The single major hurdle (other than cost) keeping more people from owning silencers and other fun but NFA-regulated goodies is the wait. When I last called to check on my Form 1 that went pending on October 23rd, they told me that April was the expected turnaround time on that one. Which gave me little hope of seeing the AAC Ti-Rant I JUST mailed the forms for before summer. That is, until I saw this…
From the LWRCI forums:
After several years of effort, DOJ has finally lifted the ATF hiring freeze in Martinsburg and has authorized the addition of 9 new NFA Examiners. This is in addition to the dozen contractors currently acting as examiner/research assistants to the existing 10 examiners plus 1 supervisor. This brings the total number of folks working to push NFA forms through the system to around 30+…
That’s the straight dope from the NFA Trade and Collector’s Association.
For those of you wondering what all the rejoicing is about, here’s the history:
The NFA branch has a finite number of people who can sign off on NFA paperwork, called “examiners.” There were a sufficient number when the volume of paperwork coming in was low, but with the recent explosion of silencers in the civilian market they’ve been flooded with new transfer requests. Keep in mind that each request requires a good amount of paperwork on their part to complete, including background checks and such.
When the paperwork coming in the door increased, the reasonable response would be to hire more people to process that work. Unfortunately, since our congress can’t get off its ass and pass a budget the NFA branch has been under a hiring freeze — in other words, no new hiring.
Now that the hiring freeze has been lifted, there’s sure to be an increase in the throughput of the NFA branch… eventually. It will take some time to hire the new people, train them and get them running, but the good news is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe not for those with forms in the pipeline already, but certainly for those who will be spending their Christmas bonus on a new toy.
For those who want to see more improvements to the NFA process, I recommend supporting the NFATCA. If you’ve got $200 to blow on a stamp you can at least give $50 to some people who are trying to make the process better for everyone.
Now if only they’d install an express lane for those using an NFA trust…