#1 Firearms Compliance Program in the Country

    The GOLD STANDARD in Legal Services and Compliance Solutions for the Firearms Industry

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Is as little as $6.85 per day worth the peace of mind to reduce the risk of losing your FFL?

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Q. What’s the difference between what you offer and what others offer? 

A. Plenty.  For starters,

• With FFLGuard, OUR CLIENTS HAVE LEGAL COUNSEL AT ALL TIMES. Our lawyers are involved in your business long before ATF becomes a problem, and our counsel uses FFLGuard-approved subject-matter experts and former ATF inspectors (our “Professionals”) to work at counsel’s direction. What “premium retailer memberships” for trade groups do is refer you to a set of former ATF employees for a consultation.  No legal advice whatsoever, just “one man’s opinion.”  Later, the trade group will provide another referral for a lawyer if you have an ATF problem, but you are provided absolutely ZERO legal support in-between.  This creates the very “left-hand not knowing about the right-hand” problem that ATF battles each and every day… and a surefire way to end with a revoked FFL, whether or not the trade organization pays your lawyers or you do.

The costs associated with FFLGuard are a direct result of capping legal fees in order to HAVE LEGAL COUNSEL AT ALL TIMES and to know what you’re paying for that privilege.  FFLGuard lawyers work on a flat yearly fee, which delivers the same financial protection that a trade group referral would provide, but instead keeps counsel in the loop to keep you informed, advised, and protected every step of the way as you transfer firearms — not just when ATF is at your doorstep.

• Only the FFLGuard Program provides the protection of an attorney-client privilege to our relationship, whereas hiring a consulting contractor referred by a trade group provides NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PROTECTION and leaves an unsuspecting FFL open to disclosure problems whether or not compliance issues are “fixed.”

• Other FFLGuard-like offerings come with a low-cost to steer you to them, but LEGAL COUNSEL only becomes available to you once the “horse has left the barn, the cat is out of the bag, and the bell has rung.”  That’s too little, too late.  Even then, no one can match the experience level of our lawyers, our subject matter experts, or our Professionals. We we the first to deliver legal and compliance related firearms services to FFL’s, and we have done this longer, with better results and more success, than anyone else in the marketplace. With about 500 years of ATF experience on staff, and the distinction of having the most battle-tested counsel, our track record of proven success dates back to 2008.

• Our proactive and gold-standard guidance in our Law Plus Guidelines™, as well as the real-time solutions from our HelpDesk and corresponding Clients-Only Website Library, keep clients out of harm’s way in a fashion that is above and beyond just “best practices” supported by the firearms industry.  In the FFL compliance game, “best practices” can still result in a revoked FFL, but FFLGuard’s heightened “best-in-class” standard, which is one step up from “best practices,” is the only proven way to avoid a revocation catastrophe.

• Our focus is solely on legal and compliance services for FFLs, whereas others with part-time “legal and compliance service” offerings focus on this aspect of their operation only a mere fraction of the time. We, at FFLGuard, are single-minded and non-negotiable in our mission to service our clients individually, and not sacrifice their results for a political agenda or alternative motives.

Q. Can you better explain how the yearly fee for clients is apportioned within the Program?

A. Certainly.  Out of the Yearly Fee paid by all clients, the a portion goes directly to the National Coordinating Counsel as his salary to run the FFLGuard Program.  The remaining amount goes to pay one, dedicated team of firearms attorneys, subject matter experts, professionals, and administrative staff of on behalf of the Program, from an abstract “community chest” known internally as our “Dedicated Defense Fund.”

Q. If I am a client, what do I get for my Yearly Fee?

A. Without question, it affords you everything available in our Basic Services offering as a matter of course.  And so long as you meet our 90 point requirement through compliance with our Law Plus Guidelines™ and our Additional Services, you will not have to pay for our help with an ATF compliance inspection, an ATF warning conference or revocation hearing, or the first 100 professional hours of service if you are sued by a plaintiff calling your business practices into question.  If you don’t meet the 90 point threshold, that’s ok, too. We will ALWAYS represent our clients.  We will just do so at 1/3 off our normal and customary rates — the very “normal and customary” rates that non-FFLGuard clients would pay for our services.

Q. Who decides if I’ve met my 90 point requirement?

A. While anyone associated with the Program will tally your points from the Law Plus Guidelines and Additional Services, it is the National Coordinating Counsel makes all final, non-appealable decisions.  The “point plan” is not meant to be exclusionary, but quite the opposite.  It is important that if your money may be helping pay for the legal services of another client, your money is going to someone who is worthy of it.  That worthiness is measured in points.  Remember, even if you don’t meet the points requirement, we will always represent FFLGuard clients who have paid the Yearly Fee, and do so at 1/3 less than our normal and customary rates.

Q. Do you accept everyone into the FFLGuard Program?

A.  It depends on whether you are coming in HOT or COLD. If you are COLD, then you will be accepted without delay.

If you are coming in HOT, then we need to approve you as a “provisional client” after a review of your case, your operation, your ability to pay for our services, and your potential to meet Program requirements if we “save” your FFL.  We also have a quota of total HOT cases we will take at any one time, which is 10% of our total client base.

Q.  Have you ever “lost” a client or case?

A.  That depends.  Clients who came in COLD and actually followed our Law Plus Guidelines?  No, never.  Clients who came in HOT? Yes.  We offer no guarantees to clients who join us HOT, as they have already “made their own bed” and we try to control the damage as best as possible.  Clients who come in cold, well… we’re “making their bed” for them, and stand by our proactive measures and end results.

Q. How much does handing an ATF administrative action cost in legal fees and expenses?

A. That depends.  If you are an existing FFLGuard client in good standing (meaning that you meet our 90 point requirement from the Law Plus Guidelines and Additional Services) then it would cost you NOTHING.  ZERO.  ZIP.  NADA.  You are fully backed by our Consulting Services Fund into which you’ve paid your Yearly Fee each year.

If you are not an existing FFLGuard client, then the total fees and costs could be anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000 no matter who represents you. The main factor usually depends on your legal team’s experience… if you engage a lawyer who is not from FFLGuard, then they usually end up calling us for help.  As a result, you could end up paying us anyway!

So if you are not an existing FFLGuard client, and you come to FFLGuard HOT, we first need to decide to take your case. If we do, you are only accepted into our Program on a provisional basis, and we will reduce our normal and customary fees to handle your matter as a courtesy.  We divide the “dollars and cents” part into phases:

  • Consultation: Client Case Review and “Plan of Action” Development– FREE.  Our National Coordinating Counsel will hear the merits of your HOT case, and determine if accepting you as a provisional client of FFLGuard in order to handle your case is an event that inures to the benefit of all existing clients.  He will present your case to an internal Tribunal who will vote as to whether your case is one that the FFLGuard team will handle.  If approved by the Tribunal, the provisional client will be provided with a proposed “Plan of Action” to handle the HOT matter, subject to a Phase 1 assessment conducted by our Professional in a modified DeepDIVe.
  • Phase 1: DeepDIVe and “Plan of Action” Fine-Tuning $10,000 flat fee. This phase includes a modified DeepDIVe by one of our Professionals so we can get an unbiased view of your operation and your pending issue with ATF, as well as a review and fine-tuning of our proposed Plan of Action based on our Professional’s findings
  • Phase 2: Plan of Action Execution $10,000 retainer, subject to reduced hourly billing and replenishment as necessary. Depending on what course we approve and follow based on the Plan of Action, amounts paid during this Phase are spent to rework your corporate structure, engage ATF in litigation (administrative action or otherwise), and provide any other services necessary to keep your operation in business. Estimates are routinely provided for proposed Plan of Action undertakings, and the Phase 2 retainer must be replenished with subsequent retainers of $10,000 each time the retainer is depleted.
  • Either-
    • Phase 3(a): Business Intact and No Further Legal Action Necessary– “Provisional” client accepted into FFLGuard Program subject to commitment for three (3) years, plus $5,000 on retainer to conduct Additional Services while “COOLING OFF” — or —
    • Phase 3(b): FFL Revoked and Further Court Proceedings Necessary– No cap estimable, subsequent and/or recurring retainers of $10,000 will be necessary if you choose to proceed.

Q. What if I don’t have the money? Can FFLGuard help me?

A. As far as clients coming in HOT, we would make significant financial concessions at Phase 3(b) if the matter was one that would have a wide-reaching effect on the FFLGuard client base.  Otherwise, your payment of fees in Phases 1 and 2 are proof to us that you are serious about your FFL and your business.  We aren’t interested in those who aren’t interested in their own well-being.

Q. Okay I get the money part, what do I really get beyond a specialist if I am in trouble one day?

A. Well, aside from the access to us at courtesy rates, you get a series of Basic Services and the opportunity to engage us for Additional Services. As such:

  1. You get better business practices to follow that will make it virtually impossible for ATF to revoke your FFL using the willfulness standard. If you are illegally trafficking you are a criminal and out of luck, but implementation of our Law Plus Guidelines protect you from honest business mistakes that could cost you your license.
  2. You get immediate on-site assistance if ATF shows up to inspect from our Professional Services Branch that have a background in the regulations.
  3. You get immediate information on the latest changes and events through our eBlasts.
  4. You get the option to have us train you on-site or with other FFLGuard clients, or provide you with other services such as a mock ATF inspections, remote review of ATF Forms 4473 for accuracy and completeness, etc., to be thoroughly insulated from threat of license loss.
  5. You have attorneys and subject matter experts simply one phone call or e-mail away. This is all we do, we are not a general law practice. No question of yours will ever go unaddressed.
  6. Bottom line, we help you operate in compliance, keep your license and stay in business at all times in one of, if not THE, most regulated industry in America. Not much more to say than that!

Q. How do I know that by participating in FFLGuard, I’m not setting myself up to be scrutinized or undercut if I DON’T meet your Law Plus Guidelines “standard” (for lack of a better word)?

A. Good question.  Because FFLGuard is a program run by a law firm (The Chiafullo Group, LLC), and not a club or group to whom you pay dues or a non-attorney independent contractor.  Instead, by being part of FFLGuard, you are actively engaging a lawyer to represent your interests when you participate in our Program.  As such, your relationship with FFLGuard is covered by the attorney/client privilege.

While this attorney/client privilege does NOT give you a shield to just break the law, it does protect you from disclosing what advice your attorneys, or your attorney’s agents, give you on how to run your business.  You don’t have to disclose to anyone anything that you and your FFLGuard lawyer or representative talk about, nor produce any information you exchange with FFLGuard, if you choose.  Ever.  Whether on the witness stand, under oath, whatever… so long as you’re not doing anything illegal, which of course you aren’t, you are protected under the umbrella of the attorney/client privilege.  You pay for that privilege as part of your Yearly Fee.

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