Recently in Connecticut - Gun Trust Lawyer Category

July 8, 2013

Firearms Industry Files Suit Regarding New Connecticut Gun Laws

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed suit in federal court for the District of Connecticut alleging that Governor Dannel Malloy and the leadership of the Connecticut General Assembly misused the so-called "emergency certification" exception to circumvent the safeguards of the normal legislative process and in violation of Connecticut statutory law in order to pass Senate Bill 1160, a package of strict gun control regulations.

The suit further alleges that enactment of the new law violates fundamental due process rights guaranteed by both the Connecticut and United States Constitutions. NSSF is asking the court to declare the law invalid and issue an injunction prohibiting its enforcement.

"A 139-page bill was assembled behind closed doors, bypassing both the public hearing and committee processes, and quickly sent to floor votes on the same day in both the House and Senate where legislators did not have adequate time to even read the bill. The governor then signed the package into law the next day. All of this is in violation of guarantees citizens are supposed to have under Connecticut State Statutes and protections in our State and U.S. Constitutions for which our forefathers fought," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel, NSSF. "Our suit focuses on this abuse of process that has resulted in enacted law that does nothing to improve public safety, while resulting in adverse effects on law-abiding citizens, manufacturers, retailers and sportsmen's organizations."


The Filing can be accessed here NSSFComplaint-FILED_070813.pdf

July 4, 2013

Gun Trusts in Connecticut still an option but time may be limited

As the deadline for registering your firearms in Connecticut approaches, most people will not have an opportunity to transfer their firearms into a Gun Trust because the law which was passed back in April took effect immediately. All hope is not lost as there are a few solutions still available for those with and without Gun or NFA Trusts.

For those who created Gun Trusts prior to April 4, 2013 and transferred all of their firearms into the trust, there is still an opportunity to change your trust in such a way as to provide multi-generational ownership for the firearms.

For those who did not create a Gun Trust and transfer their firearms into the trust prior to April 4th, there are two ways to create and protect your firearms in a Gun Trust.

  1. You can create and fund your Gun Trust with non prohibited assets. Then upon your death, the assets which are prohibited to transfer (most firearms) can be transferred into your trust through a valid will.

  2. For those who had a Gun Trust but did not transfer their regular firearms into the trust prior to April 4th, they can still modify the trust and eventually by use of a will, like in the solution above, the firearms which cannot be transferred during their life, can be transferred to the Gun Trust upon their death.

  3. For those who have a regular trust that was created and signed prior to 4/4/13, your lawyer probably inadvertently transferred your firearms into your trust using a general assignment. Normally this would be a problem as your regular trust could instruct your family or friends to break the law upon your death or incapacity. This mistake, creates an interesting opportunity for those with regular trusts. Your regular trust could be converted into a Gun Trust or Multi Generational Asset Protection Gun Trust and then a new trust could be created for your non firearms related assets. If you choose this option your time is limited because of the registration requirement at the end of this year.

Even if you do not have a trust at this point, there are opportunities to protect firearms in CT. Contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with a lawyer in CT who is familiar with CT's gun laws to provide a solution that makes sense from a federal and state perspective.

July 1, 2013

Transferring firearms to a Gun Trust without Criminal Sanctions

As more lawyers begin to dabble with Gun Trusts we are seeing many who do not understand firearms and their unique nature which can often involve criminal penalties related to the improper transfer, possession, and use related to firearms or ammunition.

While it is fine to transfer a pair or sox, coins, most personal property to your trust without doing anything other than assigning it, the transfer of restricted items like firearms or ammunition is a different matter. If you can sell a gun to an individual in your state without going through a dealer you should be able to transfer a firearm to your trust without going through dealer. This is the case in most states.

In a few states like California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania where all personal transfers of some or all firearms must go through a background check, there may be no exception for transferring a firearm to a trust even if it is your own trust. Sure an argument could be made that there is no transfer and as such you should not have to go through a dealer, but why would one take the risk.

Several lawyers in California have recently been having discussions over such a topic. They even suggest that a transfer to a joint trust could be problematic because there are multiple owners. While a Gun Trust with multiple owners can be problematic, it is not for this reason.

In order to be valid, a Gun Trust must be funded, which involves transferring some property into the trust. The discussion between several California lawyers introduces an interesting question: Would it violate the California statute if you owned a firearm separately from you spouse, and then tried to transfer the firearm into a trust that named your spouse as a co-trustee or co-settlor?

While several of the lawyers point out, certain transfers are exempt under the statute. The exempt transfers in California include transfers between members of the same immediate family, including spouses. The transfer of a grantor's property to himself, as trustee of his own trust, is not considered a transfer. So, a couple that jointly owns a firearm, and transfers that firearm into a trust that names both parties as co-settlors, would not really be a "transfer." This is really just a declaration of trust.

On the other hand, as the discussion continues, a firearm owned separately by one spouse would have to be transmuted to community property before it could be transferred to a trust with co-settlors in order to comply with the statute.

While California may have such exemptions involving trusts it is not clear how they apply to firearms or if the legislative intent of the laws may change the interpretation of transfers to a trust when dealing with the transfer of firearms. This is why in jurisdictions where private transfers are required to go through a dealer, we always recommend doing so in order to comply with governing statutes. It is better to be safe than sorry.

One exception might be where someone owned a pre ban firearm as an individual and wants to put the pre ban firearm in their trust to maintain ownership and possession where it would not otherwise be permitted. This situation might justify the expense necessary for a proper determination on the subject. For most people, the relatively minor cost of using a dealer to transfer a firearm makes the decision easy.

Additionally experienced Gun Trust Lawyers® know that firearms rights are very important to our clients. They do not want others who may be involved with the trust to be able to take away the firearms or their ability to use them. It is for this reason that we draft our trusts with special powers for the Settlor. It is foreseeable that a multi-settlor trust could create a conflict of interest amongst your clients.

While we have stated many times that any valid trust can purchase or own firearms, it is issues like these that make it clear that a regular trust should not be used to purchase Title I or Title II firearms. If you are married, or live in a state that have many restrictions on firearms, legal support by a local Gun Trust Lawyer® is important. You will also find that the experience of the lawyer in dealing with Gun Trusts is important.

We have been drafting Gun Trusts for 6 years and have drafted over 5000 Gun Trusts across the United States. If you would like more information on a Gun Trust in your state, just fill out the contact us form on this website and we will send a free report on Gun Trusts.

April 25, 2013

New CT Gun restrictions limit future NFA purchases and cause registration of firearms

While Silencers themselves do not seem to have been made illegal in CT, it seems that almost anything that you can put them on has or will become illegal soon. In addition SBR, and most SBS are now illegal to buy, acquire, or possess but there is an exception for those which are registered prior to Jan 1, 2014 which were legally possessed prior to the bill's effective date.

Below are some of the highlights of CT's gun related legislation

Continue reading "New CT Gun restrictions limit future NFA purchases and cause registration of firearms" »

April 4, 2013

Rush to Pass Connecticut Legislation Creates Problems with Firearms Transfers

In a rush to pass legislation in CT, the new law which was passed and signed today creates some problems for individual transfers of firearms.

For example, the language in the new law specifies a procedure for licensed firearms retailers to perform mandatory "universal" background checks on private party transactions that is not permissible based on federal law and regulations governing the National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) system. As we read it, this mistake in lawmaking means that all private party transactions in the state now cannot be accomplished legally unless the individual sells the firearm to a dealer and a third-party buys it from the dealer which may not longer be permitted for some firearms that are now restricted.

Many of the new provisions in the law went into effect today. We will continue to update this information as more develops.

Here is a link to a summary of the bill http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/BA/2013SB-01160-R00-BA.htm

and a link to the full bill http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/TOB/S/2013SB-01160-R00-SB.htm

April 4, 2013

Connecticut (CT): What NFA Firearms can I own? Updated

NOTE: BECAUSE OF LEGISLATION SIGNED IN TO LAW ON 4/4/2013 THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MAY NOT BE UP TO DATE. ONCE THE CHANGES IN THE LAWS HAVE BEEN ANALYZED WE WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE.

Connecticut NFA Title II firearms
There are several types of Title II firearms 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 required compliance with the National Firearms Act.

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

Machine Guns
Silencers
Any Other Weapon (AOW)
Destructive Devices (DD)
Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)
In Connecticut you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.
None

Follow this link to find out more about Connecticut and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms
Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)
Note

1) While SBS do not appear to be specifically prohibited, most are under the 2013 gun law modifications that were passed in April 2013
2) Connecticut does not allow select fire machine guns. Only fully automatic machine guns are allowed under the Assault weapons ban. As of April 2013 all machine guns not previously owned will be considereded assault weapons and future transfers within the state to individuals or trusts are be banned.
3) While silencers appear to be permitted, most things you could use them on pistols and rifles will be classified as an assault weapon and banned. There does appear to be a process for registering your current pistols and rifles by January 1, 2014

April 3, 2013

Connecticut Gun Legislation and Gun Trusts

magazine.jpgConnecticut about to enact one of the most restrictive Gun Laws in the United States.
Here is what is being reported to be in the bill. As of this morning the bill had not been published and it appears to be on a fast track as Emergency Legislation.

  1. The bill establishes a first in the nation statewide dangerous weapon offender registry.
  2. The bill requires "universal background checks" for the sale of all firearms immediately, upon passage.
  3. The bill significantly expands the Connecticut Assault Weapons Ban.
  4. The bill immediately bans the sale or purchase of large capacity magazines, and imposes extremely stringent restrictions on the use of those currently possessed. (LCMs that are currently possessed must be registered with DESPP by January 1,2014 to remain legal, and even when registered will be subject to extremely strict usage limitations:)
  5. The bill requires new state issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition.
  6. The bill expands the scope of Connecticut's firearms safe storage law.
  7. The bill significantly increases penalties for many firearms trafficking and illegal possession offenses.
  8. The bill expands the membership of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, and expands due process for local authorities in front of the board.
  9. The bill changes the status, with regard to the legal possession of firearms and permits therefore, of individuals who have been either involuntarily confined in or voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495 of the general statutes.
  10. The bill establishes the offense of illegal possession of ammunition, so that an individual
  11. who is ineligible to possess a firearm will also now be ineligible to possess any ammunition.
  12. The bill requires applicants for a temporary permit to carry a pistol or revolver to apply only in their town of residence (as opposed to also where they work), and further limits such applications to only one per twelve months.
  13. The bill establishes a new age limit for the purchase of centerfire semi-automatic rifles (other than banned assault weapons). Under the bill an individual will have to be at least 21 to purchase such a rifle, as opposed to the current federal age limit of 18.
  14. The bill bans the sale of armor-piercing ammunition, and makes it a class D felony to carry a firearm loaded with any such ammunition.

While many of these provisions will go into effect immediately, there is still some time to get form a Gun Trust and transfer your firearms and magazines into the trust prior to the enactment of the legislation.

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.

May 22, 2009

BATFE seeks to seize NFA firearms from an Invalid Quicken Trust

Joshua Prince alerted me to a blog post on a developing situation he ran across on Subguns where an individual used Quicken to attempt to create a trust for NFA purposes.  Unfortunately the BATFE has now decided that his Quicken trust was invalid and is seeking to seize his MAC-11 and Silencer.  He could also be subject to a prison sentence of 10 years and $250,000 in fines.

This is a very unfortunate situation that could cost the individual severely. Its important to remember that just because the ATF approves your transfer, it does not mean that you are legally in possession.  This is the second situation involving invalid trusts and the ATF that we have seen this month. It looks like the ATF is beginning to look more closely at the trust documents they are receiving.

If you created a trust for NFA purchases in Quicken, Legal Zoom, or used another generic trust that was not reviewed before by a lawyer before submitting it to the BATFE, you should contact a NFA trust attorney to review your trust for validity.  If you need help finding a local NFA Trust Lawyer we can help.  We work with attorneys in more than 40 states including Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®s and South Carolina NFA lawyers to help review and create valid NFA trusts.

Note: At this time the link to the subguns has been taken down because of questions.  We believe this posting is authentic based upon correspondence with the individual but will update this post as the situation and our agreement with the individual (if any) allows.


Note: We have verified that the claims by the individual are true and they have been resolved by a Gun Trust Lawyer® (see the May 26th posting for more details).

February 9, 2009

Where are Assault Weapons Banned Today

AR15sbrsilencer.jpgWith the recent discussions about the potential federal ban on assault weapons being reinstated,  I thought it would be interesting to see which states already have bans on Assault Weapons

California bans "assault weapons", .50BMG caliber firearms, some .50 caliber ammunition and "unsafe handguns."

Connecticut  Bans "assault weapons" as well as select fire machine guns.

District of Columbia prohibits new acquisition of handguns and any semi-automatic firearm capable of using a detachable ammunition magazine of more than 12 rounds capacity and any handgun not registered after February 5, 1977  (parts recently ruled unconstitutional).

Hawaii prohibits "assault pistols."  Assault rifles and shotguns are restricted the same regular rifles and shotguns

Illinois: Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Morton Grove, Winnetka, Wilmette, and Highland Park prohibit handguns; some cities prohibit other kinds of firearms.  Firearms identification card is required.

Maryland prohibits "assault pistols"; the sale or manufacture of any handgun manufactured after Jan. 1, 1985, that does not appear on the Handgun Roster; and the sale of any handgun manufactured after January 1, 2003 that is not equipped with an "integrated mechanical safety device."

Massachusetts: It is unlawful to sell, transfer or possess "any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device" [more than 10 rounds] that was not legally possessed on September 13, 1994 and the sale of handguns not on the Firearms Roster. The City of Boston has a separate "assault weapons" law.

Michigan: Certain folding stock carbines are restricted.

New Jersey  bans "assault weapons" and high capacity magazines.

New York  bans "assault weapons" unless lawfully possessed or manufactured prior to September 13, 1994.

Ohio: Some local jurisdictions use to ban "assault weapons.", but because of a Ohio Supreme court case, all of these laws are unconstitutional under the preemption doctrine recognized by Ohio.

Virginia prohibits "Street Sweeper" shotguns.

The sunset of the federal assault weapons ban does not affect the validity of state and local "assault weapons" bans.

  NOTE  the picture above is an Assault weapon that is also a SBR and has a silencer.