On May 25, 2016 ATF released an Open Letter to Chief Law Enforcement Officers regarding ATF 41F. The letter can be found here.
The letter briefly describes some of the changes that will occur after the rule is implemented.
Of note is the notification requirements for the CLEO. In short, all legal entities will be required to forward a copy of all Applications to Make (Form 1s) or Applications to Transfer (Form 4s) and the Responsible Person Questionnaire to the CLEO of the localities where the Responsible Person is located.
The letter does note that no action on the part of the CLEO is required, does not specify in what manner a CLEO should store the documentation, if they choose to do so, and asks that if the CLEO has any information that may disqualify any maker or transferee, including a responsible person of a legal entity, from making or possessing a firearm to provide that information to the NFA Branch.
Of concern is that the letter does not specify the copies of the Form 1s and Form 4s that the CLEOs are receiving contain confidential tax information and should be treated as such. If CLEOs choose to destroy the forms, rather than keep them, are they disposing them in a manner that would not allow an individual to view the information contained on the form? Further, the letter does not advise CLEOs (those who may reside in states that don’t allow some or all NFA items) that an individual may be a trustee of a trust located in another state. This may cause some issues with CLEOs reporting to ATF that those items are not allowed in that state.
Interestingly enough, it would seem that ATF is continuing to have the CLEO involved by asking for notification as to whether they have information about that individual which would disqualify the entity from obtaining the item. Perhaps ATF believes that the CLEO is still the best person to know the affairs of an individual even though they are now required to submit fingerprints and photos as a responsible person.
The letter does confirm that as long as applications are postmarked by July 13, 2016, they will be grandfathered in under the current regulations.
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