By John Brown
As we approach the end of the year and elections are soon upon us, I am proud to look back at what the NFATCA has been able to accomplish. Not only have we made some major headway with establishing a true collaborative relationship with the NFA Branch and the Firearms Technology Branch, but we have held over a dozen meetings in Washington with everyone from Director Sullivan and each of the ATF executive staff members. We have addressed issues concerning every aspect of the firearms community, from the use and current revision of the 4473, to detailed views of compliance inspections. The entire NFATCA organization has worked diligently to try and provide you, the user, with useful information on how to better manage everything from inventory to finding missing registrations and recovering guns that were hidden in the closet for nearly twenty years because someone could not find the Form 4 for a particular NFA weapon. The NFATCA is, and continues to be, involved in virtually every NFA issue that can or may affect our community. We continue to work for the greater good of the NFA owner.
We would especially like to thank Director Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Director Audrey Stucko and Deputy Assistant Director of Field Operations, Jim Zammillo for their time initiative and work with the NFATCA in working a number of issues that will sharpen and improve the relationship between our community and the BATFE. A special note of thanks also goes out to Teresa Ficaretta, ATF counsel, and the entire legal staff at ATF for their non stop efforts in helping us better understand the law and negotiating with us on a number issues for resolution.
In the face of an uncertain election year we have managed to establish a true partnership with personnel at the Bureau that enables every NFA owner to better understand and work with the Agency in a collaborative effort that is unprecedented.
We want to also thank Gary Schaible and Ernie Litner for their undying dedication to work closely with the NFATCA to improve our communications and understanding on a plethora of issues throughout this year. Although now serving the Boston Region, let’s not forget the magnificent efforts of Ken Houchens and the mass improvements made to the transfer process and the operation of the NFA Branch. A special thanks to the leadership of Scott Mendoza for his support in this effort and his cooperation with us in ’08.
As the new Branch Chief for FTB, we especially would like to thank John Spencer and Assistant Branch Chief Rick Vasquez for their tireless efforts in keeping me propped up in developing the FTB Procedures Manual. This undertaking will be one of the major efforts in ’08 and will have a major impact on manufacturing operations in the future.
Among other accomplishments the NFATCA has made in 2008 is the first update to the NFA Handbook, the successful negotiation of the FNC upper being recognized as the receiver of this FN family of weapons, and co-hosting the first “Manufacturers Conference” in Washington D.C. in partnership with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the BATFE. If you missed that conference you missed one of the finest performances that ATF has ever offered on their operations to the community. This conference was a major success and will continue to provide information to the manufacturing community for years to come.
In cooperation with the NFA Branch, the NFATCA office is fielding approximately 4-5 calls a week on a number of issues and questions concerning NFA issues. These calls have prompted an even closer relationship with FTB and the NFA Branch in getting more information to our community to clear up misunderstandings, answer questions, and provide our membership and NFA owners information on a variety of issues.
The lists of successes in 2008 continue to grow.
And you wonder why you should join the NFATCA? Come and join the spirit of a relationship that is working for all of our benefits. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. In the face of an uncertain political climate come join and support the only organization that is working on your behalf: the NFATCA. Visit us at www.NFATCA.org.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V12N1 (October 2008)|