February 13, 2014

ATF Forms Processing Time

Today the ATF released new processing times based upon December 2013. The are now reporting the the average times for processing an ATF Form 1 to make and register a firearms is 9 months and the average time on an ATF Form 4 to transfer and register a NFA firearm in 9 months. We have seen significantly reduced times when applying electronically. Below are the times for each type of transfer and or application as reported by the ATF. It is interesting to see that they are taking 3 months to approve / process a transfer on a Form 3 and 2 months on a form 2. That means, it is taking ATF 2 months to approve the manufacture and 3 months to approve the transfer to a dealer. More than 5 months are required just to make and send a suppressor to your dealer so that you can wait an additional 9 months to take it home. The ATF will update this information every 90 days so we can see the trend.

As more people file electronically, we could start to experience longer wait times but for now we are hearing that many electronic Form 4s and Form 1s are taking between 3-6 months instead of 9-12 months for the traditional forms.
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February 9, 2014

I think I want a Gun Trust for Title II firearms only.

While many people think they only want a Gun Trust to purchase NFA firearms, there are many reasons you should consider putting all of your firearms in a properly drafted Gun Trust.

Just this week, I wrote that NOLO had reported that you should not use their software to create a Gun Trust. This is something that we have been talking about for over 5 years and it was nice to see them realize the problems that could be created by the use of a traditional revocable trust.

A Gun Trust should be designed to hold all firearms including those restricted by the NFA. All of our Gun Trusts are designed for all of your firearms including Title II firearms (those regulated by the NFA).

You will find that owners of NFA firearms own other guns. The normal guns like a pistol and shotgun are called Title I firearms. As an owner of all types of guns, I designed our Gun Trust to deal with common issues gun owners face with pistols, revolvers, and hunting riffles as well as Title II firearms.

What most people do not realize regular firearms have many of the same issues regarding transfer upon death or incapacity that exist with NFA guns. It is for this reason that I would suggest putting all of your Guns in one a Gun Trust.

The real issue is that while we can pick beneficiaries while we are alive, we do not know who will survive us. Those that do survive may not be appropriate to receive the firearms upon our death.

We do not know where they will live. Many states restrict the purchase, transfer, or ownership of certain firearms regardless of how they are received. We do not know if the firearms we own will be legal where our beneficiaries will be living when we die. In addition, some states require special permits to be in possession or own some or all types of firearms. While some states give you a grace period to acquire the proper permits, other states do not.

Have our kids or friends done something silly that we do not know about that might have caused the beneficiaries to lose their rights to own, possess, or use a gun. Are they involved with drugs in a state where it is legal? While drug use may be legal in some states, it is still a federal crime and makes the person using illegal drugs a prohibited person.

Another issue might involve being charged with an act of domestic violence or child abuse even if not ultimately convicted of that charge. The Lautenberg Amendment is a federal statute that says that charges that are classified as domestic violence or child abuse can create a permanent loss of your firearms rights.

Most importantly, as much as we would like to believe that our beneficiaries will be the right age and have the right mental state when we die, we will not be there to make the decision. Our Gun Trust takes all of this into consideration and allows the Successor Trustee of the Gun Trust to look at the location of the beneficiary, the legal status of the beneficiary, as well as the age and maturity and responsibility of the beneficiary to make a proper decision on the disposition of the firearms.

Other trusts or so called gun trusts only require that someone is not determined to be legally incompetent and or reach a certain age. When it comes to guns, a traditional trust without good Gun Trust provisions or created without the help of a Gun Trust Lawyer® can create criminal liability for your family and friends to transfer and receive firearms. Remember that people change over time, and it is not always for the better.

The good news is that if you already have a trust that holds firearms, it can be usually be changed to properly deal with them. If you would like to find out more about creating a Gun Trust or changing your existing trust to properly deal with firearms and purchase NFA firearms contact a Gun Trust Lawyer®.

January 23, 2014

ESTATE PLANNING FOR GUN OWNERS

Keeping Your Personal Representative or Executor Out of Jail

If you own firearms, you should reevaluate the trustees, successor trustees and beneficiaries in any estate planning documents. It is important to avoid people who are prohibited people from owning or being in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Many people do not even know that they may be a prohibited person. There is not an easy way to determine if someone named in your documents is a prohibited person or not without asking them a bunch of questions. In addition, certain items you may own may be illegal in some states and even if the person is not prohibited, it may be a crime for them to take these items to a location where they are prohibited.

If you own any firearms, you need to be careful to avoid potentially serious problems with your family and friends.

Under Federal Law the mere possession of any type of firearm or ammunition by a "prohibited person" is a crime. There is no exception for Executors, Personal Representatives, or Trustees. Upon accepting his or her appointment, an Executor, Personal Representative, or Trustee may become a criminal. The Federal Statutes contain a long list of things that make someone a prohibited person including: conviction in any court of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison; being an unlawful drug user (even if legal in the state); having been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions and having been convicted of a misdemeanor where the charge was one involving domestic violence.

NFA Firearms are sold by Class 3 SOT dealers and include machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, Suppressors, AOWs and certain other items are subject to the National Firearms Act. Even deactivated war trophies can still be under the NFA. The mere possession of these items by anyone not having the appropriate documentation (not just convicted criminals) is a federal crime. Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

Without proper authorization and documentation to be in possession of these items makes them contraband and is a crime. In many states possession of regular "Assault Weapons" is a crime and can subject you to criminal prosecution.

If you own firearms, it is important to review your estate planning documents with a Gun Trust Lawyer® to help ensure that they are dealt with properly in the event of your death or disability. Many traditional trusts or wills instruct your family and friends to take actions that are illegal when it comes to the possession and transfer of firearms.

January 23, 2014

Iowa considers legalizaing Suppressors (silencers)

House File 284 was recently introduced to lift the ban on owning or using a silencer or suppressor. Iowa is one of only eleven (11) states that ban the device for some individuals. The bill sponsor has stated that a suppressor is a usefull tool for preventing hearing damage. Currently the use of a suppressor in Iowa is a Class D felony. Lets hope Iowa changes this law and permits suppressors. If you have an Iowa Gun Trust and the law changes you will be permitted to purchase suppressors within the state. There are still many benefits for an Iowa Gun Trust or gun trust even if you do not own Title II firearms like suppressors. For more information on how a Gun Trust can help you please request our information by filling out the form on this page.

January 16, 2014

ATF Publisheds eForms 101 Instructions

ATF_Logo.jpgUsing an eForm to file your Form 1 or Form 4 can save several months processing time. We have seen that it can reduce the time from 9-12 months to 3-6 months. As we have outlined before, the ATFonline.gov website is not the easiest to use or understand and thus there have been many questions which ATF has attempted to address in this guide.

The Topics covered include:

How Do I Register To Use eForms?
FFL, EIN and AECA Associations
Password Complexity Rule Missing from eForms Registration Instructions
Navigating through eForms
Icons/Buttons/Symbols Used in eForms
Adding Attachments to eForms Submissions
Who Can Submit An eForm 1 Or eForm 4
eForm Down Everyday At NOON -1:00PM Eastern Time For Maintenance
Make Sure Your Submissions Are Correct
How to Identify the Applicant Maker or Transferee on an eForm 1, 4 or 5.
eForms Refund Processing
Identification of the maker or manufacturer of a firearm on Form 1
Payment of Making or Transfer Tax
Duplicate Applications in Your Draft Folder - Dont delete them
NFA - PDF issue with Form 4
Average Processing Times
What are those 'non eForms' records that appear in my folders?
Name Field Length Limitation Forms 1, 4 and 5
Use of P.O. Boxes

It's important to do electronic forms correctly the first time as there is not currently a way to fix a mistake or amend them like with the paper applications.

January 11, 2014

Can I form a Gun Trust if I am 18, 19, or 20?

We often get questions from people who are 18 and want to know if they can form a Gun Trust?

The good news is that you can form a gun trust at the age of 18 with a Gun Trust Lawyer®. If you are going to purchase NFA firearms or pistols, you must be at least 21 years to purchase from a dealer. If you purchase NFA firearm from an individual you only need to be 18.

You only need to be 18 to be in possession of a NFA Firearm and other trustees who are on your trust who are over the age of 21 may purchase NFA firearms on behalf of the trust.

You need to be careful about the straw purchase requirements which would prohibit adding someone who is over 21 only to purchase the firearms. You can add someone for other reasons who is over 21 like a parent or sibling that you go shooting with and once they are a co-trustee or trustee on your gun trust, they can make purchases that you might not be able to make as an 18 - 20-year-old.

If you need help structuring a gun trust to meet your desired goals and deal with your specific circumstances, call us or use the contact us form on the right and we will send you information on forming a gun trust with one of the more than 200 Gun Trust Lawyers® we work with around the US.

December 23, 2013

Do I need a Gun Trust to buy a Suppressor, if I already have a revocable trust?

We often get questions from people about using a regular trust or existing trust that they already have to purchase a suppressor. First a trust or Gun Trust is not required to purchase a suppressor. A suppressor is a Title II firearm, that is sold by a Class III FFL. It can be purchased by an individual, trust, or business entity. Currently, an individuals must obtain a CLEO signature as well as provide fingerprints with the application to purchase a suppressor. Any purchase from an individual, trust, Gun Trust, or business entity must pay a $200 tax stamp and complete an ATF Form 4.

That being said, a Trust or Gun Trust has many other benefits besides the CLEO and fingerprint submission.

  1. A Gun Trust may submit an application electronically and between 2-6 months in processing.
  2. The ability to tell your representatives how to properly transfer these firearms upon your death.
  3. The ability to transfer assets to children, even below the age of 18, when they reach an appropriate age while giving the someone the ability to make distribution decisions based on mental state, physical location, legality of the transfer, and age.
  4. The ability for the Trustee to refuse assets transferred by will or other means if NFA and state requirements are not complied with.
  5. Requirement to comply with NFA and State laws for transfer of NFA related assets.
  6. The ability to make uneven distributions to heirs to conserve value of assets.
  7. The ability to purchase Title II firearms, without creating a violation of the duties of the trustee.
  8. The ability to use the firearms in the trust without creating liability to the beneficiaries.
  9. The instructions and formalities on how to: manufacture items under a Form 1, how to purchase items correctly under a Form 4, how to properly document and transport Title II firearms with a Form 20.
  10. Protection for yourself and your family from Constructive Possession - a violation of the NFA.
  11. The ability to add others to your trust at a later time and create additional authorized users of the firearms.

Some Gun Trusts can even be designed to include:

  1. The ability to have Trustees with different capabilities.
  2. The ability to protect the firearms from your creditors and the creditors of your beneficiaries.
  3. The ability to hold the firearms for multiple generations and in some cases forever.
  4. The ability to modify the terms of the trust to attempt to preserve privacy, ownership, avoid future transfers and loss of firearms due to future legislation.
  5. The ability to easily add users, remove users, change beneficiaries and create temporary users of the firearms.
  6. The your representatives how to properly transfer these firearms upon your death.

So while a regular revocable trust could be used to purchase NFA firearms, a regular trust is designed for financial assets and would often instruct those who survive you to dispose of the firearms in ways that could create legal issues for your family and friends. In addition, the firearms could be sold off to pay your bills or funeral expenses instead of using other cash or assets that may be available.

A Gun Trust is a very specific type of trust that is designed for NFA and non NFA firearms. Before hiring someone to create a Gun Trust or purchasing a NFA Gun Trust, you should check to understand what you are getting because not all gun trusts are the same. Many so called "Gun Trusts" or "NFA Trusts" are regular revocable trusts that are designed for bank account and land and have little to do with firearms.

If you have a trust that you would like reviewed for issues dealing with the NFA, we would be happy to do so at no charge. We will not be reviewing the state issues but federal issues.

December 14, 2013

NRA-ILA's Comment to 41p

While the NRA's comment is only 17 pages it incorporates many comments and references many including mine. On page one of the NRA's comment they state

Many Hundreds of comments already published in opposition to 41P exhaustively catalog its various problems and potential for absurd consequences. For example, a comment submitted by David M. Goldman details how 41P is based on an unsophisticated and inaccurate view of the law governing trusts and estate planning.

The NRA's comment primarily leads with the following 3 issues.

  1. It is illegal for the BATFE to impose requirements that it is not authorized to do.
  2. The requirements could block those who are lawfully entitled to possess NFA firearms from doing so.
  3. ATF failed to justify the costly and consequential changes that 41P would pose.
To review the full comment please see my 41P comment page.

*[I have slightly modified that the NRA states as the Florida Bar as well as many other reserve the word specialize or expert for someone who has been board certified and while most states offer board certification in estate law, none offers such a designation for gun law. While I focus on Gun Trust and gun law, it would be wrong to refer to me an expert or to say I specialize because it would indicate board certification.]

December 11, 2013

Final action on 41P not expected until 6/2014

While ATF could change what is published, they have updated their Unified Agenda Statement for 41P to show that Final Action is not expected until June of 2014.

This date could continue to roll forward or with enough political pressure the date could be moved up. The June date should be thought of a target date that may or may not change as we get closer to it. You might think of it like "average life expectancy". You could die sooner, you could die at the average age, or you could live many years longer than the average. Also it is important to remember that just because we hit an implementation date does not give us any better idea of what may be implemented.

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This is good news for those of you wanting to purchase items or form a Gun Trust prior to the implementation of new rules or regulations. There is still no word on what ATF is expected to do in June.

If you do not have a Gun Trust yet, now is the time to get one by requesting more information on the contact form on this page.

December 10, 2013

Firearms Industry Consulting Group posts comprehensive comment to 41P

Joshua Prince and Tom Odom have put together over 400 pages of comments and exhibits. Below are the broad topics that their extensive comment covers. If you enjoy reading about the Second Amendment, you will enjoy the extensive research and history that is included in this document. Joshua said they were able to shave off 40 or 50 pages by incorporating my comments by reference. I have included their conclusion below for you to read.

  1. PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITIES HAVE DENIED INTERESTED PERSONS A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED RULEMAKING
  2. ATF'S PROPOSED RULE RAISES IMPORTANT CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
  3. ATF'S PROPOSAL EXCEEDS ITS STATUTORY AUTHORITY
  4. POLICY CONSIDERATIONS DO NOT SUPPORT ATF'S PROPOSED RULE
  5. LESS BURDENSOME ALTERNATIVES TO ATF'S PROPOSED RULE
  6. CONCLUSION

Below is a reprint of the conclusion to their Comment on 41p. Remember this comprehensive comment was submitted with over 400 pages of exhibits.

ATF has made a mockery of this proceeding, engaging in numerous tactics designed to deny meaningful public participation. As a result ATF cannot promulgate any final rule that hopes to survive judicial review without starting fresh. In doing so, ATF should consult with a broad cross-section of interests familiar with the laws governing trusts, estates, and business entities rather than a select few. Independent of such problems, moreover, there is ample reason to question whether ATF regulation of certain firearms under the NFA is consistent with the Second Amendment and federalism concerns. ATF's proposal stretches far beyond any statutory authority. If ATF were to overcome those problems, the fact remains that its proposal is built upon statistically invalid assumptions and false premises. ATF failed to quantify any benefit from the proposed rule and substantially under counted the cost it would impose, including a failure to consider at all some of the largest costs. The proposed rule is demonstrably unworkable and many less-burdensome alternatives exist to address any legitimate concerns.

Even the one portion of the proposal that heads in the right direction -- dealing with decedent's estates -- fails to define terms with sufficient specificity as to permit meaningful comment. If that section is intended to codify existing ATF practices, it fails in several key respects. Alternatively, if that section is intended to depart from ATF's established practices, there is no stated justification for doing so and the result is a proposal that is internally inconsistent in the manner in which it treats fiduciaries.

To download their full comment please visit our 41P Comment page at http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html.

December 10, 2013

NFATCA Posts comment to 41P

The NFATCA has posted a comment to 41p, requested a hearing and has some unusual arguments claiming must of the proposals and even some of the current procedure is not authorized by congress. IN addition they have an interesting Legal Memorandum prepared by Stephen Halbrook that worth taking a look at.
His memo covers

I. NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO REQUIRE FINGERPRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF "RESPONSIBLE PERSONS" OF TRUSTS AND OTHER ARTIFICIAL PERSONS

II. NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO REQUIRE A CLEO CERTIFICATE
FOR THE TRANSFER OR MAKING OF A FIREARM

  • A. ATF, Not State and Local CLEOs, Is Responsible for Administration of the National Firearms Act

  • B. The CLEO Requirement Unlawfully Forecloses Judicial Review Under the Administrative Procedure Act

  • C. ATF May Not Compel Disclosure of Tax Returns to CLEOs

  • D. The CLEO-Certificate Requirement Violates Principles of Federalism and the President's Responsibility to Execute the Laws

I have include it on my 41P comment page available at http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html

December 5, 2013

A Client's comments to 41P that were submitted

One of Clients has submitted a comment to 41P and given us permission to post a copy as it is not likely that it will appear on the published comments before the time to respond has closed. You may want to use parts of this comment to help you express your personal experiences or situation.

In summary this comment discusses

  • ATF has failed to show any real benefits from its proposed rule;

  • Costs and expenses involved with 41P are not accurate;

  • Inability to obtain modified CLEO for responsible parties who are overseas and in states where the items are illegal;

  • Costs of complying with proposals with 21 responsible persons;

  • Inability to comply for children who are responsible persons;

  • Responses from various law enforcement agencies around the country;

  • Medical marijuana issues;

  • Circumstances where CLEO signature may not be available within 30 days.

This is another example of a well written comment for 41P. To read our client's comments and view his exhibits visit my 41p page at http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html

December 5, 2013

Attorney Glenn Bellamy's 41P Comments

Below Summary of the issues covered in Attorney Glenn Bellamy's 41P comments and exhibits:


  1. The Requirement of a local CLEO certification is not statutory in origin and exceeds the ATF's statutory authority, making the proposed regulations vulnerable to attack.

  2. The regulatory requirement of a local CLEO certification imposes a discretionary third party approval that exceeds the statutory authority.

  3. The proposal fails to address many easily anticipated circumstances

  4. The Proposal fails to consider regulatory alternatives that would be more cost effective, serve legitimate statutory objectives, and avoid legal vulnerabilities.

  5. The proposed rules do not address how Form 1,4, and 5 entity applications pending at the time such a rule amendment is implemented would be affected.

This is another example of a well written comment for 41P. To read his comments and view his exhibits visit my 41p page at http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html

Glenn Bellamy is a Partner with more than two and a half decades of intellectual property litigation, patent and trademark prosecution, and U.S. Customs enforcement experience, first in Seattle and now in Cincinnati. He counsels clients on strategic plans for international Intellectual Property protection of everything from firearms and hydraulic machinery to toys and games. Glenn has litigated Intellectual Property cases throughout the country in federal courts and before the International Trade Commission. Glenn, his wife Renée, and two children live in Symmes Township, Ohio.

November 27, 2013

Cyber Monday Gun Trust Specials Save up to 30%

For those of you who have been thinking about purchasing a Gun Trust we are offering specials on the Base, Advanced, and Professional Gun Trusts.

The Base Gun Trust which you create yourself online and does not come with legal support retails for $349 and has been on sale before for as low as $199 but you can purchase a prepaid code for only $149.

The Advanced Gun Trust is designed for the person who wants a Gun Trust created and customized by an attorney for their specific family circumstances and desires. The Advanced Gun Trust provides the ability to communicate with an attorney regarding federal and state specific issues without any additional costs. Because your specific situation is considered when creating this trust, the Advanced and Professional versions of the Gun Trust can help minimize the potential effects of future legislative and or tax changes that may be associated with transfers during you life and after your death. The Advanced Gun Trust is a revocable trust and very easy to change. Use of this Gun Trust will require a transfer of the firearms at some point after your death. The local attorney's fees and telephone and email support are included in this Gun Trust and the normal price on this trust is between $600 and $750 depending on the state you live in. You can purcahse the Advanced Trust today for the special price of $495

The Professional Gun Trust is our most sophisticated Gun Trust. It is a multi generational, asset protection gun trust that can remain the owner of your firearms forever. This Gun Trust allows future generations to manage and use the firearms without subjecting them to future ATF transfer taxes or claims of creditors. With the current bills before congress many people are concerned about being able to allow their children or beneficiaries to receive the firearms they own. This trust includes the ArmsGuard™ Protector which allows the trust to be changed in the future to deal with future legislative changes that may attempt to restrict rights or the way the Professional Gun Trust works. If laws change next week or 300 years from now, an ArmsGuard™ Protector can be appointed and modify the terms to continue to try and achieve your goals to the extent possible.

The Professional Gun Trust is normally $2500 but you can purchase it today for the special price of $1699. These prices are only available using your credit card or paypal with the buy it now button below. Simply select the trust you want and click the Buy Now Button.




Gun Trust options




November 15, 2013

Michigan Senate panel approves bill to lift ban on short-barreled shotguns and rifles

The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that would lift the state's ban on short-barreled shotguns and rifles.

Senate Bill 610 would align Michigan with more than 40 other states that allow residents to own such guns if they meet federal requirements.

The current Michigan regulations prohibit people from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale or possessing a short-barreled shotgun or rifle. There is an exception allowing ownership of an antique gun unlikely to be used as a weapon. Often if the gun is modified it no longer remains the C&R status of an antique gun.

We will keep you updated on what happens and if or when residents of Michigan are able to purchase a SBR or SBS.