Josh Prince has the story. This starts the clock ticking, causing the regulation to take effect on July 13, 2016. He has created a website called Fight ATF 41P. At this point, it appears that Prince’s initial analysis is still valid, and we didn’t have any surprises sprung on us between the rule published by ATF and in the Federal Register. There was a lot of discussion on this topic when it originally came up the other week, and many were disappointed that Form 1s and Form 4s could no longer be e-filed for trusts and corporations.
The reason we ended up with 41P in the first place is because so many people were using trusts to get around the CLEO signoff requirement that ATF was overwhelmed with processing trusts, since trusts had to be vetted to ensure there were no problems with it, and there often were. ATF had been saying in NRA’s Firearms Law seminar for a while that they were looking carefully at the CLEO requirement, including possibly eliminating it, to cut down on the number of trusts. Unfortunately for ATF, there’s also constructive possession issues with NFA items that is likely to cause trusts to remain popular. For these reasons, it can’t really be argued that use of trusts for NFA items is a form of “malicious compliance,” but it certainly has the same features. One of the key objections to 41P is that it’s not abundantly clear who responsible persons are. It’s probably wise advice to take the broad view there. I don’t see any reason not to replace one headache at ATF with another.