It’s no secret that people are buying NFA regulated items at a faster pace than ever before.
Silencers (yes, the legal term used by the ATF is actually silencers, suppressor can be thought of as a more correct term), short barreled rifles/shotguns, and other regulated weapons are in high demand right now.
In recent years, the internet has led to greater understanding of how to file the paperwork for these items, and recently the ATF released an online system to submit and process forms that previously had to be submitted by mail.
These changes have led to a 380% increase in applications between 2005 and 2013.
Because of this increase, the ATF’s e-form system was overwhelmed earlier this year and had to be temporarily taken offline.
Now the ATF is looking to get that system back online and expand their operations. According to USA Today,
Richardson’s memo states that the ATF is “immediately” hiring 15 people to assist with the application processing and deploying 15 current employees to the task…
…”We have seen dramatic, unprecedented … growth in the firearms and ammunition industry as the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years,” the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade association, said on its website. “Not surprisingly, growth has placed added demand on the (ATF’s) Office of Enforcement Programs and Services.
“Today, the office simply does not have the funding or personnel it needs to serve the industry and, by extension, our customers.”
The foundation estimated that the ATF’s office needed $10 million in additional funding to “provide the level of service our industry needs to remain in compliance with federal law.”
It’s a good thing that the ATF is adding employees to help with this backlog, but when can we talk about removing these items from this additional regulation altogether?