firearms Trust can be changed, the NFA Firearms Trust is still the registered owner of the firearms and no transfer has taken place under the NFA.

Penalties for Violating the National Firearms Act can be Severe.

Each violation of the National Firearms Act subjects the owner to forfeiture of all weapons, 10 years in prison, and fines of up to $250,000. An NFA Firearms Trust provides guidance to the creators, managers, and beneficiaries of the trust to help them avoid violating the NFA.

Benefits of a NFA Firearms Trust Over a Corporation or LLC

Corporations and LLCs have annual fees associated with them. Business entities are not private and much information about the individuals associated with them is contained in public records. Corporations and LLCs have annual state fees and other costs associated with the maintaining of the entity. Often business entities are subject to the requirement to file sales tax and income tax returns. If you already have a business entity that is used to purchase NFA firearms, the business is at risk if the managers or anyone else ever misuse a firearm. Each manager of a corporation of LLC can purchase firearms and subject the entity to the penalties for violating the NFA. To make a change to the people authorized to use, purchase, or possess the firearms, the secretary of state needs to be updated with the changes in the management of the company. This can cost money and take a substantial time to complete. In addition, business entities do not deal with incapacity or death like an NFA Firearms Trust does. Unlike with a corporation or LLC, an NFA Firearms Trust does not require any annual recording fees and documents do not need to be filed with the state. To make a change to an NFA Firearms Trust, one simply amends the trust to change who can use, purchase, or possess the firearms without risk of criminal liability for violating the NFA.

Benefits of a NFA Firearms Trust over a Revocable Trust

There are more than 50 differences between a traditional trusts and an NFA Firearms Trust. Only a few of the issues will be discussed here. Most trusts do not instruct how to purchase, who may use, or who may have access to Title II firearms. They also do not give the people involved with the trust enough information to properly sell or transfer assets. If you become incapacitated, it may be necessary to sell some assets. When you die, these restricted firearms need to be transferred properly. An NFA Firearms trust provides information to determine if:


  1. it is permissible to transfer the items;

  2. the items are legal in the state where they will be transferred to;

  3. the beneficiary is legally able to be in possession of or use the firearms; and most importantly

  4. the successor trustee is given the ability to determine in their own mind, if the beneficiary is mature and responsible enough to receive the firearms.

A normal trust allows the trust to be revoked even if it's assets become illegal upon revocation. Also a normal trust allows a trustee to resign while they are still in possession of restricted firearms. A trustee may also find that with a normal trust, an agent acting under a power of attorney may take actions that are in violation of the NFA and subject them to criminal penalties.

Most people using traditional trusts purchase NFA firearms incorrectly. They usually purchase them as an individual and then transfer the weapons into the trust. While the ATF may approve a transfer from the dealer to the trust, they never approved an individual transfer from the dealer nor a transfer from the individual to the trust.

Invalid Trusts

Many Free Trusts on the Internet or from other sources have been found to be invalid. Lately we have seen many dealers and manufactures providing trusts to customers or helping them to fill out the trusts in order to purchase firearms. The problem with using an invalid trust or one not signed correctly or at trust that is not complete is that the trust does not exist. If the trust does not exist, even if the ATF approves a transfer to the trust, you will be illegally in possession of the firearm and subject to the penalties of the NFA. Even valid trust have substantial problems with dealing with incapacity, death, and transfer of the firearms as they instruct the trustees to take steps that create liability to the beneficiary put the assets at risk of seizure, and put both the trustee's and beneficiary at risk of the penalties for violating the NFA.

If you want to form a NFA Firearms Trust or have your trust reviewed Contact a NFA Firearms Trust Attorney

October 4, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear 2A Case: McDonald v. Chicago

The Supreme Court has recently decided to hear the landmark Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago. This case will address the application of the Second Amendment to the states through either the Due Process clause or the Privileges or Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case has major implications for the legality of restrictive gun laws not only in Chicago, but also in other cities across the United States. The decision to hear the case, which will be argued early next year, gives Second Amendment advocates across America hope that this fundamental freedom will not be infringed by unreasonable state and local laws.

Previously the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments. That opinion left in place the current ban on the possession of handguns in Chicago.

Many legal scholars believe that the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the earlier Ninth Circuit panel decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To the contrary, a proper incorporation analysis supports application of the Second Amendment to the States.