The ‘Shall Certify’ movement gaining ground


Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an historic piece of legislation yesterday.

It was a “kitchen sink” type bill with a lot of pro-gun provisions. GunPt Skorpion

It also, according to NRA-ILA, contained the following clause:

Codify a “shall certify” requirement that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign off on an application to transfer an item regulated by the National Firearms Act, including short barreled rifles/shotguns and suppressors, within fifteen days, as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the item.”

I’ve seen a lot of gun legislation – too much perhaps.  This, however, is one of the best ideas out there for those of us seeking to enjoy Title II firearms: Short-barrel rifles and shotguns, machine guns and suppressors.

Oklahoma and a handful of other states are also tinkering with the “Shall Certify” idea.

The big problem for those of us lucky enough to live in states where Title II firearms are legal, is getting a signature from our chief law enforcement officer – a sheriff of chief of police – on the ATF Form 4, the application for a Title II transfer.

Many of the CLEOs simply refuse to sign the form. There’s no law requiring them to do so. Some will sign them if they know the applicant. Others have blanket policies to refuse to sign the forms.

Sure, you can also go to an attorney and create an NFA trust, but the ATF may soon make this process more difficult as well.

The “Shall Certify” idea, which requires CLEOs to sign the Form 4 and gives them a tight deadline, is the best option out there to obtain Title II firearms and accessories, which are increasing in popularity.

Suppressor sales, for example, increased 37 percent last year over 2012 numbers.

The public is clamoring for Title II firearms.

“Shall Certify” legislation is the best solution.

While Florida’s legislative session is winding down, I hope “Shall Certify” legislation finds a way into the next session’s legislative agenda.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: The 'Shall Certify' movement gaining ground | The Gun Feed

  2. The best solution is to get rid of the idea of NFA items. Get rid of the poll tax and year long background check from the government for silencers, short barrels and AOW’s.

  3. It isn’t a year long background check. 3 or 4 months at most and usually if it’s your first time purchase. What they need to do is get rid of the requirement that you need the CLEO’s signature.

  4. Pingback: Are Florida sheriffs, police chiefs regulating NFA firearms?

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