By John Brown

During the last several years many dealers across the U.S. have run into compliance questions which seem to be impossible to get the correct information to avoid getting jammed up during an inspection. There are many more questions than there are answers in most cases. Most of us call someone else that is a close dealer friend of ours or if you're fortunate enough to have the right kind of relationship with your local ATF office, you may get the right answer to any number of your concerns. Most of the time the issues are simple and have simple answers but again the real issue is having access to the right resource to get the answer to an issue that in many cases just plain keeps you up at night. Most of us that have been in the business for a number of years have found it critical to keep the right resources handy so that when you have an issue you can call on any number of friends that will most likely have the answer you need. In many cases the longer you are in business the more you learn to check several sources to find just the right answer that makes the best sense. So, for example, getting the answer to a simple question that isn't crystal clear in the "White Book" about, how to file my 4473s is not something that is abundantly clear, even in the NFA Handbook. As most of us know the more questions that we ask, the more answers the NFATCA can provide in now the third iteration of the NFA Handbook. The major point in this discussion is the fact that most of us just don't have the right source to get the information that we need.

This is all well and good but the one thing that stands out like a sore thumb is the fact that we have never put an effort into figuring out how to collectively put all of our energies into a resource that anyone can get to, in order to find the correct information on those things that keep us up at night.

A about three months ago the NFATCA board of directors elected to capitalize on our own collective experiences and put together a resource pool that any dealer can have access to, to resolve the many issues that arise while trying your best to follow all of the NFA processes and procedures. That resource has been available for a long time now with the NFATCA website where an abundance of information is available, just for the asking. What I find more frequently than not is that many don't take advantage of this resource by simply registering on the site and posing the simple questions that can easily be answered. The discussion blogs on the web site are easy to access and we continue to encourage all of you to log on and ask away. Simply remember the motto of the NFATCA, "Power through experience." Keeping that in mind we have made a tremendous effort to offer the entire industry an opportunity to ask their questions.

Unfortunately, there has been very little effort from anyone to take advantage of the web site to get to the information that is sorely needed. As I mentioned earlier, questions from the simplest to the most complicated issues can be addressed on our web site from a variety of personnel that are willing to assist with any question. Most of our information either comes from experience or the many contacts and relationships that the NFATCA have developed within ATF.

Given the fact that we have offered to provide a host of information on our web site, there are still a lot of bashful observers that just won't come forward and ask the questions. With that in mind the NFATCA is initially creating a monthly conference bridge where interested parties can jump on a conference call and participate or listen to the many compliance issues and concerns that dealers or collectors may have across the country. This capability will allow you to call in on a conference bridge and ask and get answers to the many questions that our community may have about compliance. So as not to put any one person on the spot from ATF on such a call, the NFATCA will collect any issue that we address on the calls that can't seem to be answered and move those issues forward for appropriate responses with ATF. This will allow all of us to get the answers we need from the right personnel in a timely basis. Results of these discussions can potentially show up in an update to the NFA Handbook or potentially a clarification in a ruling or position ATF has taken on compliance. Keep in mind again; the objective behind these calls will be to clear up many of the issues or complications dealing with compliance. Anyone interested will be welcome to join us and participate. The NFATCA looks at this opportunity as a venue to allow dealers, collectors, and individuals nationwide to get the answers they need.

This is another innovative opportunity the NFATCA is offering to the entire industry. We hope that you will join us as we announce the process and the methodology of offering this service at Knob Creek this fall. Come join us for yet another powerful play to better serve the entire industry at www.nfatca.org.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V14N2 (November 2010)
and was posted online on February 24, 2012


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