Articles Posted in Connecticut – Gun Trust Lawyer

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.”

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.

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.

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
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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.


Connecticut NFA Title II firearmsThere 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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