Earlier this month (on 1/15/2016), ATF 41F was published in the Federal Register and the clock started ticking on a final implementation date of July 13, 2016.
After the initial publication, there was quite a bit of speculation and interpretation - so we sat down with the ASA, ATF, & NFA Branch to ensure we know exactly how the new rule will be implemented.
Here are some of the highlights we've gotten up to this point:
New Forms Are Coming
As we already knew, the ATF is releasing newly designed versions of Form 1 (5320.1), Form 4 (5320.4), and Form 5 (5320.5). On top of that there will be a new Form 5320.23 that will be used for 'responsible persons' in a trust or corporation.
According to the ATF, we should expect to see those new forms within 2-3 weeks in order for them to hit their own 7/13 implementation deadline for ATF 41F. The reason they have to be completed so quickly is because of the required comment period on updated forms, as well as printing times.
Keep in mind that the new Form 1 will no longer be compatible with the current generation of eForms; so, if you want to use eForms for your Form 1 submission, now is the time to get it done.
We'll let you know as soon as we get a chance to look at the final forms.
Which Applications will be Grandfathered?
There has been a lot of confusion around which applications will actually be grandfathered under the existing rules.
Basically, the ATF is treating this exactly like the IRS treats tax returns - and they'll be relying on the US Postal Service postmark to determine whether a form will be handled under the existing rules vs the new ATF 41F rules.
After talking to the NFA Branch, it sounds like we'll be able to get Powered By Silencer Shop orders submitted without any issues right up to the beginning of July - and we'll keep customers up to date as the deadline approaches. We'll be working overtime to make sure all the applications get submitted in time, and we'll be relying more on customer phone calls instead of emails in the final weeks.
What Does the 2-Year Exemption Actually Mean?
The 2-year exemption has been a source of debate, but the ATF clarified that it does NOT apply to fingerprints or passport photos - which is kind of a bummer.
Basically, they're interpreting the rule to mean you don't have to send a copy of your trust if it hasn't changed; but, the other requirements ALWAYS apply, even if you've received a recent approval.
Who is a Responsible Person?
This is still a bit questionable - and I'm not even sure the NFA Branch knows what the final answer will be.
Regardless, we're working on figuring it out and will let you know as soon as we do. Once the new rule goes into effect, we'll ensure our detailed ATF paperwork review process includes a check to ensure all responsible persons are being handled correctly.
We're already working to ensure the transition to ATF 41F goes as smoothly as possible for our customers. We're also very aware of the deadlines, and are monitoring existing orders to ensure they're all submitted correctly before the new rules go into effect.
Stay tuned and we'll post updated information and ATF interpretations as we get them.