By John Brown

The NRA Convention 2011

This year marked the first in a series of events that will go down in history for the NFATCA. Just before the NRA convention in Philadelphia began, we received a last minute invitation to pony up and set up a booth in the main convention hall. All hands were called on deck and when the show opened a brand new booth background and posters were on display for the thousands of attendees at this year's convention. You could not help but stop when an 8x10 foot display showed a happy NFA owner walking away from the range with a nice MG42 slung over his shoulder.

I have to say that in the more than a dozen years I have attended the SHOT Show, the NRA Convention was definitely on the top of the list of places the NFATCA wanted to have a presence. We had no idea how much interest could be generated in this type of show in discussing the Class 3 world. Not only were we greeted with open arms from Board members of the NRA, but literally hundreds of people stopped and asked many questions about NFA ownership. In the thirty years I have been in this business I was dumfounded at the interest and the enthusiasm the title one gun community gave to supporting an organization on the NFA front. Not only did we manage to enlist many new members but we generated so much interest in the NFA community that at one point crowds began to gather around to hear the many facets concerning NFA ownership. If there were ever an old wives tale about NFA ownership we heard every single one of them at this show.

It was obvious to all that supported our efforts at this year's convention that we should have been there years before. Long gone are the days where we used to sit around and wonder why the NRA didn't embrace the NFA community. Over the last year I have learned many things from the experienced leadership at the NRA and we have been given some guidance that proves, in this world of the love of the gun, we truly are in this together, fending off a barrage of regulations, and enduring an administration that has proven to be silent but deadly. I reference all of us to the many times in these articles where I have stated "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." In these trying times, the NFATCA has seen the full support of not only the NRA but also the National Shooting Sports Foundation. These two organizations alone wield some important support for not only the title one gun community but are also deeply rooted in support of everything of interest to all of us from the importation of long lost M1 carbines and M1 Garands, but the interests of the NFA community as well. In 2010 and 2011 both the NRA and the NSSF have been at the table with the NFATCA battling many of the issues that we have been focused on together. We have truly united to protect all gun owners both large and small in so many issues in the past months it has become apparent why any organization in this arena must be smart, must be aggressive, yet savvy on how to approach any issue.

2011 marks the first year, but not the last, that we shall be present on the floor of the NRA convention. Thanks to our membership and those that have supported us throughout the last six years the NFATCA steps up again.

In the coming years we shall be prepared to provide a wealth of information about:

  • Dispelling all of the tales about having to have a special license to own an NFA item,
  • Dispelling the idea on having to give up all of your privacy rights when you purchase an NFA item,
  • Dispelling the notion that an annual tax has to be paid for life on each NFA item you own,
  • Details on the total process required to purchase an NFA item,
  • Understanding the collectability and the desire to owning an NFA item, and
  • NFA items as an investment

The list of questions and the answers to these questions were abundant at the NRA convention. Just about the time that you thought you have heard everything another wild idea would come out of the woodwork. I have to say that we had a blast dispelling the many rumors that have surfaced over the years. It also became apparent that trying to summarize all of these issues and provide the proper information to help set the truth straight on many of these issues would certainly be a task worthy of the NFATCA.

When all is said and done, we accomplished spreading a lot of good information on the ownership of NFA items in this great country of ours and the multiple levels of support that is available to support gun owners of all types. Of all of the accomplishments that we enjoyed at the convention one of the largest was to open the eyes of several hundred attendees that they could, and now have more than a casual interest in owning NFA items. They learned that this interest is fun, affordable and most importantly one of the safest investments available for collectors of all types.

We will look forward to joining the NRA convention in St. Louis in 2012 and once again having the opportunity to spread the word on the ease and interest of owning a variety of NFA weapons.

Come join us today and support the cause of NFA ownership for yourself and the many generations to come. Visit us today at www.nfatca.org.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V14N11 (August 2011)
and was posted online on November 1, 2011


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