A recently announced rule is the brainchild of ATF this August… actually it was quietly put forth last March or so. Designed to close the “gun trust loophole” (actually ALL entities including corporations, partnerships, etc.), the rule purports to make America safer by requiring trustees and corporate officers to go through background checks in the purchase of NFA firearms. Whew – long sentence.
Purchasing an NFA firearm, such as a silencer or short barreled rifle or shotgun in states where legal, requires an individual purchaser to first submit a request to the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) before submitting to ATF. A CLEO (usually Sheriff) can say NO, and there is no recourse. An entity does not currently have to submit through a CLEO, and this is the supposed “loophole”.
What the Obama administration wants is to curb gun sales. Since it cannot do this through legislative action, it is now doing so through rulemaking. Think about it… now a Sheriff will have total discretion to deny a law abiding citizen to purchase a legal NFA firearm for political or personal (discretionary) reasons.
The proposed rule is still unclear and appears to be inconsistent. In one place, CLEO notice and not sign off appears to be required. Elsewhere, it appears that it may be required. So during this comment period, it is important for gun owners to read the rule and to comment to ATF. About 200 GunDocx Lawyers are doing so as we speak.
If you read the recent CDC report, actually sparked by President Obama, it actually casts serious doubt about these kinds of regulations doing ANYTHING to curb gun violence. Common sense solution? Absolutely not – this rule will do nothing at all to save lives.