ATF increases staff to deal with applications for NFA items

| April 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

In the “good news, bad news” department we have some news from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to a letter from the Marvin G. Richardson (PDF download), assistant director of the ATF sent out on April 16, 2014, the number of NFA applications has exploded by 380% from 2005 to 2013. They almost processed (not just received) 200,000 forms in 2013.

The eFile system (which I’ve used) had a ton of problems, but it was a LOT faster than the paper method (which I have also used). Unfortunately the eFile system had all sorts of infrastructure issues. I knew their system was in trouble when they mentioned scheduled, routine reboots — something I know from professional experience that means their back end systems aren’t properly programmed.

The eFile system was put on hold, but starting the week of April 21, 2014 will start accepting certain forms, with all forms being processed “over the next several weeks.”

The ATF has also extended working hours to seven days a week and is trying to hire 15 dedicated staff and are training 15 staff to assist with processing.

Additional ATF staff have been asked to help with the backlog, which is good news for people like my instructor who have had forms out for almost a year.

So, the bad news first, because I’m that kind of guy:

Some people within the firearms industry / civil rights arena are concerned that this is some kind of “dress rehearsal” for universal firearms registration.

It’s an interesting double-edged sword. On one hand, the number of NFA items used in crimes is incredibly small. The huge increase of NFA item applications as well as their responsible use make strong arguments that people want short barreled firearms and suppressors, and can use them safely and legally.

On the other hand, the government could make the case that registering all of these items clearly proves that registration reduces crimes committed with registered items. Yes it’s a stretch, but “stretches” are what gun laws are based on.

The good news, aside from the aforementioned increase of applications that demonstrate desire and responsibility:

The ATF is revamping their eFile system

The ATF is increasing their ability to process both paper and eFile applications

Tax revenue makes everyone friends. While the letter from Assistant Director Richardson didn’t specify the number of applications, only the processed¬†applications, the government took in almost $4 million dollars in 2013 from NFA applications. The government loves money, and perhaps the increased volume can be used to our advantage.

Click here to view the entire letter (PDF format).

What do you think about the ATF’s letter?

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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