Lately we are seeing many people whose Trusts are being rejected by ATF. It appears that ATF has finally decided to try to determine if trusts are valid before allowing people to use a Form 1 or Form 4 transfer.
The bad news is many individuals are finding out that Quicken is not up to date in some states like Florida, and that copies of Quicken or trusts created by others may not be valid under current laws or the laws of other states.
There is a dealer is Jacksonville, who has been preparing invalid trusts for their clients. Not only is this the unauthorized practice of law, a crime in Florida and other states, but they do not understand the importance of understanding the individuals circumstances when preparing a trust. Quicken in general is a really bad tool to use in Florida because it does not comply with many of the 2007 Trust Code Revisions (Yes revisions that were made public more than 4 years ago). For more information on this you might read Using Quicken to Prepare a Trust: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
As I head out to Knob Creek for the Machine Gun Shoot, I am sure I will year many horror stories involving ATF and invalid trusts. If you need help fixing a problem with an invalid trust give us a call, click live chat, or send us an email and we will help you prepare a valid trust that deals with your unique issues and circumstances and your local states laws. We work with attorneys in most states and prepare NFA Firearms trusts. Generally we are providing information based on the NFA and the local attorney provides the state trust and firearms law expertise.
Next weekend is the Bi-Annual Machine Gun Shoot at the Knob Creek Gun Range. Over 15,000 people and 800 vendors are expected to attend. If you are planning on attending let me know and perhaps we could meet at the show. Here is a link for some general information and here is the 2010 Machine Gun Shoot Schedule
Knob Creek Gun Range
690 Ritchey Lane
West Point, KY 40177 map.
While its legal to give someone a form for a trust or will to fill out, its illegal for a non-lawyer to help them complete the form or fill it out for them. Gerry Beyer of the WIlls, Trust & Estate Prof Blog brought my attention to this issue. Many software manufactures, firearms manufactures, gun stores, and individuals do not understand that the act of helping someone create legal documents without a license to practice law is the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) and a crime in every state. The reason these actions are prohibited by state law is that individuals without the proper legal knowledge and background tend to give wrong, inaccurate, and misleading advise to others who can be harmed by the misinformation.
Take for example the Silencer manufacture in the Midwest, who use to post a free trust for their clients. While a lawyer could have taken that trust and completed it correctly, it was missing some very important language which made the trust invalid in almost every state. The ATF was approving these trusts for a while, but as these individuals have been going back to make new purchases, they are being told that their trust is not valid.
Likewise, there are many examples of Quicken trusts that are posted on the INTERNET. Besides being inappropriate for NFA firearms, which a non-lawyer would not understand, many are not valid in other states. We have seen many people trying to use an Arizona trust in Florida. The problem is Florida has different requirements for a valid trust than Arizona and while if the trust was created in Arizona it might be valid, if it is created in Florida it will not comply with the Florida Trust Code. We see these issues all over the country and this is why we work with more than 100 lawyers in over 40 states to help individuals and their families prepare valid trusts that deal with the unique issues of NFA firearms ownership, transfer, possession, and use.
Apparently LegalZoom is the latest company to be sued for UPL because they were offering customized wills and information on how to modify their will and change payable on death accounts and joint property deal with estate planning issues.
If you are looking to prepare a trust for any purpose, you should have your individual circumstances and objectives reviewed by a lawyer who can then make suggestions and give you options based upon what makes sense for you and your family.
PublicationATF 5300.4 in 27 CFR 479.102 (page 92) describes what is necessary to engrave on a SBR or SBS when one is manufacturing. This is not necessary if you purchase one that is already manufactured as it will have been done for you.
1) On the Frame or Receiver the Serial number;
2) on the frame, receiver, or barrel the following additional information;
B)The caliber or gage;
C)Your name or name of the Trust in the case of a Trust (no abbreviations are permitted for the Trust name);
D)The city and state (you can abbreviate the state with the official 2 digit state code)
The above mentioned information must be engraved, casted, stamped (impressing) or otherwise conspicuously placed or caused to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size of the Serial number shall be no smaller than 1/16 inch.
Recently I was asked by one of the attorneys I work with about provisions for a will to deal with the NFA firearms that an individual owns outside of their trust. I wrote something on this topic which can be found on my Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog in an article How to deal with NFA and Non NFA Firearms in a Will
The Topics to be covered are
- McDonald v. Chicago: From Heller to Chicagoland: Incorporation of the 2nd Amendment
- Future Areas of Litigation
- "Presumptively Lawful" Restrictions after Heller & McDonald
- Concealed Carry Licenses & Licenses Required to Possess or Acquire a Firearm
- Self-Defense Laws and Cases
- International Arms Control Treaties and Agreements
- Federal Laws Governing Firearms Possession
- Domestic Protective Order and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Convictions
- The Restoration of Rights after Prohibition
- NFA Trusts and Major Provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA)
- Representing the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL)
- The Application of Environmental Case Law to Managing Outdoor Shooting Ranges
- Mental Health Prohibitions and Processes: An Area of Growing Concern for Veterans
For more information on this seminar please visit the NRA Foundation Law Seminar Website
Some are calling McDonald v. Chicago - Heller for the rest of us.
A few minutes ago, at 10 AM EST the Supreme Court of the United States began hearing the oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a major Second Amendment case that is expected to determine if states and cities must comply with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
We are often approached by individuals who have formed trusts and want to know if they can upgrade the language in their trust to take advantage of the provisions in our NFA Firearms trust.
This can be done by amending and restating your existing trust and is a simple process. The process involves a review or your trust as well as an interview to determine what you are trying to accomplish, your family situation, and ways to reduce future taxes as well as legislative changes involved with the transfer of NFA firearms in the future. Once a plan is made, we simply amend your trust to our new trust and the changes become effective upon execution of the new documents.
If you have pending transfers it is possible to contact ATF and let them replace the document in your application and when it is approved it will be under the new trust document. The lawyers we work with do not charge any extra for this process if the review is done at the time when the new trust is ordered. If you just would like your trust reviewed, the typical cost is $150. If you later decide to upgrade your trust, $100 of the fee is waived, but if you determine you want to upgrade your trust from the beginning there is no additional fee over the cost of the trust.
The NFA Firearms Trust that we and our lawyers use is a copyrighted document. We have had several individuals ask us what this means in regards to its use.
When you purchase a NFA Gun Trust, you are permitted to make a copy of the trust for your own use and for submitting to the ATF. You are not permitted to copy the text and post it online, provide it to another individual for their use, or provide it to an attorney to copy to create trusts using our language. In addition, you are not permitted to remove our copyright notices from the documents and doing any of the above can result in civil damages for lost profits or statutory damages of up to $30,000 for each act of infringement. If a court determines that a violation is willful or intentional the liability increases up to $150,000 plus attorney's fees under Title 17, United States Code Sections 504 and 505.The copyright covers the text of the trust as well as the instructions / memorandum.
Recently it has come to our attention that a lawyer is using our copyrighted text and incorporating our wording and protections into their own trusts. We take this very seriously and expect others to do the same.
We have invested hundreds of hours in creating our NFA Firearms Trust and supporting materials and offer it to the public at a fair price. In order to continue to offer our work at a fair and reasonable cost, expect that our clients and competitors to respect our rights and help us maintain our copyrights.
If you have a copy of our trust or believe you have received an improper copy of our trust and would like a proper license to use our language please Contact Us so that we can properly license you and provide the support and upgrade options that goes along with our documents.
If you purchased a GSG 5 SD model with a barrel shroud (Fake Suppressor) ATF has now determined that this is regulated by the NFA and must be replaced.
To all retail customers:
On January 2010 American Tactical Imports Inc received official notification from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives that the original barrel shroud (aka: fake suppressor) supplied with your GSG 5 SD model must be replaced. It has been determined that this shroud is regulated under the National Firearms Act. American Tactical will provide a replacement shroud at no charge for each GSG 5 SD model sold or currently in inventory.
Consumers in possession of a GSG 5 SD model with the original shroud in place on the firearm are now in violation of the NFA. To avoid continued violation of the NFA, ATI asks that all persons in possession obtain a replacement shroud as soon as possible. We anticipate arrival of the new shrouds to begin by the middle of February 2010.
IMPORTANT: THE ORIGINAL SD MODEL SHROUD MUST BE RETURNED ACCOMPANIED BY THE FIREARM SERIAL NUMBER BEFORE A REPLACEMENT SHROUD IS ISSUED. THE DIAMETER OF THE SD SHROUD IS 1-9/16". DO NOT RETURN THE SMALLER CARBINE SHROUD.
WHAT TO DO:
If possible return your old shroud to the dealer where purchased and show him this notice. The shroud will be returned to ATI along with a list of serial numbers from the guns that the shrouds were removed. ATI will send replacements to the dealer for pick up at your convenience; ATI will be sending replacements as fast as logistics allow. If your dealer is out of business or difficult to reach, or you purchased your gun used, from a consumer, return the shroud directly by US mail or UPS to American Tactical Imports Inc. 100 Airpark Drive Rochester, NY 14624.
REMEMBER, INCLUDE THE FIREARM SERIAL NUMBER WITH EACH SHROUD OR A REPLACEMENT WILL NOT BE ISSUED.
This action IS NOT being instituted through any fault and is strictly due to NFA compliance. American Tactical will assume the responsibility to satisfy the requirements in an effort to minimize the impact on our customers and protect your investment.
We at American Tactical Imports Inc. sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate situation.
NOTE: because of a recent law change the following information will be obsolete as of September 2011. Starting 8/28/2011 you will be able to use a NFA trust to purchase NFA firearms in Missouri without the need of a C & R, FFL, or use of a Corporation or LLC.
A trust may not obtain a C&R license. In some state like Missouri, to purchase Title II firearms you must have a FFL. Missouri considers a C&R a FFL for this purpose. A trust may not obtain a C&R or other FFL.
If you want to use a NFA Trust in Missouri, it must be done in conjunction with a Corporation or LLC. The Trust can be the member and the Manager of the LLC or Corporation which adds the ability to deal with incapacity, death, and easily changing the authorized users.
As a Life member of the NRA, I was recently given the opportunity to offer my family and friends a Life membership for only $300. The normal price for a life membership is $1000. If you are a client of ours and would like to take advantage of this please contact me using the contact form and I will let you know the details. This is a limited time offer so if you are interested let us know soon.
The ATF has recently made a decision to review Trusts for legal sufficiency. While this may slow things down for those using generic trust for NFA purchases (Quicken, Legal Zoom, Gun Store Trusts) I think its a good idea and will protect many from unknowingly violating the NFA.
We have seen several issues where the ATF is declaring trusts to be invalid that are in fact valid under various state laws. They claim they are not practicing law in those states and will not give legal advise. They suggest that you have the trust reviewed by a lawyer to tell you why it is invalid or make changes to the trust to make it valid.
If your trust was rejected by ATF we can help by reviewing and or amending the trust with our network of 75 attorneys in more than 40 states.