By John Brown
Technology Branch (FTB) Procedures Manual has become quite an undertaking and it is occupying many of our members time; in some cases nearly 100%. Developing this manual is also a tricky process since much of the written word will be used to assist in enforcing the law in cases where abuse of the system or procedures is in question. So it goes slowly, but at a calculated pace, to insure that the document that is produced is supported entirely by our own community and especially the Firearms Technology Branch. This is a new partnership and we are asking FTB, in light of an overburdening work load, to put in the time and attention to develop a product that will better align not only the NFA community but the entire firearms industry with ATF rules and regulations.
With FTB working literally hundreds of technology issues, the NFATCA is more than appreciative for the time and energy Branch Chief, John Spencer and Assistant Branch Chief Rick Vasquez are putting into this program. For many years now we all know that if you want and need help with a technology issue from FTB, the best way to get that help is in writing. Word of mouth with decisions that can affect the entire industry is a bad idea, so rightfully many years ago FTB issued the edict “put it writing.” This concept has opened the door to literally thousands of requests from gun owners and manufacturers from all over the United States and in some cases the world. With a minimum staff it is sometimes just plain difficult to keep the pace with the demand on the branch. For their efforts in giving the NFATCA and our community the time to get this job done we are truly grateful.
Parallel with the work on the FTB Procedures Manual, the NFATCA is addressing a number of other policy issues affecting all of us. The issues, once again, are those that affect the greater good for the entire community. Almost daily, we receive requests from individuals that need help. Unless the issue has far reaching effects on the community we work as hard as possible to refer you to proper counsel to get the help you need. We unfortunately don’t have the time or the resources to handle these types of requests. We are working diligently to assimilate a list of gun-savvy attorneys nationwide to help more and more of the community with issues that affect an individual.
The NFATCA Agenda for 2008
- The NFATCA is better aligning itself with the larger gun manufacturers and NFA programs that affect their operations.
- We are establishing a much closer relationship with the FAIR Trade group where we will jointly assess common strategies and goals in order to strengthen our numbers and have a stronger presence in negotiations with ATF on many issues.
- This year we will also cross the threshold between the NFA community and the regular gun community and begin to strengthen our presence on gun issues that affect all of us in this community.
- We will roll out the NFA title insurance program.
- We will issue the first set of updates to the NFA Handbook.
- We will issue the first draft on the NFATCA counsel support list. This listing will recommend attorneys nationwide for support in gun related issues that are handled on an individual basis.
- We will make our membership 500 strong.
In 2008, the FTB Procedures Manual will require about 55% of the NFATCA resources to get this project completed in late 2008 or early 2009. Another 25% of our resources are being focused on spreading the strength by recruiting the larger manufacturers and gun organizations that support the efforts of the entire gun community. The balance of our efforts is being used to support legislative activity and negotiations on a number of critical issues that we are working with ATF to resolve. Those issues we can not discuss at this writing but will continue to work to resolution to insure that the best of all of our interests are the focus of our efforts. As we close those issues, future columns will support the work involved and the outcome.
2008 will be an ever more powerful year for the NFATCA in strength of numbers and value to the community. The ride with the organization will be a powerful one in the light of a political agenda that is as uncertain as ever. The time to help us build this powerful strength to stand for those issues is NOW. Visit www.NFATCA.org and join us in our efforts that do affect you.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V11N5 (February 2008)|