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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 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.

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  1. The ATF is currently pissing their pants over the possibility of being downsized/abolished. They are trying everything they can to make voters happy. My suggestion, fuck em. Don’t give them an inch and keep pushing until both the NFA and ATF are abolished.

  2. Too little, too late. They’re trying to stave off the need for the HPA to keep their jobs and the money flowing. Too bad we’re so tired of their BS that were just going to legislate away their jobs.

    • Anyone hear when the HPA’s next step is supposed to take place? It’s time to get that thing through the house.

      Anything that downsized the atf would make it easier to get rid of them entirely.

    • The ATF does not keep the $200 tax from NFA items. If the HPA passes they would literally have no revenue change. In a recently leaked white paper which was published on the site the ATF even said supresors don’t need to be NFA items.

      • That’s not quite true Chris, but if they are no longer processing suppressors, that does reduce the amount of work, and possibly the number of positions they can justify, which could lead to reduced funding.

        That said, most likely you are right and the reduced load from no suppressor processing might just go to speed up other things like SBRs and SBSs, etc.

    • The HPA has a very slim chance of making it through this year. I have hopes, but after doing some research into it I do not have high hopes. That said, I doubt the ATF is going to take notice of the HPA until/unless it eventually becomes law.

  3. Or we just continue to work to dismantle the NFA and the horrible bureaucracy it has spawned… still, streamlining the process is always a plus.

  4. As with most things that the government says, I will maintain a degree of healthy skepticism until results begin to appear.

  5. What could possibly go wrong?

    This is a false flag, if they were serious about it, it would have been done years ago.

    Trying to look good for Trump.

    • Absolutely.

      This is entrenchment. With the possibility of some of some of their responsibilities going away (HPA), establishing a new branch 1) increases size which makes it more difficult to go away, 2) provides faster service which cuts down on complaints, 3) shows that they are responsive to needs, etc.

      This is bureaucrats trying to keep part of a bureaucracy alive.

  6. 90% of the delay is attributable to BATF regulations, policies, and procedures that ARE NOT REQUIRED BY STATUTE.

    Instead they are the result of 70 years of deliberate, deep state, harassment by the Staff at the Bureau. The new Trump-appointed Director can within a month:
    (1) directly repeal all the policies and procedures NOT required by law and
    (2) commence the process of repealing the host of agency Regulations that exceed the requirements of the statute.

    • Theoretically, it could all be done faster. In practice it would take longer. The point remains that 90% of all our laws are regulations that any administration could just get rid of.

  7. When they get wait times for complete paperwork and stamp returns at or under 72hrs, we’ll talk. Speaking of, is this not a NICS check basically? Can’t we play the 72hr hold game with this as well?

    • 72 hr hold. ?

      Ya, they can raise an objection 72 hours after you leave the GS. If you’re not there when they call back, oops.

  8. This is great news!

    Another element of government bureaucracy to smooth the handling of our basic right to bear arms that shall not be infringed upon….

    Is the /sarcasm, identifier even needed?

  9. I remember Obama saying he was going to hire people to do stuff like this, i wonder if this was something set in motion by him or not? and i mean ACTUALLY KNOW not just spout off some conjecture about whether its true or not.

  10. So instead of getting rid of their useless and oppressive work they figure out a way to do it with more tax dollars… Yep sounds like the f#$kin feds at work. Shall not be infringed and by the people, for the people pretty much sums up why the atf agents should pound sand. Oh and thanks for waco you human slime.

  11. Processing times are about to go way down once they’re through the July rule change surge.

    Time for me to buy a rimfire can.

  12. Wasn’t this actually due to spiking processing times for *government* and LEO transfers, caused of course by the influx of Form 1/4 submissions by us peons? Figures when Uncle Sam starts feeling the pinch, the government magically parts like the Black Sea, while us tax-payers continue to suffer a ridiculously antiquated and inefficient paper-based scheme in this year of our lord 2017.

    All the government branch split accomplishes is moving government transfers to the front of the line. OUR line.

  13. I have another reasonable improvement that would would greatly improve administrative ease and processing time: If a person already owns a suppressor, automatically and immediately approve any subsequent suppressor purchases.

    It makes absolutely no sense that I had to wait over 9 months to receive my most recent can, when I already own multiple other suppressors.

    Of course, who said that anything in the bureaucracy ever made sense?

  14. Great. A whole unconstitutionally infringing bureaucracy is getting more efficient at infringement.
    The NFA came about because the federal government of the 30’s knew it couldn’t ban these items because the courts wouldn’t allow it. The get around was to use the taxing power of Congress to make the items the gov didn’t want people to easily get. So they put a tax on the items and you had to buy a stamp for $200.
    Ok, that I don’t like but it at least is somewhat constitutional. However waiting up to a year to take possession of one of these items AFTER the tax has been paid is unacceptable and I believe unconstitutional. If they can clear a firearm purchase in under 10 seconds (early morning it’s common) why can’t the same be done for anything on the NFA list?
    Why isn’t it possible to go online and fill out the NFA paperwork, get instant background run through NICS, pay $200 tax, take item home from shop or build your item?
    This could be set up in a month if it’s something the feds really wanted to improve.

    • Star Tribune v. Commissioner. Taxes on an item tied to a fundamental right are unconstitutional. In Star Tribune the court found that taxes on newspaper ink were unconstitutional.

      • Special taxes on such an item are illegal. A sales tax applied equally to all items would not be illegal when applied to the constitutionally protected item.

  15. Is that…? no, it couldn’t be….

    That’s not the branch leaders’ Social Security numbers in the memo above, is it? Didn’t think they would be so public with ostensibly “private” identification!

  16. Only a government bureaucracy would look at a simple understaffing problem and conclude the solution is to create a completely different and new bureaucratic division. I’m pretty sure that the problem with NFA wait times isn’t that there aren’t enough bureaucrats and middle managers overseeing the two dozen people who actually process the paperwork…

  17. My question is this, if the sales of suppressors are down to a trickle why are the NFA wait times still at 10 months or more?

    • Cause they’re not through the July rulechange backlog. Request volume was huge leading up to last July so everyone could get their paperwork in before the requirement for photos/fingerprints for all trustees.


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