FINAL Rule 41F – Background Checks for Responsible Persons – Effective July 13 2016

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On January 4, 2016, the Attorney General signed ATF Final Rule 41F, Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect To Making or Transferring a Firearm, amending the regulations regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act (NFA).  The goal of the final rule is to ensure that the identification and background check requirements apply equally to individuals, trusts, and legal entities who apply to make or receive NFA firearms.

PLEASE NOTE: Final Rule 41F became effective on JULY 13, 2016.  Applications received with a post-mark of July 13, 2016 and after will be processed according to the specifications of 41F.

How Does Final Rule 41F Change Current NFA Regulations?

Who is a Responsible Person?

What Do NFA Trust or Legal Entity Applicants Affected by the Change Need to Know?

Related Resources

Related Research and Background Information

Contact Information

How Does Final Rule 41F Change Current NFA Regulations?

The final rule affects the NFA regulations by:

  • defining the term “responsible person,” as used in reference to a trust, partnership, association, company, or corporation;
  • requiring responsible persons of such trusts or legal entities to complete ATF form 5320.23, National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire and to submit photographs and fingerprints when the trust or legal entity files an application to make an NFA firearm or is listed as the transferee on an application to transfer an NFA firearm;
  • requiring that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the specified form for responsible persons (5320.23), be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the applicant/transferee or responsible person resides; and
  • eliminating the requirement for certification signed by the CLEO.
  • In addition, the final rule adds a new section to ATF’s regulations to address the possession and transfer of firearms registered to a decedent.

Who is a Responsible Person?

In the case of an unlicensed entity, including any trust, partnership, association, company (including any Limited Liability Company (LLC)), or corporation, any individual who possesses, directly or indirectly, the power or authority to direct the management and polices 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.

In the case of a TRUST, those persons with the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust include any person who has the capability to exercise such power and possesses, directly or indirectly, the power or authority under any trust instrument, or under State law, to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust.

Image of a gun with a supressor

Examples of who may be considered a responsible person of a trust or legal entity include:

  • Settlors/Grantors
  • Trustees
  • Partners
  • Members
  • Officers
  • Board members
  • Owners
  • Beneficiaries – if said beneficiary has the capability to exercise any of the powers or authorities enumerated above.

What Do NFA Trust or Legal Entity Applicants Affected by the Change Need to Know?

If you are:

  • applying as a trust or legal entity to make and register an NFA firearm on a Form 1, or
  • receiving an NFA firearm in the name of a trust or other legal entity as the transferee on a Form 4, or Form 5,

the following information is applicable to your applications:

  • all responsible persons named in the trust or legal entity are required to undergo a background check.
  • all responsible persons must complete the Form 5320.23 with photo attached and provide two FD-258 fingerprint cards in order to initiate the required background check.  Fingerprint cards may be ordered from the ATF Distribution Center through the online Distribution Center Order Form, or by calling (703) 870-7525 or (703) 870-7528.
  • Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification has been replaced with CLEO notification.  The applicant on the Form 1 and the transferee on the Forms 4 and 5 shall forward a completed copy of the application to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality in which the applicant or transferee is located.  In addition, all responsible persons must also submit a completed copy of Form 5320.23, to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality in which the responsible person resides.
  • after July 12, 2016, all applications to make or transfer NFA firearms must be submitted on the new Form 1, Form 4 or Form 5 and a Form 5320.23 must be completed by each responsible person of a trust or legal entity.
  • after July 12, 2016, CLEO certification is no longer required but applicants must send a copy of the application to make or transfer NFA firearms to their chief law enforcement officer notifying them of the application.
  • all applications post marked prior to the effective date of July 13, 2016 will be processed according to the current regulations. 
  • all applications post marked on or after the effective date of July 13, 2016 will be processed according to the new regulations set forth by 41F.

Related Resources

Final Rule 41F: Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect To Making or Transferring a Firearm

General 41F Questions and Answers

Forms related to Final Rule 41F

All previous editions of the forms are obsolete and will not be accepted.

Order Forms and Fingerprint Cards
 

Related Research and Background Information

National Firearms Act

Regulations and Rulings

Contact Information

Please direct 41F related questions to 41F@atf.gov.

All applications must be mailed to the address below:

Mailing Address

NFA Branch
P.O. Box 530298
Atlanta, GA 30353-0298

Phone

Phone: (304) 616-4500
Fax:     (304) 616-4501

 

Last Reviewed December 1, 2016