New ATF Rule Starts July 13th – 6 Things You Should Know About 41F

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On January 15, 2016, a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Rule affecting the transfer of items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) was published in the Federal Register. The rule, known as 41F, significantly alters the way that individual members of “gun trusts” or “NFA trusts” operate with regard to possessing NFA items, like a suppressor. Don’t worry, suppressors are still legal to buy in almost every State. Here are the six most important things you need to know about 41F . . .

  1. It takes effect July 13, 2016

Though 41F was signed on January 4, 2016, it does not come into effect until July 13, 2016—180 days after being published in the Federal Register. Keep this in mind as you read through the rest of these points and consider creating a trust and submitting transfer forms sooner rather than later.

  1. It is NOT retroactive

Any Form 1 (manufacture) or Form 4 (transfer) applications submitted to the ATF postmarked July 13, 2016 or earlier will be evaluated according to the current rules for making and transferring NFA items—even if your forms aren’t approved until after July 13, 2016. It’s a good idea to start the process now if you are considering acquiring an NFA item.

  1. It clarifies the definition of “responsible person” as it applies to trusts

According to the rule, a responsible person is any member of a trust “who [has] the power and authority to direct the management and policies of the trust or legal entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust or entity.” This definition effectively includes any individual who might be involved in the acquisition or construction of an NFA item.

Notably, however, the NFA Freedom Alliance speculates that this wording might open the door for a “non-manager” type of trust member who would not be fully subject to the new application requirements detailed below.

  1. It explains what responsible persons must include and do when submitting Form 1 or 4 applications

Rule 41F mandates that any responsible person submitting a Form 1 or 4 application on behalf of a trust must include a 2×2-inch photograph of themselves taken within the year prior to the date of the application, two fingerprint cards, a completed NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF Form 5320.23), and a copy of their trust. All of these items must be included along with the $200 “tax stamp” check or money order made to the  ATF. This effectively requires that trust applicants submit the same information with their forms that individual applicants are currently required to.

In addition, after the effective date of the rule, ALL responsible persons of a trust must submit photos, fingerprints, and Form 5320.23s for any given application. Further, an applicant must send a completed copy of their form to their local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) and all responsible persons must also submit Form 5320.23s to their CLEOs.

  1. It removes the CLEO sign-off requirement

One of the good things to come out of 41F is the removal of the CLEO sign-off requirement for individual applicants, eliminating the ability of anti-NFA officials to arbitrarily bar Americans from owning items like suppressors and machine guns. Now individual applicants simply need to submit a notification to their local CLEO by way of sending them a copy of all pertinent documents.

While trust applicants were not required to obtain CLEO sign-off before, 41F mandates that they must notify their local CLEO of any manufacture or transfer of an NFA item.

  1. Trusts still have value up to and after July 13, 2016

In the lead-up to July 13, 2016, gun trusts will still be just as advantageous to use as they are now. They still allow trust applicants to circumvent CLEO sign-off.

Following the full implementation of 41F, trusts will still be eminently useful as means for inexpensively transferring NFA items to one’s descendants in the event of trust-holder’s death. In addition, trusts are still the most legally-sound method of responsibly sharing NFA items with others.


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  1. avatar Dave says:

    We need to abolish the NFA and eliminate this bullshit once and for all. A good start would be SBR’s and suppressors.

    Putting a shoulder stock on a pistol makes it LESS concealable, yet you can go to prison if you don’t register it with the NFA.

    1. avatar Jay says:

      Regulation of SBR and SBS under the NFA only ever made sense in the context of the original language of the bill that also regulated handguns. Of course, the fact that the law makes no sense doesn’t stop the govt from enforcing it. FDR continues to infringe the Constitution from beyond the grave.

    2. avatar AJ187 says:

      Legit, but maybe getting people to boycott the NFATCA.responsible for 41f and now 29p would be a good start.

      1. avatar BDub says:

        This! I’m not participating in this. Killing the NFA has become my “single issue” to vote on.

  2. avatar Robert Duchien says:

    People with NFA licenses/stamps/trusts/etc will probably be the first ones to be rounded up when Hillary’s Australian Style Gun Control is the law of the land. .

    1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Please, just stop. Your constant doom and gloom “might as well turn ’em all in now” mentality makes me sick. At best, you’re a defeatist. At worst, you’d probably be a DDR-style snitch in an America without legal gun ownership. Either way, you’re not helping.

      1. avatar pilotmkn says:

        And you need to brush up on your history of gun confiscation. Every person with an NFA item has a giant bullseye painted on their backs.

        1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

          I’m well aware of that, just as any member of an American militia group in the 90’s had the same mark on his back, but all this Duchien character says is the same tired “may as well give up” tripe. That’s not far from Quisling territory, and it’s getting old

      2. avatar Aerindel says:

        Who’s giving up? Acknowledging they are coming after you doesn’t mean you have to let them catch you.

      3. avatar joe3 says:

        I didn’t see anything in his comment about giving up.

    2. avatar David P. says:

      A couple of things for Robert Duchien to consider on this would be
      1. Hillary would need to win, trump went from -12% to dead even in contested states before Cruz dropped out of the race. Not saying that Trump will be a progun God but still better than Hilldog.
      2. Hilldog could just as easily get gun people’s information by looking at concealed carry licenses. If newspapers have been able to get this information with just a request the president of the US shouldn’t have a problem.
      3. Hilldog wants guns gone but she knows she can’t do it all at once. It will be a step by step process. You seem to think she will start with people who have SBRs but I disagree totally. Is she going to go after the $499 AR that any tom, dick, or Harry could buy of the street and not go through any background check or is she going to go after the group that passed the most stringent background check, paid an extra tax, cannot sell their gear to just anyone, and has the guns used in the least amount of crime? She would go after the regular ARs. And her way out of saying it doesn’t violate the 2nd is to point to the NFA holders has being allowed to keep theirs. If there is an outright ban on ARs will this include SBRs? It didn’t during the last assault weapon ban!

      1. avatar joe3 says:

        Listened to a 3-4 week old GunTalk podcast the other night. A lady lawyer (forgot the name) involved in NY State 2nd Amendment issues says that after Cuomo rammed through his midnight “SAFE” Act against ARs and AKs in NY State, less than 4% complied.

  3. avatar int19h says:

    For those in WA who want to manufacture an SBR (Form 1), a reminder that the bill (SB6165) that clarified the law allowing manufacture of SBRs will only go into effect on June 9th. If you submit an application to ATF before that date, they will reject it.

  4. So instead of jumping through pink hoops, now we get to jump through yellow hoops.
    Let freedom ring.

  5. avatar AnarchoCatholic says:

    Let me get this straight; I own two class III items but am still confused on this ruling. Individuals filing paperwork WITHOUT a trust no longer require CLEO sign-off? And, individuals WITHIN a trust need to do all the same paperwork the trust owner does?
    Other than legal firewalls how is having a trust beneficial now?

    1. avatar Aerindel says:

      I agree, if don’t understand this at all.

    2. avatar Jim Jones says:

      Constructive possession. If you leave the house, and other family members know the code to the safe, they are technically considered to be in constructive possession of your NFA item. Has the ATF ever pursued a constructive possession charge? Not that I am aware of. But if some of your home defense weapon have silencers on them, and someone had to use it without your presence, they could get charged for illegal possession of an NFA item. The likelihood is very low, but would you trust the liberty of your loved ones to the whims of the ATF? Not me. It’s the only real reason I use a trust.

      1. avatar Jack says:

        Show one example of a case brought to trial for “constructive possession”.

        I’ll wait.

        1. avatar NineShooter says:

          That’s kind of a “trick question”/request, isn’t it? No one is ever CHARGED with “constructive possession”; they are charged with possession, and that possession can be either actual or constructive, depending on the circumstances (and whatever the cops/ATF/prosecutor think they can prove).

          Here are three different case summaries (some are appeals; the facts are still the same, so close enough, in my book) where constructive possession played a part in a conviction:

          Good enough, or no?

    3. avatar David P. says:

      @anarchocatholic if it is just using the weapon or suppressor than a trust would be of little benefit to you. I have a wife that shoots, a couple of kids that are coming of age, a dad who is a machinist and a brother in law that is a hunting freak. For me a trust makes sense. I can have my wife throw a suppressor in the car and bring it with her that way I don’t have to make a special trip home. When the kids are of age, I don’t have to worry about the legal trouble if I leave the gear in the car that they borrow. I can have my dad build some baffles after the stamp clears without me being there. I can let my brother in law borrow a suppressor for a hunt.

      I have always thought about getting a group of friends that I trust together and form a trust or corporation. Each person put in a $1000 a year and all guns/gear go under a trust/Corp that could be exchanged back and forth. It wouldn’t take much to start affording MGs

      1. avatar AnarchoCatholic says:

        That makes sense to me. Thanks for the input.

        Just still confused at the CLEO sign off for new purchases.

        1. avatar Nick says:

          On 7-13 it’s gone for good. With a purchase you just send them a copy of the paperwork you sent to ATF. Simplified enough?

  6. avatar syms says:

    I know alot of people are unhappy about this new rule, but I’m excited for it. Since in Illinois I can’t use a trust to acquire a SBR tax stamp and my CLEO won’t sign off on them, so I’ll finally be able to SBR my pistol . Still though, just repeal the NFA already, it makes no sense

  7. avatar Preston B. says:

    In short: It’s a slightly different brand of shit.


  8. avatar doesky2 says:

    I spent a lot of money buying stamps in the past 5 months. Ain’t no way I’m giving them my fingerprints.

  9. avatar mike says:

    Must be nice to be a criminal. Don’t have to worry about dates or jump through all these hoops….

  10. avatar AnarchoCatholic says:

    Don’t care for Trump but there is an argument that he would pull suppressors and SBRs, maybe some AOWs off the registry or at least no longer require registration. Sigh, why are we free Americans fussing over inches on the end of a barrel due to a law written when (if you’re my age) your grandparents were infants?

  11. avatar Mr. Nibbler says:

    Yet Gabby Giffords still is of sound mind to own a gun.

    How does the IRS fulfill her tax returns when they are written in crayon?

    1. avatar Openminded says:


  12. avatar Tai TungHo says:

    Good to know. You touched on a topical issue. I would appreciate if you’d written about how to fill a form online. You will be surprised how easy it can be to fill forms. Try fillingl ATF 4 (5320.4) through the online sowtware

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