Vermont has officially become the 41St State to legalize suppressors when Governor Peter Shumlin signed the H. 5 bill last week. The new law will go into effect on July 2ND, and was the culmination of local Vermont republicans, the American Suppressor Association, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.  Vermont residents now have another reason to form a Vermont Gun Trust with a Vermont Gun Trust Lawyer

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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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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