The single major hurdle (other than cost) keeping more people from owning silencers and other fun but NFA-regulated goodies is the wait. When I last called to check on my Form 1 that went pending on October 23rd, they told me that April was the expected turnaround time on that one. Which gave me little hope of seeing the AAC Ti-Rant I JUST mailed the forms for before summer. That is, until I saw this…

From the LWRCI forums:

After several years of effort, DOJ has finally lifted the ATF hiring freeze in Martinsburg and has authorized the addition of 9 new NFA Examiners. This is in addition to the dozen contractors currently acting as examiner/research assistants to the existing 10 examiners plus 1 supervisor. This brings the total number of folks working to push NFA forms through the system to around 30+…

That’s the straight dope from the NFA Trade and Collector’s Association.

For those of you wondering what all the rejoicing is about, here’s the history:

The NFA branch has a finite number of people who can sign off on NFA paperwork, called “examiners.” There were a sufficient number when the volume of paperwork coming in was low, but with the recent explosion of silencers in the civilian market they’ve been flooded with new transfer requests. Keep in mind that each request requires a good amount of paperwork on their part to complete, including background checks and such.

When the paperwork coming in the door increased, the reasonable response would be to hire more people to process that work. Unfortunately, since our congress can’t get off its ass and pass a budget the NFA branch has been under a hiring freeze — in other words, no new hiring.

Now that the hiring freeze has been lifted, there’s sure to be an increase in the throughput of the NFA branch… eventually. It will take some time to hire the new people, train them and get them running, but the good news is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe not for those with forms in the pipeline already, but certainly for those who will be spending their Christmas bonus on a new toy.

For those who want to see more improvements to the NFA process, I recommend supporting the NFATCA. If you’ve got $200 to blow on a stamp you can at least give $50 to some people who are trying to make the process better for everyone.

Now if only they’d install an express lane for those using an NFA trust…

31 Responses to ATF Hires New NFA Examiners

  1. “Now if only they’d install an express lane for those using an NFA trust…”

    Agreed but I would be happier if there was an express lane for people who already hold stamps. A quick check to verify nothing new is in the system should be sufficient.

    • Yeah, or those who also hold C&R FFLs as well… or even better, those with C&R FFLs, and prior recently approved (within 6 months) Forms 1 and/or 4, should be an almost automatic approval at that point….

  2. Hallelujah! As someone who is about to embark on my first (hopefully of many) NFA experiences, this is unequivocally good news. Wait times have been falling for a few months now, so this can do nothing but increase the downslope on that trend.

  3. Re: ” DOJ has finally lifted the ATF hiring freeze”

    We don’t need an ATF hiring freeze lifted. We need the ATF disbanded and full gun rights restored to Americans.

    Sound suppressors should come as a standard accessory to guns. They give you a gun lock? They should give you a suppressor too.

    • While I don’t like government mandates of any kind, it would make more sense to me if they made silencers mandatory than criminal. Kind of like mufflers on cars.

    • I agree, the sound from a discharged round is what leads to tinitus, and loss of hearing. As a result it should be a mandate that all firearms have a noise supproser in order to:
      A. Keep the shooter from a hearing loss.
      B. The sound will not travel to those that live in a housing development, that should not have been built by a range.
      C. Keep the anti’s from calling the local police about noise. (Yes this did and does happen.)
      D. Get the CDC on our side about better hearing protection.

  4. My Inner Cynic is whining at me again.

    Obama wins his second term, and he’s suddenly and unexpectedly cleared the way for the hiring of more ATF personnel.

    He did this out of concern that people looking to buy the kinds of weapons he hates were experiencing too long of a waiting period for the government authorization?

    This isn’t going to end well.

      • Allright, this one time. Actually, i’m in agreement with the poster above. Suppressors should be standard accessories like mags and just as available.

        • And instill can’t get a suppressor because I live in CA!

          …but I’m glad for the free folks out there who can get one. I’m sure Nick Leghorn is happy – I imagine the 300 AAC will get even more hype.

          Oh well, I’ll just get some 60 grain Aguilar for my new Ruger 10/22 Takedown. That stuff is pretty quiet without a suppressor.

        • Carefull what you say. Best suppressor i have seen in Norway claimed 26-32 db reduction on a 308 if I remember correctly.

        • The 60 grain Aguila is an accurate load in my Winchester bolt gun. But I have feeding issues in my 10/22. All that xtra lead sticking out of the case doesn’t cycle well in my ruger.

    • Hiring staff to support existing regulation is not government *growth*. That happened when the NFA branch was brought into existence in the 30’s.

  5. Nice! True, it probably won’t help my form 1 that’s no doubt languishing in the mailroom (sent it off in Nov), this will only encourage me spending my bonus or tax return (ha! that’s a good one) on a suppressor.

  6. Yeah they will need all those new examiners when the make the stamp required for ALL guns, not just NFA – careful what you wish for….

  7. The new examiners never got hired due to the sequester so there went that hope of cutting times down. Wait times has increased to 11 months in total now as well. From check cashed to pending is about 2 months and from pending to approved it is taking 9 months according to the operator at the NFA when you call. Looks like my suppressor will be released from suppressor prison some time in January.

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