Washington NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Title II firearms (those 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 Title II or NFA firearms.  These laws or restrictions are in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

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

  • Silencers
  • Any Other Weapon (AOW)
  • Destructive Devices (DD)
  • Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)  legal to purchase and possess, but not manufacture.

In Washington you cannot own the following NFA restricted items.

  • Machine Guns*
  • Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)*
  • It is not permitted to manufacture an SBR within the state of WA

NOTE:* Not legal to own or possess parts that can make these firearms unless these items were legally acquired prior to July 1, 1994 and be in compliance with federal law or machine Gun or Short Barreled Shotgun,  but be possessed by by peace officer for official duty, armed forces, or person in compliance with NFA who has undergone Fingerprint and background check who in engaged in the production , manufacture, repair, or testing of Machine guns, or SBS
Follow this link to find out more about Washington and NFA restrictions on Class 3 Firearms

If you want to build an SBR to possess in the state of Washington, a co-trustee in another state can apply for the Form 1 to build an SBR and then after it is built and engraved, it is legal to transfer to WA state using a Form 20 and would be legal to possess in the State of Washington.

 

ATF continues to let the date slide on a decision of when and how to implement 41P.

DOJ/ATF RIN: 1140-AA43 Publication ID: Spring 2015

Title:

Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Corporation, Trust, or Other Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm

Abstract:

The Department of Justice is planning to finalize a proposed rule to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As proposed, the rule would; (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements regarding the certificate of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO).

 

To see a history on 41P as well as major comments see our 41p update page.

Suppressors (Silencers) are now legal to own and hunting will be Legal in Minnesota (MN) as of August 1, 2015. On Friday, Governor Mark Dayton signed Senate File 878 into law, officially making Minnesota the 40th state to legalize the private possession of suppressors. The bill will make Minnesota the 36th state to allow for the use of suppressors while hunting.

This major victory for suppressor rights comes after months of hard work on the part of the NRA, the ASA, and especially Rep. Tony Cornish (R-23B), Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, who acted as a champion for our cause by shepherding this bill through committee and ensuring that this issue stayed at the top of the legislature’s agenda.

If you are wanting to permit multiple users to use your suppressor or silencer, a Gun Trust may be the best option for you and your family.

We have been telling people for years that a properly drafted gun trust can help protect your firearms in the event that you become a prohibited person in the future.  Today the Supreme Court came to a Unanimous Decisions supporting our view that a trust can be used to hold firearms for a liquidating event or for the future beneficiaries of the trust without being lost.

The court held that “while a convicted felon is prohibited from “possessing” firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g), nothing strips the individual of his/her property interest in the firearms and the individual retains “the right merely to sell or otherwise dispose of their firearms,” provided the felon lacks all control over the firearms.  Our Gun Trusts already provide for this ability to just this type of purpose.

The Court also held that  “§ 922(g) does not bar such a transfer unless it would allow the felon to later control the guns, so that he could either use them or direct their use.”  This even permits an individual to create a gun trust after they lose their rights, assign the property to a trust as long as they do not have the ability to have direct or indirect use nor direct their use.  A properly drafted gun trust would remove all abilities of a felon or prohibited person from using or directing the use of all firearms and ammo within the trust.

Section 922(g) proscribes possession alone, but covers possession in every form. By its terms, §922 (g) does not prohibit a felon from owning firearms. Rather, it interferes with a single incident of ownership—one of the proverbial sticks in the bundle of property rights—by preventing the felon from knowingly possessing his (or another person’s) guns. But that stick is a thick one, encompassing what the criminal law recognizes as “actual” and “constructive” possession alike. (Emphasis in original)

The Court declared that nothing prohibits the individual’s “right merely to sell or otherwise dispose of that item.” In supporting the concept of a gun trust the Court stated  “A court may also grant a felon’s request to transfer his guns to a person who expects to maintain custody of them, so long as the recipient will not allow the felon to exert any influence over their use.”

If you have lost or are expecting to lose your gun rights, it is not too late to create a gun trust, contact us to create a secure gun trust as permitted by the Supreme Court to protect the value of your firearms or the firearms for your children and future generations.

We are often asked if you have to be 21 to build an SBR or Suppressor.  If you are manufacturing a firearm under the NFA using an ATF Form 5320.1  you only need to be 18 under federal law.  Likewise, if you are purchasing a firearm using an ATF Form 4 from an individual, trust, or non FFL you only need to be 18 years old.  If you are buying one from an FFL, you must be 21 years old under federal law.  Your state may impose stricter requirements.

Below is an excerpt from the attached letter  from ATF explaining the age requirement.

This is in response to your letter of November 16, 2006, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) advising that you are 18 years of age, the owner of a AR-15 type receiver, and wish to register it has a short-barreled rifle using an ATF 1 application.You ask whether ATF would approve the application submitted under these circumstances.

You state that your understanding of the Gun Control Act prohibits the transfer of Short Barreled Rifles, but that you cannot find any language in the GCA nor the NFA dealing with the already possessed rifle receiver. You are correct. The GCA does establish age requirements for the sale of firearms by licensees and the NFA is silent on age restrictions.

Accordingly, since the GCA does allow possession of rifles by persons under the age of 21, you would not be prohibited from applying on a Form 1 to make a short-barreled rifle.

While an application by an individual would need photographs and a certification from your chief of police or sheriff, an application using a Gun Trust would not.

Form1-18yr-old

 

 

It is now legal to hunt in Montana with a Suppressor.  On April 23rd, 2015, Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 250, legalizing the use of suppressors for all lawful hunting in Montana. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Wagoner (R-75), originally pertained only to the use of a suppressed firearm “when hunting wildlife not protected by state or federal law”. However, on March 27th, Gov. Bullock’s returned HB 250 to the legislature with proposed amendments that sought to expand the scope of the legislation to allow the use of a suppressor on a firearm during all lawful hunting.

Mr Bullock previously vetoed a similar bill in 2013,  but explained the recent signing by stating:

“It is time for Montana to join the clear majority of states that allow the use of suppressors for hunting. All of the western states do so, except for California. The public perception of suppressors as the same thing as silencers, where the assassin quietly dispatches his victim, no longer holds true. Suppressors mitigate the sound of a shot, but do not silence it.

The use of suppressors for hunting, when hunters cannot wear ear protection because they need to be aware of their surroundings, can help protect against hearing loss. This is especially true for our younger hunters, even those who are not actually hunting, but are accompanying their parent in the field.

I understand the concerns regarding the risks of increased poaching and do not take this lightly, but other states have not found this to be the case.”

Montana has become the 35 state to permit hunting with suppressors without restrictions and the 36th state to permit hunting with a suppressor.    The use of a Gun Trust can simply the process or purchasing a suppressor and permit additional authorized users, which is not possible when purchased as an individual.  If you are looking for a Montana Gun Trust or Montana NFA trust contact us for further information on the process.

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In the April 27th issue of Bullet Points, the NSSF wrote the following update

NO IMPLEMENTATION YET SEEN FOR NOTICE 41P AS FINAL RULE . . . NSSF has confirmed with ATF that the bureau is unlikely to publish Notice 41P (NFA Trusts) as a Final Rule for quite some time. This is in part because EPS resources are being diverted to help process the 310,000 public comments received in response to the armor piercing ammunition framework proposal. In addition, it seems ATF has not prepared to revise the NFA database so that it can track “responsible persons” for NFA trusts. The proposed rule would require the responsible person(s) on an NFA Trust be fingerprinted.

This seems consistent with the statements made by the ATF at the Annual Firearms Seminar in Nashville earlier this month when we reported on many of the statements ATF made including poorly written trusts.  Remember, a properly written gun trust should give you and others involved with the trust guidance what you can and can’t do instead of leave it up to the individual to determine what to do.

For a complete listing of our posts on 41P see our 41P webpage at http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html

While this may seem obvious, we regularly get asked this question.   YES, when using the ATF eFiling for a Fom1, a signed copy of your gun trust must be uploaded.  The maximum file size that can be attached is 3MB but you can upload multiple files if necessary.  We recommend scanning your gun trust at 200 DPI in black and white or grayscale to keep the file size small.  If you find that the file size is still over 3MB, you can separate the documents into several parts which can each be uploaded. In addition to the trust document, you must also submit all amendments which have been executed at the time of the filing, any schedules mentioned in the document like Shedule A, Sechedule B, lists of beneficiaries, list of co-trustees, and in most cases a Schedule A or Assignment sheet showing the trust has been funded is also required.

A word of caution about Gun Trusts that use a Schedule A to list firearms.

If your gun trust uses Schedules like a Schedule A to list the firearms, it may not be wise to include your non NFA firearms in the trust as you will end up sending the ATF a list of all of your firearms.  Gun trusts that use assignment sheets are generally preferable to others because of the ability to maintain the privacy over your non NFA firearms.

While many people initially consider the use of a gun trust for NFA firearms, many of the same benefits exist for Title I firearms or those subject to the GCA.  As we do not know who will survive us, where they will live, if they will be prohibited, or if they will be mature and responsible enough to have firearms after our death (we are not there to make those decisions) traditional estate planning can create problems for our family and friends.

Some trusts which are marketed as NFA trusts or gun trusts do not provide guidance on how to transfer NFA or Non NFA firearms and leave those decisions up to the individuals who survive you.  You should carefully review your trust to make sure those who will survive you will clearly be able to understand their duties and obligations.

Many individuals have purchased thread adapters to permit the use of an oil filter as a “solvent trap”.  The problem is that this adapter can also be used and is often intended to be used to create a suppressor.   The resellers on ebay who sold these adapters have all seemed to have disappeared and many of their customers are reporting being contacted by local ATF agents to collect the parts they purchased.

Recently we have had several clients contact us about purchasing these “solvent trap parts” and using them to make a Suppressor with a Form 1.  Apparently there is someone marketing these parts including baffles as a solvent trap to be used for gun cleaning.  It would not surprise me, if ATF shut down the ability of companies to sell parts as cleaning kits or solvent traps and then began targeting the customers of these parts in much the same way as the ATF continues to contact the customers of the companies who previously sold them eBay.

ATF has taken the position, in the past, that a part to a suppressor is a suppressor and under this theory, if you purchase these parts, the parts may in and of themselves be considered suppressors.  Paying the tax stamp on a Form 1 does give you the permission to manufacture a suppressor, but not necessary to purchase a suppressor manufactured by someone else.  We would caution clients who are considering manufacturing their own suppressors from parts that ATF considers a suppressor as the purchase of these parts may require an approved Form 4.

For those who state that no one has ever been convicted of charges related to a homemade suppressor, you might see this article. Lots of people are charged and convicted of illegal suppressors.  Sometimes people get the concept of people rarely being convicted of the  use of a  legally owned suppressor with the common occurrence of people being charged and or convicted of possession or use of an illegal suppressor.

I know many will say it is perfectly legal to purchase these items. ATF  has previously indicated that it is legal a company to sell “solvent traps”  and parts to “solvent traps” and It is legal to use them as “solvent traps”.  The problem is that most people who purchase them intend to use them as suppressors or parts to a suppressor and not as a solvent trap.  Even those who do not intend to use them as suppressors, sometimes do.  Looking at what has happened with other products in the last year we can see that ATF seems to be moving from intent to use, to classify a firearm.  Whether this is reasonable or proper for them to do, it is probably not a fight you as an individual can afford.  It is our opinion, that the cost of defending your position, regardless of the outcome, is not something that makes sense for the average individual.   The ATF is not stupid, the fact that you are even reading this article would indicate to most that your intention or interest in purchasing these items is not to use them as a solvent trap.

If you purchased a suppressor (solvent trap adapter) off ebay or somewhere else, you may want to contact a criminal law attorney in your area to talk with you about how to properly deal with the parts without creating liability or reducing the risk of liability.  Just because you haven’t been contacted yet, does not mean they will not contact you.  Even this week, we have had reports of people being contacted by the ATF in regards to the purchase of these items.

While at the NRA Firearms Law Seminar in Nashville,  ATF ‘s attorney William Ryan made some interesting comments about the ATF, NFA, GCA and Gun Trusts:

  1. A trust can be a beneficiary of a will or other trust and obtain a tax free transfer using a Form 5 if the trust or will is drafted correctly.
  2. A Trust can be a beneficiary of a will if there is an order from the probate court directing the distribution to a trust, otherwise one might have to transfer to an individual on a Form 5 and then pay $200 to transfer items to a trust.
  3. ATF is still reviewing the 9500+ comments filed on 41P.
  4. ATF is not concerned about an executor being a prohibited person. (This seems to conflict with the original reason for 41P in the first place.)
  5. ATF likes lawyer drafted trusts, most trust problems are from gun store trusts, free trusts, or trust form that individuals try to create themselves.
  6. ATF examiners do not know the law, and have often made mistakes that can be cleared up by having your lawyer contact their legal department.
  7. ATF has seen many trusts which name the same individual as the beneficiary. It would appear that all of those people are just copying  the trust from someone else.  They believe that one day this random person could inherit thousands of NFA firearms.
  8. Between 2003 and 2012 trust applications increased 80,000 %.
  9. ATF stated that Gun Trusts can purchase and own both Title I and Title II firearms (those under the GCA and NFA).

With the recent increase in poorly written online trusts that have become available, ATF feels there will be a big business in fixing them down the road for those who have unknowingly received the free or fill in the blank trusts.

In my opinion, one of the worst examples of an online trust we have seen is the Easytrust being promoted by Silencerco.  According to them, there may be as many as 1000 people who have already received this trust which contains numerous problems. For a trust that is only 4.5 pages long, it appears to have even more problems than a Gun Trust drafted from Quicken.  The list of problems is huge, but the biggest problems include:

  • The trust permits a trustee to easily violation the NFA  throughout the document by not clearly prohibiting these violations.
  • The trust permits any trustee to sell your guns without your consent.
  • The Trust permits trustees to take away your gun rights, (from within the trust) if in their opinion you can’t handle your own affairs. Of course, your legal gun rights under the 2nd Amendment will not be removed, but your ability to use and have access to the guns in your trust can.
  • The trust directs distribution to beneficiaries upon your death without any written permission (a violation of the NFA)
  • The instructions incorrectly state that the trust needs to be registered in many states where it does not (seems to be similar to the problem we reported with the quicken trust)
  • Directs you to obtain an EIN number for their trust when it is not necessary, if requested from your bank. The instructions should state why an EIN number is not required and direct you on a proper response to provide the bank or how to deal with this common misunderstanding to tax law that many banks can initially make

(Updated 4/19/15 for a clarification).

I guess you get what you pay for.  Some people are only concerned about purchasing items and do not think about the consequences to themselves nor others.  It is wise to do a little research on Gun Trusts and learn why you would want a Gun trust for all your firearms and not one limited to NFA Guns like Easytrust or many other trusts which are not supported by lawyers.

Joshua Prince, a PA Gun Trust Lawyer, has written about the ATF statements on his blog Shocking Statements/Concessions by ATF at the NRA Firearms Law Seminar

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