Mississippi Lawyer Accepting Crowd Funding Donations to Fight NFA

KCR_Spring13_03400You may remember a while back when we shared some information about how the BATFE may have “accidentally” opened the machine gun registry.

This Prince Law Blog post provides most of the background, but the gist is this:  Since 1986, thanks to the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act, “persons” have been disallowed from making new machine guns (922(o) reads, in part: “it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun [except] a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect“).  In response to a request for clarification about a NICS check question, an ATF official noted that “Unlike individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations; unincorporated trusts do not fall within the definition of “person” in the GCA.

This caused Prince to reach the conclusion that “[P]ursuant to 26 U.S.C. 5812 and 5822, an unincorporated trust may lawfully transfer and make machineguns, as it is not a “person” for purposes of the GCA and Section 922 only applies to “persons” as defined by the GCA“.  Word spread and some Form 1s were submitted on trusts to make new machine guns.  For better or worse, the BATFE approved a number of them and, rumor has it, some of those approvals were acted on and new machine guns were made.  And here we are today… with new Form 1s being categorically rejected, approved Form 1s (and, potentially, new machine guns) out in the wild with the BATFE saying “Oops!  Our bad, can you send those back and not make machine guns with them?” 

Now, Stephen D. Stamboulieh of Stamboulieh Law, PLLC has taken up the banner and is preparing to take the case(s) to court.  Stamboulieh is seeking crowd funding donations through his GoFundMe effort titled Help Overturn 18 USC 922(o) & NFA.  The effort has already raised nearly $29k of the $50k goal.

From the GoFundMe page:

My name is Stephen Stamboulieh. I am an attorney in Mississippi that has tirelessly worked to further our 2nd Amendment rights.

Now, my sights are set on 18 USC sec 922(o). This is known as the machinegun ban. 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 (machineguns, suppressors, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns, etc) is ripe to be attacked on Second Amendment grounds.

We have the avenue to attack both the machinegun ban and the NFA with the BATFE’s recent approval of a number of Form 1s. 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.

This will be expensive. I am in the process of collecting donations to offset the legal fees in this case. If you are interested in assisting, please donate. No donation is too small. These lawsuits will be funded strictly off donations. Unlike the government, we do not have an unlimited war chest to fund this. That is where the grass roots come into play. We can do this, but we need your help!

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