P226 Mk25, c Nick Leghorn

The National Firearms Act was enacted in the 1930s to try and keep gangsters from getting “dangerous” firearms. It was one of the first gun control laws on the federal level, and continues to be one of the most subjective. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t outlaw the possession of a machine gun or a silencer, you still need to have the “chief law enforcement officer” for your area sign off on your paperwork in order to get NFA-covered items. And if they don’t (or won’t) sign off, it’s a de facto ban in that area. The law permits you to own the items, but the opinion of a single person can override the law. Fortunately, there’s a way around that obstacle: form a gun trust. And it looks like the White House and the ATF are about to try and shut off that option . . .

The beauty of a gun trust is that since the trust is legally an individual, it can own firearms and NFA items. But since it isn’t a corporeal person, there’s no criminal record to check and no fingerprints to be taken. Therefore, no background checks. It makes buying NFA items much simpler, and if you setup a trust for each item you can transfer it from person to person without going through the ATF (simply by re-assigning ownership of the trust).

Naturally, that doesn’t make President or AG Holder happy.

The Obama administration is working to close a loophole in the nation’s gun laws that allows for some machine guns and sawed-off shotguns to be sold without the buyer submitting fingerprints or photographs.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is working on a new regulation that would require more background information when the weapons are sold to someone through a corporation or legal trust.

We talked to a representative of the NFATCA a while back when the first rumors started circulating that this might be going on, and the current thinking is that there’s no way that NFA trusts are going away. The implications of requiring all NFA items to be registered to an individual would be disastrous to things like police departments and manufacturers. But what the NFATCA thinks might be coming down the pipe is a requirement for some or all of the individuals listed on the trust paperwork to submit fingerprints and other identification documents for background checks. This wouldn’t be the end of the CLEO sign-off, just an end to skipping the 10-print cards.

So while the Obama administration is definitely “going after” the “trust loophole,” the sky is not falling. Yet. We still haven’t seen the proposed rule change, but we’re pretty confident in what it is going to say. And trusts still aren’t going anywhere.

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56 Responses to Next On The White House Hit List: Gun Trusts

  1. Right, because a lot of “gun violence” is the result of criminals setting up gun trusts and using any NFA items in their crimes. More worthless legislation for the sake of doing something.

    • Exactly!

      So what IS it all about?

      Oh, I forgot; it’s about the children, and common sense.

      Or is it they have the common sense of children?

    • No, because of at least one such trust being used by a person who stole anothers identification down in Houston TX, and then using that had multiple NFA items being sold to unprinted unchecked individuals.

      But stuff like that which are illegal to begin with (fake identification) never stops the gun grabbers!

  2. Yep saw this coming back in ’08 and now confirmed with the confirmation of the ATF director – who is a bigger anti than Holder is. Also just about as good on whistleblowers too. Anyhow, sold mine because I frankly don’t want to deal with it. So, thank Karl T. Frederick(NRA President circa 1934) your anti gun legacy is secure and promoted by the current anti-gun folk at the NRA.

  3. If they take the time to setup a gun trust, I don’t think they are the people you need to worry about.
    AG Holder is an idiot. Yeah I said it so sue me.
    All of the shootings, beatings etc in the last week were committed by people who based on current law couldn’t own a firearm to begin with. But nooooo let’s go mess with law abiding folks so more..
    Whew ok got that off my chest.. 😉

    • That’s SOP for pols who have no clue and can’t truly solve serious problems in our country.

      They have to do SOMETHING to make it look like they’re doing something. Law abiding gun owners are easy targets.

      Keeps the sheeple’s minds off the poor state of the economy and all the mis steps by this administration.

      • “Governement” can’t. That’s why we have a militia and the 2nd Amendment.

        For douches and their voters.

    • They still occupy the White House and head up the cabinet posts with vermin like Eric with-Holder and B. Todd Jones over ATF.

    • Don’t count on that. ATF can do a rule change without going through congress. It can all be within the Executive Department and we know how they feel about Civillian firearms ownership. This wak BO gets to claim he did something and congress can’t stop it.

  4. You guys are correct, this doesn’t spell the end of gun trusts. But the big concern is that if you live in a jurisdiction with an anti-gun CLEO, if the trustee or “responsible person” has to get the CLEO’s permission, he can de facto prohibit anyone in the area from purchasing NFA weapons- even through the use of a trust.

    • The way I’m reading this is that you don’t need the signature, because the trust still owns the item. The change is that a person controlling the trust might need the background check that would go along with the signature.

      I could be wrong. I hope I’m not, though, because when funding allows, I have a shopping list of several items to fill.

    • That isn’t how I am reading it.

      http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1140-AA43

      “The Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. The proposed regulations would (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; (3) require that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the maker or transferee is located; and (4) eliminate the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO.”

      It seems to me like they are going to get rid of the CLEO signature and just forward them a copy of the information they receive to have on record.

      • Your interpretation is correct. Part of the change is that forms would be forwarded to the CLEO for information only.

  5. The only way I’d be good with any of it, is if SBR’s, Silencers, got take off the NFA list. Not being able to leave/lone those items into another’s possesion is the single biggest reason most private people use trusts.

    • Another consideration is that the next step after requiring a “responsible person” be listed for each trust, is to construe the addition of new trustees/beneficial owner as a “transfer” necessitating ATF approval, and of course, payment of the tax stamp again. If that happens it will make managing a trust much more difficult.

    • I’ve not heard of this before, but apparently you could just sell the trust and all of it’s property to another person. Makes sense actually. You could probably get a helluva lot of cash for it from someone that doesn’t want to wait 9 months. There’s nothing to stop you from adding a convicted felon to your trust or selling it to them, except that that is already illegal. Does it need to be double illegal before people won’t do it, or triple illegal? Why would a felon want to illegally own these items legally anyway (wrap your mind around that)? Why wouldn’t he just pick them up on the street with no paper trail at all?

      • The Gun Trust has specific language that forbids any trustee from being a person who cannot legally own guns. This is one reason minor children cannot be Trustees.

  6. I don’t think they understand the hornet’s nest they are kicking. This opens the entire NFA to legal challenge on Constitutional grounds. I’d love to see the government try to argue that suppressors and SBRs are not common use items…

    • Unfortunately, you need a case to challenge the NFA. There has pnly been one which was handled very poorly and resulted inca SCOTUS decision recognizing the Constitutionality of the NFA. Can’t say it won’t happen, but don’t hold your breath.

  7. As I stated previously, what this administration can’t do through new laws, it’ll try to accomplish via regulations. The new ATF Chief to be has his marching orders.

    The word “hate” comes to mind. They’ll do anything they can to impede 2A protections in any way possible, necessary or not.

  8. My sheriff would not sign off on some form 4 NFA documents. In Tennessee they are required to execute all NFA documents. I sued him and the judge said he didn’t have to sign off. I sent the forms in and the NFA branch would not approve the transfer. I later sent off the forms using a trust and viola approved. No fingerprints or pictures. LOL

  9. The LEO thing is retarded. It’s from a day when the chief would know if someone living in his area had been a troublemaker or not. Impossible to do now. It needs to go away.

    But my fear is that any critical look at the NFA will result in the realization that the $200 fee hasn’t gone up in 80 years, and should be increased to about $3500 due to inflation.

  10. I am not sure what is being circumvented, every suppressor goes on a 4473 when I pick them up and every SBR and SBS goes on a 4473 along with the associated NICs check.

  11. This would piss me off so much. Suppressor and SBR forms are both working their way through the NFA wait list via trust. ATF has cashed both checks. Could this affect existing trusts? For military people a trust is the only way to own these things. If we can’t leave them with a family member in the trust when deployed, BAM felony and loss of 2A rights.

  12. This was a proposed rule change in 2012. And as such died in 2012. Nothing is going on with Trusts.

    Why would they roll out electronic form submissions for Trusts and Corporations etc if they were going to go with NICS checks, finger prints and LEO notification?

    • I don’t think you can use logic when trying to figure out why a government agency spends millions of dollars on something just to dump it within 6 months. Just look at the Army and Navy uniform programs. A billion dollars spent on bright day glow green camouflage and aquaflage camis that melt. The ATF spending public funds to set up electronic forms that happen to support trusts doesn’t preclude them suddenly taking it away.

    • “On Tuesday, the ATF sent the proposed regulation to the White House for a 90-day review, a final step before the draft rule is unveiled to the public.”

      Regulations originate in the agencies.

  13. How much do SBRs and “silencers” go for nowadays? Yeah, cause ghetto gangbanger joe is gonna shell out that much money on a G18 with a can instead of just dropping a couple benjamins on a trunk dealt Sigma. I must’ve missed that part when all the recent crimes were committed with Knights Armament and M1A rifles strapping a MK23 or Delta Elite.

    • $200 for an inexpensive .22lr silencer plus the $200 tax. Add another $300-$400 for an inexpensive .22lr pistol with a threaded barrel. $800 total for a firearm system that is about 120db quiet. 🙂

      • I didn’t know they could operate anything other than a “black, square 9millameeta” when it comes to them. 😀

  14. They claim to be removing CLEO sign off altogether with this change, yet you’ll have to forward then a copy of each application.

    http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1140-AA43

    Abstract: The Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. The proposed regulations would (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; (3) require that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the maker or transferee is located; and (4) eliminate the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO.

    • Now that might actually make some sense. After all, the firearm still “belongs” to the trust, so you still get most of the advantages, and the CLEO sign off is gone for everyone.

  15. The problem is what if the responsible person leaves the company or trust? Do you have to resubmit new fingerprints? If so that is a nightmare for paperwork.

    Also why do I have to submit it more than once? Once is enough if it is on record. I shouldn’t be required each time a trust or corp buys, makes or transfers an NFA item. The entire scheme of needing finger prints is stupid.

  16. Another solution looking for a problem. How many crimes were committed using NFA trust items? I bet you the number is zero. If that’s the case why the pressing need? Just like them now trying to ban bullet button firearms in CA. How many crimes were committed with semi autos with bullet buttons? I’m sure it’s zero also. They are just pissed off that they don’t have the full level of control over us that they thought they were getting. They don’t want us to have it, so we can’t have it.

  17. I hope our Executive Branch (which includes the ATF and the Justice Department) go through with this because the message will be crystal clear: it’s all about harassing firearms owners as much as possible and has absolutely NOTHING to do with public safety or reducing crime. I can say that with confidence because the people who form and manage firearm trusts are NOT criminals.

    I have a crisp new $100 dollar bill for the first person who can cite a single instance where our criminal justice system has ever convicted a firearms trustee for using a “restricted” firearm to illegally shoot someone. And I have a crisp new $1000 dollar bill for the first person who can cite 10 instances where our criminal justice system has convicted firearms trustees for using “restricted” firearms to illegally shoot someone. (Note: a “restricted” firearm is a short barreled shotgun or rifle or a fully automatic firearm that requires a $200 Federal Tax stamp for ownership.)

    • Don’t tell the treasury dept. about your crisp new $1,000 bill. Those haven’t been printed in years, so one might wonder about that new color laser printer in your basement

  18. If it involves freedom and the 2A, its a pretty safe bet that Obama and Holder hate it and will do everything in their power to eliminate it.

  19. RTFA, boys. And try clicking on link deeper. Here’s the notice:
    http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1140-AA43

    “Title: Background Checks for Principal Officers of Corporations, Trusts, and Other Legal Entities With Respect to the Making or Transferring of a National Firearms Act Firearm
    Abstract: The Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. The proposed regulations would (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; (3) require that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the maker or transferee is located; and (4) eliminate the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO. ”

    It doesn’t get rid of trusts. It doesn’t mean your NFA firearms become illegal or need permission from your local anti-gun sheriff. In fact it will eliminate, let me repeat that “ELIMINATE THE REQUIREMENT FOR A CERTIFICATION SIGNED BY THE CLEO”

    I know we’re supposed to hide under our beds in fear and open our hearts and wallets to Larry Pratt whenever the Big Scary Negro is mentioned. But this time those tedious, tiresome facts with their well-known Liberal bias are against the pants-wetting hysteria.

    • “It doesn’t get rid of trusts.”

      Right, which FTFA at the top of this page is why it literally says “there’s no way that NFA trusts are going away.”

      “It doesn’t mean your NFA firearms become illegal”
      Straw man

      “In fact it will eliminate, let me repeat that ELIMINATE THE REQUIREMENT FOR A CERTIFICATION SIGNED BY THE CLEO”

      Sounded better when I said it a few posts up in this thread.

      The rest of the post is too full of stupid to comment.

  20. What if they had a revolution, and nobody realized that it was happening?
    Our federal agencies have become little more than guilds. An energy guild,
    an education guild, even an environmental guild, and they’ve been issuing
    edicts and regulations that they are not constitutionally permitted to do.
    Change the “an” to “of” and “shall” for “may not.” If no one is paying attention,
    viva la revolucion! It’s all over before anyone knew it had started or ended.

    A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than 100 men with guns.

    A republic doesn’t fall by the sword, it’s slowly exsanguinated by paper cuts.

  21. I spoke with my county sheriff at a community fundraiser last night and asked him about how many NFA paperwork requests he gets. He said about 150-175 per week. I asked him how many he approves. He said in his career as sheriff he’s only denied one.

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