Attorney seeks to overturn federal machine gun ban on constitutional grounds

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by U201491, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Attorney seeks to overturn federal machine gun ban on constitutional grounds
    National gun rights |
    Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
    A complaint for declarative and injunctive relief was filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division. Plaintiff Jay Aubrey Isaac Hollis, acting individually and as trustee of a revocable living trust, is suing Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones in their official capacities for administering, executing and enforcing “statutory and regulatory provisions [that] generally act as an unlawful de facto ban on the transfer or possession of a machine gun manufactured after May 19, 1986.
    “By imposing such a ban on an entire class of weapons, the statutes and regulations exceed the power of the United States,” the complaint states. It makes its case by citing violations of Article I of the United States Constitution, the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and “principles of federalism and dual sovereignty.
    y arbitrarily ‘disapproving’ an already approved Form 1, Defendants’ actions violate Plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment right to due process and is an unjust taking; and violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the complaint continues. “Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against ... unconstitutional provisions ... declaring the ban on machine guns unconstitutional ... and declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from unjustly taking property without Due Process.
    “In the alternative, Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief finding that [United States Code] does not prohibit an unincorporated trust from manufacturing or possessing a machinegun manufactured after May 19, 1986 and/or that the Defendants lack the authority and are thus prohibited from revoking or denying the validity of Plaintiff’s approved tax stamp,” the complaint declares. Costs of the suit, attorney fees and “[a]ny other further relief as the Court deems just and appropriate” are also being sought.
    Representing Hollis is Mississippi attorney Stephen D. Stamboulieh, reported on earlier this month in this column when he started a crowdfunding effort to finance this legal effort. This case represents the “first complaint,” Stamboulieh notes on the GoFundMe page he established that, with nine days left to attain its goal at this writing, has raised $37,505 toward a $50,000 goal.

    Attorney seeks to overturn federal machine gun ban on constitutional grounds

    Per the YouTube video description: "ATF called wanting their approved Form 1 back. Unfortunately the audio isn't the best. My voice was recorded at a significantly higher volume than the ATF Agent's. I did my best to fix it, but he is still a bit quiet."
    A Mississippi attorney established a crowdfunding page Thursday to overturn the federal machine gun ban. Since being established, the project appears well on its way to reaching its $50,000 goal.

    Stephen Stamboulieh via
    “Now, my sights are set on ... the machine gun ban,” Stephen Stamboulieh announced on the webpage he established to finance the legal challenge. “I don't believe this is constitutional in light of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Likewise, the National Firearms Act (‘NFA’), which taxes the making and transferring of Title II weapons (machine guns, suppressors, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns, etc) is ripe to be attacked on Second Amendment grounds.
    Stamboulieh filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in September asking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for documents related to number of machine guns made or transferred after the May 19, 1986 cutoff date imposed by federal law. He also requested redacted copies of related approvals on Form 1 (Application to Make and Register a Firearm) and Form 4 (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm) approvals.
    The request was part of his documentation-gathering effort initiated after a letter from ATF’s Firearms Industry Programs Branch Chief informed a suppressor manufacturer and dealer that “unincorporated trusts do not fall within the definition of ‘person..."
    The laws regarding machine gun builds and transfers are complex, as are laws regarding gun trusts. A discussion thread on the forum provides as close of a “CliffsNotes” version as the uninitiated are likely to find:
    Because ATF ruled an unincorporated trust is not a person under federal law, "the transfer or possession of machine guns ... cannot apply," the summary noted.
    "Numerous... trustees submitted Form 1 applications to build new machine guns [and] ATF approved the applications and sent out stamps," the explanation continued. "ATF began calling trustees that received stamps demanding that they be returned, or in the case of eForms, updating their online status from Approved to Disapproved. Those that were called were told they had to return the stamp." [See embedded video, above]
    “We have the avenue to attack both the machine gun ban and the NFA with the BATFE's recent approval of a number of Form 1s,” Stamboulieh advised on his GoFundMe page. “I have a number of clients that I will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of to seek to overturn the ban and the NFA in different states.”
    Suggested Links

      • Olofson machine gun transfer conviction upheld
      • ATF testimony admits many unregistered machine guns allowed by ruling
      • Chief’s ‘easy machine gun conversion’ challenge unanswered after three years
      • Why ATF folded in Friesen case
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  2. erudne

    The Pie Matrix
    PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing?

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    BREAKING: Lawsuit Filed to Allow Registration of New Machine Guns

    By Nick Leghorn on October 31, 2014
    Filed yesterday in Dallas, the lawsuit of Hollis v. Holder is suing the U.S. Department of Justice to allow legal entities such as trusts and corporations to legally register new machine guns. As you probably know, machine guns are regulated under the National Firearms Act, and in most states (as well as on the federal level) possession of an item regulated under that act is a felony unless it is properly registered. However, starting in 1986 the U.S. Government declared that they would no longer approve new registration applications for machine guns — they “closed” the registry. The newly filed lawsuit is seeking to change that.
    It all started with a ruling by the ATF that declared trusts and legal corporations were not people. Previously it was possible for someone to use a trust or other legal entity to purchase firearms, and because there was no one to perform a background check on there was no need to perform a NICS check or do most of the paperwork for the ATF form 4473. The ATF wanted to force people to go through the NICS check, but they made a mistake.
    When the feds “closed” the registry, they didn’t do a very good job. The specific regulation stated that no person could register a new machine gun. But trusts, as the ATF just declared, are not people.
    Following the discovery of that possible wrinkle in the bureaucratic fabric of the NFA, there were a flood of people sending in applications to make and register new machine guns. One person momentarily succeeded — they were issued a proper and valid registration for a brand new machine gun — but the ATF quickly reversed itself and issued a revocation of the registration.
    This latest legal action stems from that incident. The person involved is suing the ATF to issue the registration for their machine gun, and in the complaint filed yesterday they threw the book at the ATF. Starting with an attack on the NFA process in general and ending with using the Heller decision to point out that “commonly used” firearms cannot be banned (like the select fire M4 that the Army uses), they’re pulling out all the stops to make sure that the judge sees the ridiculousness of the ATF’s position in this matter.
    As the eternal pessimist, I doubt that we will see much (if any) movement on this issue. But the arguments are solid, and hope springs eternal that things will turn out better than they did in the 1930’s
    IronMonster likes this.
  3. PDXSparky

    Keizer / Hillsboro
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm not going to hold my breath on this one.
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  5. Stomper

    SHUT YOUR FACE!! Gold Supporter

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    They are missing out on some SERIOUS tax revenue from having closed the Machine Gun registry to post '86 manufacture guns.

    There are no less than 6 different specimens I would purchase and/or build for myself, and I'm not even as "jazzed" to posses a full-auto like THOUSANDS of others, as I've already had rediculous amounts of trigger time on them in the Army.

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