sig_arm_brace_sb15.jpgIn a response to a recent letter the the ATF, the ATF stated:

FTB has previously determined (see FTB #99146) that the firing of a weapon from a particular position, such as placing the receiver extension of an AR-15 type pistol on the user’s shoulder, does not change the classification of a weapon. Further, certain firearm accessories such as the SIG stability brace have not been classified by the FTB as shoulder stocks and, therefore, using the brace improperly does not constitute a design change. Using an accessory improperly would not change the classification of a weapon under Federal law. However, the FTB cannot recommend using a weapon (or weapon accessory) in a manner not intended by the manufacturer.

The Letter that Sig sends with the SB-15 states that it is ok to use the brace as intended and does not create a firearm subject to the NFA. Previously this left many concerned that if someone was to use the brace not as intended an SBR would be created. This letter from the ATF clears up the issue and states that just because an accessory was not used as intended, the firearms is not reclassified by ATF.

If you would like a copy of the letter from the ATF for your records it can be downloaded.

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.
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In the last 3 weeks we have received more calls about arrests or seizures involving the ATF and straw purchases than in the previous 7 years. (NOTE: none of these calls were from people using our gun trusts) We felt it important for individuals and those involved with Gun Trusts to understand the concept and how to make sure they are not involved in a straw purchase.
If you are in Florida and have been arrested for a straw purchase or have had firearms seized regarding a straw purchase, contact an attorney who is familiar with straw purchases and firearms. If you are in another state you should look for someone who deals with criminal law and is familiar with firearms. This type of representation can be a very expensive as it is typically a federal charge and most criminal lawyers do not practice in the federal courts.

A straw purchase is any purchase wherein an agent agrees to acquire a good or service for someone who is able or unable or unwilling to purchase the good or service himself, and the agent transfers the goods/services to that person after purchasing them.

Several sources incorrectly state that “Straw purchases are legal except in cases where the ultimate receiver of goods or services uses those goods or services in the commission of a crime with the prior knowledge of the straw purchaser, or if the ultimate possessor is not legally able to purchase the goods/services.” While the above statement may be correct in some cases, it is not correct when dealing with firearms.

If the straw purchaser of the firearm lies about the identity of the ultimate possessor of the gun, he or she can be charged with making false statements on a Federal Firearms Transaction Record. If a firearm is purchased as a gift, the transaction is not a straw purchase, and the person buying the gift is considered the end user.

There is currently a supreme court case on this topic where a family member bought a gun for a relative so that he could get a “police discount” and then was arrested for making a straw purchase because he lied on the 4473 where he stated that he was the intended purchaser. Both parties were legally able to purchase the item and neither was a prohibited person.

If you have a gun trust you should be very careful not to do straw purchases where the trust purchases something for someone not associated with the trust or a person associated with your gun trust purchased items for someone else. We generally see people make mistakes when transactions across state lines are involved or someone is under the age of 21 wants to purchase an NFA firearm. The instructions which came with your gun trust should cover these issues. It is important that you not add someone on to your trust only for the purpose of buying a gun or NFA firearms that you could not otherwise purchase.

There are several states which are working on changes to firearms laws at the current time.

Alabama is in the process of legalizing hunting with suppressors Georgia is in the process of legalizing hunting with suppressors Iowa is in the process of legalizing suppressors Washington State has both a house bill and senate bill legalizing the use of Short Barrel Riffles.

These new legislative initiatives should greatly increase the sales of suppressors and SBRs in the above states. If you are looking for a Gun Trust to create purchase, manage, and own NFA firearms contact us to find out more about a Gun Trust Lawyer® in your area and the benefits to using a real gun trust.

silencer_m42000-3.jpgGun Trust Lawyer® has arranged for a dealer to offer a $215 discount on the AAC M4-2000 Suppressor to our clients. If you have any of our trusts that contain the Gun Trust Lawyer® Copyright notices you are eligible to purchase this suppressor at a price that is $215 less than retail.

This is what AAC says about this 556 suppressor. The worlds most effective 5.56mm silencer just got better. AAC’s new M4-2000 Mod 08 features the patent pending fast-attach Ratchet-Mount to provide precision accuracy with minimal and repeatable zero-shift. Users have the ability to install or remove the silencer from the Blackout™ flash hider/muzzle brake, or the BRAKEOUT compensator, in seconds. The compact size and light weight have minimal affect on maneuverability. The M4-2000 Mod 08s extreme durability is maximized by CNC automated fusion welding of every high-temperature aerospace alloy component used in its construction- making 100% suppressed full-auto fire possible on barrels as short as 10 inches. The back-pressure lowering design of the silencer aids in shooter comfort, reduces weapon fouling, and minimizes cyclic rate increase. As a final step, tapered-bore EDM technology is utilized to ensure precise bore alignment resulting in enhanced accuracy and maximum performance. By eliminating approximately 97% of the muzzle report, the M4-2000 Mod 08 preserves the hearing of the shooter and nearby support personnel. Eliminating muzzle flash in the harshest of environments.

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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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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®.

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.

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.

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.
On January 15, 2015 the ATF released a new version of 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.

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