By John Brown

The NFATCA is pushing forward early in 2006 continuing to work diligently in getting to closure on the NFA Guide Book. Our contractors have completed, and we have reviewed, the first six chapters of the manual. These first six chapters have now been forwarded to ATF for examination. We plan to continue this process in hopes of having the manual completed and published by late spring of this year. Many of you have asked if you could review some of the information in the manual but we have kindly refused these requests. At this stage our contractors are expert in the rulings, the guidelines, and court decisions on all of this information and we are moving to publish the first version of this book as soon as possible. For those of you I have spoken with, I have mentioned to you that Long Mountain Outfitters has, for many years, provided us with The Machine Gun Dealers Bible. It has served many of us as the only source for good information on everything from forms to gun classifications. The NFA Handbook is kind of like the Machine Gun Dealers Bible on steroids. Keep in mind this will simply be the first version of an NFA Handbook and our plans are to continue to keep it updated with the results of the latest rulings and information that we discover in our workings with ATF. I’m sure though there will be plenty of questions and criticism. Nevertheless, this will be the most comprehensive set of information ever provided to the NFA community. More information on the details of the hand book will be in our next SAR report.

In earlier articles we have mentioned that we have been invited to assist ATF in the electronic forms process. The NFA Branch is making a presentation at SHOT this year to unveil the workings of the first two forms in the electronic conversion process. We still have a lot of work to be completed in this area but are certain that we will all be pleased in the progress ATF and their contractors have made in recent months in getting this portion of the process completed. 2006 will be a banner year for us to see major improvements in the forms processing arena.

For those of you who have experienced the rapid change in the form processing events in recent months, we can all see the differences in what is happening especially with form three transfers. Our most recent record was a fax of three form threes on a Thursday with approved documents back in the dealer’s hands by the following Wednesday. This is a marked improvement in service.

In light of the many experiences we have all had with the introduction of the new form three, in recent meetings, we have opened the door to tackling the infamous 4473 to streamline the process of filling out the form, filing the information and making it easier for compliance checks in the future. The new form has brought its own share of criticism from all sides of the community. We know we have an issue here and the NFATCA and ATF plan to work, again, in a collaborative effort to resolve any further issues in this process.

On a final note, several of you have criticized us for not providing “more meat” in our efforts to keep you informed. We plan on responding to that in our next issue by dedicating the entire article to the contents of the NFA Handbook. We will give as much information as possible to keep you apprised on the details of our workings. Please understand that in many situations our work with ATF is just beginning and that publishing the details and the events will not help the progress we are making. Unveiling new products and results, once we complete the work, is our best strategy and we will continue down that path. We only ask for your patience, your persistence, and your loyalty to an effort unprecedented in the NFA community.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V9N7 (April 2006)
and was posted online on March 1, 2013


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