NFATCA Report: V22N5

By Jeffrey Folloder

What We Have Done for You

Apologies are offered in advance to anyone who winds up having a certain Janet Jackson song playing on an internal record player for the rest of the day. We have just wrapped up our annual participation in the industry gathering known as the National Shooting Sports Foundation SHOT Show in Las Vegas. NFATCA has been an exhibitor at this event for many years, and it is always great to reconnect with 60,000+ firearms enthusiasts. Most everyone who stopped by had one question: What have you done for me lately?

Fortunately, we had prepared an easel for assisting in answering this very question. And while some may have had issue with the route we have taken, nobody argued with the information that we had on the bold sign on the easel that detailed our previous accomplishments and our future agenda:

We made it perfectly clear that our efforts were measured in long-term diligence. As we approach our 15th year, we know that there is no such thing as a flash in the pan or a quick hit. Eliminating the CLEO approval process took a decade. “Watching grass grow is exciting. This is like watching dry paint fade.” That quip got chuckles (and quotes in national media). But the clear message was unambiguous. We have listened to our community, and we have made it crystal clear where we stand. Our agenda is exactly what our community has stated that it wants. And we have asked for assistance in funding our efforts. To our surprise, many folks at SHOT Show opened up their wallets on the spot. 2018 SHOT saw one of the largest influx of new members and membership renewals in many years.

Of particular note is the reaction to the NFATCA advocating for the repeal of the Hughes Amendment. The amendment was part of a larger act called the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) interpreted the Hughes Amendment as a prohibition on the civilian ownership of any fully automatic firearm manufactured after May 19, 1986. Hughes created the transferable, pre-May and post-May classes of machine guns and is the foundation for the ever-increasing prices for those transferable machine guns. Many folks fell back on the inaccurate assumption that the NFATCA was a good old boys club, intent on “protecting the value of their collections.” We took the opportunity to dutifully explain that truly collectible weapons would not lose their value and that eliminating Hughes would give everyone the opportunity to own more NFA weapons at more reasonable prices—something that would allow dealers to make more money because they were selling MANY more weapons! Yes, common guns would take a value hit. The so-called good old boys are simply not invested in those common guns. An authentic M1917 Browning belt-fed is always going to be worth much more than a reproduction. With Janet Jackson’s tune playing in our heads, we then asked for financial support to get the job done.

People seemed to understand that we are establishing expectations that are measured in the long term and that we are determined to stick around for the long fight to make sure that our goals will be achieved. We have engaged top-shelf counsel in our efforts. Our board is actively searching for new voices to augment our leadership. And we still need your help in fighting the good fight. Is it time for you to renew? Have you, for some reason, put off your renewal? Would you like to increase the level of your support? Would you like to join our effort? Our agenda is your agenda, and it is time to step up. Head over to www.nfatca.org and click on the Join Now! link on the left. We never left the fight, and we are in it for the long haul.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N5 (May 2018)
and was posted online on March 23, 2018


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