Statement from the NFATCA on the ATF’s Proposed Changes


Here’s a Statement by John K. Brown III, President of NFATCA on the ATF’s proposed NFA chief law enforcement officer regulation changes:

The NFATCA® began its efforts to eliminate the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) signature requirement on several NFA forms almost nine years ago. At that time, ATF was reluctant to engage in a dialogue to address this issue and others that were considered to be important to the NFA and firearms communities. Although we had engaged in a productive and collaborative work environment before, ATF’s reluctance forced us to retain counsel to file a formal petition to attempt to achieve meaningful discourse. . .

Once the petition was formally delivered, ATF began working with us on advancing the CLEO signature removal issue. We went through several issues requiring clarification and patiently observed the effort moving back and forth from ATF to DOJ over a period of years. In early 2012, ATF clearly demonstrated their intention to remove the CLEO signature requirement in RIN 1140-AA43, though they still had not consulted with us regarding the trust/corporate items. We awaited the formal rule-making process to begin. On August 28, 2013, the RIN was changed without notice. In addition, a lengthy draft of a proposed Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) was released.

While the NFATCA® has acknowledged in our petition that there is concern regarding prohibited persons receiving firearms without background checks via trusts and corporations, the draft NPRM does not reflect any discussions or negotiations we have had with the Federal Government regarding same. We did not support or advocate for the efforts of the Executive Branch that were recently published as the proposed NPRM. The proposed NPRM is being used as a political expedient to address areas of negligible concern. The Executive Branch proposals unduly burden the law-abiding public, will restrain lawful commerce and bury an already overwhelmed agency with an administrative infrastructure that will not serve the public safety interest.

The NFATCA® supports the elimination of the CLEO signature requirement. The NFATCA® is willing to engage with DOJ/ATF and the Executive Branch to investigate reasonable, effective and manageable approaches to preventing prohibited persons from acquiring firearms. We cannot and will not support the NPRM in its current form. We will vigorously challenge this NPRM when and if it is published during the mandatory public comment period required by the Federal Rule Making Process. The NFATCA® urges all of its members and the entire firearms community to do the same.


  1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    “forced us to retain counsel”…oh I’m Soooo scared…NOT

    Interesting that there is not one reference to any public statements on the issue over these 9 years. Not one reference to working with any other groups. Not one reference to the Second Amendment. Not one reference to who appointed NFATCA as representatives of American civil rights.

    I be having the same feeling towards these guys as I do for the NSSF, Mr. Kollitides, and the other gun “industry” folks who want to run the show for American citizens.

    1. avatar Sammy says:

      Why are you here?

    2. avatar CA.Ben says:

      I prefer to say “thank you” to the men and women who are fighting for our rights. Especially because the are able to use the bureaucratic channels that most people, including myself, are ignorant of. Without people like the NFATCA, the federal govt. would run roughshod over our rights without any resistance.

      1. avatar Jake L. says:

        Well said, Ben.

    3. avatar Bruce says:

      And what did you do during this nine years, Tommy? If you did nothing, FLAME DELETED start working to make it better.

      1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

        Did more and spent more money than you did I suspect. I don’t have to defend anything. You guys should hang out with the Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly crowd. They are gun defenders also.

        1. avatar Ralph says:


          Lighten up, Francis.

        2. avatar S.Nolan says:

          Go. Away.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          I, for one, would like to say thanks to you for what you have done. So, thank you.

        4. avatar Accur81 says:


          There are a lot of people on this sight who fight for gun rights – it doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk to us. Same team Farva. Same team.

  2. avatar Sammy says:

    Well, if he can’t have his Syrian war, it appears he’ll settle for a war on our rights to distract from the non existent economy.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Settle for it? I think he was planning it from the start.

    2. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Sadly, he seems likely to get at least a side-order of both, based on today’s statements regarding Syria.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Can too multiask. Break the law, lie, cheat, and steal, allign the US with redical mohmadan terrorist all in the same week.

  3. avatar KMc says:

    Screwed. Again.

  4. avatar pk in AZ says:

    Quote: “The NFATCA® is willing to engage with DOJ/ATF and the Executive Branch……”


    Just spit up all over my keyboard!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Well 1st STOP “engaging” the SOBs. This isn’t dating/courtship..

      Anyone that trusts the DOJ or ATF (and not just since rise of Obuma) is a fool and should expect to be violated.

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        To be fair to them, MOST of us don’t own items covered by the NFA…. though frankly I’d like to see suppressors gain a wider market and less restrictions…. and if a bunch of guys who had the wheelbarrows full of cash to drop on machine guns and SBRs and SBSs and suppressors came and asked you all for your support… they might get it…. but financially they’re on their own. And from where they sit, there are only two ways to go. Break the law and violate the regulations, or get them changed. Quite wisely, they’re working to get them changed, and doing so through one of the few channels open to them. Frankly I think they’re going about this a little bit inefficiently… they ought to be seeing what they can do to get more people with dogs in this fight… because if you get enough, then you can SKIP the ATF and go directly to CONGRESS.

  5. avatar DisThunder says:

    I have no doubt they were also blindsided by this. But that doesn’t change that they did precisely dick to stop it from coming.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      NADA. ZILCH. ZIP. With “friends” like these, we’re just as well off with enemies.

  6. avatar LC Judas says:

    If the bureaucracy can agree this is horse crap then the security theater of gun control is winding down. Obviously royal edicts disguised as executive orders aren’t all passing muster.

    Banning red tape wrapped machine guns that cost what new cars cost de facto style is obviously both redundant and stupid. I have only just now seen a phrase like “undue burden on the law abiding public” in forums like this. Seeing it as a statement detracting the EO that was supposed to be seen as commonsense because it is obviously meant to put rights under fire is the most encouraging official statement I’ve seen.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      I agree, and it’s an unmistakable signal that BATFE thinks things are headed in the wrong direction.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Do tell You are aware the the progressives (dems) have OWNED the Dept of “Justice” and ATF management for decades? There is NOTHING coming out of either that is not stamped and approved by Obuma.

  7. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    How can NFATCA be so surprised that Obama and his statist sock-puppets weren’t acting in good faith? Whatever the decision is on CLEO sign-offs, it most surely has already been made, and it’s just waiting for the public lip service period to discuss what has already been decided, to expire. Implementation! This cadre of liberal lawyers have had this plan in the works all along, long before anyone caught up.

    And whose constitutional rights is NFATCA defending, our right to keep and bear arms,
    or collectors’ right to keep and bear very expensive arms? For most of us, prohibitively expensive. I just get the feeling that NFATCA is more concerned with the well-monied interests of the vintage gun collecting business, than with our right to keep and bear usable, functional, run of the mill firearms. Tin Foil Hat warning!
    But what if a deal has already been struck, and NFATCA is in on it? Like for instance, only bonafide, certified, gun collectors will get an official CLEO sign-off, and the rest of us are getting constitutionally date-raped by NFATCA, who were to put up a plausible fight on behalf of the many, while secret deals were to protect the few. But suddenly….SUPRISE! Obama is now hinting he may renege on that deal. So who do they now come running to for support? Why, the common hobbits of Firearm Forest. Tell me, would the NFATCA support an effort to repeal the 1934 NFA, or perhaps, the 1986 FOPA? Would they!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Excellent post. I think you’re right on the “money”, too.

    2. avatar RD says:

      “And whose constitutional rights is NFATCA defending, our right to keep and bear arms, or collectors’ right to keep and bear very expensive arms? For most of us, prohibitively expensive. ”

      “Tell me, would the NFATCA support an effort to repeal the 1934 NFA, or perhaps, the 1986 FOPA?”

      I think you just hit the nail on the head. I look at the NFATCA and see the names of the same good ol’ boys who’ve been running in (or just flat out running) the NFA world for decades. These same guys who either built their collections when a machine gun was a couple hundred bucks or just flat out lucked into their collections that are now worth hundreds of thousands (if not more) because of being in the right place at the right time (68 Amnesty and the run up to FOPA becoming law in 1986). You really think the Dan Sheas of the NFA world give a rip that us lowly peons would like to own a MG and would gladly jump through the NFA hoops to own one legally but can’t because we’d have to take out a second mortgage on the house? Some NFATCA members have the resources (read: cash) that they could probably have at least the Hughes Amendment and maybe more turned over tomorrow . . . if they wanted. It feels like they’d rather sit around and reminisce about the “good ol’ days” and look at their 6-figure collection.

  8. avatar Jeff_M says:

    Concerning LE signoff and background checks for any party to a NFA trust. Is this a real problem? Over the past 5 or 10 years, exactly how many people have been killed where an NFA item was used? How many, if any, were acquired as the result of an NFA trust?

    People! Lets start thinking about things that need serious attention and eliminate the BS that law abiding people have to deal with.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      ” Over the past 5 or 10 years, exactly how many people have been killed where an NFA item was used?”

      Why do I get the feeling you’re looking for a “round” figure here? I’m pretty sure the “round” figure is “0”.

      1. avatar Robert M says:

        Actual it was 1 and it was a sheriff who committed the murder.


        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Thanks, Robert. At first I read it as, “… and I was the sheriff that committed the murder.” !

  9. avatar Kevin says:

    Well, the NFATCA is reputed to be run by ATF confidential informers, so take their protestations of a backstab by the ATF with a few pounds of salt. You’ll notice that they don’t provide their original proposal either.

    1. avatar JT says:

      I looked up the RIN# they provided.

      Fall 2011 version –
      2012 version –

      It clearly states that the removal of the CLEO certification would be a part of it in both of these versions. The idea was to change it to forward a copy to the CLEO like is done when you apply for a C&R license instead of requiring a signature.

      Spring 2013 version that was changed on the 28th of August –

      In the abstract you can see (3) was changed and (4) was eliminated

      I have no doubt that the powers that be (Obama/Holder/Jones) came across the existing proposal and said “Hey, if we make this one little change, we can really stick it to those gun owners.” and the changes were literally made overnight, with no warning.

      I am not going to demonize the NFATCA and say they threw us under the bus like some are doing. It is pretty clear that the proposal was supposed to remove the CLEO signature and it was changed to do the opposite to spite us.

  10. avatar CharlieKilo says:

    The NFATCA is not our friend. There are loads of evidence that prove this to be true. I’ll link one here.

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