Category Archives: Firearms Law

Perry County Update – New Filings and Rulings!

As many of our viewers are aware, I am representing Sheriff Carl Nace in relation to a lawsuit filed against him by the Perry County Auditors to force him to disclose confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) information. The hearing is currently scheduled for September 2, 2014, at 1:30 PM in Courtroom 1 of the Perry County Courthouse.

Since my last blog on the PA Sheriffs’ Associations Amended Petition for Leave of Court to file Amicus Curiae, a number of documents have been filed:

  1. The Court Order continuing the matter until September 2, 2014 – here.
  2. President Judge Zanic’s Order GRANTING the PA Sheriffs’ Association’s Petition for Leave to File Amicus Curiae – here.
  3. The Auditors’ Brief in Opposition to our Preliminary Objections – here.
  4. Sheriff Nace’s Brief in Support of the Preliminary Objections – here.
  5. A Petition to Intervene by John Doe 1, 2, 3 and Jane Doe and Preliminary Objections – here.

Judge Zanic has stated that the Petition to Intervene will not be considered at the hearing on September 2nd and will be considered at a later time, if the Preliminary Objections are overruled. Also, I was informed that the reason for the continuance of the hearing (originally scheduled for today) was a result of Courtroom 1 being utilized today for another matter and the fact that only Courtroom 1 is of sufficient size to accommodate the expected attendance.

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Chief Counsel Joshua Prince Successful in Having the PSP Overturned 4 Times in One Day!

Today, we received notice in four separate matters that the determinations of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) were being overturned by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) appointed by the Attorney General. Attorney Joshua Prince, Chief Counsel of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., represented the four individuals in their appeals from the PSP. These unrelated matters included two occasions, where the PSP refused to accept an out-of-state expungement/set-aside as relieving the individual’s firearm disability, one where an individual was stripped of his right to bear arms during probation, where the court had not ordered such restriction and one where the PSP contended the appeal was untimely, when the individual never received notice of the determination as required by law, even though the PSP conceded that the individual was not prohibited.

We wish to congratulate Attorney Prince on these successes and ensuring that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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FICG/Prince Law Offices, P.C.’s Seventh Bi-Annual Machinegun Shoot – October 18, 2014!

Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., will be hosting our seventh bi-annual machine gun shoot at Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club on October 18, 2014, in celebration of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and Article 1, Section 21 of the PA Constitution. Eastern Lancaster Rod and Gun Club is located at 966 Smyrna Road, Kinzers, PA 17535. It will start at 11am and go until 4pm. From 11am until 2:30pm, it will be unsuppressed and suppressed fire. From 2:30pm until 4pm, only suppressed fire will be allowed.

Everyone, over 18 years of age, is welcome to attend. We are sorry but the insurer will not allow anyone under 18 to participate. There will be a small area for observers, under the age of 18, to watch the shoot. The only requirement is that you bring a driver’s license and hearing and eye protection. All attendees will be required to sign a waiver.

There will be several dealers and manufacturers in attendance and which will have some unique firearms that you might not otherwise have an opportunity to shoot. We are still waiting for confirmation of the dealers that will be in attendance and will update this blog, as they confirm. While you are welcome to bring your own firearms and ammunition, it will be up to the owner of the firearm as to whether he/she will permit you to use your ammunition in his/her firearm. The FFLs will be bringing ammunition for purchase, if you need additional or if they require certain types of ammunition to be used in their weapon systems.

Bear Paw Arms will be in attendance.

UPDATE I:

  • Autoweapons will be present with M249, Kriss FN F2000, Galil, M16s, M11s, Uzis and a M60-E4.
  • Tactical Edge Firearms will be present

Kenney’s Custom Props will be in attendance and will have all sorts of fun toys to rent, including: Glock 18C, Spectre, HK G36C, Kriss Super V, FN P90, Beretta 93R and some other fun toys.

We expect that several celebrities and politicians will be in attendance. When we are able to confirm their attendance, we will post about who will be attending.

Also, Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun will be making food and have drinks available, at extremely reasonable prices. There will be breakfast available this time starting around 8am! Most attendees at the last shoot couldn’t get over how the Club could make any money on the food sold!

All attendees MUST RSVP. To RSVP via facebook, please go here. If you do not have Facebook or are having difficulty, please contact our Office Manager, Linda Martin, at lmartin@princelaw.com.

We are requiring that each person donate at least $10 to the Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club for their generous permission to use their range. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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Amended Amicus Brief Filed by the PA Sheriffs’ Association

On August 11, 2014, the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association filed an Amended Petition for Leave To Participate Amicus Curiae and now includes an additional twelve (12) State Representatives. You can download a copy of the Amended Amicus Petition – here.

I was also informed, but have not yet received the notice, that the hearing has been continued to September 2, 2014 at 1:30PM.

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ATF Proposes Rule to Require FFLs to Report Missing Firearms

Today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the obligation of Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”) to report certain missing firearms. 78 Fed. Reg. 47033-47039.

The proposed rule is captioned Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition — Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit, and is assigned docket number ATF 40P. Comments on the proposed rule are due on or before November 10, 2014. As explained in the Notice, the proposal is the result of ATF’s work that had been assigned reference number RIN 1140-AA41 on the unified agenda.

On November 21, 2013, Firearms Industry Consulting Group (“FICG) attorney Tom Odom submitted to ATF a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) regarding documents regarding the formulation of proposed rules which “would target cases where guns go missing in ‘transit'”. That FOIA request specifically referenced ATF’s entry on the unified regulatory agenda that appeared to address that subject (RIN 1140-AA41). To date, no documents have been produced. In addition, at the 2014 Firearms Import/Export Conference in Washington, D.C., just last week a panel of ATF officials were asked whether any work had been done with respect to preparing a proposed rule on the subject. ATF replied with a definitive “No.”

Curiously, once again the electronic portal at www.regulations.gov reflects that ATF has opened a docket with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking while failing to make publicly available any supporting documents. When asked at the conference last week why ATF refused to provide such information with respect to its pending rulemaking in ATF 41P, the only explanation offered was that ATF had never done so in the past.

So, it appears once again that interested parties will have to guess at ATF’s reasoning and its representation of unsupported “facts” as no documents have been added to the rulemaking docket and a FOIA request has been ignored for over eight months.

We will be posting updates as the rulemaking process moves forward.

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Amicus Brief Filed in Support of Perry County Sheriff Nace!

On August 7th, the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, which represents 67 county sheriffs in Pennsylvania, filed a Petition for Leave to Participate Amicus Curiae in support of Perry County Sheriff Nace, in the matter of Barbara Hench, et al. v. Sheriff Carl Nace, 2014-454. The Petition and accompanying brief is joined by some 41 Federal and State Congressional Representatives and pro-Second Amendment organizations. You can find a copy of the Petition and accompanying brief – here.

Some interesting points are:

  1. The PA Sheriff Association agrees with our Preliminary Objections that the Perry County Auditors are not acting within their official scope, as they are requesting that Sheriff Nace violate the law.
  2. They correctly argue that even if the Perry County Auditors aren’t public, the information still cannot be disclosed to them because they are not “criminal justice agencies.”
  3. They suggest that numbers could be utilized, in lieu of names and addresses, to identify the applicants.
  4. They cite to our proposed settlement in John Doe, et al v. City of Philadelphia, et al.

I have a feeling that this week will be full of news about this litigation…Stay tuned

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ATF Updates from the 13 Annual Firearms Import/Export Conference

The 13th Annual Firearms Import/Export Conference was hosted by F.A.I.R. Trade Group and the National Shooting Sports Foundation on August 5th and 6th. On August 5th, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) presented and provided the Industry with news and updates. Below are some of the more interesting or important updates in the order that they were discussed:

NFA Branch Updates

  1. William Boyle, III is now the NFA Branch Chief.
  2. Kimberly Ramsburg is now NFA Section Chief.
  3. By October 2014, they expect to have 24 examiners.
  4. By December 2014, they hope to have total of 29 examiners.
  5. Alphonso Hughes, Division Chief, Firearms and Explosives Services Division (FESD) said that he is taking aggressive steps and *hopes* to have Form 1 and Form 4 processing time down to 6 months and Form 3 processing time down to 30 days by the end of the year. He recognized that this is optimistic but it is his goal to achieve.
  6. Average monthly revenue is $1.5 million.
  7. The highest revenue month was December 2013 with $2.5 million received in revenue (thanks ATF-41P).
  8. They are receiving on average 8,838 calls, per month.
  9. In FY 2013, there were 44 Congressional Inquiries.
  10. It is the first time since 2009 that the NFA Branch is processing more applications, per month, than are received.
  11. The backlog is approximately 56,000 Forms, which is down from 81,000 in February (25k reduction in 5 months isn’t too shabby).
  12. They are working on revising the NFA Handbook in time for the 2015 SHOT Show. See Attorney Tom Odom’s blog on this here.

Import Branch Updates

  1. Under Category 1 of the U.S. Munitions List, scopes no longer require a Form 6 to import.
  2. Category 7 of the U.S. Munitions List has been modified somewhat substantially.
  3. Under Category 14 of the U.S. Munitions List, gas masks no longer require a Form 6 to import.
  4. Shotgun barrels must be brought in on a Form 6, even though they are not on the U.S. Munitions List, because the GCA says they must have a sporting purpose. It is to be treated as an implement of war and the model must be listed on the Form 6. Barrels are NOT being considered a firearm part.

eForms Updates

  1. As we all already know, eForm 1s are back online.
  2. eForm 2s should be back online shortly, hopefully by the end of the year or early next year.
  3. eForm 3 and 4s will be next to go live, on the new site that they’re developing. See, Attorney Tom Odom’s blog on this here.
  4. They still cannot update the website to reflect the one additional (not listed) requirement for the eForms password, so remember that your eForms password must have 5 alpha character.

Marking Variances and Electronic Recordkeeping Updates

  1. 90 day turn around on Marking Variance Requests.
  2. Updating the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (hasn’t been updated since 2005) with new rulings and Q&A.
  3. Confirmed that it is a VIOLATION to use cloud storage for electronic A&D Records. This was an issue I wrote about previously.

ATF-41P

  1. ATF Counsel Andrew Lang stated that ATF is currently on track to make a decision by January 2015; however, he acknowledged that many of the Comments filed by attorneys raised some issues that ATF hadn’t considered. He stated that the rulemaking may get significantly sidetracked internally, depending on internal responses to their review of the Comments and proposals on how to address the concerns. In response to a question on why ATF didn’t provide the underlying materials used for drafting the proposed rule, Attorney Lang, in addition to saying the petition was posted by the NFATCA at some point in time on its website, said ATF hasn’t had requests for such material in the past (aka, ATF hasn’t been complying with the Administrative Procedures Act and therefore, it didn’t need to with ATF-41P…well, maybe now that we made an issue out of it, there will be a change in course in future ATF rulemaking.)

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