By John Brown
There isn't anyone in our community that has received a transfer that has not experienced the lightning speed in the processing of all NFA forms by the NFA Branch. Everyone from the new Customer Service group all the way to the licensing team has really stepped up to the plate and done a tremendous job of tightening up the procedure of processing all types of forms for our community. The efficiency is almost mind boggling. Form 4s, if filled our properly, are getting processed in about 20 days! Although the NFA examiners are still experiencing a lot of problems from our own ranks, including returned checks and the like, when you follow some rather simple instructions, the speed of turnaround is incredible.
All of the members of the NFATCA thought it was time we officially recognized members of the NFA Branch. We began our task by contacting our membership and canvassing feedback on specific ATF personnel that we wanted to recognize for their outstanding efforts since the move to Martinsburg. After receiving a lot of response from members of the NFA community, board members of the NFATCA made a visit to Martinsburg accompanied by Lew Radin, Assistant Director - Office of Enforcement Programs and Audrey Stucko, Chief - Office of Enforcement Programs. We met with the NFA staff and presented them with beautiful plaques and a letter of recognition for their outstanding efforts. We each spoke to the group about their accomplishments and made certain that they received the praise and recognition that they so well deserve. As Mr. Radin stated, "This is a first in our industry where our customers have stepped forward and made a point of recognizing ATF employees for making such monumental improvements in a process that really is all about customer service. We are grateful for the thanks and most importantly the true partnership that has evolved in the NFATCA working with ATF to improve the entire process that makes all of our lives easier." Mr. Radin went on to thank the NFATCA and the entire community for the efforts we are making to work together to solve the problems that we both have experienced during the last few years.
Mrs. Stucko followed Mr. Radin's remarks by unveiling Version 1.0 of the official NFA Handbook. The Handbook, being two years in the making, was the first version of a collaborative effort to join ATF and the NFA community in a common set of regulations that we can all agree on and follow. Following her remarks I joined Mrs. Stucko and mentioned that although version 1.0 provided a lot of needed information, we all recognized that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve on the information that was addressed in this first volume of our joint efforts. Within a few short weeks of making the handbook available we are already receiving some great feedback for our first revisions that will be made in late 2007. Those that have criticized the effort have yet to join the ranks of the NFATCA to help us improve the effort. We are still looking to strengthen our knowledge base with members that can make a meaningful contribution of information that we all need to be successful in our efforts with the Bureau.
Soon after the official ceremony, we all sat at lunch together and discussed the next steps that we can take together to further improve our processes and relationship.
Shortly after lunch with the NFA Branch, the NFATCA held the official kick-off meeting with the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) to initiate the process of developing the FTB Handbook. This process will involve a lot of work. Our first meeting revolved around setting goals and objectives and selecting the team for the project, and the process for developing an outline for content. There will be more to follow on the specifics of developing the handbook in future articles. Once again we encourage the entire community to get involved and join with us in making this a successful effort.
It will be a busy year for us and we look forward to continuing to support the entire community. Come join us and make a difference with your knowledge, expertise and much needed experience. Contact us at www.nfatca.org for more information.
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