Monday, September 9, 2013

ATF Proposed Rule on NFA Trusts Published

We knew it was coming and now it is here. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, at the behest of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have now published their proposed rule regarding background checks and Chief LEO sign-offs for trusts and/or corporations seeking to purchase firearms that come under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The proposed rule was published today in the Federal Register and can be found here.

The more extensive rationale for this as signed by Attorney General Holder can be found on the ATF website here.

We will have 91 days from today in which to submit comments regarding this proposed rule. I hope to have an automated letter generator up similar to what we did a couple of years ago on the multiple semi-auto rifle purchase reporting requirement. In the meantime, Prince Law Firm has a number of suggested letters here. They have some additional suggested steps to take here.

As attorney Dave Hardy said with regard to the petition from the NFA Trade and Collectors Association, expecting ATF to be reasonable is never a good idea. David Codrea has more on the petition from NFATCA here and the consummate stupidity of their move.

While the background checks of all responsible persons within a gun trust might be tolerable, it is the requirement for the CLEO check-off that is the real knife in the back. In many locations, chief law enforcement officers won't sign off on any NFA item regardless of whether it is a suppressor or a full-auto machine gun. NFA gun trusts were the one way around anti-gun police chiefs and sheriffs. The new proposed rule does away with that.

I had batted the idea of a NFA trust around with my brother-in-law. I think we may be doing something sooner than later and I'd suggest you might want to do the same.


  1. If I establish a NFA trust now, before any new rule takes effect, how would that effect any new NFA items I obtain under that trust in the future?

    In other words, If i set up the trust now, will I need to get CLEO sign off's and background checks, etc. for NFA items I purchase after the rules go into effect?

  2. One possible line of counterattack is to make the CLEO signoff "Shall Issue" at the state level. I believe TN has passed legislation mandating just that.

    1. @Tam: I didn't realize that TN did that. Great idea for those of us with pro-gun legislatures and sheriffs that don't like us peons to have NFA items.

  3. The problem with the "Responsible Person" language is that it includes the beneficiary. In most trusts, they are trusts precisely because the Beneficary is a minor, aka unable to pass a background check.

    If this passes, it would completely kill trusts, all trusts.

    It also would seem to mean that prints and info for every member of a corp would need to be included in every form submittal. For all but the absolutely smallest companies, this would be an unbearable burden.

  4. Try to smile while they abuse you and shit all over the constitution....

  5. This guy is just as big a jerk as Obama--