Two new proposals by President Barack Obama expected to be formally announced today would affect the importation of U.S. military firearms and add additional requirements to corporations or trusts that own NFA weapons.
The Associated Press is reporting that the formal announcements of these proposals will be made later today in the White House Roosevelt Room in conjunction with the swearing in of Todd Jones as the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The most significant of the two proposals would end the importation by "private entities" of U.S. military weapons "sold or donated to allies by the U.S."
This would prohibit importers, such as Century International Arms, from importing collectable firearms such as the M1 Garand or M1 Carbine. This would certainly stop the possible importation of hundreds of thousands of Garands and carbines from South Korea that has been discussed in the press over the last few years.
It is not yet clear if this would also prohibit the importation of M1 Garands and other rifles intended for sale by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Although the CMP has been a private corporation since 1996, and thus would seem to be a "private entity," technically the CMP only receives firearms from the U.S. military.
In the past the CMP has received "lend lease" rifles returned from Greece and Denmark, but those rifles were first returned to the control of the U.S. military before being transferred to the CMP.
The other proposal would severely restrict the ownership of NFA weapons such as machine-guns and suppressors by adding additional complications to the process of establishing a corporation or trust to own those items. The proposal would require a background check and fingerprints from corporate officers, beneficiaries and trustees before they could be allowed access to the firearms.
This change could potentially require those individuals to conduct the complete background check and fingerprint process whenever any particular NFA item changes possession from one person within the trust or corporation to another.
According to AP, there would be a 90 day comment period before any new rule affecting trusts and corporations could go into effect. It is not clear how quickly any new restrictions on the importation of previous U.S. military arms could take effect.