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.