Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here comes another possible Second-Amendment infringement

While I have never pursued this path and likely never will, trusts and other legal entities are used by some to own and use machine guns (yes, they're legal to own and use in the US) and other restricted firearms and accessories regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Many NFA firearm owners choose to use trusts to hold their NFA firearms and other property for estate planning reasons, one of which is to simplify the transfer of the firearms to the heirs of the owner. Another reason for using trusts is to simplify the legal and safe sharing of the pleasure of owning and using these restricted items with other responsible law-abiding persons.

It is unlawful for restricted persons (felons, the mentally incompetent, illegal aliens, addicts, etc.) to possess firearms or ammunition. Contrary to the apparent belief of some, these trusts cannot be used as a way to circumvent the firearm restrictions on such persons. Even if a restricted person were listed in a trust as having an interest in the property held in trust, that person still may not have access to firearms or ammunition.

A proposed rule change (ATF-41P) by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) would require each "responsible person" of a legal entity to get a certificate or "sign-off" from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) before a transfer could be approved. I know of no evidence that the heretofore absence of a mandate for a CLEO signature for trusts has been exploited for criminal purposes. However, it is a fact that some CLEOs refuse to sign non-trust applications to own NFA items, and will continue to refuse to sign, for purely arbitrary and capricious reasons -- thus unnecessarily infringing the Constitutionally-protected, God-given rights of responsible persons in the name of the law.

I know of no evidence that anyone is using these trusts or other legal entities for criminal purposes. Therefore, ATF-41P has no apparent purpose other than to further arbitrarily infringe the Constitutionally-protected, God-given rights of responsible persons in the name of the law and to satisfy the whims of certain anti-gun persons and groups.

ATF-41P must be rejected.

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