An email notice was sent out to eForms users today announcing a new name for the eForms system and promising new features including batch submission functionality and auto-approval of some ATF Forms 2 and 3. The agency, however, is pushing back the anticipated date for rollout of the new system, scrapping development work done to date, and planning to cobble together fixes for the current eForms system until a new system can be designed from the ground up.
The full text of the notice:
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The newly published version of 27 CFR Part 479, the result of ATF 41P, is not a short read. In its 248 pages of double-spaced text, it describes existing regulations and the original agency proposal in August 2013. It includes reference to the many public comments and the agency’s rationale for various features of the final rule, and how they differed from the proposed one. The agency’s rationale for the rule change is full of bluster about the great danger presented by these firearms. In keeping with the current administration’s talking points, the agency touts expanded background checks as a vital means for preventing violence.
Leaving aside the political rhetoric from the agency, here are the highlights from the new rule:
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Monday, there was an important development relating to firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act. In 2013, ATF proposed a rule change known as “ATF 41P” that would modify what must be included with an application to make or transfer NFA items. An individual has to submit fingerprint cards, passport-style photos, and signatures from a chief local law enforcement official (“CLEO”). Under current rules, trusts and business entities are do not have submit these items. Now, two and a half years later, a final rule has been published by the federal agency.
The White House announced action on this proposal as part of the president’s raft of anti-gun executive actions. You can read the White House press release here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/04/fact-sheet-new-executive-actions-reduce-gun-violence-and-make-our
The final rule was signed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday and will become effective six months after it is published in the Federal Register. You can read the final rule here: https://www.atf.gov/file/100896/download
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Nebraska gun owners may find the National Firearms Act (NFA) registration process a little less frustrating if a new bill introduced today becomes law. Senator Dave Bloomfield’s LB 603 would require chief local law enforcement officials (“CLEOs”) to accept and process federal forms requiring a CLEO certification in the same manner that they currently process applications for handgun purchase certificates. As introduced, the bill would allow CLEOs to assess a five dollar fee for processing the forms, the same amount authorized for processing purchase certificate applications.
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As part of ATF’s email announcements to eForms users this morning, the agency also attached a copy of the latest eForms newsletter. It includes an updated version of the “eForms 101” guide first distributed at the end of 2013. Other thrilling topics include “FFL, EIN and AECA Associations” and what to expect when seeking an NFA eForms refund.
You can view the newsletter here: eFormsNews 1-15-15
Earlier this morning, ATF dispatched an eForms update to users. In addition to providing performance figures for NFA Branch in processing paperwork (forms are now being processed faster than they are coming in), ATF also notes that they have reached their target staffing level of twenty-five examiners, made changes to office procedures, and are actively working to get eForms back online. Perhaps the biggest news to most users is the predicted return of eForms 3 and 4 to functionality.
Read the full ATF release after the break. (Tables and figures have been clipped)
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[UPDATE2: On Friday, Governor John Kasich signed H. 234 into law.]
[UPDATE: After the Senate vote in favor of House Bill 234 as amended, the Ohio House this afternoon voted to concur with the Senate and to pass the amended legislation. H. 234 now heads to the desk of Governor John Kasich, who is expected to sign it into law.]
Ohio state senators voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would end the state’s ban on hunting with suppressed firearms. Taking up legislation that was approved by their counterparts in the Ohio House a year ago, the Senate’s Civil Justice Committee advanced the bill to the floor by an 8–2 vote. After debate on the floor of the Senate, legislators voted in favor of the legislation by a vote of 24–6. Because senators approved a substantially amended version of the original House bill, the new version of the proposed law will return to the House for consideration before going to the governor’s desk for final approval.
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After a last-minute push by opponents (including at least one newspaper editorial board) to stall the proposal, Florida wildlife commissioners have ended their prohibition of hunting with suppressed firearms in Florida. The rule change is effective immediately. That means that hunters for Florida game currently in season can thread on their suppressors and head out for a hearing-friendly hunt this weekend.
In making their ruling, commissioners noted that suppressors reduce the report of gunshots but that even suppressed hunting firearms are still quite loud. Advocates note that this means that it will now be easier to talk to hunting companions, and that children will be less likely to be startled by muzzle noise when first learning to shoot and hunt.
An NRA-ILA update notes that the ruling only applies to “deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows,” since these were the only species for which suppressed firearms were prohibited before the new rule. All legal game in Florida that can be taken with a firearm can now be taken with a suppressed firearm.
When Garrett Rediesel stopped returning calls about his customers’ guns, it was pretty clear that business at the Double D Gun Shop in Victoria, Texas was not on the up and up. Then, this past March, he got raided by the ATF and charged with possession of unregistered NFA items. Some customers still are not sure when they will get their property back.
The unregistered NFA items found in Rediesel’s possession include two short shotguns and two short-barreled rifles. Customers of the shop who are still waiting to see their property returned may have a long wait. But the story serves as a reminder that violations of the National Firearms Act are no joke. Instead of spending $800 on tax stamps, Rediesel will now spend two years in federal prison.
Florida hunters may soon be able to wear their hearing protection on the end of their hunting rifles. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering a change in their regulations to allow hunters to lawfully pursue “deer, turkey, gray squirrels, rabbits, quail and crows” while using firearms equipped with silencers.
The representative from the Wildlife Commission who was interviewed for the article seems to have a healthy understanding of what these devices can and cannot do.
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