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Overview of ATF 41P

ATF 41PI'll be the first to admit that we didn't think 41P would happen at all; but, as everyone now knows, it was approved (with some modifications) as ATF 41F earlier this week.

Here are the key takeaways:

  1. The ATF 41F ruling won't be enforced until 6 months AFTER it has been published in the Federal Register - which hasn't happened yet.
  2. The CLEO signature requirement will be removed for customers who are registering as an individual.  (This is about the only good news in 41F.)  Instead of a signature, there will be a notification requirement - which is much easier since the CLEO will no longer have the power to prevent your NFA purchase.
  3. All pending applications from before the as-yet-unknown enforcement date will be grandfathered under the existing rules.
  4. If you're registering using a trust or corporation (which is the best option for most customers) then, once the 41F rule goes into effect, you'll need to submit both fingerprints and passport photos for every responsible person with the application.  (This is the worst part of 41F.)
  5. Once you receive an approval under the new rules, you'll be exempted from having to submit fingerprint cards or passport photos again for 2 years from the date of the most recent approval.  (We're still digging into how, exactly, this will be implemented.)

How is this ruling going to impact the NFA industry?

  • First, we expect there will be a lot of confusion over the updated paperwork once 41F goes into effect.  We're already working on ways to streamline and simplify the new submission process as much as possible.
  • The ATF's own estimates claim that NFA wait times could double once this change goes into effect.  This is predictable since the overhead required to run fingerprints will increase significantly.
  • Although a trust or corporation is typically a better way to register, we fully expect the mix to change more toward individual registrations since they'll be easier with the new ruling.
  • Over the next 6 months, the market is going to be crazy as buyers attempt to make purchases with their trusts and corporations before the go-live date.  We are working with manufacturers to ensure we have enough inventory to cover the increased demand - but please be patient if you see something is out of stock.
  • Unless the NFA Branch switches to electronic fingerprint submission (which the ATF 41F ruling says it isn't ready for), then eForms will become irrelevant for Form 1 trust & corporation submissions once the rule goes into effect.


If you want to read the entire document, feel free to peruse the 248 page monstrosity here. My personal favorite comment comes from page 26 where it says 'More than a dozen commenters stated that they supported the proposed rule in its entirety' - does that mean 13 out of 9,500?  Personally, I think they should have just said a full baker's dozen supported the rule. If you ever had doubts about the importance of the American Suppressor Association, now is the time to put those doubts to rest and show your support.  If it weren't for their efforts, 41F could have been a lot worse. Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated as we get new information on how ATF 41F will be implemented.  We can't wait to see how the new forms are going to look!

42 responses to “Overview of ATF 41P”

  1. Mike Brown says:

    So, does this mean everyone I have listed on Trust will be required to submit passport photos and fingerprints if I want to purchase an NFA item?

    • says:

      No you can purchase the trust without photos or fingerprints. Also it is important to remember that this has started yet so you have at least 180 days before anything would change. You can still use a trust without the photos or finger prints.

    • Ronald Parker says:

      After 41F takes effect, yes. The rule is responsible persons. Here is the definition from the doc:

      DOJ has also clarified that the term “responsible person”
      for a trust or legal entity includes those persons who have the power and authority to direct the
      management and policies of the trust or legal entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver,
      transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust or entity. In the case of a
      trust, those with the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust include
      any person who has the capability to exercise such power and possesses, directly or indirectly,
      the power or authority under any trust instrument, or under State law, to receive, possess, ship,
      transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for or on behalf of the trust.

      This would not, I assume, include named beneficiaries if they are not also trustees.

      • says:

        Correct it would not apply to beneficiaries since they do not have access to the items. Also there are quite a few beneficiaries that are underage.

  2. Jeff in Virginia says:

    Well, although this is not great news for suppressor and NFA item buyers, like you said, it could have been worse. I think the increased wait times will actually be far worse than the additional paperwork burden.

    However, I think that since there is this whole new generation of NFA item buyers who have been using trusts and are fully invested in collecting NFA items, adding a photo and fingerprint card will not stop us. I have already told the wife that photo and fingerprints are coming soon (thanks to Obama).

    I for one will definitely donate more money to the ASA in the future.

    • says:

      Agreed, it isn’t the end of purchasing NFA items just one more step. Of course this is assuming that it actually takes place. There is no better time to support the ASA than now since they are fighting against this new potential regulation.

  3. un says:

    Still confusing. Background checks are / were performed on the individual items at the time of purchase (or use of CHL) with the proper paperwork right? So, this is (is this) essentially defacto registration? What steps are necessary if you already have a trust and NFA Items? If steps must be taken, nothing is grandfathered in if an additional approval is required… This is a complicated issue, and the article could use further clarification. I also hope, you will actually email existing customers as well with instructions and steps if they must be taken. thanks..

    • says:

      You are correct the background check is performed on the individual picking up. Currently if you use a trust nothing has changed. You just purchase the silencer and stamp from us, give us a copy of the trust and we handle the rest. If these proposed changes do go into effect then we will update all the procedures and keep our customers updated. Hopefully the ASA can fight this and nothing will change.

  4. Areekalaan says:

    So what happened to all the comments that never received the required replies?

    We have to jump through hoops, pay an arbitrary tax to exercise a constitutional right, and wait for months to do everything by the book but they can skip a step because it’s inconvenient?

    • Dave says:

      In they’re response, they talked about the major points from the various comments – but didn’t address any specifically. It does seem like they were cutting corners to hurry it out.

  5. Nick says:

    So in key takeaway #1 up top, the ruling won’t be enforced until 6 months after it has been published in the NFA registry. Since that supposedly hasn’t happened yet, does anyone have an idea when that publish “go” date will be or am I missing something? Has the 6 months already started the countdown?

    • says:

      This is exactly what we are saying 41F hasn’t been put into the registry yet. So the 180 day countdown clock hasn’t started, meaning that the ASA still has time to fight this all the way to the end. Hopefully the outcry will be so great that they will be forced to reconsider like the “Green tip ammo ban” that never happened.

      • Ronald Parker says:

        41F must be published in the Federal register not the NFA Register. Second sentence of the header of the Doc. To the best of my knowledge there is no NFA register.

        • says:

          You are correct it will be published in the Federal Register which happened today. So the 180 countdown begins now.

  6. EV says:

    I really cannot see the point in having the trust require a CLEO notification or fingerprints, what good does that do? How many SBRs or suppressors that were bought legally were used in a crime?

    • says:

      100% correct, that is the argument that everyone is making. 41F essentially is an answer to a question that no one asked. It would not stop any crimes from being committed. Hopefully the ASA will fight this back.

      • Ronald Parker says:

        The ATF termed NFA firearms “Most Dangerous Weapons”. This made them an easy Obama target. Lets not confuse politics with reality. 🙂

  7. Pat Richard says:

    Based on “5.Once you receive an approval under the new rules, you’ll be exempted from having to submit fingerprint cards or passport photos again for 2 years from the date of the most recent approval.” Am I to read between the lines that if you buy an NFA item every year, you’d never have to submit new prints and pics? 🙂

    • says:

      That is one way to interpret it. I’m sure that there will be clarification if/once the rule is enacted. Hopefully something will change between now and then. Once we have more information we will update with a new blog post.

  8. Chuck says:

    For large trusts and corporations that have a lot of people, it’s going to be a huge burden to obtain fingerprint cards and photos of each trustee or RP, both time and cost. In my jurisdiction, the CLEO charges $30 for each fingerprint card created. Now I can certainly find another organization to do them for less, or nothing, but that might not be the case for everyone. Heck it might be even more expensive… but say I am a corporation that has 15 RPs on it. That’s a hell of an expense, and honestly, that list of RPs could change in a month as an officer retires, or transfers, finds another job, gets themselves canned. It’s still quite a volatile job security environment out there. every time that document changes, that’s another $30/RP expense when a Form 1 or 4 is submitted.

    I still think a trust is the way to go for estate planning, but if all you’re using it for is to buy NFA items for yourself, 41F should be music to your ears.

    • says:

      That is the consensus of most people. Under 41F the trust is still the way to go since it has move benefits than an individual form. However for those on the fence about using a trust it might push them to file as an individual. Corporations are now the most burdensome way to file once this goes into effect.

  9. Kris says:

    What if I have an existing trust and purchase a NFA item later down the road, will the new NFA item fall under the old rules or will everyone on the trust have to submit prints and photos at that time?

    • says:

      You are correct. 41F would only apply to items that are purchased under the rule change regardless of when the trust was created. However we still have at least 180 days before these changes take effect.

  10. JR says:

    How can requiring finger prints and photo ID for a trust not require an act of Congress? This appears to be a change in the law, which the President does not have the power to do. Is there a court case in the works by the NRA, SAF, or ASA?

    • says:

      Yep you pretty much pegged it. The NRA and ASA are working on this as I type. There has never been a better time to get behind these organizations.

  11. Shane says:

    Having Trusts & Corp. included into 41F now gives the Federal Government, Federal Law Enforcement & Local Law Enforcement (CLEO) a list of individuals who have Trusts in order to purchase NFA items. It likewise gives them a list of what those individuals have in way of NFA and non-NFA items. As previously owned items by the Settlor of the TRUST were transferred to the trust, in order to be covered under the power of a TRUST. Those items are supposed to be listed on schedule “A” of your TRUST. To include items now purchased under the name of the trust. So now your TRUST has become a “REGISTRATION” of all your NFA and non-NFA items for them to use. This is a federal & local “REGISTRATION LISTING” complete with serial numbers, make no mistake about it! This is the first step in that “NATIONAL REGISTRATION” on all weapons they have wanted for so long. This will be used as a president to support it! Also, Federal & Local law enforcement have the listing needed when the confiscation for “Weapons of War” or semi-automatic firearms comes.

    • says:

      I’m not sure that I would go that far but I see your logic. It is a big step in the wrong direction for sure. The NRA and ASA are working on this so hopefully nothing will happen however they need our support.

    • NFA says:

      If you have a trust with a schedule A then yes. As pointed out many times a trust with a schedule A is a terrible trust. Should have designed it properly from the beginning with assignment sheets.

      • says:

        I think what you mean to say is that a trust has a Schedule A listed as part of the trust is a bad idea. The thought being that you have to send it in with the trust when you apply thus showing the ATF a list of your assets. However there is not a requirement for the schedule A to be up to date.

  12. TI says:

    So, let me get this straight. (Hypothetically speaking) if I’m a criminal and really want that SBR or any other NFA item, I’m going to take the time to set up a trust ($100+), purchase a tax stamp ($200), then pay for the item? I don’t think so. Last time I checked, nobody uses a grenade launcher to rob a gas station. They use handguns. Most of which are illegally obtained anyway. This ruling is just another way for the government to put limits on what THEY want us to own. Law abiding citizens are the only ones this legislation will effect. As a trust user myself, I’m glad that my pending Form 4 will be grandfathered under the old rules. I made my purchase through Silencer Shop and will continue to do so in the future, even if I have to submit fingerprints / photos. And, by the way ATF, please hurry up on that tax stamp. I don’t think I can hold my breath any longer…

    • says:

      You are 100% correct. These changes would not prevent any crimes it only makes it harder for law abiding citizens. Thanks for the support and we will continue to work to make these changes as easy for our customers as possible.

  13. SDub says:

    The hard part for me to grasp is this: My co-trustee lives across the state (maybe across the country). How am I supposed to submit their fingerprints? Assuming we would be required to be fingerprinted under some official scrutiny, likely local Sheriff, LEO, etc. We know how uncoordinated that will end up being. Seems a point of attack for Obamanites making it difficult to meet requirements. I’m just gonna pony up and buy my supressors now. Even for the SBR’s I don’t have, yet =) .

    • says:

      A wise move for sure to make sure you aren’t effected by the laws. However with new technology and advances in silencer tech there might be something in the future that you want to purchase. The ASA is working on this so hopefully it won’t happen.

  14. Tim Crosnoe says:

    So, if I have NFA items already on a trust and I don’t buy any other NFA items, do I and the trustees still have to submit pictures and fingerprints once this is enacted? That is, do we have to do fingerprints and photos for all retroactive purchases?

    • says:

      No this will not apply to previous purchases. Anything that is purchased after July 13th will require fingerprints and photos from the trustees. We are working to minimize the impact to our customers.

  15. am says:

    I wanted to buy a can this year, it would be my first nfa item. If I understand this correctly there is no real reason for me to run out now and get a trust as after the law is passed I would have to go back and do the things anyway; in other words there is no grandfather clause.

    Is the above correct? If not please explain.

    • says:

      No that is not correct. Anything purchased between now and July 13th will not require finger prints or photos on a trust. The law is not retroactive so if you want to purchase without doing that then you need to buy before that date and have it in the system. This is what is causing the rush on purchases of silencers. Also we have more stock coming so if there is something that you are looking for then you can backorder it and we will assign a serial number when it arrives.

  16. PCAS says:

    This is pure nuts! I am already required to go through a background check and fingerprints to obtain my CHL. On top of that I work in and around refineries on the Gulf Coast. To enter these sites I’m required to submit fingerprints and a federal background check to obtain my TWIC (Transportation Workers Indentifcation Card). When I want to enter the Marathon Refinery in Texas City it requires another background check along with urinalysis and hair folicle drug test! Enough already!!! The Feds know more about me than my own Mother!

  17. HansSolo says:

    This makes so much sense… Because in all of the mass shootings, they always used suppressors. <– Don't choke on my sarcasm.

  18. Garrett says:

    I’m completely lost. if I get the trust and purchase the suppressor and submit the paperwork before Julys deadline, there will be no required back ground checks, fingerprints, photos, because I would be grandfathered in?

    • says:

      If you purchase the trust and silencer and the paperwork is submitted before July 13th then you would not have to submit fingerprints or photos. If you purchase after July 13th then you would need fingerprints and photos.

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