Back on September 9th, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a proposed rule and opened the comment period. The proposed rule would require Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signoff for all NFA transfers including ones for trusts, partnerships, and corporations. As we all know, in many areas, this is impossible to obtain and people go to NFA or gun trust route for just this reason.
The comment period is coming to an end tomorrow (Monday, December 9th) at 11:59pm EST. As of Saturday, BATFE has received 7,291 comments on the ATF 41P. From what I can tell, the overwhelming majority are firmly opposed to this proposed rule.
The American Silencer Association has an excellent page up on how to comment along with templates for your comments. I used one of their templates and then modified it.
Robb Allen at Sharp As A Marble has posted his comment which is much shorter and to the point. There are some variations in the comment section. I think any or all of them would make worthwhile comments to submit.
Jeff Know of The Firearms Coalition has his organization’s comment up here. They are pointing people to attorney John Pierce’s site for examples of short comments as well as some background information on the rulemaking effort. Mr. Pierce has nine suggested comments.
It is too late to mail a comment by the US Postal Service but it sure isn’t too late to use the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Just ID as being for ATF 41P.
All you need to do is cut and paste one of the suggested comments from the links above. It will push up the number opposing it and make it harder for the BATFE to justify going through with this nonsensical proposal.
Or at least it should!
UPDATE: The number of submissions as of Sunday night was 8,124. That means they received 833 comments or more than 10% of the total yesterday. Let’s see if we can double that today!
UPDATE II: The comments are now closed for ATF 41P. David Codrea’s National Gun Rights Examiner column from Tuesday points to one of the more important submissions. It is from the Firearms Industry Consulting Group of the Prince Law Firm. The submission, which can be downloaded in its entirety here, is over 500 pages including appendices. The comment was submitted on Monday to the Federal and does make reference to a number of the earlier comments submitted.
David notes that:
The FICG comments raise serious questions about both ATF’s compliance with established rules and the law, as well as about the Bureau’s relationship with leaders of the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association, which filed the petition ATF says prompted the rulemaking change proposal in the first place.
Joshua Prince, one of the two principal authors of the submission, says that the BATFE’s actions with regard to the rulemaking give plenty of cause for judicial review if the rule is adopted.
While our Comment may seem massive to some, with funding, a thorough Comment with evidentiary support, including expert affidavits, reports, and analysis, would have likely been almost double in size. Nevertheless, ATF’s failure to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act in a number of ways will allow for judicial review, if ATF decides to move forward with promulgating any final rule. If ATF is inclined to move forward with any final rule, it’s best course of action is to start anew and correct all of its violations of law. But, we know ATF won’t do that, because it cannot admit when it violates the law.
Hence, the Firearms Industry must prepare to fund the necessary litigation to invalidate any final rule.
Given the BATFE’s predilection for bending or breaking the law and with the Democrats’ packing of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, this rulemaking bears a lot of attention as it goes forward.