NFATCA Report: Updating the NFA Handbook
By John Brown

On June 12, version 1.0 of the NFA Handbook was made available on the ATF website. We encourage you to log onto the ATF website http://www.atf.gov/firearms/ nfa/nfa_handbook/ and download the file. It is important to read Ken Houchens explanation on the availability of the Handbook. As Ken says on the webpage, “Please be aware that the NFA Handbook is not available in a printed version. Our 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.”

However, hard copies are available as an option and a printed version may be picked up at many of the events where the NFATCA has a presence. The hard copies will be available at a nominal fee to simply cover the cost of reproduction.

When the handbook first became available, the blogs and NFA sites were alive with chatter criticizing the effort as another attempt by the NFATCA of cavorting with ATF on regulations. The initial release generated a lot of negative chatter with no meat. A couple of NFATCA board members, and other industry personnel, delivered responses that almost instantly quelled the fury. In one particular case one of the harshest critiques was offered a free one year membership in the NFATCA to come forward and to assist in clarifying or suggesting revisions to the Handbook. Interestingly enough, our offer went unanswered and the criticism went quiet.

We all knew that no matter how much time or how many experts we called upon for the production of the Handbook, updates and or revisions were inevitable. We knew then and still know now that this effort is ongoing and that to assume that further revisions and clarifications would not be necessary would be ludicrous. We knew from the start that some mistakes would be inevitable and that there would be many clarifications necessary to continue to produce such a valuable resource.

We encourage the entire community, not just the NFATCA and its membership, to read the Handbook and to challenge any and all information that you read or interpret. Not only are we planning on making changes and clarifications to the Handbook but we plan on continuing to add new information as new issues and questions arise. Our readers and our community are the best resources for that information and we challenge everyone to support the effort and make whatever contribution you desire.

We have reached an agreement with ATF that we will deliver at least one update a year on the Handbook to keep our industry up to date with changes and new information. I will make certain that we address those updates in this article to keep everyone apprised of the efforts with the NFA Handbook. If you personally have read the Handbook and want to support or challenge the effort, I would suggest that you send suggestions on changes directly to the NFATCA via our website. We have arranged for a public forum on the website for all to use. You don’t need to be a member, but once you register you can actively work with the NFATCA via our website, to keep the Handbook up to date with comments or suggestions.

The NFATCA challenges each and every NFA owner to read and address their concerns openly allowing the entire community to keep this information up to date. Simply log onto http://nfatca.org/, register and provide as much feedback as you want. We welcome your input and your efforts to keep our community informed and up to date.

Better yet why not join the NFATCA today!

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V11N2 (November 2007)
and was posted online on November 2, 2012


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