At Sporting Systems, we adhere to safety best practices and comply 100% with all State and Federal laws regarding firearm sale and use. Consult the following for answers to the questions we encounter most often:
Because we want you to be relaxed and enjoy your visit. Hospitality and service is what we offer; the guns sell themselves.
Yes. We will process private party transfers. We will also accept shipment from online retailers. However, please contact us PRIOR to shipping those items, we must have an incoming record and provide a copy of our FFL to the seller. We can also ship items for the same $30 transfer fee plus the actual cost of shipping.
We charge $30 for online transfers, private party and transfers from gun shows. Each additional firearm is $20 each. If you’re active military, a vet, fire/ems or police, there is no charge for the first transfer (up to 2 per person/per year). NFA transfer are $75 each and no fee waiver. Proof of service/employment is required at the time transfer for the fee waiver.
Any items left over 30 days will be assessed a small storage fee of $10 per month. Any items left over 90 days, MAY be sold and the proceeds donated to a local law enforcement or veteran charity.
Any item received without a completed transfer form application will be assessed an additional $20 fee and “free transfers” are no longer applicable. Clients must provide advance notice via the firearm transfer form or completing the form on this page; click on the link below
Sales taxes paid with credit card will be subject to 5% surcharge on sales tax only. (to cover credit cards fees for the free transfers, example $100 sales tax due will be charged $105 if paid by card)
We don’t really. Consider what’s included: credit card fees, faxing, emailing, filing pistol transfers, maintaining records, ATF audits, printing, mailing documents, phone calls, tracking numbers, liability insurance, B&O taxes, labor, data entry, receiving, storage, and a coffee or beverage while you wait for the approval. You’re really getting a great deal.
You are NOT charged on private party transfers. However, on any transfer from a commercial operation, we are required to collect 8.4% sales tax. Please bring a copy of your invoice with you when you pick up your firearm.
Yes, if they are in excellent condition and match the type of product we have in the store.
Yes, the fee will vary based on the item value and market demand, generally fees are 25%. Consignments must be left 90 days or will forfeit the consignment fee if returned early. To return a consignment item, you must pass a NICS background check and complete the paperwork as if you’re purchasing the firearm.
Yes, we do. There are some limitations based on the firearms and sights required. There is no charge for guns and sights purchased here. We will mount our sights on your gun for $20. We will mount your sights on your existing gun for $30.
Not at this time. It is in our short-term plan. We do armorers’-level work on pistols and rifles.
Yes we are, but please note that supplies for Blue Label guns are very tight and getting tighter. $100 deposit required
Yes, and they are a lot of fun, too. Reducing noise is both polite to those nearby, as well as good for your safety by reducing potential damage to your hearing. It is legal to hunt with a suppressor in many states, including Washington.
Approximately 5-6 months after submission. We can usually process your form 4 within 24 hours of your purchase, but cannot promise this time frame.
Yes, but we have to deliver through your home state class 3 FFL.
- a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
- a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
- a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
- a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
- any other weapon, as define in subsection (e);
- a machinegun;
- any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and
- a destructive device.
Yes. The approved application received from ATF serves as evidence of registration of the NFA firearm. This document must be made available upon request of any ATF officer. It is suggested that a photocopy of the approved application be carried by the possessor when the weapon is being transported.
No. The NFA permits only manufacturers, makers, importers, and certain governmental entities to register firearms.
Yes, unless the barrel of the pistol is at least 16 inches in length (and the overall length of the firearm with stock attached is at least 26 inches). However, certain stocked handguns, such as original semiautomatic Mauser “Broomhandles” and Lugers, have been removed from the purview of the NFA as collectors’ items.
Yes, and you will not be required to again register the firearm before replacing the short barrel. ATF recommends written notification to the NFA Branch when a firearm’s configuration is permanently changed or removed from the purview of the NFA.
A person may make an NFA firearm by filing and receiving an approved ATF Form 1 Application to Make and Register a Firearm.
A person may transfer an NFA firearm to another person by filing and receiving an approved ATF Form 4, Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm.
Applications to make or transfer a firearm will not be approved if Federal, State, or local law prohibits the making or possession of the firearm.
Contact the nearest ATF office immediately. A listing of the telephone numbers can be found online at www.atf.gov/contact/atf-field-divisions.
Yes, unless the registered possessor is a qualified dealer, manufacturer or importer, or a licensed collector transporting only curios or relics. Prior approval must be obtained, even if the move is temporary. Approval is requested by either submitting a letter containing all necessary information, or by submitting ATF Form 5320.20, Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms. This requirement does not apply to the lawful interstate transportation of silencers. Possession of the firearms also must comply with all State and local laws.
Generally, no. However, applications to make and register machine guns on or after May 19, 1986 for the benefit of a Federal, State, or local government entity will be approved if documentation can be provided, along with the application to make a machinegun, which establishes that the machine gun is particularly suitable for use by Federal, State or local governmental entities and is being made at the request and on behalf of such an entity.
Yes. If the machinegun was lawfully registered and possessed before May 19, 1986, it may be transferred pursuant to an approved ATF Form 3 or Form 4, as applicable. Local laws will still apply. Currently it is still illegal in Washington, but legal in Oregon.
If you have a current WASHINGTON concealed carry permit, you must first be approved by the NICs check. This generally takes a few minutes. However, we can quickly obtain the following replies from the NICs system:
- Proceed – Your firearm will be delivered immediately.
- Deny – The transaction has been terminated by the FBI. You may appeal the decision directly with the FBI. (See UPIN, below)
- Researching – The system is busy and cannot produce results at this time.
- Delay – These will often clear in 24-48 hours
If you do not have a current WASHINGTON Concealed Carry Permit, your application will be sent to your local law enforcement office for approval. They have up to 10 business days to return a decision. After 10 days, we are able to deliver the firearm at OUR discretion. If we receive no response from the Chief LEO after 10 days, we will runs a NICS check, and with proceed we MAY deliver the firearm in accordance with Washington State Law. Police officers without a CPL are subject to the same waiting period as all other citizens.
No, only the original signer of the paperwork can take possession of the firearm.
A UPIN is a unique personal identification number, issued by the FBI, if you are frequently delayed or denied access to firearms and wish to appeal the FBI decision. The process takes about 6 months to complete. For more information about UPINs, click here.
Only those firearms subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA) (e.g., machineguns, short–barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers, destructive devices, and firearms designated as “any other weapons”) must be registered with ATF.
Firearms registration may be required by State or local law. Any person considering acquiring a firearm should contact his or her State Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible State or local restrictions.
The definition of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in the Gun Control Act (GCA) includes any offense classified as a “misdemeanor” under Federal, State or Tribal law. In States that do not classify offenses as misdemeanors, the definition includes any State or local offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of 1 year or less or punishable by a fine.
Yes. In such transactions, the law enforcement official is treated no differently from any other unlicensed transferee, and a NICS background check must be conducted.
Firearm transfers are exempt from the requirement for a NICS background check in three situations. These include transfers: (1) to transferees having a State permit that has been recognized by ATF as an alternative to a NICS check; (2) of National Firearms Act weapons to persons approved by ATF; and (3) certified by ATF as exempt because compliance with the NICS background check requirement is impracticable.
If the licensee receives a “denied” response at any time prior to the transfer of the firearm, he or she may not transfer the firearm.
If the FBI provides a “denied” response after the third business day, and the firearm has already been transferred, the licensee should notify the NICS Section.
The licensee should inform the transferee that the NICS check indicates that the transfer of the firearm should not be made, however the system does not provide a reason for the denial. The licensee should provide the transferee with the name and address of the denying agency and the NICS or State transaction number, and an appeals brochure created by the FBI or State POC outlining the transferee’s appeal rights and responsibilities. An FBI appeal brochure is available through the FBI NICS section, or at www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/appeals/nics-appeals-process/appeals-home.
A NICS check is valid for 30 calendar days for any transaction. The 30 calendar day period is counted beginning on the day after NICS was initially contacted. Where more than 30 calendar days have passed since the licensee first contacted NICS, the licensee must initiate a new NICS check prior to transferring the firearm. It is not necessary to complete a new ATF Form 4473, but the results of the new NICS background check must be recorded on the form.
Example1: A NICS check is initiated on May 15th. The licensee receives a “proceed” from NICS. The transferee does not return to pick up the firearm until June 22nd of the same year. The licensee must conduct another NICS check before transferring the firearm to the transferee.
Example 2: A NICS check is initiated on May 15th. The licensee receives a “delayed” response from NICS; no further response is received. The transferee does not return to pick up the firearm until June 16th of the same year. The licensee must conduct another NICS check before transferring the firearm to the transferee.
No. A licensee must initiate a new NICS background check for each completed firearms transaction. However, a person may purchase or acquire several firearms in one transaction.[27 CFR 478.102]
Example: A transferee completes an ATF Form 4473 for a single firearm on February 15. The licensee receives a “proceed” from NICS that day. The licensee signs the form, and the firearm is transferred. On February 20, the transferee returns to the licensee’s premises and wishes to acquire a second firearm. The acquisition of the second firearm is a separate transaction. Therefore, a new NICS check must be initiated by the licensee.
Example: A transferee completes ATF Form 4473 for a single firearm on February 15. The licensee receives a “proceed” from NICS that day. The transferee does not return to pick up the firearm until February 20. Before the licensee completes the transfer of the first firearm, the transferee decides to acquire an additional firearm. The second firearm may be recorded on the same Form 4473. The acquisition of the 2 firearms is considered a single transaction. Therefore, the licensee is not required to conduct a new NICS check prior to transferring the second firearm.
The licensee must initiate another NICS check before the firearm may be transferred.
Yes. Compliance with Federal background check provisions does not excuse a licensee from compliance with State law. A licensee must follow State law waiting periods.
Example: State X is acting as a point of contact for NICS checks. State law requires the licensee to wait 10 days, rather than 3 days, for a response to the background check prior to transferring a firearm. Because State law provides a 10 day period before a licensee may transfer a firearm, the licensee may not transfer the firearm until 10 days have elapsed since conducting the background check.
Example: State X is acting as a point of contact for NICS checks. State law allows a licensee to transfer a firearm 24 hours after conducting a NICS check and receiving a “delayed” response. Although State law would permit a licensee to transfer a firearm 24 hours after receiving a “delayed” response, the licensee must comply with Federal law which requires the licensee wait 3 business days prior to transferring a firearm where the licensee has not received notice the transfer would be prohibited.
Example: The law of State X provides for a 5 day waiting period before a handgun may be transferred by a licensee. An individual completes an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of a handgun, a NICS check is conducted, and a “proceed” response is given by NICS. Although the licensee received a “proceed” response, the licensee must comply with the State waiting period, and the licensee may not transfer the firearm until the State 5 day waiting period has elapsed.
No. This information is solicited on an optional basis. However, providing this information will help ensure the lawfulness of the sale and avoid the possibility that the transferee will be incorrectly identified as a felon or other prohibited person.
The identification document presented by the transferee must have a photograph of the transferee, as well as the transferee’s name, residence address, and date of birth. The identification document must also be valid (e.g., unexpired) and have been issued by a governmental entity for the purpose of identification of individuals. An example of an acceptable identification document is a current driver’s license.
A combination of government issued documents may be used to meet the requirements of an identification document. For example, a passport which contains the name, date of birth, and photograph of the holder may be combined with a voter or vehicle registration card containing the residence address of the transferee in order to comply with the identification document requirements. A passport issued by a foreign government is also acceptable so long as it has all of the required information.
Whether a hunting license or permit issued by a retailer meets the definition of an identification document is State law specific. This license or permit meets the definition of an identification document if the State in which the retailer is located has authorized the retailer to supply State issued documents. If the State recognizes the hunting license or permit as government issued, then this license or permit would qualify as being government issued for the purposes of supplementing another government issued identification document.
A description of the location of the residence on an identification document, such as a rural route, is sufficient to constitute a residence address provided the purchaser resides in a State or locality where it is considered to be a legal residence address.
For more information, check out our FFL Transfers page, here.
Yes, we encourage it. Use our workbench, use our tools, ask for our guidance. We are here to help, but please respect our time constraints during the business hours, as well as our posted closing time, as we have other clients to assist and families to go home to. If you’d like dedicated assistance, please book a private builders session. See the Build A BeAR-15 video.
A Washington resident, who is at least 21 years old. We can also transfer them through a dealer in your home state.
Barrel, trigger, optics. A barrel makes the gun accurate. A trigger helps make you more accurate. The optics let you see what you want to hit, so the trigger and barrel can do their jobs.
No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF.
Yes, in some cases, items being marketed as unfinished or “80%” receivers do meet the definition of a “firearm” as defined in the GCA. Persons who are unsure about whether an item they are planning to buy or sell is considered a firearm under the GCA should contact ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD).
“80% receiver,” “80% finished,” “80% complete,” “unfinished receiver” are all terms referring to an item that some may believe has not yet reached a stage of manufacture that meets the definition of firearm frame or receiver found in the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). These are not statutory terms or terms ATF employs or endorses.
Receiver blanks that do not meet the definition of a “firearm” are not subject to regulation under the GCA. The ATF has long held that items such as receiver blanks, “castings” or “machined bodies” in which the fire-control cavity area is completely solid and un-machined have not reached the “stage of manufacture” which would result in the classification of a firearm per the GCA.
See comparison examples:
Receivers that meet the definition of a “firearm” must have markings, including a serial number. See 27 CFR § 478.92 (Firearm manufacturers marking requirements).
Because black powder firearms are considered antique firearms, the possession of a black powder firearm by a person subject to Federal firearms disabilities is not prohibited by the GCA. However, a person subject to Federal firearms disabilities may not receive and/or possess black powder firearms that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof which are classified as “firearms.” Additionally, State law may prohibit the possession of a black powder firearm by persons who are not Federally prohibited from possessing them. Please contact your State Attorney General’s Office for information regarding black powder firearms.
Parts & Accessories – full payment at time of order.
Firearms – common items, $100 non refundable deposit
Firearms – uncommon items, full payment on order
No returns on special order items.
Firearms – will be treated as used firearms and taken on trade or repurchased at used prices.
Suppressors & SBRs – Non refundable after order.
Parts & Accessories – 100% refund / credit with original receipt and packaging, unused condition for 30 days. If packaging is damaged or missing, subject to a 30% restocking fee. After 30 days, in store credit may be issued at manager’s discretion.
Classes and training – No refunds or credits if cancelled 7 days or less before the class/training.
Trusts – No refunds on trust packages once prepared, regardless of delivery. Missed signing/notary dates are subject to a $40 reprint/rework fee per missed appointment.
50% down and balance due within 60 days. Layaways are non refundable.
Personal firearms being carried into the store:
Upon entry, we will ask to inspect any firearm that is not immediately on your person. (cased, bagged, boxed or otherwise). We encourage lawful and legal open or concealed carry in our store, we only ask that you do not handle, draw or present your carry weapons while on premises, this is hard rule with no exceptions other than lawful self defense.
Do not bring in ANY loaded firearm.
Do not bring in loose ammunition or loaded magazines in your weapon, range bag or elsewhere, do not remove backup magazines from your person.
We are happy to discuss your concerns, but the safety of clients and employees are of the utmost importance. Please respect our rules and then you won’t have to ring the dumbbell.
Clark County – https://www.clark.wa.gov/sheriff/firearms
Walk in, 3 weeks or so to process applications
Cowlitz County https://www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/index.aspx?nid=993
Walk in, time to process is about 6 weeks.
Skamania County http://skamaniasheriff.com/departments/civil/
Walk in, Wednesday only, limited hours.
Multnomah County https://www.mcso.us/site/faq.php
Make Appointment online. Process is about 6 months.
Clackamas County https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/chlfaqs.html
Online renewals and appointments. 45 days or less to process new CHL’s. Does not offer CHL to out of state residents
Washington County https://www.co.washington.or.us/Sheriff/OtherServices/ConcealedHandguns/
Online application, mailed to Sherriff’s office, appointments for fingerprinting and photo. 45 days or less to process new CHL’s. Does not offer CHL to out of state residents
Call and make appointment. Out of state: Skanamia County residents only
Wasco County https://wasco-chl.youcanbook.me/
Online application and appointments. Out of sate applications have been suspended.
Appointment hours only. No out of county applications at this time.
Utah State Concealed Carry https://bci.utah.gov/concealed-firearm/
Non residents, with approved 4 hour class
Arizona State Concealed Carry https://www.azdps.gov/services/concealed_weapons/
Non residents, with approved class
Florida State Concealed Carry https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Concealed-Weapon-License
Non residents, with approved class
These are subject to change at any time. You should confirm the current regulations with the areas you intend to travel. You must comply with all local laws, regardless of your permit status.
Permitless carry states:
Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, West Virginia.
|New Hampshire (1,3,4,5)|
|New Mexico (1)|
|North Carolina (1)|
|North Dakota (3,5)|
|South Carolina (1,4,5)|
|South Dakota (1,3)|
|West Virginia (1)|
(1) While Florida’s law allows licensees to carry stun guns, knives, and billy clubs in a concealed fashion, the laws in these states allow for concealed carry of handguns or pistols only, not weapons in general. Florida license holders are prohibited from carrying other types of weapons while in these states.
(2) The State of Vermont does not issue weapon/firearms licenses. Florida licensees – indeed, licensed or unlicensed citizens from any state – may carry in Vermont. This presents a problem for reciprocity with Florida. Florida law provides that an out-of-state resident must have in his or her immediate possession a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. Since Vermont residents have no such license, the right to concealed carry cannot be extended to them under Florida law.
(3) Individuals under 21 years of age qualify for concealed weapon licenses in these states. HOWEVER, any licensee of these reciprocity states who is not 21 years of age or older is prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon or firearm in Florida.
(4) These states will honor the Florida concealed weapon license only if the licensee is a resident of the state of Florida.
(5) These states issue concealed carry licenses to qualified individuals who are non-residents. These non-resident permits cannot be honored under Florida’s reciprocity provision.
Although there are many states that will recognize the Utah concealed firearm permit, the State of Utah has formal reciprocity (written agreement) with the following states (Click on the name of the state for further information):
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Washington State
- West Virginia
The following states recognize the Utah concealed firearm permit. (Click on the name of the state for further information):
The following states DO NOT recognize the Utah concealed firearm permit. (Click on the name of the state for further information):
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
ATF RULE 41F FAQS
(Previously known as ATF Proposed Rule 41p)
This FAQ is for information purposes only and is NOT legal advice.
Please consult with an attorney if you have any legal questions.
What is ATF Rule 41f?
ATF Rule 41f is the final regulatory rule signed by the Obama administration on January 4, 2016 regarding the transfer and manufacture of weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act. The initial proposed rule (Rule 41p) proposed adding a new definition of a “responsible person” (RP) to the regulations and would have required all RPs in any entity used to purchase or manufacture NFA weapons to obtain the signature of their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO signature) on the application, as well as submit fingerprints and photographs for review by ATF examiners. Entities, such as trusts, LLCs and corporations, have become popular for acquiring NFA weapons because individuals experienced great difficulty in obtaining the CLEO signature in many areas of the country, if it was not outright impossible, and the use of an entity to acquire such weapons did not previously require the applicant to obtain the CLEO signature.
Over 9,500 comments were submitted to the ATF voicing opposition to this proposed rule, highlighting the fact that the rule, as proposed, would create a defacto ban on NFA weapons such as silencers in jurisdictions where CLEO signatures were impossible to secure, in addition to other related concerns.
ATF Rule 41f is the Obama administration’s final version of the proposed rule and will have a substantial impact on the use of trusts and other entities in the acquisition and sharing of NFA weapons.
When does Rule 41f take effect?
The effective date of the rule will be 180 days from the date that it is published in the Federal Register, which was January 15, 2016. That makes it effective July 13, 2016. All paperwork that was submitted to the NFA Branch for processing prior to July 13, 2016 will be processed under the former rules.
What is a Responsible Person?
While the comments of the preamble to the rule give varying interpretations of an RP, the actual language of the rule basically says that an RP is any individual who possesses the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust or entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust or legal entity. The definition goes one step further in defining an RP for a trust, saying that this definition includes any person with the capability to exercise such power and possesses the power or authority to possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust.
Boiled down, this refers to grantors and trustees of a trust. The ATF even clarifies that beneficiaries of the trust are not considered to be RPs if they do not have the capability to exercise the powers or authorities specified.
The language addressing RPs in a trust appears to raise the possibility that a class of trustees could be created who have no authority to “direct the management and policies of the trust” but may still have possession of trust assets, which would appear to be similar in rights and powers to lower level employees of a business entity.
If confirmed, this may provide a mechanism to permit possession of NFA weapons by others without having to go through the new application requirements created by the new rule.
How will this affect my existing gun trust?
The construction of the final rule does not apply directly to existing trusts or entities in possession of NFA weapons, but to future applications made by both individuals and entities. After July 13, 2016, you will be required to submit or do the following with any Form 1 or Form 4 application:
- a complete copy of your trust and any schedule or exhibit referenced by it;
- for each RP –
- Two FD-258 fingerprint cards
- A 2X2-inch photograph taken within the last year
- A completed NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF Form 5320.23). This form will require the input of a RP’s full name, position, Social Security number (optional), home address, date and place of birth and nationality
- Provide CLEO “notification”
- Prior to submission, the applicant must forward a completed copy of the application form (Form 1 or Form 4) and all other RPs must forward a completed copy of their Form 5320.23 to the CLEO of the locality in which the applicant or RP is located. The new rule also defines who may be considered the CLEO as “the local chief of police, county sheriff, head of the State police, or State or local district attorney or prosecutor.”
If I have had an application approved within the preceding 24 months, will I have to resubmit all of the documents required above?
No. If a trust application has been approved within the preceding 24 months of your current application, and there has been no change to the documentation previously provided (no new PRs), a certification can be submitted instead, stating that the information has not been changed since the prior approval and identifying the prior application by form number, serial number and the date on which it was approved.
Will already pending applications be impacted by Rule 41f?
No. The final rule clearly states that it “is not retroactive” and will not apply to applications that are in pending status, which will include “all applications postmarked prior to the effective date of the rule”.
Will I need to submit anything to the ATF simply because I change my trust?
Apparently not. The proposed rule considered a requirement that notification of the change would have to be submitted to the ATF within 30 days of the change in RPs. However, the final rule states “The Department is not requiring, in this final rule, that new responsible persons submit a Form 5320.23 within 30 days of any change of responsible persons at a trust or legal entity.” However, if a Form 1 or Form 4 is submitted, documentation reflecting changes existing at that time must be filed with the ATF as specified above.
This may also provide a mechanism to simplify applications. If you have added RPs and have subsequently removed them prior to making a future application, so that conditions reflect the status at the time of the prior application or as exist in your original trust document, no additional RP information may be necessary.
What happened to the CLEO signature requirement?
The CLEO signature requirement was replaced with a CLEO notification requirement and this change applies to all transferees and makers of NFA firearms. This significant change from the proposed rule is certainly a welcome sight, given that a requirement that all RPs would have to obtain CLEO signature would have created a prohibition by regulation in many areas of the country. However, the requirement is still problematic in that it requires you to disclose confidential tax information and there is no centralized place designated to send it. Remember, the definition of a CLEO includes your local chief of police, county sheriff, head of the State police, or State or local district attorney or prosecutor. That raises the question, how do I prove that I submitted it if my local police chief fails to retain it in his records? Multiple RPs in a single trust could submit their Form 5320.23 to multiple CLEOs, creating chaos if you are ever forced to prove your compliance with the new rule. This would suggest that the use of registered mail to deliver such forms would be advisable.
The new rule clarifies that “an executor, administrator, personal representative, or other person authorized under State law to dispose of property in an estate (collectively “executor”) may possess a firearm registered to a decedent during the term of probate without such possession being treated as a transfer”.
The phrase “during the term of probate” seems to assume the fact that all estates are going to be probated in the proper timeframe. In most states, there is only a limited period of time to commence a judicial probate process, oftentimes a period of 3 years. Many estates do not require a probate process to transfer the decedent’s other assets, because of the existence of joint ownership, beneficiary designations and revocable living trust planning.
If the family forgets or never realizes that a probate must be opened to transfer a simple suppressor with a value of less than $1,000, they may be precluded from doing so after limitation period has expired. Does this new rule change then prohibit any transfer from occurring after that point when it may not be possible to appoint an executor anymore?
What will the new rule do to existing wait times for NFA applications?
This may be the most concerning element of the new rule. The ATF actually estimates that implementation of the new rule will INCREASE processing times to “six to eight months”, but expects that this will again subside once they have adapted and adjusted to the new process. It further states that the agency “will work to increase its resources and staffing to process the applications”, which unfortunately may be nothing more than a hollow statement. But here is possibly the most alarming statement of all: “Of course, continued increases in the number of applications submitted may correspondingly continue to place pressure on processing times.” Given the frenzied buying of gun trusts and rush to get applications submitted that has been seen in just the single day since the new rule was signed, this statement looks quite prophetic, indeed.
Is it too late to set up a gun trust and make applications?
Absolutely not. You can create a gun trust right away and get applications submitted that may never be impacted by the new rule, assuming that you don’t make future applications after its effective date.
Does the new rule render gun trusts meaningless?
No, not at all. The gun trust will still be extremely advantageous in owning NFA weapons. While you may be subject to some new requirements in making future applications (which may be minimized, as discussed above), a gun trust is without doubt the best way to legally share the use of NFA weapons with others. The possibility of an accidental felony transfer of NFA weapons by permitting others to use them can be eliminated by holding the weapons in trust and making others beneficiaries and co-trustees of the trust.
In addition, use of a gun trust eliminates the need for a judicial probate process to transfer the weapons upon your death. When you consider that an attorney’s retainer to do the most basic of probates may be $2,500 or more, this is a no-brainer.
Finally, a properly constructed gun trust is a comprehensive management system to instruct successors on how these weapons need to be handled, so that they know what restrictions are involved and don’t get into trouble with these weapons.