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Old August 30, 2013, 05:43 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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ATF Extending CLEO Sign Off to Trusts and Corporations

https://www.atf.gov/sites/default/fi...r-firearms.pdf

See first para, page 14 of the above PDF. If you haven't yet commented on the potential rule, you might want to do so immediately (NOTE: your name, address and comment will be public record and will be published in internet searchable format if you use the eportal for comments)

Reference Docket Number ATF41P and follow instructions at www.regulations.gov or see page 49 of the attached PDF for how to send a hardcopy (confidential comment)

You might want to ask ATF what they plan to do for all the existing trusts and corporations located in juridictions that refuse to do the CLEO signoff? Are they going to give them a free pass? Demand fingerprints and photos from existing groups?

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Old August 30, 2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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From what I understand, the new rules wouldn't require a CLEO sign-off for trusts and corporation, instead all that info would just be sent to your CLEO.

I don't like it, but for me it's an important distinction; it still doesn't require a CLEO sign-off with a trust or corporation, so if your CLEO won't sign off (like ours won't) and you use a trust you can still get your NFA item.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Theohazard, you are incorrect. Please see the first paragraph of page 14 of the linked PDF. ATF is not eliminating the CLEO requirement, to the contrary, they are requiring it for trusts and corporations as well. The only thing that has changed is the language in the CLEO certificate.

If your CLEO won't sign off now, then you are hosed if this regulation goes into effect because it will make that certificate mandatory for all Form 1, Form 4 and Form 5.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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Great. Just great. Maybe more will be willing to sign when they take away the part stating the CLEO has no reason to think you are using it illegally.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Bartholomew, I don't think I've ever been less happy to be wrong...

That's messed up. The only reason I used a trust for my suppressors was because all the CLEOs refuse to sign off in our area. I'd be friggin' HAPPY to submit my photo and fingerprints to my CLEO for the sign off, but they refuse. So that's why I use the trust; not as a way to avoid scrutiny but as a way to avoid activist CLEOs keeping me from legally purchasing suppressors
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:19 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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You are going to be really unhappy when you hit page 27 then. That is where ATF is also proposing a new rule requiring a submission of CLEO certificate, fingerprints, and photo every time the "responsible person" changes in an existing trust. A logical extension of that rule would be to require existing trusts to submit the new proposed Form 5320.23 naming their responsible people, though ATF doesn't go that far in this document.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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There is no good news here. The CLEO certificate is extended to all transfers, including those to trusts and corporations, and nothing was done to help prospective buyers when a bloody-minded CLEO simply refused to sign and told the applicant to go to blazes, a very common situation.

But what did anyone expect from this administration? The President has repeatedly expressed his hostility to guns and gun owners, and his determination to use every possible means of reducing or ultimately eliminating gun ownership for private citizens or private entities.

Jim
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Old August 31, 2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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Would there be any grounds for filing a lawsuit against departments that wont sign?
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Old August 31, 2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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You could argue they are limiting your 2nd amendment rights, as they are now required, to purchase these...
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Old August 31, 2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Thats what I was thinking, but Im no lawyer.
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Old September 1, 2013, 12:50 AM   #11
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Re: ATF Extending CLEO Sign Off to Trusts and Corporations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge_Runner_5 View Post
You could argue they are limiting your 2nd amendment rights, as they are now required, to purchase these...
With enough time and money, you'll probably win. However, I'm guessing that's the very reason no one's challenged current obstinate CLEOs-"enough" is probably "a lot" at minimum. Thankfully, my CLEO is good and I got my form signed within 48 hours.
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Old September 1, 2013, 12:58 AM   #12
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Re: ATF Extending CLEO Sign Off to Trusts and Corporations

How long till this takes effect? If we already have a form 1 in under a trust the atf has cashed the check for will this effect the current application?
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:35 AM   #13
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"With enough time and money, you'll probably win. However, I'm guessing that's the very reason no one's challenged current obstinate CLEOs-"enough" is probably "a lot" at minimum. Thankfully, my CLEO is good and I got my form signed within 48 hours."

True, but there really isn't another way anymore. I would hope someone could get some help from the NRA money and legal wise.
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balyon85
How long till this takes effect? If we already have a form 1 in under a trust the atf has cashed the check for will this effect the current application?
I think the answer is, "Nobody knows." From what I understand, this is just an Executive Action, which is not an Executive Order. As far as I know, this Executive Action is a list of proposed rule changes that the administration has sent to the BATFE. So now the BATFE will review these changes and figure out how to implement them.
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Old September 1, 2013, 12:15 PM   #15
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The legal challenge is a gray area. Going from an imperfect memory, there have been past suits on the CLEO sign off requirement. The courts in those cases reasoned (among other reasons for denial) that the existence of the trust and corporation route meant there was no actual harm to the plaintiff. The plaintiff did not appeal.

As far as how it effects pending applications or applications submitted before the rule is formalized - nobody knows. One of the purposes in ATF floating the draft requirement is to get feedback on things they did not think about or don't know (for example they specifically ask gor feedback from CLEOs regarding their likelihood to sign off if the language changes). ATF will likely make changes to the rule after receiving comments - especially from the industry they are about to cripple.

My concern is that the Administration fully intended to cripple the industry and comments pointing that out will just reinforce their decision. It might be better to point out the impossible administrative burdens this is going to create for them (What will ATF do for thousands of existing trusts when a CLEO refuses to sign off on the proposed Form 5320.23? Wholesale confiscation?)
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Old September 1, 2013, 01:26 PM   #16
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This administration has me very worried

This is just incredibly frustrating and disappointing. You follow all the rules and jump through all the hoops and then they move the goal post. When will it stop? Very dark about all this.

EDIT:

I'd like to participate in the formal record and to voice my concerns about what is in my opinion moving the goal posts. Does anyone have some insight on particular language to include or things I should cite to support this being a negative idea. Left to my own devices I may end up looking like a screaming nut so thought I'd look for some advice. THANKS
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Old September 1, 2013, 08:09 PM   #17
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This is without a doubt one of the worst things to happen with NFA items as long as I can remember.

Where to begin is the problem. There are so many unanswered questions, and so many comments I'll keep to myself and not post publicly about this - it is sad.

And to get back on track. Doesn't everyone who uses a Trust to make NFA purchases with also complete a BATFE Form 4473 at time of purchase ?
(I know I did for all my NFA Form 4's).

So if a 4473 is required regardless, how will any of this stop a prohibited person from purchasing NFA weapons ?! The 4473 alone should be preventing this and is the check in place to balance the Trust route.

All this however makes perfect sense for this administration. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of legal gun owners and dare I say, make legal firearms ownership a thing of the past.

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Old September 1, 2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Doesn't everyone who uses a Trust to make NFA purchases with also complete a BATFE Form 4473 at time of purchase ?
They do, and there's the background check, at least on the person picking it up.

The proposal on the table is to require that for all parties who might have possession of the item.
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:11 PM   #19
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ATF Extending CLEO Sign Off to Trusts and Corporations

In my experience it was only the last transfer I did that I had to complete a 4473. In the past, admittedly that was only once I walked in picked up my stamp and my suppressor and said thanks. The last time is when I was told I had to complete the 4473 and they said this was new for them as well. This isn't a small shop either they are the biggest class 3 dealer in the state so they know their stuff.

Either way this is all bad.
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:18 PM   #20
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Would it help to get the CLEO's that are pro-second amendment to comment that this is going to cause them lots of needless and necessary paperwork and the requirement is not necessary?

Need to have our pro gun state representatives and senators chime in on this one.
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Old September 3, 2013, 09:30 AM   #21
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I thought transfers that already took place to existing trusts were grandfathered - I don't know this for a fact, the status of this seems to be in flux.

When people first started using Trusts to do NFA transfers to get around the CLEO sign-off, I told people to be very concerned about this. BATFE can change the rules to screw you. They could go much further than what they seem to be doing. They could come out and say "no CLEO sign-off, then you can't use your NFA item, only keep it as an investment". In another time, when we citizens still had some degree of freedom, no one thought this could ever happen. Well, it's happening, and it sucks!!!
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Old September 4, 2013, 03:42 AM   #22
Bartholomew Roberts
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Tom Odom at the Prince Law Blog has prepared an analysis of procedural problems with the proposed rule change: http://blog.princelaw.com/2013/08/30...raft-proposal/

This proposed rule change has not been published in the Federal Register yet so it appears the comment period has not yet started.

Additionally, the Prince Law Blog has prepared sample letters to send to ATF for FFLs (http://princelaw.files.wordpress.com...-1-letter.docx) and for individuals who were denied a CLEO sign off (http://princelaw.files.wordpress.com...eo-letter.docx)

Please do not just cut and paste these letters; but instead use them as a rough template to form your own personalized letters including specific relevant details. Remember ALl information will be public record so you may need to exercise INFOSEC during submission.

And to answer the earlier question YES! It is absolutely vital that pro-2A CLEOs offer their comments to the ATF. They would absolutely want to weigh in on any increased paperwork or administrative burden this causes.
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Old September 5, 2013, 03:15 PM   #23
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When could/does this nonsense take place? Is there time to register another Lower as an SBR?
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
My concern is that the Administration fully intended to cripple the industry and comments pointing that out will just reinforce their decision.
I share your concern.

Quote:
Would it help to get the CLEO's that are pro-second amendment to comment that this is going to cause them lots of needless and necessary paperwork and the requirement is not necessary?
Probably. I think the most obvious point to attack in the proposed rule is that there is no genuine need for the photos and fingerprints to be certified by a CLEO. Why isn't the LE's signature on the fingerprint card who took the prints sufficient for that? Why not just include a copy of .gov issued photo ID to show that it matches the 2x2s submitted? Of have a form that any LEO or notary can certify that the photos are of the named person? Any of these or other alternatives would satisfy any legitimate concerns. How about requiring a signed 4473 and NICS check at the time of transfer for all persons authorized by the trust/corp./LLC to have access to the firearm? (I don't like this last suggestion, but it would satisfy any legitimate concerns.)

The answer is that the "concerns" are not very legitimate and the proposed process is intended to deter, not to fix some perceived "loophole."

Even the whole idea of CLEO notice seems archaic and without any genuine, legitimate purpose. But I could accept CLEO notice in place of CLEO sign-off. That's what I understand the NFATCA had negotiated with ATF -- before they/we got sandbagged.


Quote:
When could/does this nonsense take place? Is there time to register another Lower as an SBR?
Probably. I would definitely register with ATF eForms and submit it electronically, just in case it could speed up the process a bit.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:14 PM   #25
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Reference Docket Number ATF41P and follow instructions at www.regulations.gov
That did not work for me. I did see page 49 of the PDF.

Are there any other avenues for us to send our message against this proposed rule change? Will writing my congressman do a bit of good for a change in ATF procedure?
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