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 The only way he was getting a silencer is if NFA regulations were repealed.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.