By Dan Shea
Every once in a while, I step in it. Several months ago, I went into a discussion about the problems being experienced by the Class 3 dealer community with our transfers on the “Post 86” dealer sample category of firearm. While I am very passionate on the subject of transfers, and the NFA firearms in general, some people misunderstood my comments and thought they were attacks rather than an expression of frustration and a desire to engage in creative discussion.
They proceeded to “Join” me in “attacking” ATF, and instead of sending in a few constructive thoughts on rectifying this situation, they verbally and in written word attacked ATF personnel, demanding that the situations change. This type of thing never really does anything constructive and in this case, may have burned some bridges for SAR.
I wanted to take a moment to thank people who shared their thoughts on this problem, but to ask that people refrain from saying that they are speaking for me or SAR when they send their messages to ATF or NFA Branch. A number of people misquoted me, and went into abusive rants against the people there. While we were looking for constructive comments, apparently a few sent in some very objectionable attacks.
Those who know me, know that is not my style. Constructive, well thought out letters, explaining a position, usually are helpful things, and are my usual tools. It is our desire to keep a spirit of cooperation and open lines of communication with the agencies that we deal with, not to alienate them.
On those same lines, there is a group working to bring together the interests of the Firearms importers in the United States. I had an opportunity to attend the Firearms And Importers Roundtable- FAIR Trade Group at the SHOT show this year.
Very impressive. Here was a group of business competitors who had come together on an even setting, to discuss the issues involved with their business, and how to solve their common problems.
From all accounts, they had been very effective. The Chief of ATF Imports Branch, Dave Johansen, was there, as were John Malone (Assistant Director FE&A) and Theresa Picaretta from the ATF Legal Department. There was a lively, constructive discussion, as well as reports on the activities of the FAIR Trade Group over the last year. I was amazed to hear that when FAIR discovered that Imports Branch was short handed, they and the NRA successfully lobbied for a larger budget. This helped smooth the way for import activities. There has been quite a “Logjam” of Form 6s, and this has helped to break that up.
If you have importation concerns, here is the contact info:
The FAIR Trade Group
2121 K Street, NW, Suite 650
Washington, DC 20037
FAIR will be sending updates to SAR so that we can keep our readers informed of changes on the policies of the Bush administration, and changes to procedures.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N10 (July 2001)|