July 16, 2008

"Right to Keep and Bear Arms" after issuance of the Heller decision

Neil Hendershot of the Pennsylvania Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog and Josh Prince wrote a three part series on the Right to keep and bear arms after the Supreme Court decision in Heller.


July 15, 2008

Florida CCW and Machine Guns

A client of mine recently brought to my attention the fact that there is an exception in Florida Statute 706.06 for Machine Guns as defined in Florida Statute 790.01(9)
790.06(1) states that:

For the purposes of this section, concealed weapons or concealed firearms are defined as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, but the term does not include a machine gun as defined in s. 790.001(9).
So next time your traveling with a machine gun in Florida, make sure its not concealed.
July 14, 2008

ATF COMMENT ON HELLER DECISION

ATF Acting Director ATF Michael J. Sullivan released the following statement on the recent Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia et. al. v. Heller: "ATF is pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms, including for private purposes unrelated to militia operations. The court's ruling is in accordance with the text of the Second Amendment, historical practice, and the Attorney General's 2001 guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment, and is consistent with the bureau's understanding of the scope of the Second Amendment. The Bureau also is pleased that the court appropriately made clear that nothing in [the] ruling casts doubt on the constitutionality of 'longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.' In addition, the court appropriately recognized that the 'carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machine guns, is not protected by the amendment. The bureau is studying the decision, but expects that it will not affect its continued enforcement of all existing federal firearms laws."
July 9, 2008

Florida's Attorney General Taking Complaints of Rights Violations Under New Gun Law!

Panama City News has reported that A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum has said that individuals can file complaints with the Attorney General's office if their right to have a firearm, locked in their privately owned vehicle in a parking lot, for self-protection and other lawful purposes is being violated by a business.
 
To file a complaint,  contact the Florida Attorney General's office by:
phone at 866-966-7226;
Online Contact page of the Attorney General; or
email at ag.mccollum@myfloridalegal.com.
July 8, 2008

Valid Reasons for NFA trust in other State

Generally when creating a NFA trust, one must look to the laws of their state and how they affect the right to own a class III firearm.

What happens if you live in New York or any state where some Class III firearms are banned but plan to use and keep them in another state where they are legal?  Can you a resident of a state where the item is banned purchase, store, and use the items in a state where its legal.

According to the ATF,  an individual can purchase an item restricted by the NFA that is not permitted in the state of residence of the trustee, when the trust will be located, and item will be only used and maintained in states where it is legal.

This means a NY resident can purchase a class III firearm in PA when it is under a PA trust and the firearm is kept and used in PA.

July 7, 2008

Automatic Weapons and Segway in China

segway.jpgFiring Automatic Weapons From A Segway

Saw an article on the China Daily News site that armed police are using Segways in their anti-terrorist activities as they prepare for the Beijing Olympics.

I have seen police use Segways's but not like this before.

July 5, 2008

What should I do if I am in possession of an Akins Accelerator?

What should I do if I am in possession of an Akins Accelerator?

You should immediately remove the spring from the Akins Accelerator. This spring should be mailed (with the certification described below) to the Chief, Firearms Technology Branch, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405. You should be sure to include your name and address with the spring so that ATF can account for all the devices which have been sold. The following certification should be completed, signed, and returned with the spring.

Certification

I, _____________________________________, certify that the enclosed spring was removed from my Akins Accelerator and sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on __________________(date). I understand that replacing the spring on the Akins Accelerator constitutes a violation of law.
_______________________       _________________________
Signature                                      Date


What should I do if I purchased an Akins Accelerator from the Akins Group but have sold it or otherwise disposed of it?

If purchasers have sold or otherwise disposed of the Akins Accelerator, they should complete the below Transfer certification and return it to Chief, Firearms Technology Branch, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405. Do not ask the purchaser to return the Akins Accelerator to you; the current possessor should return the spring to ATF at the above address. The possessor should also include the name and address of the person from whom they received the Akins Accelerator, along with the certification regarding the spring, so that ATF may account for all the Akins Accelerators that were sold.

Transfer Certification
I, _____________________________________, certify that I am no longer in possession of the Akins Accelerator that I purchased from the Akins Group. I transferred the Akins Accelerator to _____________________ on _______________________ (date).

What should I do if I have a device that I think may be affected by the ruling?

If you have a device that you think may be affected by the ruling you may send it in to
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, and
request a classification.
July 4, 2008

Missouri to allow Some Silencers as of August 28, 2008

Missouri House Bill 2034 SECTION 571.020

This act allows licensed importers, manufacturers, dealers, or collectors to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a firearm silencer as a curio, ornament, or keepsake.

Currently, it is not a crime for a person to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a firearm silencer if such action was incident to dealing with the silencer as a curio, ornament, or keepsake, or it is used in a lawful dramatic performance, but only if the silencer is in a non-functioning condition. Under this act, the silencer would not have to be in such non-functioning condition.

This section is identical to certain provisions to SCS/SB 1172 (2008).

July 4, 2008

Pennsylvania's UFA: Crimes Committed with Firearms

Pennsylvania's UFA: Crimes Committed with Firearms

    18 PA.C.S. § 6103 deals with crimes committed with firearms. Specifically, "If any person commits or attempts to commit a crime enumerated in section 6105 (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms) when armed with a firearm contrary to the provisions of this sub-chapter, that person may, in addition to the punishment provided for the crime, also be punished as provided by this sub-chapter." (18 PA.C.S. § 6103).

July 4, 2008

Lost of Stolen NFA Registration Documents

I got a question from someone to day about what to do if their Class 3 registration papers are lost.  I found the answer on the ATF website under the NFA Handbook in Chapter 3.

Section 3.5 Lost or stolen registration documents. A person possessing a firearm registered as required by the NFA must retain proof of registration, that is, the registration form showing registration of the firearm to the person, which must be made available to ATF upon request.53 If a registrant discovers that a Form 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6A, or 10 is stolen, lost or destroyed, the registrant must immediately report the theft, loss, or destruction in writing to the NFA Branch.54 The report must contain the details of the situation. ATF will issue a duplicate copy of the registration document as the circumstances warrant.

If you need to contact a local ATF field office follow this link for the AFT field division contact information.
July 3, 2008

Last minute change to law gives most of Disney an exemption

mickeymoustwithagun.jpeg"Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008" that creates an exception for companies whose primary business is to manufacture, use, store or transport explosives regulated under federal law.

According to the Sun Sentinal, Peaden the sponsor of the bill "Intended it to exempt places like defense plants, Air Force bases, things like that,"  "But not Disney. Not at all."

But on the same day that the House took its final vote on the gun bill, the exemption for explosives companies was revised so that it also includes "property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit" under federal law for such explosives.

Disney has such a permit, for the extensive fireworks used in its theme parks.

It appears that Disney's letter to employees is not an attempt to violate the law, but they were able to get an exemption from the law as they state.
July 3, 2008

Disney's Attempt to violate New Florida Guns-at-Work law

Disney is warning its employees that they will be terminated if they leave guns in their car.  This appears to be in violation of the new law.   Below is a copy of a memo that is being sent to their employees.  The NFA and numerous sources have reported receiving the same memo.

Continue reading "Disney's Attempt to violate New Florida Guns-at-Work law" »

July 3, 2008

Tennessee Firearms Association Legislation to help Process Class III Firearms Transfers

TFA.jpg

Tennessee Firearms Association

writes legislation to help process Class III transfers

One issue that citizens of many states face is the fact that the BATF forms which are necessary to complete a transfer of ownership of a Class III or NFA weapon (or to make certain Class III weapons) ostensibly that a local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign the transfer forms.  In Tennessee, this is normally the sheriff of the individual's county of residence except in Davidson County where it is the Chief of Police. 

Some Tennessee law enforcement officers were unaware of the federal requirement and have taken the position that they were not required by law to sign these federal forms.  In response to that problem, TFA helped write and pass legislation which requires the Tennessee chief law enforcement officers (CLEO) to cooperate in the completion of the BATF forms:

39-17-1361. Execution of documents by sheriff or chief of police. --

The sheriff or chief of police of the city of residence of a person purchasing any firearm, defined by the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. § 5845 et seq., shall execute within fifteen (15) business days of any request all documents required to be submitted by the purchaser if the purchaser is not prohibited from possessing firearms pursuant to § 39-17-1316.

Despite this legislation, many CLEO's in Tennessee still refuse to process the paperwork for form 4 acquisitions.  To resolve this issue, a Tennessee NFA Firearms Trust can be helpful.  If you wish to purchase a class III firearm in TN please Contact a NFA Trust Attorney in Tennessee.

July 2, 2008

Class III NFA Firearms in Tennessee

Ownership of Class III / NFA weapons is legal in Tennessee

Tennessee law does not prohibit the ownership, possession or use of Class III weapons so long as the individual complies with federal law relative to ownership.

The Tennessee statute Section 39-17-1302 authorizes private ownership of Class III or NFA weapons in Tennessee by providing a defense to a criminal charge of possession of a "prohibited weapon".  Section 39-17-1302 provides, in relevant part:

39-17-1302. Prohibited weapons. --

(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs or sells:
(1) An explosive or an explosive weapon;
(2) A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon;
(3) A machine gun;
(4) A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;

(5) A firearm silencer;
(6) Hoax device;
(7) A switchblade knife or knuckles; or
(8) Any other implement for infliction of serious bodily injury or death that has no common lawful purpose.


(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person's conduct:
(1) Was incident to the performance of official duty and pursuant to military regulations in the army, navy, air force, coast guard or marine service of the United States or the Tennessee national guard, or was incident to the performance of official duty in a governmental law enforcement agency or a penal institution;
(2) Was incident to engaging in a lawful commercial or business transaction with an organization identified in subdivision (b)(1);
(3) Was incident to using an explosive or an explosive weapon in a manner reasonably related to a lawful industrial or commercial enterprise;
(4) Was incident to using the weapon in a manner reasonably related to a lawful dramatic performance or scientific research;
(5) Was incident to displaying the weapon in a public museum or exhibition;
(6) Was licensed by the state of Tennessee as a manufacturer, importer or dealer in weapons; provided, that the manufacture, import, purchase, possession, sale or disposition of weapons is authorized and incident to carrying on the business for which licensed and is for scientific or research purposes or sale or disposition to an organization designated in subdivision (b)(1);
(7) Involved acquisition or possession of a sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine gun or firearm silencer that is validly registered to the person under federal law in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records. A person who acquires or possesses a firearm registered as required by this subdivision (b)(7) shall retain proof of registration; or

[remainder of statute omitted]

To find out why a Tennessee NFA Firearms Gun Trust is the safest way to own these firearms Contact a NFA Trust Lawyer

July 2, 2008

Owning NFA Firearms with a Dealer's license

Some NFA firearms collectors, who are not engaged in any firearms business, have been known to acquire a GCA license to deal in firearms and pay the NFA special tax to acquire NFA firearms for their personal firearms collections. This is not a wise thing to do and violates the National Firearms Act.

Most individual acquire NFA firearms for the following reasons:

(1) to acquire firearms from non-licensee residing out-of-state;
(2) to circumvent requirements imposed on individuals to provide their fingerprints and photographs in order to receive NFA firearms and law enforcement certifications authorizing their receipt of such firearms;
(3) to purchase and use items that they are not legally able to obtain as an individual; and
(4) to avoid NFA transfer tax on firearms they receive from FFL's/SOT's.

Warning: These transactions violate the NFA and can only lead to trouble for the individual. In these instances, the individual has committed Federal felonies by falsely stating on a license application and special tax return that the collector intends to conduct a firearms business. Any NFA firearms received tax free by the collector are subject to transfer tax and the collector's receipt of the firearms tax free violated the NFA. As held in ATF Ruling 76-22, these transfers are unlawful and the firearms received are subject to seizure and forfeiture.

If you hold NFA restricted firearms that are of a personal use in nature, under a business license, you should consider creating a NFA Firearms Trust to hold the title to these items to avoid being in violation of the National Firearms Act.