Earlier this year, ATF rule 41F was entered into the Federal Register, which significantly changes the transfer of items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) and, perhaps most importantly, several things regarding suppressors.
Rule 41F, which will take effect July 13, is determined to shake things up, but it’s not all bad news. In fact, one of the most significant changes to celebrate with the new rule is the removal of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign-off on NFA applications. Previously, applicants for NFA items (suppressors, short-barreled rifles, fully automatic firearms, etc.) were required to obtain a certification from a CLEO. This, many gun owners and advocates argued, allowed officials to arbitrarily deny Americans from owning NFA items.
Now, the new rule only mandates applicants to notify CLEO’s instead.
“For the first time in 82 years, local law enforcement will no longer have de facto veto power over any NFA applications,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “While their inclusion in the process made sense in 1934, before background checks, or even computers existed, the removal of this antiquated measure from the NFA process is a major victory for the suppressor and NFA communities.”
Rule 41F is not all rainbows and cherries, however; it does include several frustrating changes that could impact you. For example, the ATF itself estimates that NFA wait times could double once the rule change goes into effect. This is due mostly to the rule change around fingerprinting for trusts and corporations. Yes, two fingerprint cards, as well as a passport photo of each person listed on a trust, are going to be required going forward after July 13, 2016 each time you want to purchase a NFA item under the Trust.