NFA Trust Bleg

I have made the decision to set up a NFA Trust and buy a suppressor or two in advance of the ATF 41F implementation date of July 13th. I’m going the trust route for a couple of reasons. First, it will make estate planning easier as the suppressor will be passed on to the trust beneficiary without the need to pay another $200 tax. Second, other members of the trust will be allowed to use the suppressor without my being with them. It circumvents the potential constructive possession problem for the Complementary Spouse as she does know my safe combination. The issue of fingerprints and photos is irrelevant for my purposes but it is nice to be able to avoid it – for now.

There are a number of prototype NFA trust documents being offered on the Internet. You can get them from suppressor dealers like the Silencer Shop, manufacturers like Silencerco, and a number of attorneyrelated websites. The cost of these prototype documents are in the $99-199 range. This is a significant cost savings over the estimated $350-500 that an attorney would charge for a “custom” NFA trust. At last year’s Annual Firearms Law Seminar, the BATFE attorney from the NFA section offered some horror stories on NFA trusts that were set up without the hands-on assistance of an attorney.

Yesterday I took advantage of a Gearhog discount offer of a NFA trust for $49. This was a 75% discount off the normal price of $199 from This discount offer runs for another two days. My rationale was that I’d not be out of much money if I decided this trust document didn’t meet North Carolina trust law standards.

  1. Has anyone gone the prototype or prewritten trust route? If so, did you run into any problems?
  2. If you did go the prototype trust route, did you have it reviewed by a local attorney to make sure it met the trust law of your state?
  3. Would you suggest having a local estates attorney review the trust? 
  4. What were your reasons for using a trust instead of purchasing the NFA item as an individual? 
  5. If you went the prototype route, did you later have the trust rewritten by a local attorney?
I would love to know your experiences. You can either leave a comment below or email me at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.

ATF 41P: Deadline For Comments Is Monday At 11:59PM EST (Updated)

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.

ATF Proposed Rule on NFA Trusts Published

We knew it was coming and now it is here. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, at the behest of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have now published their proposed rule regarding background checks and Chief LEO sign-offs for trusts and/or corporations seeking to purchase firearms that come under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The proposed rule was published today in the Federal Register and can be found here.

The more extensive rationale for this as signed by Attorney General Holder can be found on the ATF website here.

We will have 91 days from today in which to submit comments regarding this proposed rule. I hope to have an automated letter generator up similar to what we did a couple of years ago on the multiple semi-auto rifle purchase reporting requirement. In the meantime, Prince Law Firm has a number of suggested letters here. They have some additional suggested steps to take here.

As attorney Dave Hardy said with regard to the petition from the NFA Trade and Collectors Association, expecting ATF to be reasonable is never a good idea. David Codrea has more on the petition from NFATCA here and the consummate stupidity of their move.

While the background checks of all responsible persons within a gun trust might be tolerable, it is the requirement for the CLEO check-off that is the real knife in the back. In many locations, chief law enforcement officers won’t sign off on any NFA item regardless of whether it is a suppressor or a full-auto machine gun. NFA gun trusts were the one way around anti-gun police chiefs and sheriffs. The new proposed rule does away with that.

I had batted the idea of a NFA trust around with my brother-in-law. I think we may be doing something sooner than later and I’d suggest you might want to do the same.