Those who own a silencer or a short barreled rifle will be intimately familiar with the NFA Branch of the ATF. This tiny office has been overwhelmed in recent years by the deluge of new paperwork as more and more people buy NFA regulated items. But despite the massive increase in utilization, the office has remained an understaffed sub-section within an understaffed sub-section (Enforcement Programs and Services) of the ATF.
With the recent change in administrations, it looks like the NFA branch is finally being segmented off into its own division with the possibility of more staff and lower wait times for those doing NFA transfers.
From the memo (via Ammoland):
The Industry Processing Branch (NFA IPB) – led by IPB Branch Chief, Amy L. Stely (304-616-4522) will oversee the daily operations of industry forms processing at all levels and work with me and all of you to provide the best experience we can for the supply chain. This will include an effort to continually leverage technology enhancements and refine current operations.
The Government Support Branch (NFA GSB) – led by GSB Branch Chief, David Howell (304-616-4546) will oversee the daily processing of SOT applications, ATF Form 10 processing, 479.33 exemptions processing, handling of industry expedite requests for Gov’t and LE, complex issues requiring policy evaluation or re-evaluation with FEID & FIPB, and addressing Industry general requests such as 479.26 alternate procedure requests that are not policy related. Policy related requests will be handled by FIPB. GSB will directly support Federal, state, and local entities with acquisitions and overall LE support.
The NFA Division Staff Program Office – led by Supervisory Program Analyst, Melissa Mason (304-616-4569) will oversee the publication of the Firearms Commerce in the United States – Annual Statistical Update, manage FOIA requests, respond to data calls, and will oversee the vetting of statistical data for posting on the ATF.gov website.
For those with pending paperwork, the Industry Processing Branch sounds like that’s the people who will be handling your transfer and registration requests from here on out. Everything else appears to be designed to provide support to government and businesses.
The question on everyone’s mind: whether this is the start of something beautiful for paperwork processing. Electronic Form 3’s, perhaps? Or just improved processing time for civilian transfers? Either one would be great. Both would be wonderful.
It sounds like a positive step, but we’ll have to wait and see for what will be the actual impact.