She was amazing…for reasons other than what your gutter-dwelling minds are capable of comprehending. I had to call ATF’s NFA branch for an opinion today. If anyone is wondering, it is the ATF’s opinion that it’s a bad idea to apply for a Form 4 transfer for an item that’s not yours yet but inbound on Form 4. After clearing that up we got to the topic of the current queue length at the NFA Branch . . .

As previously outlined here, Sara is enjoying her move up to specialist in the division. We spent the rest of the 8 minute conversation about how the backlog is impacting consumers and I am pleased to announce that ATF hired 12 new people about a month ago. It’s going to be a while before they head into the division and start working down the inbox but it’s a step in the right direction. In theory.

That is to say that many fail to realize that the industry is basically a victim of its own success. Five years ago, people weren’t buying anything requiring a stamp. Due to the (successful) sales skills of many industry professionals such as myself, we’re turning people who owned a Ruger 10/22 and were happy with just that — people who swore to never buy a .22 silencer because “of that damn $200 tax stamp” — into new NFA owners. For instance, promotions such as GEMTAX (not running this year, but has in past years) where GEMTECH has paid the $200 tax stamp on selected items in their catalog were highly successful in getting people to buy product.

This year with AAC’s “Damn The Man” 2014 promo where any NFA item sold gets a $200 merchandise credit at AAC’s webstore is turning a lot of naysayers into stamp collectors. I’ve personally sold over 40 cans through this promotion in a month. As an industry, we’re getting better and better at marketing to new NFA owners.

Take for instance my good friend Enrique. He swore up and down for 10 years that he would never pay $200 tax on a .22 silencer. Ever. The only way he was getting a silencer is if NFA regulations were repealed.

Well guess who picked up his brand new AAC Pilot 2 last night? You guessed it. He’s probably shooting phone books in his backyard right now. While he was here, I showed him an AAC TIRANT 45 (an excellent product) and he was on the fence about it. When I told him he could have it for $600 and he’d get a $200 merchandise credit at AAC to buy hats, t-shirts and other gun-related stuff, he said he’d look at his stash of money his wife knows nothing about when he gets home. I told him to let me know before the promo ends and I’d set him up. My gut tells me in a few days I’ll be getting a check in the mail.

Gun owners like Enrique are why it’s taking forever to get a stamp. It’s not Obama oppressing the people of the gun. It’s not a vast left-wing conspiracy. It’s not the ATF needing to meet a quota of Bill of Rights shredding. I have met the enemy and it is us.

But as I have discussed in the past, gun owners are not particularly understanding when it comes to the laws of supply and demand. Any increase in wait times for a stamp, whether due to government shutdown, increased paperwork volume or otherwise, is viewed as an infringement. Nay, a trampling of our basic Constitutional rights.

With E-Forms still down and more examiners being added, I don’t anticipate a precipitous drop in lead times for Form 4 applications any time soon. And it’s due to the increasing quantity of paper being generated by skilled silencer sales squadrons across the USA. As I said in August 2013, grab a snickers. You’re not going anywhere for a while.

119 Responses to My Eight Minutes With The ATF’s Sara Jones

  1. “Any increase in wait times for a stamp, whether due to government shutdown, increased paperwork volume or otherwise, is viewed as an infringement. Nay, a trampling of our basic Constitutional rights.”

    What are you saying here? Are you saying the NFA is not unconstitutional?

    • But does that really matter? Honestly, the NFA is here to stay, simply put.

      Do I believe it is unconstitutional as ****? Yes sir! It is a blatant infringement. But we are left to demand the highest efficiency from the system we are left to deal with.

  2. I’ll just make a small point.

    ##”Any increase in wait times for a stamp, whether due to government shutdown, increased paperwork volume or otherwise, is viewed as an infringement. Nay, a trampling of our basic Constitutional rights.”###

    If the wait time for an ATF tax stamp was 30 seconds , it would still be an infuriating infringement. The phrase “Tax Stamp” , the job “ATF Agent”, or the term ,” National Firearms Act” should NOT EXIST!

    Not for three weeks, three months, or three seconds. I should be able to walk into the corner store and buy a gun, silencer, ammo, and a holster – no questions asked, and no ID provided. Why? Because that’s how easy it is to buy a newspaper or a Bible.

    • But then FC couldn’t laugh all the way to the bank while telling you how awful it is to have to take your money!

      • I agree. His writing style is intentionally provocative, but it epitomizes the stereotype of the assclown gun dealer who thinks he is part of some gun aristocracy lording over us, the unwashed masses. Methinks that some of his caviler statements about how we should not be bellyaching over NFA wait times would change if he didn’t hold a SOT and had to wait 8-12 months to get suppressors and other NFA items.

        In some ways he almost sounds like a drug dealer who doesn’t even use his own stuff, but laughs his ass off as he hooks middle-school kids on crack. While I appreciate the insight he occasionally offers to the inner workings of the gun sales gig, I’m getting a bit sick and tired of his attitude. I know a number of guys who are in the FFL business and none of them act with such utter contempt towards their customers. Good thing that he remains anonymous, because with his attitude, he’d be out of business pretty damn fast if we knew who not to buy from.

        • In a way, he reminds me of Jack Baruth from Farago’s old haunt, but not quite as interesting. Where as you would want to have a few drinks with Baruth, you’d want a few drinks to make you forget FC.

          But our shenanigans are cheek and fun. His are cruel and tragic.

      • NFA items are alot like drugs. That first one is how they get you. You buy a silencer, but then your gun is too long so you get the SBR stamp so its a normal length with it attached. Then your pistols are too loud and its annoying to take your earmuffs on and off so you need one for it too. Just plinking with your 22 now is too loud so gotta grab one for it since you don’t want to get your nice 30 cal silencer all dirty.

  3. “I have met the enemy and it is us.” That’s a bit harsh I think. Looking at the bigger picture the “enemy” is still the NFA and the ATF, creating a huge long process for what is essentially a safety device.

  4. I’ll give NFA branch credit, they have done some things to speed things up a bit. More examiners, no state assignments, and eForms(not currently working). I got 3 stamps in 2 months before the approval date I was told, and that’s a big deal(to me at least). Unfortunately, you’re right, we(NFA buyers) are the “problem”, not BATFE. My last 2 suppressors were submitted via eForms, and what was to be a 3 month wait, is now 5. Not because the system is down, but simply due to the sheer volume of submissions.

    • If the purchase was simply an over the counter buy, there wouldn’t be any backlog. Giving a useless and inept agency an atta’ boy is ridiculous.

  5. Commentary on the constitutionality of the NFA aside, this is a pretty good summation of the system as it is, even if it’s not how we wish it would be.

    • But….but….but FC is just a d1ck that hates his customers and eats babies, he can’t possibly be right.

      /sarc

    • The NFA system is there. The question is what is its purpose? Is the NFA in place to infringe on our rights and put up road blocks to what we are legally authorized to own? If so, good job. If its to facilitate lawful gun owners legally acquiring NFA items, not so hot.

      If we want the ATF to go away, it needs to go away. If we want our silencers and sbr’s in a timely manner, they need to ramp up hiring of approvers which means more funding. Half a**ing one hurts the other.

    • Ignoring the constitutionality of NFA, it’s still bullshit logic, and here’s why. We’re paying for those transfers, and we’re paying a lot. It stands to logic and reason that more people buying them would mean more money going into the system, and so it would scale transparently as supply grows (I’m pretty sure that $200 is more than sufficient to cover all costs of processing the transaction several times over). But that is not happening. Why?

  6. You can’t tax a right-

    SCOTUS has repeatedly ruled this for other rights, how on earth is it legal to do it to the 2A?

    • I’d guess nobody has gotten them to rule on the subject at all, and people who know better choose to pretend they do not know better. And they have guns.

  7. The fact of the matter is that every gun should have a suppressor on it. Firearms design should’ve evolved to the point where everything is integrally suppressed. But that is stifled by onerous and illegitimate statutes that infringe on our rights.

    To say that we are the problem is ridiculous. People typically look at it one of two ways. One is to not go the NFA route on moral principle which is good and noble. The other is to play the game and use the suppressor to gain awareness etc. Some people think that by getting enough cans on the range and people using them will educate people to the point that the NFA laws will get repealed. That is also good and noble.

    This would not be a problem but we lack the fortitude to stand up to these infringements in any really meaningful way.

    That is to say, one guy with a homemade can is SWAT bait, but a whole nation with homemade cans is a statement that repeal is necessary.

    • I understand the emotion, but integral suppressors on everything is a bad idea, they are too big. Every gun sold should include a suppressor, fine, but on my carry pistols, for example, it should be removable.

    • “… a whole nation with homemade cans…”

      I’ll fire up my lathe. Who else is with me?

      • If the barrier to entry and supply chain for them wasn’t so long they wouldn’t be $600. If you could buy them off the shelf at any store and anyone could make them like the accessory they are they’d likely be $100. You know, like free markets are supposed to operate.

  8. “he said he’d look at his stash of money his wife knows nothing about when he gets home”

    Ha!

  9. I’ve never been bothered by the $200 tax. It’s the danger of not having paperwork proper enough for whoever might be asking for it that bothers me. I don’t trust the ATF, ever. We need to repeal the GCA and the NFA.

  10. The eForms Login page is working, but since I am not registered I don’t know if logging in actually works.
    I downloaded the Form 1 to build my own suppressor, just need to get the photos, fingerprints and sign-off from the Sheriff next week.

  11. Bullshit. Irrespective of the reasons for delays, the simple fact is that the requirement for a tax stamp to buy a hunk of metal which, in the case of suppressors, is no more capable of doing harm by itself than a brick is an infringement on our rights.

    If you accept the argument (and I don’t by the way) that suppressors, machine guns, and SBRs/SBSs are so dangerous that they need to be regulated by the Federal Government, then any unreasonable delays in getting the paperwork processed should be illegal. The purpose of the NFA was twofold. First of all, perform a background check on a prospective buyer (bearing in mind that in 1934, no checks of any kind were done on normal gun purchases, so one could understand – if not accept – the argument that these most dangerous guns should be subject to regulation). Secondly, it is intended to track the movement of these “dangerous” weapons so that the Feds know where they all are.

    Today however, the NICS system does that background check quite quickly and efficiently. After all – the anti-gun establishment from the President on down touts “expanded background checks” as the panacea to all gun evils, so they should agree that NICS is effective enough to take the place of the glacially slow ATF manual background check for NFA items. Secondly, even if ATF’s computer systems date back to the 1980’s, that is still enough processing and storage to enable them to quickly update the records of NFA item movement.

    In short, the objectives of the NFA (background check and movement tracking) can be done quickly and efficiently. The background check is instant and the database update should not take more than a few days. From where I sit, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about the ATF’s examiner and backlog problems. If they cannot efficiently process these transactions, then they should shift to a more efficient method. Keeping the old system is and always will be an infringement if that system prevents approvals in a reasonable time frame..

    • When my parents were divorced, my Mom lost her access to USAA auto insurance. 35 years later, mid 1990’s, they changed the rules to the point that if you had ever been named an operator on a USAA policy you could be a member in your own right. I called to check on this, and the lady I got asked Mom’s name, my Dad’s name (I had no SSNs or policy number or nuttin, just their names), and in 10 seconds she said “yes, we’ve got her, did you want us to send the paperwork for a policy?” TEN SECONDS IN 1995!

      That it takes near a year for ATF to do ANYTHING is ridiculous, a scandal, and I don’t believe it. It is artificial and deliberate.

  12. @ Geoff

    eForms is only available for processing Form6s at this point. You will need to submit your Form1 the old fashioned way.

  13. The more I talk with “stamp-collectors” the more I realize things wont change. So many of them are walking around with a sense of accomplishment and an attitude of “looking down” on those who have thrown away $200 to the state and participated in restricting our own liberty.

    I bet should the question of moving silencers off the NFA ever come up a great number of our own kind will actively fight against it.

    I see the same thing in states that require permits.
    Buying their little badge or certificate makes them feel “elite” and “special”. A ticket to “only oneness”.

    • Not sure how many sane people would fight removal of silencers from the NFA. I don’t know who you hang with, but they sound like some seriously brain damaged dudes. On the other hand, if you tried to get the machine gun registry re-opened, you would definitely have dissension in the ranks. There are a lot of people out there with tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in transferable machine guns that would substantially decline in value should the registry ever reopen. Those people would indeed fight any attempt to do so and they have lots of money with which to do it.

      The simple fact is that if one thinks that waiting, bitching, or ignoring the law is going to get the NFA changed, then one is delusional. The only – only way that the NFA is likely to change would be massive change in the beliefs of the people. We would have to elect overwhelmingly pro-gun congressmen, Senators, and a President if we want to see the NFA changed. SCOTUS is not going to do it. They don’t have the courage to take on the issue and even if they did take it on, the statists that make up at least (if not more) than half the current bench would not side with the people.

      The NFA is approaching a century of existence. Few Americans still living were even born prior to the NFA. It’s not changing any time soon, so if you want an NFA toy, then write the check, wait in line and complain your ass off (pretty much what I do). Then do all you can to convert more people to our way of thinking in hopes that maybe our kids or grandkids may have the chance to live in a future without a NFA.

      • That’s true, repealing the NFA is damn near impossible, (we can still try), but we should focus our energy one repealing the 1986 firearm ban that made it so no new ones could be made or sold. That way we could at least get our hands on some with the red tape and the cost would plummet.

  14. So if TTAG starts off on some rinky dinky server and 5 years later is booming with hits and the site starts to lag because of the increased interest TTAG’s response should be “Deal with the lag, it is your fault and your collective interest is your own worst enemy”

    I call shenanigans, we will IGNORE the fact that NFA/ATF is unconstitutional and focus on things from a business aspect.

    First of all as TTAG becomes more popular they need stronger servers, they need to hire more staff, THEY need to make sure when I click “continue reading” it loads fast in a reasonable time frame…not 3 months, not 6 months, not 18 months. So the ATF taking 12 months to review a piece of paper is not our fault, we are not our worse enemy.

    Second why does it take so long EVERYTIME I file for an NFA item? You already did my background check, you already have my finger prints, WHY…WHY does it take eons every time we each fill out the same damn form? We are not our own worst enemy, horrible government bureaucracy is. It is like TTAG saying, “Sorry for the wait between post but it is hard to write HTML from scratch for each post we make”…..no instead you find a way to efficiently do your job, in TTAGs case using some blog software, in the ATFs case it is realizing….”holy smokes we did the same job 6 times this year for this Morgan guy….we are not running an efficient business here”

    I can go on an on with walls of text about how the ATF runs there business wrong but the bottom line is saying that I can’t get my steak served to me in a timely fashion because of an influx in carnivores is complete and utter BS and it is time to fix the menu.

    • “Second why does it take so long EVERYTIME I file for an NFA item? ”

      Same reason why Massachussetts requires me to appear in person every stinking year to have my photo and fingerprints re-taken to keep my Mass out of state permit. The NFA is being used a barrier to entrance. The actions – hiring more inspectors – etc. are nothing more than window dressing. If the ATF were serious about dealing with the backlog, there are far more efficient ways to do it. For example, one could do a quick search and find people with multiple submissions in process. Batch them together and approve all at once irrespective of when they were submitted. When your number comes up, collect all outstanding applications and do them at once.

      ATF could also use the NICS system to do the background check. NFA says that a background check must be done, but leaves the specifics to ATF. They are the ones choosing the archaic process.

      Sorry. I know I’m commenting a lot on this topic, but it is one that really pisses me off.

      • I’m probably going to regret replying to you but I’ll try once again.

        There’s much you’ve commented on for this article with which I can agree. However, I hope you can also one day see that this is why our government was sharply limited by shall not be infringed. Delays, obfuscations, and outright bans will always, always, always be the eventual result of government interference in the individual right to keep and bear arms. Government will more often than not wrap infringements in something that appears good for the public. I’m sure that if the founders had figured out a way that government could infringe a little bit honestly for the common good then they would’ve stated that through enumerated constitutional powers. However, it’s clear that they could not find a way. Nothing in the equation has really changed from then to now except that the numbers of people disarmed and exterminated by governments of the world have grown horrendously. i.e. Shall not be infringed is all the more important in this day and age.

        The nature of mankind has not changed. The nature of government has not changed. That is why it is still just as true today as it was then that; A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Those wishing to maintain a free state cannot allow infringement of government on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It’s eventual suicide for Liberty and can lead to the deaths of millions of individuals.

        I won’t get into a pissing match over this post. I sincerely hope that one day you might see the wisdom in these words and others like them. Other than that, you have posted some very good points about the ridiculousness of government being concerned about an inanimate tube of steel and the government’s responsibility to make the system run smoothly if they are going to infringe.

      • And those who think any of this is an accident, or negligence, is really far out there dreaming. It is deliberate, the only further thing they could do would be to institute a total ban on ATF authority alone.

  15. More and more of the LGSs in my area have suppressors under the glass when you walk in. They know they are a popular item and wish to showcase them. I’m repeating myself here, but it sucks that they are a restricted item. There’d be sales galore if you could just pay and walk away.

    Are there any efforts by the NRA or anyone else to get suppressors off the NFA list? Is the industry doing anything?

    • Not going to happen for two reasons. One – the Feds get $200 every time you transfer a suppressor. Ever hear of a government agency willingly giving up tax revenues? Secondly, in the current environment while we may not see massive tightening of gun restrictions, we will also not see anything as impactful as removing suppressors from the NFA happen.

      The NRA and manufacturers make the appropriate noises, but they are not going to dedicate massive resources to a losing cause.

      • the media uproar over unrestricted “assassin silencers” would be horrendous…. and I would enjoy every second of it so long as the NFA could begin to be torn apart.

        • I love watching those peoples heads implode when I tell them that New Zealand has no restrictions on suppressors. In fact, you can walk into a store, pay roughly $30 US, and walk out with a suppressor.

        • Don’t you mean “enhanced hearing protection devices” designed to reduce the use of ENT services under the ACA (a/k/a Obamacare), for the explicit purpose of “bending the cost curve down”?

      • How about an incremental push? Off of the NFA list, but there’s still a $200 tax? Then we can work on eliminating the tax?

        It would suck, but I would have bought a suppressor with a $200 fun tax for my Colt LE6920 if I could walk out of my LGS with it the same day.

  16. I think his point about gun owners causing the backlog, and not infringement, is that the backlog is inherent to the laws of supply and demand. FC isn’t blessing the fact that we need a tax stamp, he’s saying the process of obtaining said stamp is subject to the same laws of supply and demand as the product itself.

    Y’all need to calm down. You can be a strident 2A supporter without foaming at the mouth.

    • Lots of people throw around the terms, supply and demand without understanding what they really mean. Supply and Demand would be an issue if suppressor manufacturers couldn’t make them fast enough to keep up with the customer demand. What happened to the gun industry in 2013 after Newton was a true supply and demand scenario. What is happening with ammo right now is a supply and demand issue.

      People who have actually studied economics understand that in an unrestricted market, supply and demand will reach equilibrium. Either the price will rise to the point where demand will fall to meet the available level of supply or the supply will increase to meet demand. This is how unfettered economic markets work.

      The NFA and attendant wait are not supply and demand. It is an artificial impediment imposed on the market. If the NFA were repealed tomorrow, the problem imposed by it would disappear overnight. This in turn would likely lead to a true supply and demand problem as demand would surge and suppliers would take a while to catch up, but again the marketplace would ultimately achieve equilibrium.

      That is the reason people are foaming at the mouth.

      • I think the supply FC is referring to was NFA Branch resources and manpower, not the production of silencers. Demand for approvals has skyrocketed, the ATF is (oh so very slowly) trying to meet that demand by hiring more inspectors.

        Insert “NFA/ATF/FC is stupid” CYA here.

        • I can appreciate that perspective, but the issue I have is that the supply/demand issue created by the NFA and the ATF is entirely artificial. Much like the “Value Added Tax” in Europe, Government increases the cost and/or hassle for no measurable return.

  17. Honestly, I totally do not understand why the ATF and the Gubment wants to screw us over on suppressors.

    They make shooting quieter.

    Isn’t that great for John Q. Public which gripes and moans over being close to shooting clubs, ranges, etc.?

    OK, yes, I’m naive.

  18. Honestly, I totally do not understand why the ATF and the Gubment wants to screw us over on suppressors.

    They make shooting quieter.

    Isn’t that great for John Q. Public which whines about being close to shooting clubs, ranges, etc.?

    OK, yes, I’m naive.

    • I think movies have allot to play in it. Anyone that’s really shot a suppressor, “movie term silencer” knows it doesn’t sound like a little “zip pew!” sound. But allot of people, politicians and even many gun owners, think they work like they do in the movies because they’ve never had any experience with them. They don’t realize it still sounds like a gun shot just quieter.

      • Good point. The closest I’ve seen to a true “silencer” is what my buddy uses on his AR chambered in 300 blackout. It is so quiet he is trying to figure out a way to make the buffer spring noise less noisy. I’m not making this up. The cycling bolt makes more noise than the actual round being fired.

        Mind you, he is using subsonic ammo.

  19. People always consider the $200 tax out of context. Modern context that is.

    In 1934, $200 was equivalent to $3500 today! Shooters from the 1930’s through 1970’s had all the reason to bitch and moan about the ridiculously expensive tax.

    But for anyone to actually complain about $200 today (thanks inflation!), and use THAT reason alone to boycott cool NFA toys, are truly not seeing the situation in the bigger picture. If $200 in the year 2014 is so prohibitive, then you got better things to worry about other than the repealing of stupid gun laws.

    • I’m still waiting for the next “common sense” reform to be pro-rating and indexing the current $200 tax for inflation. You know, in keeping with the intent of the NFA to make such items prohibitively expensive. Just wait, it will be the next “loophole” they target.

    • For me anyway, its not the $200. It is 1) the ridiculous amount of paperwork and wait times which feel like you’re throwing your money into a hole, and 2) the fact that, once your transfer is complete, you now have a piece of steel that can send you to prison if you don’t follow every single rule to the letter for storage, possession, transport, etc. I don’t keep a vicious dog in my house because it is too much of a liability, no matter how interesting or useful it might be. The same is true for NFA items.

      • That is not true, you need to go to Silencer Shop and read awhile. They can answer your questions and supply your pretty new can! Mine’s still waiting approval, but once approved there are no storage or inspections or such mythological problems, those apply to Class 3 Dealers, not end users.

  20. “It’s not Obama oppressing the people of the gun. It’s not a vast left-wing conspiracy. It’s not the ATF needing to meet a quota of Bill of Rights shredding.”

    This is true in this instance. There is no conspiracy here regarding the transaction of NFA items…

    However…

    Can you blame people for thinking that? Seriously? You want to sit there and blame people for thinking like that after the past year and a half? With the way Bloomberg and groups behave, with the way the Obama administration has behaved since Sandy Hook, with the way Harry Reid and other prominent Democrats have been behaving, and with Diane “Mr. and Mrs. America turn em in!” Fienstine always on the prowl for door to door confiscation, and many, many members of the left and other prominent democrats calling for war to end gun ownership in America, it is entirely REASONABLE to believe that there is a vast conspiracy to shred the Bill Of Rights. Laugh about it now, but mark my words, eventually one day push is going to come to shove over private gun ownership.

    • “This is true in this instance. There is no conspiracy here regarding the transaction of NFA items…”

      Okay, but let me pose this query – What would happen if the agency that handles food stamps or some other government assistance program froze its hiring levels prior to the 2008 economic meltdown? Suddenly there are lots of people who need assistance, but they need to just get in line and wait for the backlog for their assistance applications to be processed. Do you think that the government would hire a few token people or would they do a massive headcount ramp up to meet the new demand?

      The fact is that gun owners are an easy to oppress group and don’t generate enough sympathy on a large scale to give politicians any worries. This is why they make token efforts like hiring a dozen people to deal with a backlog that is 8-12 months and only getting longer.

      • I get the point but here is the HUGE difference (regardless of your political affiliations)

        Food (and by extension food stamps for poor people who genuinely need them) is a NECESSARY expense

        Firearms and by extension NFA items such as SBR’s and Suppressors are very much a DISCRETIONARY expense.

        You will not starve if you cant get your suppressor or SBR for 14 months. You WILL absolutely starve if you are truly poor and rely on food stamps to fill the pantry.

        So you picked a pretty bad example.

        • My point though is that government has the ability to choose how to respond to increased demand on resources. Particularly in the case of NFA, there is a built-in revenue component. More applications mean more $200 tax stamps, so there should be no net cost to ramping up headcount to deal with the overflow. UPS, Fedex and others hire seasonal workers to deal with the holiday rush. The Feds could do the same to deal with the increase in NFA applications. The simple fact is that they have made a conscious decision not to.

          While your point on my choice of analogy has some validity, the fact is that it really isn’t the Federal Government’s job to run massive nationwide welfare programs. Unemployment and Food stamps are generally handled at the state level. The Fed chooses what it wants to help pure and simple and guns ain’t on that list.

          The extra hiring at NFA branch is a token gesture because the ATF knows that sooner or later some congresscritters are going to start asking questions as to why the backlog is being allowed to grow. Now, they can say that they are “doing something” when what they are doing amounts to not much more than window dressing and if the growth curve in NFA applications continues will ultimately turn out to merely be something that keeps things from getting worse, but does not make them any better.

      • I understand from the news that the hired guns enlisted to smooth nonexistent ACA applications are sitting idle watching their computer screens with nothing to do. Send a few hundred to the ATF until the backlog is clear.

  21. I seem to recall a Stamp Act precipitating a revolution. I guess only time will tell if that specific history repeats.

    Those Intolerable Acts seem downright reasonable compared what we have now. We sure are a patient bunch.

  22. Well, if POTG are overreacting and claiming Obama administration conspiracy and oppression because of delays, when the real problem is increased demand, that’s still a good thing: it goes a little way toward offsetting some of the screaming hypocracy from the gun grabbers shrill accusations about the NRA being a “terrorist” organization.

  23. Drawing on past history of the BATFEIEIO, my question is what new rule do they plan on invoking that will more than negate the addition of 12 new examiners? I have little faith that providing a better customer experience and speeding up transfers has anything to do with this move.

  24. Come on lighten up. Every time FC posts something; people read more into than what’s there. He’s only stating the obvious. He’s not debating the constitutionality of tax stamps or the NFA. He’s only pointing out that demand (load) is driving Form 4 lead-times.

    I personally like FC’s often sarcastic style. If you’re thin skinned; move on.

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.” has been used by many and was made famous in the old Pogo comic strip.

  25. “But as I have discussed in the past, gun owners are not particularly understanding when it comes to the laws of supply and demand.”

    ^^^This^^^

    To all the dweebs on youtube accusing gun shops of “price gouging” and deliberately hoarding ammo to keep prices high all while parading around the 15 bricks of 22lr that they scooped up by going to every walmart in their county at 7am for 2 weeks straight…. it is people like YOU who are the problem.

    As usual another very appropriate post by FC, always a good read

    • I don’t know about the rest of that, but some gun stores definitely do price gouge. Going rate for a Tavor right now is 1600 or less, I saw some going as low as 1200 for a while but since they’ve become popular the price has picked up, but one of the local gun shops here has one on the shelf listed for 2500. I know they have to mark up to make a profit, but a full grand mark up? please. Theres a reason its been sitting on the shelf for 6 months now. That’s just plain bad business.

      • They arent forcing you to pay $2500 for a Tavor, if you pay that to him when there are options out there for 12-16 your are just stupid and he is smart for somehow convincing you that 2500 was reasonable.

        Price gouging is when the price of a commodity is placed artificially high to take advantage of extraordinary demand for something that for all intents and purposes you need to have.

        People WANT Tavors and AR15’s, ammo etc…. people do not NEED these things. People NEED food, a grocery store that charges $20 for a loaf of bread or bottled water are price gouging, because ultimately you cant say NO. Price gouging is charging 5x the price for a gallon of gas tothe guy stranded with his wife and kids on the highway after hurricane Katrina, his only other options are walk hundreds of miles abandoning his car/family, or sit there and wait to die of exposure.

        You will not starve or die if you cannot buy a Tavor so you have the freedom to reason with the shop owner charging $2500 for a Tavor to lower his price… if he refuses you are NOT forced to buy it (unless you are incredibly impulsive and or stupid). Your children will not starve if you cannot buy a Pmag so you can thumb your nose and laugh at the opportunist trying to sell one for $50 on gunbroker. Again firearms are 100% discretionary expenses (although some people, usually those who think $2500 for a Tavor is a necessary expense, dont understand this point). Like FC said in his Sandy Hook anniversary post… I’m paraphrasing but it went something along the lines of “If I can sell a Colt 6920 for X above msrp but someone across can get x+$200 more he is just a better salesman than me” Guns are not food staples or items necessary for sanitary living, so the fair price is whatever the customer is willing to pay and not a cent less.

        So again, to all the youtube heroes crowing about PRICEGOUGERSZZZZZZZZ!!!!! stop it… price gouging only occurs when someone takes advantage of high demand for necessary (read life or death/starvation) commodities… go back to junior college until you understand that finer point.

        • Not bad. FWIW, tho, you don’t “need” bottled water, either, and you shouldn’t really bitch about the price of gas until it costs more than the water you drink!

  26. Wow … From zero to full condescension right in the first sentence.

    I think that’s a new record.

  27. FC wrote: “But as I have discussed in the past, gun owners are not particularly understanding when it comes to the laws of supply and demand. Any increase in wait times for a stamp, whether due to government shutdown, increased paperwork volume or otherwise, is viewed as an infringement.”

    Actually, most gun owners – at least the ones I’ve talked to – have a pretty good understanding of supply and demand. They understand the markets work pretty well so long as there’s (a) no serious supply or demand perturbations, and (b) no serious outside interference.

    For instance, do YOU feel infringed that you can’t go out and buy a railgun-based 0.9-mm caliber upper for your AR-15? By FC’s argument, you should; but the simple fact is, nobody makes one. (Yet.) So you can’t buy one at any price – doesn’t matter what the demand is, supply is zero.

    On the other hand, if I could buy one but – let’s say – the California legislature decided I’d have to get a Ph.D. in electrical engineering or applied physics before I’d be allowed to get one … a heck of a lot of people might want one, it might cost $50, but there wouldn’t be a lot of sales because of the artificial constraint imposed by the government.

    If the problem was truly one of supply-and-demand, there would be a mechanism whereby I could pay, let’s say, $1000 or $10,000 today to jump to the front of the line and get my new silencer TODAY rather than wait however long. Being able to pay more to reduce wait time would be a form of supply-and-demand constraint. But that’s not the case. Doesn’t matter (in principle) who I am – I pay the same, I have the same wait time, no matter who my cousin is, what my annual salary is, or what fraternity I joined in college.

    Simply put, the wait times aren’t due to anything other than a government regulation – that many people don’t agree with, but leave that aside for the moment – and a government approval system that is painfully slow. Supply and demand has nothing to do with it.

    • I’ve discussed this very issue in the past. There is a legal way to jump to the front of the line and get my new silencer TODAY rather than wait however long. Nobody wants to take it though.

      • Would you mind posting a link to where you describe how this is accomplished?

        I didn’t find anything relevant via an admittedly quick Google search.

    • Your response belies thinking based in only one dimension. Money is not the only resource effected by increased demand. Otherwise wait times would be low and a tax stamp would cost thousands of dollars as it would be driven up by those with deep pockets looking to get to the front of the line as you pointed out, but in this case there is a specific amount of time it takes to process an application for NFA items, regardless of how much money you pay. That is how long it takes the pencil pusher at BATFE to open your application and process it. For all intents and purposes this is basically a fixed time frame. There are a finite number of employees at BATFE and they have to process all the incoming applications. So the demand for suppressors and SBR’s is very high but the supply of time to process has remained constant (will increase slightly assuming the 12 new kids get put on the line). So think about it as a function
      T (time it takes to receive your stamp) = X (number of applications received)/ Y(time it takes to complete 1 application start to finish).

      If you greatly increase X (increase demand) and keep Y (supply, in this case processing power) stays constant or increase only slightly in proportion to X then T is going to go up until it reaches the point that people decide it isnt worth waiting for. This is tricky because for something that runs basically automatically people value their time at a very low cost.

      There are two ways to solve this, increase price until only a few people still want suppressors (why do you think suppressors are so expensive to start with?), or increase the processing power (hire more people to push the applications through). Three ways if you go with the “repeal the NFA” track, but then suppressors will become like every other firearms accessory and subject to more realistic price fluctuations based on demand.

      Theres no getting around that.

  28. I don’t see current suppressor laws withstanding another democratic presidential term and a senate and house moving toward democratic domination. I mean lets be honest here, the republicans are horrible, and the majority of the young voting and politically ambitious generations whether we admit it or not is more liberal than conservative. Although this article is about the current NFA system it tells a story of the future and which of the first constitutional assumed rights will be going away in compromises in future gun control legislation. Get your suppressors while you can, but since one has to register and stamp all NFA dealings it’s not like they aren’t gonna know who owns what.
    Suppressors/silencers to liberals are at the top of their evil list in gun control even though like “assault rifles” they contribute to almost ZERO gun deaths, and to be perfectly honest I’m amazed so many states and the federal laws still allow them. Moot argument you all are having here.

  29. I cant stand this guy.
    Gun control in general and NFA in particular are glaring infringements of our Constitutional rights

  30. It’s my understanding that they now have a whopping 24 (1) people to clear a multi-year backlog of paperwork. I was told by someone in the know that EACH desk has an entire file cabinet of paperwork to process with more every day. Too little too late.

    • My understanding (via Silencer Shop) is they had six and just added 12, not yet fully operational. If so, doesn’t your number look wildly optimistic? Oh, and a backlog of 80,000 applications.

  31. If you need to buy a suppressor buy from The Silencer Shop. They have a vast knowledge base and great customer service. Maybe RF should tap the owner to give a real insight into the business and what is going on from a dealer who profits and expands and good golly doesn’t charge above msrp to do it.

    • I love the Silencer shop, but I find it hilarious that one of the most stringent requirements for such a business is huge amounts of storage space, and I would love to know just how many items they are “holding” in the back, and how much $$ have been spent on them as they await the magic stamp before they can be delivered. My guess would be thousands of items, including 2 of mine! Storefront is really tiny, back end is enormous.

  32. The more I talk with “stamp-collectors” the more I realize things wont change. So many of them are walking around with a sense of accomplishment and an attitude of “looking down” on those who have thrown away $200 to the state and participated in restricting our own liberty.

    I bet should the question of moving silencers off the NFA ever come up a great number of our own kind will actively fight against it.

    I see the same thing in states that require permits.
    Buying their little badge or certificate makes them feel “elite” and “special”. A ticket to “only oneness”.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    MG owners? Most definitely

    Suppressor, SBR, and SBS owners? Absolutely not.

    I wish everyone had suppressors on their pistols, and rifles. I’m tired of having to wear ear-pro at the range. It sucks not being able to enjoy the sound of silence when I shoot.

    • Do you even own a can? And if you do, can you really deny that feeling of satisfaction when you finally took it home? Gun snobs exist in every corner, whether it’s Title I or Title II stuff.

      • And even among the concealed carry licensed herd. Once a right is shunted into a privilege, there seems to be an industry, lobby, and fan base there to keep the infringement going. Human nature, I guess.

        Government has it easy; sponge up as much power as possible. A free people always have to contend with a fragmented base. That’s the simplicity, wisdom, and power of shall not be infringed. It tips the balance of power more towards the People.

  33. I own several cans, Mike, and every one gave me a feeling of satisfaction when I was finally able to pick it up. Spending a ****load of money for things you can’t take home the same day, and waiting almost a year to enjoy them better put a smile on your face. I don’t feel elite, or entitled because I own Title 1 items, I just enjoy the hell out of em’.

  34. Another article from a guy who loves to see people’s WTF faces. I personally don’t care at all how long it takes the BATF to process some paper and take $200, but acting as though these multi-month wait times are reasonable is hilarious. Never mind that this is a gold mine of potential revenue or that the increased demand should not be a surprise given the very predictable rising popularity of suppressors (spurred on by their falling costs and the fact that $200 isn’t as expensive as it used to be). I’m sure the new people processing these apps are learning from the vets that have been doing this for years… the same guys that probably had to process three apps in a day before heading to the local pub early. Is that an exaggeration? Perhaps. But if they outsourced this to a third party firm, you’d see wait times of less than a month and excellent margins.

    No, this is another example of what happens when you have the government do something it isn’t in the mood to do… so stop blaming things on Enrique.

    • Outsource to a third party? OK, but first I’d like somebody to tell me something. FC? Silencer Shop? In a given year, let’s say, how many applications are rejected by ATF which would have been OK’d by a NICS check? My money is on zero. In which case why isn’t NICS good enough, just add in the $200 tax and send it home today.

  35. I hear a lot of you making statements, such as “repeal the NFA,” “You can’t tax a right,” etc. Nothing is going to magically change. I agree it is garbage and you are right. That said, in every forum, the sentiments are the same, but until the NFA is repealed, this is the world that we live in. I would much rather read suggestions on HOW we can accomplish these types of changes. We all agree, no sense continuing to voice opinions on how our rights have been trampled. It’s like listening to a broken record. Give me something that I can get behind in order to make these things happen and I will gladly do my part.

    • One way is massive civil disobedience. It takes minerals and determination, though.

      How many who are properly paper-worked would turn in someone who wasn’t? If there’s a large number that would rat then there’s a major problem right there. 😉

      I’d cut off my right testicle before I would fink someone out to the ATF. But hey, that’s just me.

    • I think we need to take it one issue at a time, otherwise we are debate length limited and cant really pass anything. Suppressors should be pretty easy. The NRA pushed a bill a few years ago and did pretty well. With the huge rise in popularity in suppressors it is just a matter of time. Several states are working to remove restrictions on suppressors and short barreled firearms. The tide is turning in our favor faster than CCW reform did.

      Machine guns won’t be too easy, but if we can reopen the registry the two million new gun MG owners that buy five million machine guns in the first few years will push things open further by fighting issues of crossing state borders without permission, transfer taxes, background check type (NICS vs the current mess), wait periods, and such. It will be all down hill from there.

    • How about we pass the following Constitutional Amendment? “The Second Amendment means what it says.”

  36. “Any increase in wait times for a stamp, whether due to government shutdown, increased paperwork volume or otherwise, is viewed as an infringement. Nay, a trampling of our basic Constitutional rights.”

    Justice delayed is justice denied. So too, rights delayed are rights infringed upon.

  37. I’ll throw my hat in with the anti-FC’s. The backlog is outrageous, and I wish I knew where NOT to buy my next NFA item. Man, some people are just idiots. And douches.

  38. We’ll still be bitching about this in another years time. If the Repubs do actually win the Senate this time (not a sure thing), it’s time to start pushing for “Common Sense NFA Reform” (that’s what we should be calling it). We’re potentially close to National Reciprocity, but NFA reform needs to be alongside it.

    And we have to start demanding to know from Reps and Senators not whether they will support it, but when they will be moving on actually doing it.

    So long as Repubs are still thinking in Gun Culture 1.0 terms, we’ll get nowhere. They need to be made aware that things have and are changing.

  39. The 1934 NFA is gun control, period. It was passed under the auspice to limit items to gangsters of the 20s and 30s. However, they got their stuff the old fashioned way, so it really didn’t matter. Dillinger, Clyde Barrow et al. got their automatic weapons the old fashioned way, the stole them. Given the fact that mass murder was committed during the St. Valentines Day massacre, Capone et al. weren’t concerned with the law or committing felonies.

  40. FYI…

    After reading this article, I sent F.C. an email at the email address included with his post. Still no response.

    Guess he is not interested in new business. Oh, well.

  41. Creative article . I was enlightened by the information . Does someone know if my company might be able to locate a fillable ATF E-Form 7CR version to use ?

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