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Howdy from the GunDocx Lawyer

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dbrislawn, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. dbrislawn

    dbrislawn Bellevue, WA New Member

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    Hey everybody, great forum to help each other! I am Dennis Brislawn, an attorney in Kirkland, Washington. More important, I am an NRA Patron, firearms enthusiast, and I am lucky to be studying with some great shooters up here and I occasionally teach to groups about concealed carry, use of deadly force, and similar legal topics.

    If anybody has questions about Gun Trusts and the law relating to using, sharing, selling or buying NFA items in particular, drop me a line or give me a call. This is an area I am very interested in. Will try to post to the right forum so others can learn with us!

    All the best.
     
  2. moose

    moose northwet coast Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and very cool.

    Now all I have to do is convince my wife I really really need that suppressor. And, lookie right here honey!, the gov's gonna sign a bill that allows me to use it!

    Nice town, Kirkland, used to work in the Park Place building.
     
  3. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    Welcome to the group!

    Your expertise will be very helpful here. I have been interested in a gun trust for several years. I hope you have the time to post often.
     
  4. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, Dennis
     
  5. dbrislawn

    dbrislawn Bellevue, WA New Member

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    Aah, I have the same problem as Moose, but even worse. I am very active in Search & Rescue so am always looking at a new radio or other gear... I tell my wife, "honey, it's not for me... it's for the PEOPLE!" I am not sure she believes me but so far I have gotten my stuff.

    I am a Second Amendment kind of guy, not surprising given my background (Army, etc.) so dealing properly with firearms is a big deal to me. Every piece of bad press about guns or gun owners threatens my right to own them...

    I am new to forums, and am not sure how often, or how much, to post about gun trusts. I will tell you that I spent the last fifteen (15) months building a gun trust system (GunDocx) for myself, then gave it to some clients, then a gun shop started promoting it... so I decided to distribute it nationally. My system is available through about 4000 attorneys who are supported by the legal publishing company I own with some friends that provides education and software to estate planning attorneys. Now, I am working on several versions so that everyone could find one at an attractive price point having unique options.

    It greatly concerns me that some gun shops hand out "free" trusts. These generally prove faulty... and they fail to deal with gun law since they are generic, too. This creates risk for every person who depends on that trust. It creates risk for the gun shop when something, some day, goes wrong. In Washington, this is dangerous for a gun shop to do since it violates the Consumer Protection Act and the laws against unauthorized practice of law... Protecting lawyers is not the goal of these laws, they are to protect WE CONSUMERS.

    DIY trusts from Quicken or LegalZoom are essentially as bad for gun ownership and NFA firearm ownership. But even a professionally done living trust is NO BETTER. Why? Again, they permit trustees to do things that are inconsistent with state and federal gun law, especially the NFA. NONE of these have critical gun law language to guide what the trustee does, beneficiaries, i.e. to help make sure that people using firearms are doing so consistent with law.

    If you are interested in learning more, check out David Goldman, an attorney colleague and friend, a very recognized lawyer in this area, has tons of articles on his blog (NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog :: Published by Florida Gun Trust Lawyer David Goldman) that tell why. He, too, has a number of lawyers around the country that use and distribute his version of a gun trust. I am starting a blog that deals with Washington specifically, and it is just getting off the ground.

    Some guys will get mad at me or my message since they do not want to hear it. They will confuse my message with the fact that I write trusts for a living si will suspect my motives. Well, I teach estate planning to the public, other attorneys, and some become clients, some don't, some do nothing and some hire other fine lawyers. I can do things for more than one reason. My personal goal is to always do my best to help all of us to learn the "system" so we can make good choices for ourselves and our families. It's fun and rewarding to share what I know. Once in a while I get paid, too. Win-win.

    Remember, some guys get arrested for owning unregistered machine guns, etc., since they think that they can ignore a law they do not like. Just saw some press releases about a guy in Spokane who had a stash of machine guns, explosives, all kinds of stuff illegally owned. We cannot fix stupid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  6. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    Truer words were never spoken.

    I look forward to your blog. Several of us have been looking into a do it yourself trust based on a template/boiler plate but you are right it is not worth doing time over. How much involvement does the ATF have in a persons trust for NFA items? Do they "sign off" on the trust?

    Keep posting.
     
  7. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    Welcome on board.
     
  8. rusobr2

    rusobr2 prineville,or Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    welcome to NWF ! thanks for input ! nice to always have someone around to answer leagal questions !!

    steven
     
  9. dbrislawn

    dbrislawn Bellevue, WA New Member

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    BATFE carefully reviews every single trust, corporation, or other legal entity that seeks permission to transfer a firearm regulated under the National Firearms Act (Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968.) They have a checklist and if you do not meet their criteria, BAM your trust is mailed back to fix. That wastes about six months or so. They give you two chances then reject. So far the trusts I have prepared for my clients ave all gone through without a problem.

    I know of a number of cases of gunshop (free trusts), including some in the Seattle area, that have failed and where ATF got involved directly. I know of a number of DIY trusts from Quicken and LegalZoom where trusts were approved then deemed invalid AFTER that... and ATF threatened to confiscate firearms. Again, go to NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog :: Published by Florida Gun Trust Lawyer David Goldman and check out all the entries on David's blog... including ones he has from Washington State.

    Qualifying a trust for an NFA trust is one thing. Having it fail you later because it is generic, says things that are NOT CONSISTENT with gun law, is the bigger issue. So a guy can do one himself, many do. But it is not a gun trust, it's just a generic RLT... kind of do it yourself brain surgery. Trust law is not that simple, and it surely is not "generic."
     
  10. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Welcome Dennis!

    I'm familiar with David's NFA Gun Trust blog. He's been very successful in promoting his services - good for him.

    Can you give us a ballpark idea of the cost for a basic WA NFA Trust? I think the reason you see so many people doing their own is simply the cost. I've seen David quote around $600 up to $1000 - is that accurate for WA? If so, seems like a good investment.
     
  11. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    dbrislawn, maybe you can shed some light on an issue that I have been thinking about lately as I am sure others that carry a weapon daily have also. If the day comes, god forbid, that I have to use my firearm in self defense I have wondered if there are attorneys that I could keep on retainer that specialize in defending people that have been involved in a defensive shooting. Mainly just someone I can call after I say "I was in fear for my life. I will make a statement later. I want to speak to my atty.".

    Do you have contacts in OR? What would a typical retainer for such services cost?
     
  12. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in that situation there is only one attorney in Oregon I would call: Stephen Houze. I don't know about his retainer before the event since that seems premature, unless you are planning on getting into a shooting, but if you need a criminal defense attorney he is the best if he will take your case.

    Some folks here may have other opinions but he is by far the best criminal defense attorney in Oregon, IMHO, and if he can get the truly guilty a fair trial he can surely minimize your risk of having the legal system put you in state funded housing. Many of my friends in the District Attorneys Office dread being assigned a high profile case where they have to prove guilt when Stephen Houze is the defense attorney. There are also several very good former deputy district attorneys in Portland that are more than able to represent you in a shooting.

    Remember everyone is innocent until PROVEN guilty, like it or not, and I would want to make sure it is not that easy to prove.
     
  13. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I certainly don't plan on getting into a shooting and I try to avoid situations and places that would make it more likely that I would. That being said, I look at having an atty. I can contact as insurance. No one wants to buy it, but they are sure glad they have it when they need it.
     
  14. bassman2

    bassman2 SW WA Active Member

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    Dennis - I just sent you a PM.
     
  15. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    Welcome!!!
     
  16. dbrislawn

    dbrislawn Bellevue, WA New Member

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    Okay guys, two issues you asked for comments on. Again, this is for information only, so I think it appropriate for anyone interested should look into it.

    First, the GunDocx System I developed is available from me in the three states I practice in... and ALSO through every attorney member of WealthCounsel, LLC even in my states in case you want somebody local. I personally think that your lawyer should be like your doctor... available whenever you need him or her.

    For disclosure, I am a WealthCounsel principal and system author in addition to being a practicing attorney, so it was an easy decision for me to make GunDocx available to our member attorneys to help gun owners everywhere in the country. This helps you and also WC members since WC does NOT sell anything to the public... we support attorneys with software systems and education.

    This means that I made my GunDocx(TM) system available locally through some function of about 4000 WC attorneys around the US. For example, you can contact attorney Keith Wells from Woodinville, right near me in fact. He is officially GunDocx Lawyer #3... behind me (#1) and Foss Hooper (#2) my editor and co-author who lives in Wisconsin.

    Now only some WC attorneys are or will be "gun" attorneys, so I will be teaching this subject online and in person over the next several months to get interested ones oriented.

    I want to give credit to my colleague David Goldman who has done a fine job marketing and designing his system and to the attorneys that distribute it for him. But with all due respect, GunDocx(TM) offers more choices including one version for NFA firearms only that is designed to be "almost free". GunDocx has two other versions, one for most people that want more guidance, more control and more ability to decide who gets what, and a top-tier version for those who have multi-state collections or who want to pass on their collection intact to benefit future generations.

    Tied to #2 is having an attorney who can answer firearms-related questions for folks about trusts, NFA issues, or even that pesky criminal matter... which is hopefully a rare event. Rather than retain an attorney "just in case" I have a different take on this that should save you some money in the long run.

    Start with taking a Concealed Carry class and practice, practice! You need to know how to react to a deadly force encounter, and you need to know how to manage the aftermath. Jeremy Wilson of Wilson Tactical Training who is a SWAT officer (Bothell, WA) teaches this, as does Insights and some others in my area and likely in yours.

    See Massad Ayoob's system of how to deal with a deadly force encounter. I came up with my own version then saw his... and they were identical! How's that for feeling good about your own theories... I lucked out. Anyway, look it up and study it. Using a gun is only part of the battle... learning to deal with the consequences BEFORE you do is very smart.

    Practice this in a role-playing exercise. And you need to be confident and competent with your firearm if you are going to exercise your right to carry it in my opinion.

    So, my personal opinion is that having an attorney on retainer for such an unlikely event seems like an overreaction to me... remember, I am an attorney and I do not really want you to retain me or someone else for this. Just get a business card of someone who will have your back when you call. Ask for a cell number or home number for emergencies. When my clients ask for mine, I say "here it is, and do not hesitate to call me when you need me. Don't worry what time it is." Isn't that what your doctor or attorney should tell you?

    Best regards.
     
  17. jaweber

    jaweber Yakima Member

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    pretty cool glad ya joined
     
  18. bassman2

    bassman2 SW WA Active Member

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    Just thought I'd let you guys all know, Dennis prepared a Trust for me and it's very thorough. I'm glad he posted here!

    Thanks Dennis!
     
  19. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from an NRA Benefactor member!! Glad to have someone with actual legal experience here!!!!!!!!!


    8 US Presidents have been NRA members. They are: Ulysses S. Grant,
    Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
    John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

    80 MILLION gun owners didn't shoot anyone today, a few criminals did!!

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    The "Feedback Score" is low by 4, not everyone posts it I guess.

    Deen
    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    Washington Arms Collector member
    Arms Collectors of South West Washington member
     
  20. dbrislawn

    dbrislawn Bellevue, WA New Member

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    I spoke to one of my BATFE contacts last week who is a "Specialist" in the Branch. He and I had a lengthy discussion and he confirmed my beliefs about NFA concerns regarding trusts.

    One thing he made a point of is that the NFA review of trusts or other entities is done to assure administrative sufficiency - not legal validity. So, as I stated before, a trust might be approved for transfer and still be legally invalid...

    This has been my concern about folks using free or conventional living trusts all along, rather than purpose-built gun trusts.