Recently in National Firearms Act Category

March 28, 2014

Michigan (MI) What NFA Firearms can I own? Updated 3/28/14

Michigan NFA Class 3 firearms

There are several type of Title II firearms which are sold by Class 3 SOT dealers that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of Title II firearms in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

In Michigan you can own the following Title II Firearms that are regulated the the National Firearms Act:

Machine Guns
Suppressors
Any Other Weapon (AOW) (only some)
Destructive Devices (DD)
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)  (See Below but Legal as of 3/28/14)
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)  (See Below but Legal as of 3/28/14)
In Michigan you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.
 some AOW's like Tasers or Stun Guns by private citizens whether or not they are class 3 items or the individual has a CCW permit
The Michigan State Police put together a legal update on SBR and SBS which describes the differences between those over 26 inches and those under 26 inches.

Continue reading "Michigan (MI) What NFA Firearms can I own? Updated 3/28/14" »

October 18, 2013

Hawaii (HI) What NFA Firearms can I own?

Hawaii NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Title II firearms which are sold by Class 3 SOT FFLs that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of these Title II firearms in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

In Hawaii you can own the following items that are regulated the the National Firearms Act

Individuals cannot own any NFA firearms which are kept within HI.
State and county law enforcement officers who are not convicted of an offense involving abuse of a family or household member under 709-906 can own and possess Silencers and Machine Guns and Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS) and
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)
.
In Hawaii you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.
Machine Guns
Silencers*
Machine Guns*
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)*
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)*
Any Other Weapon (AOW)
Destructive Devices (DD)

Follow this link to find out more about Hawaii and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms
Updated 10/18/13

May 2, 2013

Major Provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA)

Tomorrow Sarah Gervase, with the NRA is presenting a summary of the major provisions of the NFA just before my presentation of the use of Gun Trusts as we provide many lawyers with information on Gun Trusts I wanted to highlight some of the major points of her talk with some exerts from her paper.

This presentation will focus mostly on individual buyers and transferors, as many of those in attendance at the Firearms Law Seminar have more personal interest in and interaction with individuals who collect or own these arms for their own enjoyment. There will be some basic information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers, however, and a future Seminar presentation can focus on those areas if there is sufficient interest. In the meantime, readers of these materials who need more in-depth information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers are encouraged to review ATF's website at http://www.atf.gov for the latest relevant requirements.

A quick note about holding a client's property. Be very careful about holding any firearms owned by a client or about accepting firearms as payment for services. Here's a horror story. An attorney represented a man accused of bank robbery. The attorney took possession of the allegedly stolen money and a sawed-off shotgun. That attorney was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months for possessing a short-barreled shotgun used in a bank robbery. It was unprofessional conduct to take the fruits and instrumentalities of the crime. In re Richard R. Ryder, 381 F.2d 713 (4th Cir. 1967).

Continue reading "Major Provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA)" »

April 9, 2013

Gun Trusts CLE: Gun Trusts Are for More Than Just NFA Firearms

On Friday May 3, 2013, the National Riffle Association is having The 16th Annual Firearms Law Seminar in Houston Texas. This seminar is primarily focused for lawyers who deal with firearms related issues in the practice. Over the past few years, the ATF has presented the panel on Trusts and ownership of Title II firearms. I have personally been to this presentation several times looking for guidance or changes in the law or its interpretation. Unfortunately the NFA portion of the seminars have been disappointing and have not offered any real guidance in dealing with the many issues that a Gun Trust should deal with. This year the NRA asked me to speak Gun Trusts. I plan on dealing with many of the ethical problems with traditional trusts as well as how to use Gun Trusts to protect your clients firearms from future legislative restrictions as well protecting the guns from loss due to confiscation that often surrounds criminal charges or claims of domestic violence and/or child abuse that often surround divorce.

Many people are still looking for NFA Trusts and have not realized the benefits of a Gun Trust over a trust that only deals with NFA Firearms. Look for more information on the NRA Firearms Law Seminar. For more information about the National Firearms Law Seminar, please call 1-877-NRF-LAWS

If you are a lawyer and plan on attending and would like more information on Gun Trusts or have a question you would like me to address at the seminar, use the contact form and I will try to incorporate it into the Gun Trust Presentation portion of the NRA Firearms Law Seminar.

September 19, 2012

More Invalid Gun Trusts being provided by Gun Stores

Today we received another copy of a Gun Store Generic NFA Trust that was provided to a customer of the shop. Not only was it a generic trust and did nothing to advise or protect the client from issues regarding the transfer, ownership, possession or use of TItle II firearms (sold by Class 3 dealers) but the trust itself was invalid as it did not comply with the requirements to create a valid trust in the State. While it may have been a valid trust in another state, each state has its own requirements for creating a valid trust. These requirements change and a trust that may have been valid a few years ago may not be valid under the current laws of the state. It is important to make sure your trust complies with the state's requirements for creation of a valid trust. What is disturbing is that ATF approved transfers to this invalid trust.

Remember just because ATF approves a transfer, the agency is not stating that your trust is valid nor that you are legally able to be in possession of the firearms. If you have a free trust or a gun shop trust it is important to have it reviewed for legality as well as compliance with the ATF to make sure your document is valid and that your document does not instruct you or others to break the law in regards to regular firearms or those restricted by the NFA.

November 9, 2011

Gun Trust Lawyer and Funding Your Trust

Gun Trust LawyerFunding a trust is a basic concept that is necessary for a trust to be valid. The legal concept is that the trust does not exist if there is nothing in the trust. A Gun Trust can be funded with a firearm, money, or any other asset. Typically a Gun Trust will be used to acquire firearms and is often used for Title II Firearms. When you put money in or assign money to the trust, you have funded it and it is now valid. If you never assign property to a trust, it can create problems.

For example, if your trust is unfunded, and you purchase a Title II Firearm from a dealer personally you will own it personally. An Assignment sheet may fund the trust, but if the AFT has not approved the assignment or an additional fee is not paid, you may have created a legal problem.

Funding a NFA trust, purchasing NFA Firearms, and proper use of a Gun Trust are very important to understand and something you should ask your Gun Trust Lawyer® about.

July 22, 2011

Missouri (MO) What NFA Class 3 Firearms can I own?

NFA Class 3 firearms There are several type of Class 3 items that are restricted by the National Firearms Act.

Each state can impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, and transfer of class 3 firearms in addition to the compliance that is required with the national Firearms Act.

In Missouri you can own the following items that are regulated the the National Firearms Act

Machine Guns
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)
Any Other Weapon (AOW)
Silencers
In Missouri you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.
Destructive Devices (DD)
Follow this link to find out more about Missouri and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms

<strong>NOTE:</strong> 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.
February 4, 2011

Individual Sentenced to more than 8 Years in Prison for Illegal Machine Guns...

doj-seal-color-90x90.jpgThe US Department of Justice today announced that

A man in Berlin, Connecticut, was sentenced to 101 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun, silencers, grenades and improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

These items are controlled by the National Firearms Act and you must purchase them using a Form 4 or manufacture them with a Form 1 and pay the tax. If you are in possession of them, are using them, or sell them without complying with the requirements you can face prison sentences and fines.

A NFA Firearms Trust can help you protect yourself and your family from improper possession and other issues such as constructive possession. Contact a Gun Trust Lawyer® for more information on What a Gun Trust is and how you may benefit from one.

January 19, 2011

NFATCA - National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association

nfatca_logo.gifThe National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association (NFATCA) is the only organization that champions the interests of the entire NFA community. It doesn't matter if you are a collector, a dealer, manufacturer, importer or just an enthusiast. We take on the issues that no other organization would even consider.

If you own or are planning on owning NFA firearms you should consider joining this organization.

April 21, 2010

Criminal Use of Silencers, Machine Gun, SBR, SBS, or DD

Paul Clark has written an article where he notes that if you use of most Title II firearms during a crime of violence or drug trafficking you are subject to a 30 year mandatory minimum sentence. It appears that the 30 year sentence applies to the possession and its use is not required. Note this applies even if you are legally in possession of the silencer by ownership in a NFA Trust, corporation, LLC, or individual ownership.

While the data appears to show that the use of a silencer or most other Title II firearms in a crime is a rare occurrence, individuals might take this into consideration when using silencers on personal firearms when there is a chance that they might be charged with a crime of violence, such as defending yourself.

While many states have stand your ground statutes or castle doctrines, its possible that overzealous self-defense can lead to criminal charges. If the charges are in the federal court, you could be looking at enhanced penalties like those described in 18. U.S.C. Section 924(c)(1).

February 4, 2010

ATF Reviewing Trusts for Legal Validity

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.

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

August 31, 2009

Florida Man Arrested for Constructive Possession of an SBR

crime-tape.jpgNFA firearms and Constructive Possession. Some said it would never happen, but it seem that just recently Jesus Amador was arrested for possession / Constructive possession of an SBR.

Florida law does not allow individuals to possess the pieces to readily build an SBR, SBS, or Machine Gun unless permitted to do so under Federal law. While he may have been enticed by the police to take an action that he would not have taken, he eventually showed up to unknowingly sell the items to a police officer. Upon doing so 7 police officers at gun point slammed him to the ground and arrested him (as reported by Joshua Prince on his gun blog and by Mr Amador on Florida Gun Trader)

While some may say that this is a possession issue and not constructive possession, the fact is that constructive or actual possession are only ways to prove possession and as such there may be little significance between the two.

If you are going purchase, own, or use NFA firearms make sure you are protected by using a NFA Gun Trust that deals with these special firearms as Title II firearms and not as a traditional asset like a house, care, boat, bank account, or picture on the wall. If you do not believe there is a difference, call us and we will explain how they are different and why you need a gun trust for your firearms.

June 4, 2009

Illegal Possession of Machine Gun nets 30 Months in Prison

David Olofson owned what he thought to be a normal AR15. Unfortunately his AR15 as many do, misfired and shot off a three round burst.  The NFA has no intent required and as such David was in the illegal possession of Machine Gun.  He was arrested, convicted and his appeal was denied.  He is now in prison serving 30 months.  I guess he is lucky in that he was not fined nor did he receive the 10 years that the NFA authorizes.

If anyone thinks that BATFE will ignore improper transfers or possessions of items restricted by the NFA, they need look no farther than at his case outcome.  For complete information on this issue and all transcripts, an interview from prison, and how the ATF appears to have framed David check out the JPFO website.
February 7, 2009

What Constitutes a Transfer under the National Firearms Act

Section 479.11 of the National Firearms Act defines a Transfer as:  This term and the various derivatives thereof shall include selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or
otherwise disposing of.

There seems to be much confusion over the violations of the National Firearms Act over this term because the typical legal definition of transfer involves a change in the possession and / or legal title of; convey.

There is clearly a significant difference in how the NFA defines the term Transfer.