Should you include fingerprint cards to FFL and C&R Licensee Requests?

 
In the Federal Register, ATF lately posted 2 notices. One mentioned that they would be merging ATF Form 7CR (5310.16) and ATF Form 7 (5310.12), Curios and Relics license, and the requests for an FFL. The other notification is for the formation of a Responsible Persons Questionnaire (RPQ) to use with the latest planned form. I have incorporated both planned forms at the end of this blog.
 

A picture on AR15.com said that if the planned modifications go through “C&R candidates will not just still require to obtain CLEO signoff, then they will also require to offer photographs and fingerprints.” In the post, he incorporates a quotation from an e-mail he got from ATF regarding the planned modifications.
 
18 U.S.C. §923(a) which deals with folks involved in the business of dealing, manufacturing, or importing in weapons, or manufacturing or importing ammo particularly forbids that a person applying should present photographs and fingerprints. §923(b) which deals with folks getting a license as a collector ignores that condition. Although the law doesn’t have any particular requirement, it’s not outside the scope of possibility that ATF could move in rulemaking to need that. That’s not the case presently.
 
Looking at the planned modifications, there is no sign that ATF plans for C&R candidates to present photographs and fingerprints, which is conflicting to the post on AR15.com. However, on December 10th, I sent a message to Tracey Robertson from ATF to ask whether ATF planned for a Curios and Relics candidate to offer photographs and fingerprints with their application. She replied later that day saying “Fingerprint card and photo are not needed for C&R licenses. This won’t alter with the planned new forms.” She went on to say that the modifications are to merge the forms to remove usual errors made by individuals and make the handling more effective.
 
After getting a copy of the planned forms, it is obvious there is no need for C&R candidates to include fingerprints or photographs. The planned RPQ does indeed has a space for an individual’s photo. The box to the right includes the directions that all photos, fingerprint cards, RPQs, and application fees must be mailed to the address provided below. Although at first look it might appear that it’s needed for all license requests, the form incorporates, in quite noticeable bold font, that Type 03 license requests (for C&Rs) are NOT needed to present a photograph or fingerprint. The planned form for the substitute of the present Form 7CR and Form 7 also mentions in Instruction 6 “A photograph and fingerprint card aren’t needed if requesting for a Type 03 license only.”
 
However, there’s an issue with ATF’s planned modifications. Since the Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG) ® is frequently on the front of industry activities (like the blog post that created many requests for Form 1 machine guns which has now increased national care, ATF 41P commentary, etc.), it came to our attention that ATF’s planned rule is in conflict with 18 U.S.C. §926(b) which needs 90 days’ notice before forbidding a regulation or rule. These planned modifications have only given people 60 days’ notice to comment.