The ATF’s Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch just sent out the following notification via email:
The Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (FTISB) classifies firearms as defined by the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA) based on the configuration and the design features of the firearm as submitted by members of the industry.
Effective immediately, any requests for a determination on how an accessory affects the classification of a firearm under the GCA or NFA must include a firearm with the accessory already installed. Except in cases of conditional import determinations, FTISB will not issue a determination on an accessory unless it is attached to the submitted firearm.
If you have previously submitted a sample accessory for classification, FTISB will be returning your sample without classification. FTISB will contact you in the near future with further instructions to facilitate the return of your sample.
Check it out here. In past cases involving the ATF and firearms submitted that have been determined to be NFA items the ATF has returned them when the person/company involved possesses the correct SOT. In instances where the correct SOT has not been in place those items have not been returned.
One cannot help but wonder whether or not this has anything to do with upcoming regulatory actions.