Our friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gave a regulatory update at last week’s 13th Annual Firearms Import/Export Conference. Among the tidbits they dropped were a few more non-surprising data points indicating the (relative) slowdown in firearms and related sales. Number one on the hit parade as reported by princelaw.com: The NFA Branch is now processing more applications than they’re receiving for the first time since 2009. Oh, and they’ve whittled their backlog down to a mere 56,000 applications from 81,000 in February . . .
For you eForm fans, there’s good news! After an ObamaCare-like meltdown of the eForm platform, the ATF’s crack team of government-employed systems developers managed to get Form 1s back on line recently. And they let it slip that Form 2s will be back “shortly.” In government-speak, that means maybe by the end of the year. Or next year. Probably. Then they’ll start working on Forms 3 and 4. Eventually. Once they actually hire someone to do the work.
And if you have a firearms trust and have been sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out what they’ll be doing with any new proposed ATF-41P requirements, you can breathe easy. At least for now. The good news is the ATF is about as efficient and responsive as the Veterans Administration:
ATF Counsel Andrew Lang stated that ATF is currently on track to make a decision by January 2015; however, he acknowledged that many of the Comments filed by attorneys raised some issues that ATF hadn’t considered. He stated that the rulemaking may get significantly sidetracked internally, depending on internal responses to their review of the Comments and proposals on how to address the concerns. In response to a question on why ATF didn’t provide the underlying materials used for drafting the proposed rule, Attorney Lang, in addition to saying the petition was posted by the NFATCA at some point in time on its website, said ATF hasn’t had requests for such material in the past (aka, ATF hasn’t been complying with the Administrative Procedures Act and therefore, it didn’t need to with ATF-41P…well, maybe now that we made an issue out of it, there will be a change in course in future ATF rulemaking.)
But they swear they’ll have a new NFA Handbook out in time for the next SHOT Show. Really.