Leave a comment for the ATF

Robb requested we comment to the ATF on the proposed rule change in regards to trusts for Title II firearm transfers. This includes safety equipment like noise suppressors. The NRA made a similar request, BATFE Solicits Comments on Poorly-Conceived NFA Transfer Proposal.

Both sources had some good points to make with the ATF so I combined them and added some material of my own. The result which I filed, via this link (then click the “Comment Now!” button near the top right), is as follows:

I oppose the ATF proposal to require CLEO sign off approval for all Title II firearm transfers, including Trusts and other legal entities.

1. The requirement for permission from a government official to exercise a constitutionally protected right is wrong on principle and should not continue let alone be expanded.

2. All appearances are there is not a problem with the existing system. I am unable to find any documented cases where a crime has been committed via a Title II firearm transferred in this manner. Hence this rule change must have as its sole purpose the increasing of the burden of those wishing to exercise a specific enumerated right. It cannot be about protecting the life or property of innocent people.

3. The proposed change would make it much more difficult to set up a means to transfer property to heirs without net benefit to anyone.

4. ATF was petitioned by the petitioner, NFATCA to eliminate the clumsy “Chief Law Enforcement Officer” (CLEO) sign off replacing it with a notification to the CLEO of the pending transfer, and supplanting the sign off with the NICS check used for thousands of firearm purchases daily.  ATF vaguely states it agrees, at least in part with the justification for the petitioner’s request, however without any justification it proposes expanding that process to all transfers.

5. ATF admits in the proposal that it has access to several databases, including NICS, which could be used to accomplish what the petitioner requested and ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.

6. The CLEO sign off is clumsy and outdated.  It is also far more expensive for the industry, firearms owners and the government to maintain – or expand in this proposal, than to use the NICS check procedures to verify transfers of title II firearms are not transferred to prohibited persons.

7. The CLEO sign off enables corrupt persons in CLEO positions to politically coerce money out of transferees in the guise of campaign donations.

8. As the petitioner requested, a NICS check on the principal officers of an individual, principle officers of a trust or other legal entity would be faster, more efficient, and would reduce the chances for human error.  This would allow the NFA transfer process to be streamlined, it would be safer for the public and would be a less burdensome regulatory change.

Once again, I oppose any expansion of the ‘Chief Law Enforcement Officer’ sign off requirements for NFA transfers.

My comment tracking number: 1jx-894g-nxy5.

10 thoughts on “Leave a comment for the ATF

  1. Hmm. Starting with the obvious fact that the ATF Firearms Branch exists solely for the purpose of inhibiting firearms ownership, I wonder how much they’d be inclined to listen. There’d have to be some fairly powerful political reasons for it, i.e. they’d have to see something in it, some benefit to it, for themselves.

    • Sebastian has similar concerns. I remember what happened with a request for comments on a “sporting purpose” issues about 10 years ago. People supplied lots of evidence that the firearms in question were used in many sports and the ATF dismissed them all with, essentially, “that isn’t what we mean by a ‘sport'”.

      The good it does do is that people in Congress can use it as evidence to limit their funding and perhaps ultimately it can be used as evidence at their trials. They were explicitly told not to do something, and why, and they did it anyway. They cannot claim ignorance.

  2. Pingback: SayUncle » On ATF comments on trusts

  3. Pingback: Comment Period for ATF 41P Coming to End | Shall Not Be Questioned

  4. My comment:

    I oppose the ATF proposal to require CLEO sign off approval for all Title II firearm transfers, including Trusts and other legal entities.

    1. This regulation seems to be solving a problem that doesn’t exist. There has been no documented cases where a crime has been committed that has been transfer via a trust.

    2. The ATF agreed with the petitioner, NFATCA, that the CLEO sign off should be replaced with a notification, and yet there is no justification for expanding it to all transfers.

    3. NICS and other databases that the ATF already has access to are much more accurate than a CLEO for determining whether a person attempting the transfer is a prohibited person.

    4. The CLEO sign off is worthless- in most cases the CLEO either signs it or refuses to sign based on their personal political preferences. They rarely do checks, and when the do, its via NICS or the state equivalent. This wastes owners and the government much time and money.

    Once again, I oppose any expansion of the ‘Chief Law Enforcement Officer’ sign off requirements for NFA transfers.

  5. Thank you for the template. Now I’ve got some idea on how to do my own.

  6. Pingback: ATF trying to make NFA compliance process even more onerous | VolkStudio Blog

  7. No documented incidents or quantifiable reasons for an unnecessary change. Yet, you can give guns to Mexico illegally and no rules changes in operational missions has been changed for you. Just sayin

  8. Used some of what was noted above and borrowed from the NRA notification:

    Comment Tracking Number: 1jx-897e-o3rw

    I oppose the BATFE proposal to require CLEO sign off approval for all Title II firearm transfers, including Trusts and other legal entities.

    By all appearances there is not a problem with the existing system, except maybe the current CLEO sign-off requirement. While I understand that the administration and you, the BATFE ,have stated that over 39,000 applications for transfers of NFA firearms to trusts or corporations were received in 2012, I see nowhere where you have cited a single case in which an NFA firearm transferred to a legal entity was used in the commission of a crime. As such, this rule change appears to be more for the sole purpose of increasing the burden of those wishing to exercise this right rather than solving a problem (that doesn’t exist). To borrow from a statement made in an NRA notification on this proposed rule change “The idea that someone who wishes to obtain firearms for criminal purposes would pay for the creation of a trust, spend $10,000 or more to obtain any of a dwindling number of machine guns already in the NFA registry and available for civilian transfer, pay a $200 transfer tax on that firearm, register it with the federal government, and wait six or more months to take delivery is simply laughable.”

    From what I understand many NFA firearm owners choose to use trusts to hold their NFA firearms and other property for estate planning reasons, one of which is to simplify the transfer of the firearms to the heirs of the owner. Thus, children, including those who are very young, are often beneficiaries of trusts. The proposed rule seemingly would require even such children to be included in its expanded background check procedures.

    Additionally, the CLEO sign off as it exists today is clumsy and outdated, allowing CLEOs who refuse to process NFA transfers for even the most law-abiding of citizens to effectively veto the transfer. In these CLEOs’ jurisdictions, the proposed rule would act as a de facto ban on the otherwise perfectly lawful transfer of NFA firearms. From what I understand, the NICS and other databases that the BATFE already has access to are much more accurate than a CLEO for determining whether a person attempting the transfer is a prohibited person. Additionally I understand that the NFATCA petitioned the BATFE to have CLEO sign off replaced with a notification, and that the BATFE agreed with this,

    Again, in conclusion, I oppose the BATFE proposal to require CLEO sign off approval for all Title II firearm transfers, including Trusts and other legal entities.

Comments are closed.