November 2013

Down Range: November 2013

Time To Get a Suppressor!

I recently set up a trust and bought my first suppressor — an $1100 decision spurred in part by President Obama’s August 29 announcements of two new executive actions on firearms.

The first White House action, “Keep Surplus Military Weapons Off Our Streets,” aims to stop the importation of vintage M1 Garand rifles. These are the same rifles currently being sold by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and to our knowledge, have never been used in a crime. But the president often builds straw men to advance his agenda, so stopping importation of guns that aren’t being used in crimes makes perfect sense.

It was the second exeTcutive action that moved me to immediate action. It seeks to “Close a Loophole to Keep Some of the Most Dangerous Guns Out of the Wrong Hands,” meaning it will stop some collectors, investors, and hunters from buying and selling the least-criminally-used guns made today. Registered NFA weapons (machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and suppressors) have virtually never been used in crimes, unless you get your facts from Hollywood donors.

I have had a mild interest in getting a suppressor before because I’ve realized my home-defense firearms would blind me and make me deaf if I ever had to discharge them in anger. Suppressors ameliorate those problems. Also, our recent testing of suppressors on some firearms has made me appreciate how much more fun they can make a range trip.

Product Coordination Editor Kevin Winkle pointed out that The Washington Times and many other media outlets reported Obama’s new executive action would require individuals listed on corporations and trusts that own NFA weapons to pass background checks. He, too, had just set up his trust and made his initial suppressor purchases recently, so I asked him to bring us all up to date on what’s happening. Here’s his report:

If you go to www.regulations.gov and search for 41P, you will learn the rest of the story. While you are on the website, you can post a comment about the proposed regulation. It probably won’t make a difference, but I posted one anyway.

Under current law, if an individual applies to make or purchase an NFA weapon, he needs to submit an ATF Form, fingerprints, photographs, $200 Tax Stamp payment and a Chief Law Enforcement Officer Certificate. But if a Trust or Corporation applies for an NFA weapon, it only submits the ATF Form and the Trust or Corporation document and the $200 payment for the Tax Stamp. If the purchase is approved, in either case, the person who receives the weapon undergoes a NICS background check, but in the case of a trust or corporation, anyone listed may be in possession of the NFA weapon, but only the buyer has to pass a background check. The ATF has cited two cases where prohibited persons were members of a corporation that owned NFA weapons, but no cases where such an individual committed a crime with an NFA weapon.

Based on my research, I believe the Chief Law Enforcement Officers in most large cities will not sign the ATF NFA forms. If the new executive action goes into effect,