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Cullen Browder, WRAL Investigates reporter (courtesy

TTAG reader BM writes, based on WRAL teaser copy for upcoming report [text after the jump]:

In teaser ads and promos for an upcoming Monday “investigation,” WRAL news of Raleigh makes the false claim that NFA items can be obtained “Without ATF scrutiny.” Gun owners who believe in the truth know better. I certainly do, since I spent the past 12 months receiving plenty of “ATF scrutiny” and attention in obtaining my first suppressor. Since I am hearing impaired, it was literally “what the doctor ordered ” for me to enjoy my hobby safely. (WRAL can reach me at this email if they are interested in the truth.) Commenters on WRAL forums are assuming that the story is about how a gun trust allegedly “bypasses” scrutiny.

By Cullen Browder, WRAL Investigates reporter

Anytime WRAL reports on gun laws, competing views take their places on opposite sides of the story. This story will likely draw those opinions, but I think it will also garner some agreement on inconsistencies in our firearms statutes.

Monday at 6, WRAL Investigates ways to obtain highly regulated guns without the typical scrutiny firearms buyers face. We’re talking about short barrel rifles and suppressors, (often called silencers) that require extra federal paperwork and checks. Yet, there are legal avenues, growing in popularity, to bypass buyer regulations, even if the local sheriff objects.

In the course of researching weapons regulated under the National Firearms Act, we also found peculiar inconsistencies in the law. Firearms with the same firepower and ammunition capacity are treated differently. Guns that look and shoot the same differ in regulation based on a label and a few inches of barrel length.

WRAL seeks out gun owners, an attorney versed in firearms statutes and a local sheriff with reservations about laws that remove him from scrutinizing owners, Monday at 6.

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    • The WRAL teaser is definitely referring to a trust. And everything else they say is absolutely spot-on.

      WRAL is actually drawing attention to the absurdity of Federal firearms laws. This is the first time that I am aware of old-guard media talking about the truth. What is the saying, “Facts are stubborn things.” When old-guard media starts to talk about it, it reveals a serious chink in the armor of State Run media as well as the abominations that we know as the National Firearms Act (1934) and the Gun Control Act (1968).

      I like it. And so should everyone else who cherishes our right to keep and bear arms.

      • I may have to stand corrected. Then again, maybe not. I do note that they could just as well be talking about your run-of-the-mill “assault weapons ban” with that biz about identically-performing firearms being treated “differently”.

      • Would be nice if that were true. WRAL is notoriously anti-gun. They had reporters at the Raleigh NC Gun Show today trying to buy guns “off the books” to further their floundering, lie filled story.

        The real truth is that the Sheriff of Wake County, NC is behind this story as he is having a temper tantrum about a new law requiring sheriffs to sign the NFA paperwork.

        • The difference between the ’86 bill compared to the earlier ones, was the original intent of the ’86 was to actual curtail the abuses of ATF and various other government agencies at the time against lawful gun-owners. The post-’86 ban on automatic firearms to civilians was tacked on last minute, by a Democrat Senator from NJ I believe. At the time, it wasn’t given much thought or defense by the opposition politicians or even NRA, but it’s ironic that it has become the major impetus of the gun-control agenda, even though it wasn’t supposed to be.

    • A gun trust does not enable you to get NFA items “without ATF scrutiny”.

      If so, there are tens of thousands (more?) of people paying an unneeded $200 to the ATF.

  1. Hes going to report on using a Trust for NFA firearms. The key tip off is “even if the local Sheriff doesn’t agree”.

    • Yes. the lack of scrutiny to which they refer is by the local sheriff. But the fact of the matter is that there are any number of local sheriffs who will categorically refuse to sign off on an application, just because they are opposed to anyone owning such firearm, and that trust mechanism is the only way to legally obtain the right to possess. [Not that that matters to those of us in restrictive states, such as California, where ownership is for the most part banned by state law.]

  2. Since I am hearing impaired, it was literally “what the doctor ordered ” for me to enjoy my hobby safely.

    Do those without hearing impairment have less need for suppressors? Is hearing protection not sufficient protection, even doubled up plugs and muffs? Do the hearing impaired generally have more money to afford expensive mufflers whilst willingly funding a system they decry?

    • Don’t know exactly what you’re driving at …..but all I know is that a buddy of mine has tinnitus and he wants to reduce noise levels in every possible way.

  3. OMG OMG, gangs and criminals will be able to…….

    We gotta do something about this……….

    For the children™❗

  4. Given the comment about labels and barrel length I would bet there will be something about AR/AK style pistols vs. SBRs based on the same.

    Probably going to argue for closing trusts and doing away with the rifle-based pistol designs.

  5. Who gives a s*** if the sheriff objects? That’s a loophole that does need fixing. It’s not about his opinion, it’s about facts. No record, the only answer must be yes.

    • the sheriff doesnt agree too bad ,,his job is to enforce the law ,,not agree ,if he wants to disagree ,go get a job on the bench as a judge ,,he will still have to agree with legal finding

  6. Yup, sounds just like National Enquirer at the grocery store checkout counter……

    “Tune in at 11 for the latest on why Elvis is still alive and living in Boise, hear our reporter tell you why the latest photo of (fill in your favorite celeb) taken in the early morning before she’s put on her makeup PROVES that she’s on drugs and getting a divorce. And how the latest rumor shows that Prince Charles is really a space alien.” (OK, that last one could be real…..)

    “Let us show you how cutting your shotgun barrel just 1/2″ longer than 18″ means that the ATF doesn’t get to charge you $200 and the Sheriff (who doesn’t know you from Adam’s house cat, or know anything about you) doesn’t get to pontificate or approve whether you can do that or not……. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.”

    • The law was passed July 27, 2015. This is the basis for this story. The local sheriff is very anti-gun and is very upset at the law. Even with the law on the books he is refusing to sign the forms. He and the exec Director of the NC Sheriffs Association are lobbying to repeal the law in the next “short” session of the legislature.

      • Best bet, rather waiting for this “short session,” is to begin prosecution of the sheriff(s) under North Carolina General Statute Chapter 14, Article 31, §14-230: Willfully failing to discharge duties

        If any clerk of any court of record, SHERIFF, magistrate, school board member, county commissioner, county surveyor, coroner, treasurer, or official of any of the State institutions, or of any county, city or town, shall willfully omit, neglect or refuse to discharge any of the duties of his office, for default whereof it is not elsewhere provided that he shall be indicted, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If it shall be proved that such officer, after his qualification, willfully and corruptly omitted, neglected or refused to discharge any of the duties of his office, or willfully and corruptly violated his oath of office according to the true intent and meaning thereof, such officer shall be guilty of misbehavior in office, and shall be punished by removal therefrom under the sentence of the court as a part of the punishment for the offense.
        [EMPHASIS added]

        “Best Defense is a good Offense.”

        • That’s all good and well when we WANT them to do something they are SUPPOSED to do, will you quote that when they stand up for our rights and face down unconstitutional laws passed by the left? At some point in the future we will want them to refuse to confiscate formerly/currently legally owned weapons. We will expect them to face down federal goons over this. Let’s not give the law too much respect, it often has little to do with what is right.

  7. “a local sheriff with reservations about laws that remove him from scrutinizing owners” so we can shape the anti gun narrative and have a sheriff cry about doom and gloom due to not having control over other people’s rights!

  8. Am I the only one who read the headline and thought the article would tell me how to avoid paying the $200 and waiting for the paperwork? Got my hopes up for nothing.

  9. Is there some way to put an intelligence clause in the First Amendment? Trump planted the thought in my mind, this guy solidified it.

  10. Or they could run a story about the supply chain of illegal drugs that are available to every child going to elementary school in Raleigh. and how the drug supply has grown year over year since initially established in the 1960’s with no significant impact from local, state or federal law enforcement despite spending billions of dollars.

    Which topic most weakens America?

  11. Always seems to me to be the perfect illustration of anti gunners never being satisfied. The NFA process is the ultimate background check. You pay for it. It takes a long time. They dig through all your dirt before making a decision, and once the ATF decides, you also have to get your CLEO to agree. Once you pass all these hurdles, you can’t sell your toy or travel across state lines with it until you’ve asked for and been granted permission.

    All these stupid hoops, and they STILL aren’t happy. They still act like people who have NFA items are the most dangerous of all gun owners, despite being thoroughly vetted, typically members of higher income bracket (I. e. no trailer park yokels), and statistically the least likely to be involved in crime of any sort.

    All that, and you’re still dangerous to them, you haven’t jumped through enough hoops, and you need to be stopped.

    It’s almost like they’re convinced that the more hoops and regulations you put up with, the more deranged and dangerous you must be. The joke is true – they believe that mental illness should disbarred you from owning a gun, and a desire to own a gun indicates mental illness.

    • Transporting NFA Firearms

      In terms of moving the weapons around, the following applies. If you are transporting the weapons within your state, it is wise, but not required, that you keep a photocopy of the registration paperwork, whatever it is, with the gun. Some states do require this, state law bans all or some NFA weapons, and exempts from the ban only those possessed in compliance with federal law. In such a state you need the federal paperwork to be legal under state law. If you were a SOT you should keep a copy of your proof of being an SOT with the paperwork when you move the guns around. But an individual who surrenders his SOT can still have weapons that will be registered on a Form 2 or Form 3 legally, so not having a copy of the SOT with such paperwork proves nothing. You need not ask ATF for permission when you move to a new address within the same state, nor are you required to advise them of your new address.

      To move weapons between states two rules apply. An individual must get permission from ATF to move machine guns, short rifles, short shotguns or destructive devices between states (or to temporarily export them) before doing so. This includes taking them somewhere to shoot them, or when permanently changing residences. There is a form called a 5320.20, and ATF will always approve them, and fairly quickly, assuming the purpose (generally stated) for the movement is legitimate, and the destination state allows the weapon in question. A licensed dealer can move weapons (except DD’s) interstate at will, no permission is needed. But while most states that otherwise prohibit some or all NFA weapons have exceptions for SOT’s, or FFL’s, a few do not, and thus the dealer must make sure he will not be breaking any laws. An unlicensed individual need not ask permission to move AOW’s or suppressor’s interstate, again watch the laws at the target state. Having the approved 5320.20 form for a suppressor or AOW can avoid hassle while traveling. Lots of folks who think they know something about the NFA don’t know you only need permission for interstate movement of some NFA weapons. ATF will approve a 5320.20 for suppressors and AOW’s; they will approve a 5320.20 for an FFL also, even if he doesn’t need it by law. A C&R FFL holder can move C&R NFA guns interstate without a 5320.20. See 18 U.S.C. sec. 922(a)(4) for the statute imposing the 5320.20 requirement.

  12. >In teaser ads and promos for an upcoming Monday “investigation,” WRAL news of Raleigh makes the false claim that NFA items can be obtained “Without ATF scrutiny.”

    Well, if you buy a shotgun and a hacksaw…….

  13. “Investigates ways to obtain highly regulated guns without the typical scrutiny firearms buyers face… ”

    Oh, that’s simple. Repeal the National Firearms Act of ’34, the GCA of ’68, and the Hughes Amendment, then eliminate the unconstitutional regulation.

    Note: “simple” and “easy” are *not* synonyms.

  14. Ask the “reporter” what the difference is between a common AR-15 with a 16 1/4 inch barrel and one with a 15 3/4 inch barrel.

    • Ten years in Federal?… How about a 14″ upper with no dedicated pistol lower? Even if not attached, constructive intent, so ten years prison time… Pre-crimes are alive and well.

  15. WRAL has taken the “teaser” down. Probably due to ALL the comments taking them to task for their blatant lies. Now the on air “teasers” have changed their focus from no checks to “less scrutiny.”

    Wonder if they dug up any dirt at the Raleigh, NC gun show this weekend. They were there trying to buy guns without paperwork.

    These people will not rest until they control every aspect of the lives of the sheep that they hold in disgust.

    • Exactly. There are 100 Sheriffs and 100 ways of doing things. The Wake County Sheriff is notoriously anti-gun and has never signed the NFA paperwork for anyone. He has at least one direct report employee who has many NFA weapons, all on a trust. HE is a notorious media hound and is using the media to wage his personal war against NFA weapons.

      What is so funny is that he objects to people obtaining NFA weapons through a trust becasue he has no control and because he does not know who has them (as if it is any of his business) and all of this is because of his willful and now illegal refusal to execute the NFA paperwork.

  16. Well, the piece has aired. Cullen’s revelation is that a gun trust trustee can add co-trustees without additional background checks. Of course, adding a prohibited person to a gun trust would be a violation of Federal law, with the trustee responsible for the action, and the action well documented.

    A much larger issue is the huge loophole supported by our Sheriffs. This allows acquisition of a handgun five years after a background check has taken place. A person can become prohibited in those five years and still illegally acquire the handgun using the sheriff issued pistol purchase permit. A study requested by the Legislature in 2013 and delivered by the NC Sheriff’s association in 2014 found that 5,255 sheriff issued permits were then in the hands of prohibited persons. The sheriffs (who spend many times the $5 permit fee to process them) did everything they could to support this program, even though “shall issue” doesn’t allow their arbitrary discretion to refuse applicants.

    • So, Mark, was the WRAL headline accurate, then, when it said “Legal way to get NFA weapons without ATF scrutiny”? Can a trustee be added to a gun trust without that trustee undergoing a background check?

  17. Our local sheriff refused to sign any such paperwork. “Wasn’t up to him” to make the decision. I wouldn’t exactly say he was/is anti-gun, he just didn’t want to sign paperwork and have his written approval traced back to a crime. In other words, he wanted to be re-elected.

    Too bad, we voted him out of office.


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