It is unfortunate at my age that I have seen several gun-unfriendly administrations come and go all with the same agenda in mind: chip away at the Second Amendment, whatever it takes. Thus far we have always managed to survive. Even administrations that we thought were going to preserve the Second Amendment didn’t exactly help us in our cause. And today that journey for the gun industry continues.
I remember two years ago, one of the best firearms attorneys in the industry delivered a message to the industry entitled, “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” At the time I really didn’t know the depth of his understanding of what we would be facing in the coming years. His delivery was spot on for what we were about to endure with this administration.
We all knew at some point in time with this administration an agenda focusing on gun control would surface. There were simply too many other issues for this to be a priority during the first two years. That time has been slowly coming and, believe me, it’s here. Their agenda isn’t written anywhere nor will you see it summarized in a newsletter on any publication. The gun control community has gotten smart and is working in a quiet but stealthy fashion. They are using multiple venues to get to the heart of controlling one of the most coveted rights in the United States, the Second Amendment. The anti-gun community is working below the radar screen and approaching from every angle possible to chip away at your rights. We know this is the case simply because we find there aren’t enough hours in the day to work on all of the issues at the Federal, let alone the State level. It started three years ago when ammunition prices went through the roof, for no apparent reason. Look a little deeper and you will find OSHA and EPA looking into pollution and a ton of other nonsense issues. If I look back I am convinced that the gun control groups starting looking at, “If I can’t control the gun, then let’s go after the ammunition.” Three years ago a lot of strange things happened for no apparent reason on the ammunition front, even if you weren’t wearing a tin foil hat. Since the debacle with ammunition pricing and availability there have been no less than a dozen pot holes the NFA industry has fallen into that have consumed hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in resources that would never have been available in years before. We have now gained the strength and the muster to fight off many of the issues we face.
For many of you, seeing the entire picture is difficult if you aren’t standing next to what is really happening. Therefore, we wanted to take the time this month and fill you in on some of the “cuts” that we are attempting to avoid or heal.
Between struggling to figure out why we all of a sudden need a definition of small arms ammunition, requirements on the importation of shotguns, getting clarification on what constitutes manufacturing, fighting multiple sales on long guns, restricting the intake of post samples from police departments, restrictions on the importation of barrels, and a list of items as long as your arm, I know now what our Firearms Attorney meant by his expression “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” The NFATCA has been, and continues to be, your feet on the street protecting your NFA rights and many other facets of responsible gun ownership. Every day we are faced with no less than a dozen issues which we work to keep our rights on the fore front of those we represent, you the collector, the manufacturer and the owner in the NFA community. I often times feel like we are constantly in a reactionary mode with the many agendas coming from ATF and other enforcement agencies. I know that as the organization gains momentum through corporate and individual memberships we will slowly but surely begin to have a more powerful voice in an environment that traditionally is not a good listener. The NFATCA along with its sister organization the F.A.I.R. Trade group have enlisted congressional assistance to get the support our community rightfully deserves in order to take on a more proactive approach to legislative issues. Stay tuned to the many upcoming meetings to hear details on the level of legislative assistance we have been successful at obtaining.
This past year has been one of the best years the NFATCA has experienced in its relationships with sister organizations. We have attended meetings with the National Rifle Association, The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Safari Club International, among a few. We have found it critical to keep each other tuned into one another’s agenda making certain that we are all singing from the same sheet of music, protecting your rights, whether they are NFA rights or Title One firearms. As the administration unleashes the many things that we will see in the near term, the simple term of “United We Stand” is, and has always been, paramount to what we as a firearms community must know. We at the NFATCA look to a very powerful year standing for all gun owners and the right to keep and bear arms. The board at the NFATCA stands today for the entire community and what is right for any aspect of the NFA world.
I am proud that we can stand for the community and for the first time stand with all of the organizations that protect all of our rights. Come join us and help make a difference in how we serve the good for NFA owners everywhere. Come and visit us at nfatca.org.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V14N8 (May 2011)|