CLEO Sign Off Going Away for NFA Paperwork?

Extrano’s alley speculates it could happen, and we should force the point. It wouldn’t honestly surprise me if we could be successful here. To say that the massive increase in NFA transactions, many of which are in the forms of trusts, has been a problem for ATF is an understatement. Trusts are particularly problematic because they are harder to clear than individuals. Many people are driven toward the use of trusts because of being unable to obtain LEO sign off. In this day in age, it really is a useless requirement, and should be dropped. I no more know my local police chief than I know the examiner who would process the NFA paperwork.

Granted, there are still a lot of good reasons to use trusts over individual. If Bitter and become NFA collectors, we’ll likely go the trust route, just because if both of us are on the trust, we can both be in legal possession of the same object. This is not true if you do it individually. If you lent your wife your can to take to the shooting range, unless you were with her, that would be an illegal transfer. A trust eliminates that.

The better solution to deal with the backlog would be to remove silencers from the NFA and deregulate them. They are representing most of the growth in NFA interest. Eliminating the requirement for SBRs would help as well.

13 thoughts on “CLEO Sign Off Going Away for NFA Paperwork?”

  1. While I’d prefer complete deregulation, I think regulating silencers as title I firearms would be a much more realistic first step.

  2. Having SBR’s on the NFA is silly. It is perfectly legal to conceal an AR pistol under a jacket, so what’s the harm in putting a stock on it?

    1. Yeah but a naked buffer tube can be used as a stock anyway, not to mention that you could slide a stock onto it in two seconds with no tools. As far as I know, an unmodified m4 buffer tube is legal to use as a receiver extension on an AR pistol.

  3. I agree that silencers and SBRs need to be removed from the NFA. If I went the trust route, it would be for the same reasons as you – so that multiple people could be in possession of the item.

  4. There’s an old(?) saying: If guns were invented today, OSHA would require suppressors.

    How much further advanced would suppressor technology be if we didn’t have to beg for permission to make/buy them? How many fewer people would have hearing loss?

  5. Also, it’d be nice to fix a bunch of state laws that prohibit using silencers when hunting.

  6. Is there any serious effort to do this?

    It strikes me as a bit of a reach. Who is pushing it? There’s still much lower fruit to reach for. I’d be shocked if the Republican’s went this far, this soon.

    I’m reminded of when I originally walked the VCDL National Park’s petition over to the White House early in the Bush Administration. I knew the folks well, but they still looked at me like I was from mars or something and gave me that “knowing” smile and said it was a 2nd term issue.

    It ended up being an Obama Admin issue. Not cause Bush was anti gun, but because it was looked at as a serious political stretch (and at that point VCDL had zero jam with the Administration).

    Same thing here. This is an aspirational long term goal, but not one I see our political allies sticking their neck out on AT THIS POINT.

    1. Yes there is a serious effort to do this. To call it “speculation” diminishes what’s been accomplished, namely, getting ATF to back it and DOJ to sign off (no pun intended) on the proposed regulatory change. Unless someone queers the pitch, this is done – it takes about a year to get all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

      The prime mover behind this (other than ATF realizing they had a problem) was NFATCA.

  7. The guys at the NFATCA were adamant at the NRA Meeting that this is almost a done deal but I think ATF is dealing with a Pandora’s Box issue. We will continue to encourage newbies to Title II ownership to establish a Trust…and suggest that other transfer their items to trusts. Issues with fingerprint cards being done improperly by LE agencies lead to more problems than CLEO refusals and they are eliminated by a trust. A trust also allows others named in the trust to legally possess and use any Title II item in the trust rather than the item needing to be “in the possession/control of the owner” at all times and is also a MUCH better solution for estate purposes (avoiding multiple Form 5 transfers and the waiting periods associated.)

    An NFA Trust is simply a better way to OWN Title II items, it just doesn’t facilitate acquisition.

    1. Part of the tradeoff is that the natural persons using a legal entity for NFA ownership will be subject to a background check. Most likely that will be through fingerprints.

      One must remember why ATF was supportive of the change, and that is because prohibited persons were acquiring NFA via trusts. Getting a background check in plugs that hole, as much as is practical.

      1. Part of the tradeoff is that the natural persons using a legal entity for NFA ownership will be subject to a background check. Most likely that will be through fingerprints.

        That’s unfortunate. The reason I didn’t go the individual route is that I don’t believe I should be fingerprinted to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

        But it also brings up some interesting questions – for instance, what happens when someone becomes a new member of an NFA corp or LLC? Will they need to be fingerprinted as well? How would that work, and how would it be enforced? What if a corp owning title II items is sold – will the new owners be fingerprinted? Seems dodgy.

        If people are too dangerous to be trusted with guns, then maybe they’re too dangerous to be roaming the streets. Just saying’.

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