In an extremely unusual turn of event, yesterday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) re-opened its comment period relative to its proposed changes to the ATF-4473 form, to provide an additional 30 days for comments.
Our readers probably remember our April blog entitled ATF Soliciting Comments on Proposed Revisions to the Firearms Transaction Record “4473”, where we alerted the Firearms Industry about ATF’s intent (seemingly in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act) to address, among other things, medical marijuana users.
Our friends at Cannabis Industry Law Group (“CILG”), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., filed a Comment in opposition to ATF’s proposed changes and pointing out that 27 C.F.R. 478.11 already acknowledges that the use of physician prescribed controlled substances does not result in a prohibition and that ATF is the incorrect federal administrative agency for determinations of prohibition under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). For those unaware, CILG’s stated purpose is to “protect, defend and assert the legal rights of businesses, professionals and individuals to operate lawful cannabis-related businesses and professions and to use cannabis medication without discrimination.”
Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (“FICG®”), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., also filed a Comment in opposition to ATF’s proposed changes, where we raised numerous issues, including that ATF cannot redefine a “fugitive from justice” in these proceedings and issues relating to the certification statement. FICG® also requested that ATF revise the 4473 Form, consistent with the ATF Form 1 and Form 4, whereby it would include fields for fictitious entities, instead of requiring FFLs to draft and attach a fictitious entity form as required by 27 C.F.R. 478.124(g), for which, ATF provides no sample form.
At the present time, it is unknown why ATF has elected to re-open the comment period and to provide an additional 30 days – unless it was at the behest of the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association (“NFACTA”), which has become notorious in past several years in petitioning ATF to take regulatory action contrary to the Firearm Industry’s interest. Nevertheless, if you did not have opportunity to file a comment, we highly recommend that you do or at least file a statement supporting FICG’s and CILG’s Comments. If we learn anything more about ATF’s (nefarious) motives in re-opening the comment period, we will be sure to let our readers know.
If you are a Firearm Industry member and would like representation in drafting comments to federal rulemaking proposals, including in relation to the 4473, contact us at 888-313-0416 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can ensure that your issues and concerns are considered in the rulemaking process.