The Clock is Ticking for Suppressor Ownership
Suppressor ownership is legal under U.S. federal law. It is also legal in 39 U.S. states. For those that aren't aware, the signature of your local chief law enforcement officer is required by the ATF for individuals to purchase a suppressor. This would amount to an outright ban in most jurisdictions because most sheriffs refuse to sign for completely self-serving political reasons (CYA).
Fortunately, citizens have been able to get around this bullshit law by establishing a trust and purchasing the item in the name of the trust. CLEO signature is not a requirement if you take the trust route.
As some of you may know our fearless leader recently signed an executive order that would make the CLEO signature a requirement for trusts as well. This will amount to a de facto ban on items that are perfectly legal. This action is morally reprehensible. It is a clear violation of our legal rights.
We are in the last month of a 90 day comment period before this change goes into effect. If you think you would ever like to purchase a suppressor or if you simply think it's bullshit for your government to throw impossible hurdles in the way of your legal rights, I suggest you speak up quick on regulations.gov.
For all the details, here's the text of a flyer I received from the awesome guys at NCSilencer.com. These guys are a wealth of information and they're THE nicest guys I've ever spoken to in the firearms industry. Some of their discussion references NC law, but this is relevant in any state where suppressor ownership is legal. If this concerns you, you better speak up now. It's your last chance:
"Fall is upon us, and it's time for another News You Can Use Newsletter from NC SILENCER. There are a lot of important things happening in the suppressor world, so let's get right to the point.
First of all, we know that many of you reading this are not NCS customers or may not even be residents of North Carolina, but the nuggets of info I'm sharing here are very important. They are vital enough to share with EVERYONE. Therefore, if you've ever contacted NC SILENCER via email about anything, you're on this list. Thanks for understanding. Please read on. It's important.
This month of November 2013 marks the final stretch of the 90-day comment period for ATF proposal ATF 41P. For those of you who are unaware, this is the official proposal designation for the proposed rule changes that the ATF is attempting to introduce. These new rule changes will require that all participants on a trust obtain a CLEO (typically the sheriff) signature in order to purchase an NFA item. If you haven't connected the dots already, in the event that this rule change goes into effect, your ability to purchase suppressors going forward will significantly diminish. Only a handful of NC Sheriffs will currently sign, and it is unlikely that many will change their stance if/when these new rules take effect. So, if these rules become a reality, the bottom line is this: legally acquiring suppressors in North Carolina will be more difficult than getting a supermodel's cellphone number.
We have spoken to our local ATF agent here in NC and she has informed us that after meeting with many sheriffs in person and explaining to them their obligations and liabilities as they pertain to signing NFA paperwork, only a few have changed their stance. The reality is that most CLEOs simply don't understand the purpose of their signature in regards to NFA forms. The fact is, their signature does not give an individual "permission" to own an NFA item. Your right to own an NFA item - like a silencer or an SBR - is regulated at the federal level, not the local level. That's right; the "N" in NFA stands for "National" Kind of self-explanatory right? Nonetheless, many Sheriffs think that they have the power to "allow" you to own a suppressor, and that by signing your paperwork and giving you "permission" they are somehow accepting liability if you were to "misuse" the suppressor (Yes all of those quotations are necessary). I want to make this perfectly clear, THAT IS SIMPLY NOT THE CASE. The only purpose of the Sheriff's signature is to give the ATF the authority to perform a background check on you. This is way the NFA law is written. Without the signature, the ATF cannot conduct a criminal background check on you. Stupid, but true. I'm sure that 99% of us would be perfectly A-OK to submit ourselves to a background check in order to legally obtain a suppressor, but the system has stacked the deck against us by placing a "CLEO" between us and the 2nd Amendment.
So, by requiring this CLEO signature for no good reason, the ATF, the Obama administration, and all of the other gun-grabbers are using red-tape to circumvent the actual law making process to effectively deny you your rights. Far be it for me to tell you how to feel, but if you are like me, YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED.
We implore you to take a few minutes out of your day to fight for your rights to own suppressors, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and yes, even machine-guns if you so desire. We know that many of you have already accepted this challenge and given the ATF your $0.02. Well, we want to thank you for that, and encourage you to give them more flack. For the rest of the month of November, NC SILENCER will be offering a FREE Ruger 10/22 Tactical iTAC with folding stock, to the one customer who files the best comment on the proposed rule change on the regulations.gov website. That's right folks,100% free. Even if you live outside of North Carolina, we will gladly ship the pistol you chose to a dealer in your area for you to pick-up. All you will need to do is input your comment, provide your name other information, and submit the comment. Once that's done, just put the comment ID number in the "subject" field of an e-mail, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hank and I will personally read through your comments and judge them based on content, articulation, and ability to covey power and emotion about the topic. The comment that we deem the best wins a new Ruger 10/22. Simple as that. All comments entered through December 1, 2013 will be considered. (Note: If the website isn't up, please check back and try again. As we've all observed recently, the government does not have a good track record when it comes to operating websites.)
Please note that each comment is assigned a unique identification number (distinct from the tracking number) that looks like this: ATF-2013-0001-XXXX. This is the ID number we need from you in your email entry.
When we say the "best" comment, we do not necessarily mean the longest, or the one with the biggest legal-sounding words. We mean the comment that most accurately sums up the way this rule change will affect you and your enjoyment of suppressed shooting. If you haven't received your suppressor yet, tell them why you wanted one in the first place, or why you never would have been able to get one without a trust. Tell them how this would be another step backward for the economy, tell them about how this will crush the suppressor market, tell them how NO crime is ever committed with a legally owned NFA item. Tell them whatever you want, just tell them something. And it would probably be helpful if you reiterate the fact that hardly any sheriffs in NC will sign NFA paperwork.
Switching gears now. I want to tell those of you who have made a suppressor purchase (or those of you who are considering purchasing one) where we are in regards to the backlog. First, Hank and I are still receiving approved Forms and tax stamps, so even though the government shutdown slowed us down, it didn't completely stop the wheels from turning. Secondly, I want to stress the fact that the NFA Branch is being inundated with phone calls for status updates. We talk to the ATF on a weekly basis, and by and large they are at their wits end. I know that calling and talking to someone at ATF may make you feel better knowing that your application didn't fall into a bottomless pit, but it really does slow down the process for you and for the next guy. Last Friday, I spoke with the examiner who handles NC transfers. He confirmed that they have in fact, hired more examiners and a few other people into other key positions at the NFA branch.
While the increase in the number of examiners is always good news, the backlog caused by the Government shutdown and the threat caused by ATF 41P has simultaneously increased the back log to somewhere around 60,000 applications. We know that there is also talk of the current wait time for a tax stamp being 15 months if you were to get in line today, but we have not seen any evidence of that as of today. We will do EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU UPDATED OF CHANGES AS WE LEARN OF THEM, including, hopefully, REDUCED approval times. Please understand that once your application is in the pipeline, there is nothing that we can do, or that you can do to speed up your approval. It will come when it comes, and when it does, we'll make sure you receive your tax stamp and suppressor as fast as humanly possible.
As always, if you are a current customer and you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail Hank directly. He will help you however he can. Thanks for your patronage, and hang in there.
Eric Morton, Owner