The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have recently decided to re-classify parachute flares and 40mm chalk rounds as explosives and begun the confiscation process. Those in the gun industry feel this ruling could soon be expanded to include all ammunition bigger than ½ inch in diameter.

Many have recently reported being contacted by ATF to turn in any recently purchased flare rounds. Some of these inidivduals have gun trusts and others just own then individually. Previously, these rounds had been classified by the ATF as non-explosives, but the bureau has recently had a change of heart that coincides with the other recent declassifications. (Does this sound familiar?)

When questioned about these declassifications, ATF has responded the change was made because the 40mm rounds in question are not “small arms” ammunition, and have thus been classified as “low explosives.” In one response letter, the ATF stated that “devices or articles that contain small arms ammunition or components thereof, but are not small arms ammunition by themselves, are regulated explosives,” and thus are not exempt from the provisions in 27 CFR, Part 555. This language suggests firearms registered as a “destructive device” may also be given a similar classification by the ATF.

So the next questions is what should you do when the ATF asks you to surrender these firearms? Continue reading

As a gun trust attorney it is my duty to keep up with the latest gun laws throughout the country and clients are often surprised how different the laws can vary state to state.  I was recently asked by a client if someone with a valid CWL license is allowed to carry a gun inside a Florida Hospital and thought I would share my thoughts on the issue. Continue reading

With the recent church shooting in Charleston, our office has received many questions asking if it is legal to carry a concealed weapon to church with a CWL, or concealed weapons license. Currently, there are no laws in Florida that forbid carrying a concealed weapon inside or on the grounds of a religious institution except in portions which may constitute a  church school.

Studies have shown that mass murders often pick places to attack where the attacker believes they cannot be attacked in retaliation. These “Gun Free Zones” are usually churches, schools, and former places of employment. The next question then becomes can a church hire armed security guards to defend against the crazy shooters?

Each state has their own rules regarding when guns may be brought and you should investigate them.

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Vermont NFA Class 3 firearms
There are several type of Title II Firearms sold by Class 3 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 in addition to the compliance that is required with the National Firearms Act.

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

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.

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