By John Brown
Now that the 2006 Small Arms Review (SAR) Show and the SHOT Show are behind us, we can look back and see a world of difference in the way all firearms owners are seeing the future. At SAR and at SHOT there is an increasing interest in the focus of the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association (NFATCA). At SAR, I personally spoke to well over a hundred people about our efforts and especially our successes in 2006. I dare say every board member made the same or better efforts at SAR and SHOT. Recruiting at SAR and SHOT has been far beyond our expectations simply because everyone in our community is worried – and with good reason. The outcome of the elections was unfortunately predictable and all of us are concerned for the future of not only gun ownership but especially the future of NFA ownership. Our Firearms Attorney affectionately coined the expression at SAR that the next two years and the following election may mean “death by a thousand cuts” for the entire gun community.
Although the future is uncertain you can best believe the tireless efforts of the NFATCA are stronger than ever. When the Assistant Director of Firearms Services and Enforcement, Lou Raden, showed up to be a guest speaker at SAR, along with the Acting Branch Chief for Firearms Technology, Rick Vasquez, and Gary Schaible, everyone took notice. Lou Raden reiterated the strong intentions of ATF to continue to work closely with our community. He applauded our efforts and continued to emphasize the importance of working closer with our community. When the number two man at ATF espouses support for the accomplishments and the efforts we made in 2006, we can rest easier knowing that we have moved beyond a collaborative effort and have actually begun to work as a team. If you have ever attended an NFATCA meeting you will know exactly what is meant. If you are a member, this is old news to you.
It is appropriate to recognize the tireless efforts of every board member in their continuing endeavors to reach our goals. With full time officers’ positions in thriving businesses, these terrific people have given every ounce of their energy to make certain that the NFATCA is a permanent fixture on the landscape of the NFA community.
In 2006, we reached a tireless goal of completing the NFA Handbook and its is now embraced by ATF as a handbook that not only dealers, collectors, and manufacturers can learn and work from, but it will serve as another “white book” that ATF and our community refer to for virtually all NFA interpretations. Remember our initial goal: The NFATCA writes the manual and ATF publishes this document, after a scrutinizing joint review. It is our objective to review and update this document with ATF officials on a routine basis so it never looses its relevance or impact in our community.
2006 was the second year for NFATCA and it stands as a banner year. Membership escalated, accomplishments thrived, and our efforts were welcomed on virtually every front in ATF. The real work however, is just beginning.
In 2007, we will begin our next roll-out of goals and objectives, which will include working the Electronic Forms issues and hopefully initiating new work with the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB). In 2006, we began the process of introducing the NFATCA organization to FTB and we have been working many issues with the acting Branch Chief, Rick Vasquez. Our objective early on will be to assist FTB with a multitude of issues surrounding firearms technology and the many issues that face the branch where the NFATCA can assist. This is unplowed ground for both organizations and we already know there are a large number of issues where we can work together. We have had many discussions on issues in late 2006 and we will be sharing those issues in this column and, in some instances, our Firearms Attorney will be addressing them in “The Legal Side” this year. This will surely be an exciting year for all concerned.
We encourage, as always, that every member of our community get involved, join the cause, and help make a difference in a way that we can all enjoy. We all have a common interest and it is up to all of us to protect those interests. United, we can. Join the NFATCA today!
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V10N6 (March 2007)|