By John Brown
In the several visits that the NFATCA board has made to Martinsburg, we have always been amazed at the technology and the energy it takes to keep up with the firearms trade in our great land. We read and hear a lot of self pronounced experts criticize the BATFE, their efforts, and the regulations. Most don’t have the courage to let the rest of us know exactly who they are; therefore you can never really get the help you think they might be able to offer. Out of this frustration, the NFATCA was born nearly two years ago. The NFATCA has grown to represent an organization run by the NFA community for the NFA community.
As most of you know from reading the past articles we have published, the NFATCA has been working collaboratively with the Bureau for almost two years. For the first time in history we have jointly developed the NFA Owners Manual for all members of our community. This effort is completed and has been done so in total excellence. Both the BATFE and the NFATCA have worked diligently to represent the NFA community as a whole, on rulings, explanations and understanding the law. We have accomplished many things with the combined energies.
It is unfortunate that we are unable to convince more of the NFA community to dig in and help out. What we do costs a lot of money. Some of the community complains that the dues are too expensive, yet they don’t hesitate to write a check for a $10,000 NFA weapon. I heard someone say, “The difference is my gun is an investment.” I did have the opportunity to smile at this gentleman and ask him, “And who is watching out to make certain that your investment is protected?” The look on his face would have stopped a truck.
That’s why the NFATCA is a group of individuals and corporations, just like you, interested in finding and defining the best way to protect our futures with NFA ownership. This is exactly what we do. We don’t fight battles on an individual basis, although we have been asked to do so. We work collectively for the entire community.
The standard question is, “What have you done for me lately?” The answer is a simple one, but will get very complex as the future presents itself.
With a new BATFE Director and a host of issues, we will need all the help we can muster including a robust membership and funding that continues to strengthen our organization’s efforts. In late 2006 we will be working many issues that are critical for many of you in the NFA community. We are being faced with technology questions, and the side effects of our work being recognized by ATF. They value our opinion and we are being asked on a more frequent basis to offer opinions on a variety of issues, again, critical to all NFA owners.
Today we are being asked, by BATFE, some very pointed questions on the use of sears in conversions and opinions on how the NFATCA feels about many technical issues concerning machine guns and manufacturing issues. We are participating in discussions on the use of various uppers and the effects on regulations. We are being invited into halls we have never been asked to visit until this time. For the first time, our opinion is valued, listened to, and used in the design of the NFA community’s future. We have realized a major objective in our goals: designing a more collaborative effort with the ATF. Mission accomplished!
The NFATCA today, with a membership of over 100 members, including major manufacturers, is the only organization that stands unified in representing the entire NFA community.
In the future we will be involved with counsel, ATF, and our membership to resolve a host of issues that we will detail in these articles. We will need the top 10% of our membership to handle these issues, offer opinions, and work jointly with ATF in forming policy for the future. At every turn I still see many NFA owners lethargic in their approach to offering any financial or other expertise to work NFA issues.
Even with only 100 members we will forge onward and work to the best of our efforts to stay strong, unified, and powerful in our energies to represent the best interests of the NFA community.
If you care at all, and want fair representation, join the NFATCA today and help this organization bring the strength necessary for the best representation in Washington, D.C. Our success will be a success for the entire community. Join today!
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V10N3 (December 2006)|