Finding qualified legal advice on firearms laws

Finding qualified legal advice on firearms laws

This is a discussion on Finding qualified legal advice on firearms laws within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can anyone recommend whom I should ask and how I should find them when it comes to state firearms laws. I emailed the NRA-ILA, they ...

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Thread: Finding qualified legal advice on firearms laws

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Finding qualified legal advice on firearms laws

    Can anyone recommend whom I should ask and how I should find them when it comes to state firearms laws. I emailed the NRA-ILA, they referred me to their one and only listed lawyer for referrals in New Mexico.

    I did eventually get ahold of him, and I thought we sorted it all out, but after sharing the results with a friend, I found out that friend had some very bad firearms-related legal experience with that lawyer, so now I'm looking for a second opinion. Should I just find another lawyer? Criminal defense attorney? Law professor? Try to ask the local DA's office or the state AG?

    Whose interpretations can I trust? I'm wary of asking police, given all of the stories I've heard of police not understanding the more nuanced legal issues.

    Posting from my phone, I blame all typos on Swype.


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    StormRhydr, Aceoky and brocktice like this.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northface View Post
    PERFECT, thank you!

    Posting from my phone, I blame all typos on Swype.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brocktice View Post
    Can anyone recommend whom I should ask and how I should find them when it comes to state firearms laws. I emailed the NRA-ILA, they referred me to their one and only listed lawyer for referrals in New Mexico.

    I did eventually get ahold of him, and I thought we sorted it all out, but after sharing the results with a friend, I found out that friend had some very bad firearms-related legal experience with that lawyer, so now I'm looking for a second opinion. Should I just find another lawyer? Criminal defense attorney? Law professor? Try to ask the local DA's office or the state AG?

    Whose interpretations can I trust? I'm wary of asking police, given all of the stories I've heard of police not understanding the more nuanced legal issues.

    Posting from my phone, I blame all typos on Swype.
    You can just a regular lawyer, maybe before you see him and spend the money for a consult tell him what you're looking for on the phone and he can offer suggestions. But it's usually a Defense Attny, I mean how many firearm legal cases are there for lawyers to exclusively specialize in? Or call whatever the legal authority (police) in your state is the repository of law and enforcement. In my state it's a certain office of the State Police. Ask for that info by a call to your Permit Office. They'd know. If you find out, skip the attorney and ask (unless you've committed a crime - then get a lawyer for a "buffer). For Federal Law it's the ATF. I called them once for a question about gun shipping. A clerk at the Post Office had given me permission to send something I just didn't think sounded kosher. It wasn't . I can't say the guy at ATF (Washington number) was warm and fuzzy but he was professional and answered so I knew the Fed. Law.

    For Everyone:

    He also gave me a good heads up: the Post Office can give you incorrect legal info, like that clerk, so don't take what they may say as the last word. Ask the ATF. If you do something illegal because a postal clerk said it was OK, it's YOU who will get Charged, not the P.O. "Ignorance of the Law..." and all that.

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    Being a pro-gun attorney doesn't necessarily mean one is a good gun lawyer. The question depends exactly on what you're looking for. If you're just wanting to know something about the law any lawyer can pull up case law and read statutes to tell you what the current situation is. If you're looking for someone to turn to should you need to use your gun you want a criminal defense attorney- but not the one you may first think about. When people talk about good defense lawyers they usually mean that he can minimize the punishment someone receives after doing something wrong. That isn't necessarily the person you want to turn to when you're not guilty. In that regard I recommend talking to local cops and just asking who they'd call or who the FOP uses for officer involved shootings. If you're looking to set up a trust or something of the sort to deal with the guns after your demise any lawyer that regularly deals with stiffs and gifts can help you out.
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    Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network might be an option. Run by Marty Hayes, J.D. and his wife Gila Hayes.

    There, you can hunt down various competent attorneys who are experienced and knowledgeable about self-defense (armed or otherwise) in various states. If nothing else, from those connections you could get a referral to someone who's really "right" for your situation.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northface View Post
    Tried today to contact the one listing there for New Mexico, nobody answered, probably because of the holiday. Will try tomorrow. There's another defense attorney nearby who's a decorated combat veteran, going to try him as well.

    Posting from my phone, I blame all typos on Swype.
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    To the OP (brocktice) - this is a great topic for a general knowledge thread. Though you focus is NM, I hope that other posters will cover good info on the same topic for other states. Thank for posting this. These types of treads and info are what make DC good, without being noisy like other Forums.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    To the OP (brocktice) - this is a great topic for a general knowledge thread. Though you focus is NM, I hope that other posters will cover good info on the same topic for other states. Thank for posting this. These types of treads and info are what make DC good, without being noisy like other Forums.
    Yes the OP is getting very good general advice and no one is trying to play "lawyer". I think ECHO_FOUR said it very succinctly: "Being a pro-gun attorney doesn't necessarily mean one is a good gun lawyer. The question depends exactly on what you're looking for". It sounds like you simply want to know the Law. As was said, any competent attorney can research that for you. But on my own (unless you have illegalities on your record in which case an attorney and a good one is needed) you can ask The Permit Office and cross-check it with the State Attorneys General Office or the DA's Office. Just be squeaky clean if you do and make sure you write down what you are told. You can also ask for the name of the person, and take a note of time and date the call is made on.That's your record of the time, date and source of the information.

    You can also just read the Law. Put your state + "firearm law:" in Google search. It'll come up, Penal Code Section or wherever the Law is. Go to the source. What you don't get however is Case Law, though perhaps you could if you know how to search it.

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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by detective View Post
    You can also just read the Law. Put your state + "firearm law:" in Google search. It'll come up, Penal Code Section or wherever the Law is. Go to the source. What you don't get however is Case Law, though perhaps you could if you know how to search it.
    Yep, already read it all, but unfortunately there's a lot of room for interpretation and the case law is beyond me.

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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    IANAL but know a number of them in MA who specialize in some sort of gun law issues. MA is very complicated, just the gun law w/o interpretations takes 200 pgs and with interpretations takes 450 pgs! I am an expert on the "stay out of trouble" aspects of MA gun law and created/teach a seminar on this topic (making it clear that IANAL and not offering legal advice), with citations for almost everything in the seminar so students can do further research if desired. My counterpart who created a LE seminar on the subject and authors that 450 pg book is likewise not an attorney but acknowledged as a subject-matter-expert on the topic of licensing and prosecution.

    Some of the attorneys that I know specialize in helping people get unrestricted LTCs, which are "discretionary" and difficulty varies with the 351 different licensing authorities. Typically these attorneys are NOT knowledgeable about self-defense law or other criminal law.

    A few specialize in the self-defense/criminal charges aspect of MA gun law.

    Finding out who the police use in a on-job shooting is an excellent idea to find the proper self-defense attorney.

    Another source is your state's gun rights organization, but make sure you are specific on what you are looking for . . . proper field of knowledge.

    So the answer will vary and this is state-agnostic advice.
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