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Industry News: ATF Updates NFA Handbook
By Robert M. Hausman

ATF has announced that the National Firearms Act (NFA) Handbook, the collaborative effort of the ATF and the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association (NFATCA), has recently been updated and the revised version is now available on the ATF website:

The NFA Handbook is no longer available in a printed version from ATF. ATF’s goal is to ensure the regular update and availability of this document without going through the time intensive and costly process of printing. This will result in the continuous availability of a more current and accurate guidebook.

The updates include:

  • Chapter 1 - a revision to section 1.6 to include the new address and telephone numbers for the Federal Firearms Licensing Center.
  • Chapter 6 - a revision to section 6.4, Approval of Form 1, and a new section 6.8, Withdrawal or Cancellation of an ATF Form 1 and Refund of Making Tax.
  • Chapter 7 - a revision to section 7.4.4, Obtaining variances to the marking requirement, and its subsections.
  • Chapter 9 - a revision to sections, Transfers of NFA firearms to persons other than an individual or an FFL and special (occupational) taxpayer,, Repair of firearm silencers, 9.8, U.S. Government-owned firearms, and 9.12, Are FFLs/SOTs required to initiate a background check of the transferee under the Brady law in connection with the transfer of an NFA firearm?, and a new section 9.14, Transferable Status and the Form 10.
  • Chapter 10 - a new section 10.1.5, DEWATS, and, Reactivation of DEWATS.
  • Chapter 13 - a revision to section 13.7, Reporting information in response to ATF trace requests.
  • Chapter 14 - a revision to section 14.3, Disposition of “post-1986 machineguns.”
  • Chapter 15 - a revision to section 15.2.1, Criminal.

CA Suit Seeks to Restore Carry Rights

The Second Amendment Foundation, The Calguns Foundation and three California residents have filed a lawsuit seeking to vindicate the right to bear arms against arbitrary state infringement.

Nearly all states allow qualified law-abiding citizens to carry guns for self-defense, but a few states allow local officials to arbitrarily decide who may exercise this core Second Amendment right. In the action, Plaintiffs challenge the policies of two California Sheriffs, in Sacramento and Yolo counties, who reject the basic human right of self defense by refusing to issue ordinary people gun carry permits.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, said, “It’s a shame that these Sheriffs don’t think that self-defense is a ‘good cause’ to exercise the right to bear arms, but we’re confident the Second Amendment reflects a better policy.”

Added co-counsel Donald Kilmer, “The California carry licensing system is being abused by some officials who are hostile to self-defense rights. The police can regulate the carrying of guns, and that includes preventing dangerous people from being armed. Complete deprivation of the right to bear arms, however, is not an option under our Constitution.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision last year in the Heller case shows that there is both a right to keep arms and a right to bear arms,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “In most states, authorities do not deny a license to carry an operable firearm to any law-abiding applicant who completes training and a background check. This is also the practice throughout much of California. These two Sheriffs must respect the constitutional rights of their citizens to bear arms.”

S&W Reports Increased 3rd Qtr. Sales

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 157-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, has announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2009.

Net product sales for the three months ended January 31, 2009 were $83.2 million, a $17.1 million, or 25.9%, increase over net product sales for the three months ended January 31, 2008. Net income for the third fiscal quarter was $2.4 million, or $0.05 per fully diluted share, compared with a net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.04 per share, for the comparable quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDAS, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $9.2 million for the third quarter, compared with $3.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Total firearms sales for the third quarter were $78.5 million, an increase of $16.9 million, or 27.5%, over the third quarter of last year. Pistol sales increased 45.7% to $24.9 million, driven by continued consumer demand, law enforcement adoption of the M&P polymer pistol line, and strong consumer sales of the Sigma pistol line.

Sales of M&P pistols increased 77.1% for the third quarter. M&P tactical rifle sales increased by 111% to $8.8 million for the third quarter as demand for this product remained strong in both the consumer and law enforcement channels. Total revolver sales were $22.3 million, an increase of $7 million, or 45.4%, versus the comparable quarter one year ago. Sales of non-firearm accessories, including handcuffs, totaled $4.7 million, a 4% increase over non-firearm accessory sales of $4.5 million for the third quarter last year.

Hunting firearm sales of $6.7 million represented a decline of $5.8 million, or 46.4%, from the comparable quarter in the last fiscal year. Hunting products continued to be negatively impacted by a number of factors, including their position in the consumer discretionary marketplace and a distribution channel that is buying cautiously.

Michael F. Golden, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I am pleased to report these very positive results for our third fiscal quarter. Our handgun and tactical rifle products have consistently delivered favorable results throughout the past several quarters, and during the third quarter, we experienced significant increases in the consumer demand for these products. Despite continuing weakness in the overall economy, we focused on our strategy to grow our business in the consumer and the professional channels, and we launched some important new products. At the same time, we addressed recent, very strong demand, for our pistols, revolvers, and tactical rifles. In fact, sales of handguns and tactical rifles into our consumer channel for the third quarter grew 62% over the prior year. We delivered solid profits, and we made significant progress toward bolstering our balance sheet by reducing our inventories and effectively managing our accounts receivable, which resulted in a strengthening of our cash position.”

The author publishes two of the small arms industry’s most widely read trade newsletters. The International Firearms Trade covers the world firearms scene, and The New Firearms Business covers the domestic market. Visit He may be reached at:


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