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In a post-41F world, Trusts are still the way to go.


From the inception of NFA trusts until ATF Rule 41F went into effect in July, 2016, NFA firearms transferred into a trust via a Form 4 or Form 1 did not require fingerprints, passport pics, etc. The entity, the Trust, “owned” the NFA firearms, therefore, the trustees of the trust were not required, at that time, to submit to a background check. 41F changed that. Now, trustees and beneficiaries (and others) meeting the ATF’s definition of “Responsible Person” must submit a Responsible Person Questionnaire, ATF Form 5320.23, often called a Form 23. The Form 23 requires each Responsible Person to submit information about the Trust, NFA firearm to be transferred into the trust, passport pics and fingerprints and the name and address of their chief law enforcement officer (CLEO). Each Responsible Person must also submit a copy of the Form 23 to their CLEO, although that copy does not require fingerprints, pics or the serial number of the firearm. In this way, the notice submitted to CLEO removes the CLEO approval required in the “good old days”.

41F requires the Responsible Persons to submit to a background check. Is that onerous? Yes, if compared to the prior requirement for trustees, which was essentially nothing.

However, I often hear people say that somehow 41F has devalued the usefulness of trusts. I hear that he burden is too great on trustees, etc. Again, compared to the prior requirements, yes, there are now more. However, when I ask people who the new requirements will negatively affect, i.e. how many trustees and beneficiaries they plan to have, the answer is usually a small number. Having a sibling or spouse who is an enthusiast submit to a background check doesn’t hinder people from acquiring NFA firearms to transfer into their trust. Additionally, when I hear people say they’ll have NFA firearms individually transferred to them due to 41F, I remind them that the individual transfer doesn’t resolve the issues with probate assets, privacy concerns and accidental felonies in the form of other people having access to the NFA firearm.

Despite the new burdens, trusts are still the best way to possess NFA firearms.


For the ATF’s FAQ’s of Responsible Person, see:


Yes, Suppressors are legal in South Carolina (and most other states).


Every time I go to the range with a suppressor, someone asks me if they’re legal. Overlooking the obvious fact that if they were illegal, I wouldn’t have several or be flaunting them in public, I always answer that, yes, suppressors are legal to own. As previously mentioned in another post, suppressors are considered firearms under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (as well as subsequent legislation) and require registration with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Additionally, one must complete an application to transfer possession of a suppressor and pay a $200 transfer fee. The application, ATF 5320.4, commonly referred to as a “Form 4” is similar to the Form 4473 that’s required for purchases of firearms from a licensed dealer. In addition to the identifying information required on the 4473 (like name, address, etc.) the Form 4 has additional requirements, such as:

  • filling the forms out in triplicate (one for ATF, one returned to the transferee and one submitted to your Chief Law Enforcement Officer – your chief of police or sheriff),
  • the need for two sets of fingerprints (which must be submitted on FD-258 fingerprint cards, and
  • passport size and quality photos

26 U.S.C. Sec. 5845(a) Defines what firearms are included in the National Firearms Act:

  1. Shotgun with barrel(s) less than 18 inches;
  2. Weapon made from a shotgun with a barrel less than 28 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches;
  3. Rifle with barrel(s) less than 16 inches;
  4. A weapon made from a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches or overall length of less than 26 inches;
  5. Any Other Weapon (AOW) that is capable of being concealed on the person as defined in 26 U.S.C 5854(a);
  6. A machine gun;
  7. A silencer (Suppressor); or a
  8. Destructive device.

All of these items are legal in South Carolina, assuming they are approved and properly transferred. So, yes, suppressors are legal in South Carolina and, yes, you can most likely own one simply by submitting the proper documents.

When it comes to owning a suppressor or other NFA firearm, a trust is ideal. An NFA or Gun Trust allows for maximum flexibility and privacy for NFA ownership.


The Genie is out of the Bottle…

The genie is out of the bottle. Or the horse is out of the barn. Either way, 3D printing is here to stay. The combination of 3D printing technology, firearms and kickback against the National Firearms Act (NFA) makes a reasonable person wonder why the NFA is, or ever was, necessary. Below is a link to an interesting article. Someone submitted an ATF Form 1, paid the tax, waited for approval and then 3D printed a .22 suppressor. From a legal standpoint, little has changed. All applicable laws must be followed in order to manufacture, possess and/or transfer a suppressor. From a manufacturing standpoint, the world changed, even if only slightly.

Of course, the suppressor is plastic and, yes, it’s a .22 suppressor, etc. However, the fact remains: a the capability to manufacture a fully functional suppressor is as simple as a 3D rendering, filament and the printer of your choice. The utility is easy to overlook if the focus is merely upon what the process lacks in that it’s still subject to a tax and a months-long wait time. However, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the benefit in legally manufacturing your own cans. More to follow.


3-D Printed .22LR Form 1 Suppressor

It’s a new day.

The Associate Deputy Director and chief operating officer of  BATFE, Ronald B. Turk, recently wrote a eleven page paper entitled “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations.” In the paper, Turk states that restrictions on the importation of certain firearms into the United States may not serve their intended purposes. Restriction on imports is generally useless when the same items are available so long as they are manufactured in the United States. For example, Benelli shotguns have smaller magazine capacities than Remington or Mossberg, simply because they’re imported.

Turk also opines that “Silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings,” and that “Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety.”

Wow. The COO of the BATFE gets it.

Where are we now? No one really knows. However, it seems like the tide may be turning in favor of law-abiding gun owners.

Read Mr. Turk’s paper here:



Knowing the Why.


Below is a link to a Washington Post article critical of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) and the NRA’s efforts to introduce and pass it in Congress. A legitimate and articulable basis of the HPA is that unsuppressed gunfire damages hearing. Hearing, once lost, doesn’t heal and can only be restored with a hearing aid, in best case scenarios.  As such, the American Suppressor Association (ASA) prominently lists hearing protection as a benefit to suppressor ownership. Additionally, there  are federal regulations regarding hearing protection in the workplace, which bolster the position that repetitive trauma should be mitigated. The WP article seeks to dismiss concerns over hearing protection which suppressors generally resolve.

Instead, the article claims that, “Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.”

Why is this important? It’s important because people who either know little about firearms/suppressors, people who are flatly opposed to them or people who only know what they hear from the Washington Post equate firearms with crime and negligence. The example given in the article is that firearm noise will save lives because the noise will mitigate the ill effects of criminals and the potentially criminally negligent. This point of view overlooks almost everything else, everything else defined as the millions of law-abiding gun owners who simply want to protect their health as well as the hundreds of millions of firearms are never used for any nefarious purpose.

It’s important to know the facts about what you advocate for. It’s been said that one of the greatest gifts you can offer is to explain things simply. Simply stated, Suppressors are rarely used in crimes. They’re widely available for hunters in Europe with little regulation, if any, for the suppressors themselves. Suppressors do lower decibel levels and protect hearing. Most importantly, suppressors aren’t like what you see in the movies, where only Mafiosos and assassins use them to further a dark plot. In reality, you’re much more likely to see someone at the range using a suppressor (which he/she paid for, filled out an ATF Form 4 in triplicate for, submitted fingerprints and  passport photos for, gave notice to their local law enforcement department for and, ideally, has a trust set up in order to manage the suppressor and allow trustees and beneficiaries to access) who can enjoy shooting without having to yell to communicate, due to the ear protection.

Lastly, but not finally, while hearing protection is an issue worth fighting for with regard to suppressors, it’s not the only one. The National Firearms Act (NFA) is far from settled law and like all laws, subject to amendment. Some introspection now, albeit almost 100 years after the fact, would go a long way and yield additional arguments as to why suppressors should not be regulated or why the NFA should be amended, repealed, etc. In short, the argument over hearing loss is a worthy one. Know the facts and help however you can. But don’t limit your advocacy to that benefit of suppressor ownership alone. There are other arguments to be made whether, constitutional, utilitarian or otherwise. It’s important to know the why and to be able to explain it simply. This will go a long way in helping people understand the why.





Two Stamps


A suppressed Krink in 300 BLK


The other day, someone asked me if they needed two ATF Form 4’s if they purchased an short-barreled rifle (SBR) with a suppressor. The answer is yes. The SBR and suppressor are each considered a firearm under the NFA. Therefore, each requires a separate Form 4 to transfer. Even the upcoming integrally-suppressed SBRs manufactured by Daniel Defense and Sig will, as of now, require two tax stamps. Keep in mind the wait times for each approval may vary. Of course, if you’re manufacturing an SBR, you’d need to fill out an ATF Form 1 instead of the Form 4. There are a few blogs I follow where people feature suppressed SBRs every Tuesday, which has been labeled “Tax Stamp Tuesday” or “Two Stamp Tuesday”. In making a decision, don’t let the requirement for another stamp deter you. the added cost, paperwork and frustration shouldn’t keep you from what you want.

Stamp Collecting…

Below is a link to an article I wrote for The Firearm Blog several years ago. It chronicles my first suppressor purchase. After discovering how easy the process is, I couldn’t believe I waited so long to purchase a suppressor.

Stamp Collecting…

Silencerco’s Maxim 9

After the years of development, rumors and speculation, Silencerco’s integrally-suppressed Maxim 9 will be available this spring/summer. Virtually everything about this gun is intriguing. The overall look is futuristic, however Silencerco found the balance between awesome and utility. They thought of everything. The suppressor portion of the pistol can be disassembled for maintenance. Baffles can be removed as well in order to shorten the overall length. The decibel reduction is impressive, even with some of the baffles removed. Additionally, the pistol sports the ability to mount an optic and light, and accepts Glock magazines.

In a crowded market where every manufacturer claims their pistol is a “game-changer”, the Maxim 9 actually delivers. It does change the game. Only time will tell whether it exceeds the hype, whether more calibers emerge, whether the HPA passes, etc. But Silencerco is now deeply etched in the walls of firearm history.




The Hearing Protection Act

The Hearing Protection Act (HPA) currently states:

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) eliminate the $200 transfer tax on firearm silencers, and (2) treat any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act with respect to such silencer. Any person who pays a tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015 may receive a refund of such tax.

The bill amends the federal criminal code to preempt state or local laws that tax or regulate firearm silencers.

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