BOHICA: 41F (nee 41P) is Here

BATFE LogoAttorney General Lynch Signs Off 41P Final Ruling.  It WILL Happen in as little as 180 days.

Included in the president’s inappropriately named “New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer” is the official harbinger of the BATFE’s 41P rule change.

Despite NFA owners being among the most law abiding gun owners who already have to jump through the most hoops, and despite the fact that – on average – NFA firearms are pretty much never used in crimes, the president’s edicts makes it more difficult to purchase what he calls “some of the most dangerous weapons and other items” through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.

This change will require fingerprints, photographs, and background checks for all “responsible persons” of the trust or other legal entity.  It is unclear what this change will do to the ability for legal entities to use the eForms system, which the BATFE claims to have been spending considerable time and resources on improving and getting the broken eForms Form 1 functionality working again, as the system appears to have no mechanism for accepting photographs or fingerprint or information.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch describes the change as “[closing] the ‘trust loophole’ that people have been using to avoid registering by going through legal trusts, corporations or other legal status.”  And – in case this is confusing for some – by “loophole,” AG Lynch means “the law as written.”

Lynch signed off on the rule making and the official BATFE announcement is here.  The release states that rule 41P “is effective 180 days after date of publication in the Federal Register,” which can be at any time now.  It is unclear whether the BATFE will ever respond, as required, to the 9,000+ comments received regarding the rule change with anything other than “who cares, the president has a pen and a phone.

41P Final Ruling Summary:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act (NF A). This final rule defines the term “responsible person,” as used in reference to a trust, partnership, association, company, or corporation; requires responsible persons of such trusts or legal entities to complete a specified form and to submit photographs and fingerprints when the trust or legal entity files an application to make an NFA firearm or is listed as the transferee on an application to transfer an NFA firearm; requires that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the specified form for responsible persons, as applicable, be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the applicant/transferee or responsible person is located; and eliminates the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO. These provisions provide a public safety benefit as they ensure that responsible persons undergo background checks. In addition, this final rule adds a new section to ATF’ s regulations to address the possession and transfer of firearms registered to a decedent. The new section clarifies that the executor, administrator, personal representative, or other person authorized under State law to dispose of property in an estate may possess a firearm registered to a decedent during the term of probate without such possession being treated as a “transfer” under the NF A. It also specifies that the transfer of the frrearm to any beneficiary of the estate may be made on a tax-exempt basis

Read the full final ruling.

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