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 The CLEO sign off is clumsy and outdated.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.