The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) released a statement today clearing the massive, 9 month NFA backlog and waitlist. Due to the recent boom in suppressor purchases and SBR builds, the single employee at ATF who processes NFA requests had become worked to the point where his standard 20 hour work-week wouldn’t allow him to process NFA requests in a timely fashion.
ATF released the steps they took to clear the backlog in such a short order:
- Hired two more full time employees to round out their NFA processing staff to 3
- Increased the standard work week from 20 hours to 40 hours
- Cancelled the formerly mandatory 2nd breakfast, elevensies, and afternoon tea breaks for all NFA processing employees
ATF’s PR Rep also released the following statement: We are very sorry to have inconvenienced law abiding gun owners like this. We realize now that no one would ever go through the formal NFA process if they planned on committing a crime with their legally purchased NFA item. Again, we’re really sorry about all this. It’s just that delaying NFA requests to run redundant background checks is a lot easier than fighting actual crime, like finding out who’s sending all those guns to Mexican drug cartels…
Additional items of note in the ATF release, all suppressors have been moved off the NFA list and will be treated the same as firearms going forward, requiring only a 4473 and NICS check to purchase. While no ATF sources commented on this, it’s believed the decision was driven by high level officials within the Justice Department to “be more like Europe, because European stuff is cool.” Deregulating silencers will also likely have a positive effect on the economy.
With the NFA backlog cleared and now permanently reduced to a cursory 3-day waiting period for all NFA items, there is speculation from the firearms industry about how the new rule changes will affect day to day life for gun owners. AR15.com user “Kunt3r5trik3Tw1nkl3T03z” put up a post saying “If we can’t complain about ATF wait times online now, what are we going to do?” The SilencerTalk forum experienced a 200% decline in traffic as all threads about how long the ATF takes to process NFA items died overnight. Advertising executives from the major firearms ad network expressed concern that the drop in traffic relating to NFA complaints could negatively affect revenues. “Sure, it’s great that the NFA is all cleared up” said one forum owner, “but I need those sweet, sweet pageviews to drive ad revenue so I can buy another boat!”
Regardless of the backlash, ATF is committed to their new, customer friendly policy. Their new agency motto has been changed to “A right delayed is a right denied” and all current employees will undergo mandatory Constitutional Law training, which will explain in great detail what exactly “Shall not be infringed” means.