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.”

About two years ago we reported on a potential problem that exists because of a conflict between state and federal law and how this can cause problems with a Gun Trust that is not properly drafted.

Now the BATFE has issued an open letter to FFLs that users of medical marijuana are to be excluded from possessing or owning firearms or ammunition. BATFE cites the Gun Control Act of 1968 as authority for this order, which states that it shall be unlawful to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm to any person knowing or having reasonable suspicion to believe that such a person is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.

As of July 2013, eighteen states have legalized the use of marijuana in some form. Another 6 have pending legislation. Of those eighteen states, sixteen have legalized marijuana usage for medicinal purposes, while Colorado and Washington have also legalized the drug for recreational use. It is important to realize that while these states have passed their own marijuana laws, the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, which trumps the state laws. The Controlled Substances Act, enacted into law in 1970, categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substances. So although some states say it is “legal” to use marijuana, under the Gun Control Act, marijuana users are considered “prohibited persons” to whom the sale of firearms and ammunition is illegal.

If you want to use multiple caliber barrels on a SBR or SBS there here are some guidelines that will help you fill out your ATF Form 1, which are also found on our updated How to fill out a Form 1 for a Trust Page.

4c should contain the caliber or gage of the firearm. Only one is acceptable. ( Multi is not acceptable, you can only list one, if you have additional calibers you want to list you should attach additional configurations in a letter attached to your Form 1 stating the caliber, barrel length, and overall length as related to the firearm listed on the Form 1.)

Previously ATF accepted them by being listed in 4h on the Form 1 but no longer accepts this.)

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.

In response to House Bill 13-1224 which prohibits the sale, transfer, and possession of “large-capacity ammunition magazines” John Suthers, Colorado’s Attorney General, prepared a letter to Executive Director Davis at the Department of Public Safety. This letter does not discuss the issue of a person compared to a trust or other business entity that owns the magazines prior to 7/1/2013. It is still recommended that you use our special magazine assignment for Colorado to deal with the possibility that a trust may not be considered a “person” under the new statute. This conditional assignment becomes void if a trust is later determined not to be a proper owner under the law.

To read the text of the letter please continue reading this article.
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Thumbnail image for 50calsilencer.jpgWhile in some states, it is illegal to hunt with a Silencer, in the following states it is legal to hunt with a suppressor (often referred to as a “silencer”).

In states where hunting with suppressors have been legalized, we have seen substantial increases in the sales of suppressors and the wait times for approval from the ATF have also increased. Many states that have legalized suppressors still have CLEOs who refuse to sign for individuals to purchase them. An NFA Gun Trust or a more flexible Gun trust can not only avoid the CLEO signature requirement in most states, but can also provide many benefits to firearms owners and their families. To learn about the benefits, please fill out the contact us form at the top of this page and request information on what a gun trust is and how they may benefit you.

Remember these laws change frequently, so please verify this with your state prior to hunting with a suppressor.

New Silencer – SWR: Specwar 762; Multi-caliber Sound Test.

A Gun Trust can be used to purchase suppressors in most states like the Specwar 762 from SWR. The multi-caiiber suppressor had sound suppression to the 135-131 db range when looking at 10 shot averages. Most suppressors try to obtain results less than 140 db to create a hearing safe level.

Tomorrow Sarah Gervase, with the NRA is presenting a summary of the major provisions of the NFA just before my presentation of the use of Gun Trusts as we provide many lawyers with information on Gun Trusts I wanted to highlight some of the major points of her talk with some exerts from her paper.

This presentation will focus mostly on individual buyers and transferors, as many of those in attendance at the Firearms Law Seminar have more personal interest in and interaction with individuals who collect or own these arms for their own enjoyment. There will be some basic information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers, however, and a future Seminar presentation can focus on those areas if there is sufficient interest. In the meantime, readers of these materials who need more in-depth information for dealers, manufacturers, and importers are encouraged to review ATF’s website at http://www.atf.gov for the latest relevant requirements.

A quick note about holding a client’s property. Be very careful about holding any firearms owned by a client or about accepting firearms as payment for services. Here’s a horror story. An attorney represented a man accused of bank robbery. The attorney took possession of the allegedly stolen money and a sawed-off shotgun. That attorney was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months for possessing a short-barreled shotgun used in a bank robbery. It was unprofessional conduct to take the fruits and instrumentalities of the crime. In re Richard R. Ryder, 381 F.2d 713 (4th Cir. 1967).
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