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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Interview With A Machinegun Lawyer: Part I Comment
    Gregory Morris, 12/22/08 9:25:47 am
    I have been in contact with a lawyer and fellow blogger by the name of David Goldman. His specialty, and the topic of his blog, is Title II firearms law. Ya know, the fun stuff. He agreed to answer a few questions about Title II firearms law in general, common mistakes, and a bit about NFA issues in Florida.

    Begin by telling me a little about yourself, your firm, etc.
    My name is David Goldman, I am a Florida estate planning lawyer in Jacksonville with the Apple Law Firm. The profession of law is a second career for me as I and continue to be a serial entrepreneur. My past involves many high tech, computer related enterprises where there was often litigation. As a client involved in over 50 lawsuits (over a period of 20 years), I have a unique perspective of the practice of law and try to treat my clients as I would have liked to have been treated as a client. In most of my personal litigation, I was able to build a stronger relationship with the other party in the terms of the settlement than prior to the litigation. This was not always possible, but it is a goal with all of my clients. I will not needlessly antagonize the other side as there this will benefit neither client in the long run.

    How did you get involved with the law surrounding NFA firearms?
    A few years ago, a local gun store Shooters of Jacksonville contacted me because they were concerned that many of their clients were using Quicken to create trusts in order to avoid the CLEO sign-off that is required with an individual purchase. They asked me if they could get into trouble or their clients were at risk of violating the law. After doing some research, I reported back to them that although a properly drafted Quicken trust would not subject them to liability, it was highly probably that the trust would be drafted incorrectly and even if it was drafted correctly, there were many problems with a Trust produced by Quicken for purchasing, owning, and transferring NFA restricted items. They asked if I would be willing to address the issues we discussed and offer a reasonably priced trust to their customers. I agreed and shortly after we had our first version of a NFA Firearms Trust.

    What gun-related organizations, if any, do you belong to?
    NRA, NSSF

    What kind of Second Amendment related advocacy are you and your firm involved with?
    Until recently, our firm was only involved in asset protection, estate planning, business formations, probate, guardianships, and elder-law. Partially in response to a growing number of firearms application and ownership issues I felt that we needed an attorney who would be able to address these. Around 2 months ago, I hired Cynthia Veintemillas, a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, who writes a Blog dealing with criminal defense. We both feel strongly about the right to own firearms, whether they are Title I or Title II in nature. Once of the main reasons, I started with the NFA Firearms Trust project was that I felt that it was wrong that a local sheriff could choose not to look a an application for a Title II firearm. If you have the constitutional right to purchase these, your local sheriff should not be able to arbitrarily deny your application without cause. If the sheriff does his job, completes a background check, and feels that you are a threat to the community, then the law states that the sheriff can deny your application. This is not what was happening in Jacksonville and many areas of Florida.

    Currently we are working with lawyers in more than 35 states to help residents properly purchase, possess, and transfer Title II firearms. We work with these lawyers to educate them on the process and work to keep the prices low and affordable to encourage Title II firearms ownership.

    (followup) You state your belief that it is a constitutional right to own Title II firearms. In his opinion in the recent DC v. Heller case, Justice Scalia clearly states that machineguns can be regulated more heavily than other firearms without violating the Second Amendment. However, Scalia stops short of allowing for a complete ban. Do you believe ownership of machineguns is a part of the same "individual right" named in the Heller case?
    When I was referring to Constitutional right I might have been speaking to strongly. I feel we have a Constitutional right to own firearms. The federal law restricting Machine Guns is the NFA and under this we have the right to purchase a Machine Gun. A local sheriff or anyone, without good cause, should not be able to deny us our legal right to purchase these.

    Why did you start blogging?
    I started blogging to help individuals understand more of how things work. For many years the law has been a secret language that the general public could not understand. Even many lawyers, have a hard time understanding issues outside their specialized area of practice. As a business owner, I often understand my clients objectives, concerns, and business from the first meeting. I do not have to spend a lot of time trying to learn about their business, because I understand it from the start. In educating my prospective clients, I get the opportunity to let them know what they are dealing with and what the issues are surrounding their situation. When clients ask me questions that I feel have an impact on others in my area, or other parts of the country or world, I like to write on the topic to help others understand their rights and responsibilities. With the internet, many people search for answers and have time to adjust their behavior before situations get out of control. I have always felt that effective communications can solve most business and family related problems. I have found blogging to be one of the most successful forms of marketing for the practice of law.

    We believe strongly in blogging and have published over 700 articles in the last 18 months on the blogs. My firm currently has the following legal and firearms related blogs.
  • Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog
  • NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog
  • Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

  • Do you currently hunt, compete, plink, carry?
    Although these have been activities that I have participated in the past, it is not an interest that my wife shares and as such, my involvement has been limited the last few years. On the other hand my wife has recently become more open to firearms and has even began asking to go to the range to shoot. My son who is 9 is interested in firearms as most young children are and has expressed a desire to go hunting. Once he is mature enough, I would like to take him. I know that there are many young children that hunt at 9, but this is decision that each parent must make when evaluating their own child and once he is able to follow instructions better I feel it would be more appropriate.

    When did you learn to shoot? How did you get involved in shooting and guns?
    My father taught me to shoot when I was in elementary school (around the age of 9). At that time we lived in Atlanta and had a lake house in North Georgia were we use to shoot at targets.

    What is your favorite Title II firearm?
    For nostalgic and historic reasons, I would have to pick the Thompson Machine Gun. I know its not the most accurate nor the most reliable but I love the way it looks.


  • Information on how to purchase a Title II firearm
  • FAQs on TItle II firearms
  • Information on Form 4 transfers

    Look for Part II tomorrow.

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