Articles Posted in Firearms Case Law

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has ruled a Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership to be constitutional on Friday. The court ruled this law legitimately regulates professional conduct and does not regulate professional conduct and does not regulate the doctor’s first amendment free speech rights.

This ruling by the Atlanta court overturned a previous decision that declared the law unconstitutional. There is still an injunction blocking enforcement of the 2011 law, which has become popularly known as “Docs vs. Glocks.” It was challenged by organizations representing over 10,000 state health care providers, most notably the Florida chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Continue reading

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case involving a Virginia man who could legally purchase a firearm and did so for an uncle from Pennsylvania. Even though the Pennsylvania man who ultimately bought the gun was not legally prohibited from owning a firearm and passed a background check, the Court, in a 5-4 decision, said the transfer violated federal “straw purchase” law.

The ruling has resulted in confusion among federal firearm licensees (FFLs), particularly relating to gift purchases of firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been asked to provide clarification on the Supreme Court’s decision for its firearms retailer members.

Meanwhile, it is our understanding that the Supreme Court ruling does not make it illegal for a consumer to purchase firearms as gifts.

As noted in the instructions on the Form 4473 for Section 11.a.
Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party.

In the case Abramski v. United States, the Court ruled that the Virginia man, a former police officer purchasing the firearm at a discounted price, was acting as agent for the true buyer, his uncle. By declaring he was the “actual buyer” on the Form 4473, the Virginia man violated straw purchase law, because in effect he was acting as an agent for his uncle who had provided the funds for the purchase.

The difference seems to come down to the fact that it was not a gift because his uncle paid the buyer for the item.

Remember, if you are using a gun trust to purchase NFA firearms, not to simply add someone to make a purchase you would not be able to make to avoid the potential problems associated with a Straw Purchase.

On July 19 2014, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Eric Winter of Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., in conjunction with The Sportsman’s Shop, will offer a four (4) hour seminar on state and federal firearms law at the Welsh Mountain Community Center, 564 Sandmine Road, New Holland PA 17557.

The cost is $10 and you must register by July 12, 2014. You can download a copy of the registration form, here. All registrations are to be mailed or dropped off at The Sportsman’s Shop, 101 West Main Street, New Holland PA 17557. If you have questions, please feel free to contact The Sportsman’s Shop at 717-354-4311 .

texascle.jpgMany Lawyers are asking about Gun Trust CLE, I have been working with the Texas Bar on their Firearms Law Seminar. We will be providing some information on Gun Trusts which will be available soon. Attached is the seminar brochure. If you are in Texas they will be covering many topics related to dealing with firearms in the practice of law.

Course Highlights:

  • Firearms Trusts / Gun Trusts – David M. Goldman
  • The Right to Bear Arms in the Post Heller/McDonald World – Stephen Halbrook
  • Self-Defense: Recent Changes to the “Stand Your Ground” Legislation – Massad Ayoob
  • Prohibited Persons and Restoration of Firearms Rights – Stefan Tahmassebi
  • Every Bullet Downrange Has a Lawyer Attached – Ed McConnell
  • Class III SOT – Obtaining and Keeping a Federal Firearms License
  • Concealed Handgun Licenses: How to Get Them and What They Mean
  • Avoiding Malpractice and Ethics Violations in Firearms Matters
  • Self Defense – Recent Changes to “Stand Your Ground” Legislation”
  • Criminal Defense as It Relates to Gun Cases

live San Antonio September 28, 2012 La Quinta Convention Center 303 Blum San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 222-9181 Register by September 14, 2012 and save $50!

If you want to find out about offering Gun Trusts to your clients Contact Us for more information on how to provide your clients the original Gun Trust created by the Gun Trust Lawyer®

Defining the Right to Keep and Bear Arms? What does it mean and what will it mean in the future?

In all the excitement over the past few years with the Supreme Court cases regarding the Second Amendment many questions have been raised about how to evaluate laws that seem in conflict with this new fundamental right.

In almost every other fundamental right, the court has said that laws regulating the right have to pass a strict scrutiny, but for firearms it appears that something less is acceptable.

It is interesting that law professors from California-based law schools have decided to write a two-part series of articles on this topic. I was originally a little sceptical on an article coming from an area of the country where guns are generally shunned but found that I was surprised by the objective analysis of the authors.

Some of the main points of the first article regarding limitations are:

One Reason Heller Provides a Shaky Foundation for Doctrine: The Lack of a Discussion of the Nature of the Permissible Limitations
Another Limitation in Heller: The Imprecision About What Laws Burden Gun Ownership or Use Enough to Even Trigger the Second Amendment

Follow this link to read the more of What Will the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Mean in the Coming Years

With the growing list of states that have some type of legalized marijuana use, it is important not to transfer a firearm to anyone who is a user of marijuana or medical marijuana (which are both illegal under federal laws). Chris Chiafullo at FFLGuard has an interesting article on how transferring a firearm to someone you believe is an unlawful user of marijuana (even if it is legal in your state) is an improper transfer and could subject you and the person who receives the firearm to criminal penalties.

If you have a Gun Trust, you should also be cautious about having a co-trustee that uses medical marijuana as it could create liability for you and the other people involved with your trust. If you have a trustee in one of the following states, you may want to check on their medical marijuana usage: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon,Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington have legalized the medical use of marijuana in some form or fashion.

Gun Trust Lawyer®, David Goldman is a counsel of FFLGuard and provides information and legal advise regarding Class III issues. For more information on FFLGuard or to join FFLGuard call 1-888-FFL-GRD1 or visit

machine-guns.jpgThanks to the Alaska Machine Gun Association for letting us know about this. The Municipality of Anchorage has just imposed at $150 fee, effective 1 Jan 11, to process BATFE forms for CLEO signature.

Many might think that this is a Tax on a Tax and would violate Alaska’s preemption statute.

While CLEO sign off is often the initial reason individuals begin to look at trusts, We have found that the other advantages of a NFA trust are the overriding reason most end up using a NFA Firearms trust over a revocable trust.

If you want more information on a NFA trust in Alaska or any state contact an Alaska Gun Trust Lawyer®

The Supreme Court has ruled today in an opinion by Judge Alito that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states through the 14th. More to come later. If you want to read the decision it’s posted on the Supreme Court Website – McDonald v. Chicago or from our website McDonald_v_Chicago.pdf

Alabama Governor Riley signed a bill into law making Short Barreled Riffles and Shotguns legal to own. The law was signed on 4/14/2010 and becomes effective on 7/5/2010. If you have a NFA Gun Trust, there is nothing you need to do, to be able to purchase these items after 7/5/2010.

This also means if you are going to travel to Alabama, you can use a Form 20 to bring your SBR or SBS to Alabama after the law goes into effect.

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).

Contact Information