While many people will be waiting to the last-minute to file their comments to 41P, we felt that it was important to file something sooner to provide our clients and readers some guidance on preparing comments. We have created a webpage which contains our comments, exhibits, as well as a copy of 41P as published in the registry. As the comments and exhibits are over 140 pages we have included an index to the comments to help you find the information in which you have the most interest.
While we are very familiar with the NFA and ATF, administrative rule making is not something that we deal with. It is for this reason and to make sure we preserve the right to appeal any outcome that we have hired Tom Odom at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group. They are one of the finest lawyers that we work with around the country. If you are looking to have a professionally written response tailored to your involvement or objectives, I would highly recommend contacting us or them and we would be happy to help with the process.
With the exception of the ATF’s proposal to add new section 479.90 with respect to decedents’ estates, David M. Goldman opposes the remainder of the proposed rule making for the reasons set forth below and in the Exhibits to these Comments incorporated herein by reference.
- Part I, below, demonstrates that ATF failed to identify any problem for its proposed rule to correct. ATF neither quantified any benefits from its proposed rule (pages 2-5), likely because the proposal predominantly addresses conduct that is already criminalized, nor identified a single example that illustrates the problem that it speculates may exist (pages 5-13). Indeed, there is scant evidence of misuse of registered NFA firearms (pages 13-14).
- Part II illustrates that trusts serve many legitimate purposes (pages 14-21), establish distinct roles with very different powers with respect to trust assets (pages 21-26), and rise in varied contexts, some of which should ameliorate concerns regarding potential misuse (pages 26-29), but that ATF has not considered these distinctions in formulating its proposed rule. Some trusts specifically designed to hold NFA firearms have numerous safeguards against improper transfer of trust assets that may be more effective than anything ATF proposes yet ATF failed to acknowledge such provisions or explain why some combination of them would be inadequate (pages 29-32).
- Part III explains how the CLEO certification requirement renders the proposed rule unworkable and demonstrates the need to abandon the certification for individuals as well as legal entities (pages 33-41).
- Part IV documents ATF’s underestimate of the cost of its proposed rule due to understated costs (pages 42-45) as well as omitting altogether lost tax revenue (pages 45-46) and the cost of hearing loss attributable to the greater unavailability of silencers (pages 46-48).
- Part V details the many less-intrusive alternatives that ATF failed to consider in formulating its proposed rule (pages 48-54), including a more-limited concept of responsible persons and the use of modern methods of conducting background checks.
In addition, there are 90 pages of exhibits. If you are looking to review the materials or provide them to others to review, I would ask that you link to this article, or the 41P page which is located at https://www.guntrustlawyer.com/41p.html on our website so that the latest version will be available to those who look. As ATF is not doing anything with comments because of the shutdown, we may hold off on filing our response, but wanted to let others review, comment and use it to help in their responses.