With Silencers About to be Available Over the Counter (Fingers Crossed), Let’s Take a Closer Look at How They Work.
The American people spoke loud and clear last Tuesday when they elected the Republican candidate to the highest political office in the United States in addition as well as holding Republican majorities in both the US House and Senate. The same sentiment echoed across the country, such as in Kentucky, where voters not only flipped the state’s House of Representatives to a Republican majority for the first time in nearly 100 years, but they did it by a landslide 64-35 margin.
Regardless of how many might feel about various positions held by various candidates, it appears that American gun owners are in for what we hope is a good (at least) four year stretch. A major part of President-Elect Trump’s platform was his strong support for Second Amendment Rights. Given the list of pro-RKBA politicians and industry insiders that he has already named to his Second Amendment Coalition, chances are good that we may see some positive movement in the arena of existing and future firearms legislation.
One example of such positive movement is the renewed possibility for passage of the Hearing Protection Act – NRA-backed legislation which would remove silencers (a/k/a suppressors) from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA). This was even the ostensible goal of the American Suppressor Association‘s foundation and one that they are still working hard toward. Until the Hearing Protection Act is passed, silencers are still available and legal to own in most states, albeit with the additional hurdles imposed by the recently adopted (and, hopefully, soon to be abolished) ATF Rule 41F.
With dreams of over-the-counter suppressor availability via just a 4473 and NICS background check (and no $200 tax stamp or year-long wait) just on the horizon, let’s take a look at how suppressors work Continue reading
Governor Branstad Signs HF2279 Into Law
In an update to yesterday’s story about support for gun mufflers in Iowa and New Hampshire, Iowa’s governor has signed the proposed legislation into law, making suppressors legal for civilian ownership.
Iowa has become the 42nd state to legalize suppressors. House File 2279, a bill introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl and Rep. Terry Baxter, recently passed the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee on March 2, 2016 by a wide margin of 11-2. The bill moved through the Iowa Senate without issue, and has now been signed by Governor Terry Branstad.
After three years of efforts by the American Suppressor Association, the National Rifle Association, and the Iowa Firearms Coalition to educate lawmakers on the benefits and realities of suppressors, HF 2279 was met with positive response.
This victory in Iowa is bringing hope to the eight other states where suppressors are still illegal for civilians to own. As part of their “No State Left Behind” campaign, the American Suppressor Association will now turn its attention to those states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York.
Joshua Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo, says “SilencerCo has been a strong supporter of the American Suppressor Association since its inception. We’re proud of the hard work they have put behind HF 2279 along with the help of the NRA and the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Because of the determination and educational push by these groups, Iowans can now enjoy the same rights as are held by law-abiding citizens in 41 other states.”
There is also proposed legislation to remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA) altogether through the Hearing Protection Act.
Legislation Pending to Allow Wider Silencer Adoption
In addition to the pending nationwide Hearing Protection Act, several state bills are on deck to allow suppressor use for hunting in New Hampshire and suppressor ownership in Iowa. Members of the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation involved in the Sportsman’s Caucus attended silencer demo shoots this month to learn more about how these highly-regulated (for some reason) devices can help protect shooters and those around them.
On March 7, members of the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus attended a suppressor demonstration at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, New Hampshire. The event offered an opportunity to educate members of the Caucus on firearm suppressors. The educational demonstration came just two days prior to a hearing on HB 500 (a bill allowing suppressors for hunting purposes) in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where it was reported out by a unanimous 4-0 vote.
On March 17, HB 500 cleared the Senate, by a unanimous 23-0 vote, and now heads back to the House for concurrence. Continue reading
The popularity of gun mufflers has exploded over the past few years thanks, in part, to efforts by manufacturer conglomerates, silencer demos and events, social media hash-tags that bring awareness (#SilencersAreLegal, #FightTheNoise), and the relative ease of procuring them – despite the blatantly unconstitutional restrictions placed on them by laws and BATFE rulings. There is even legislative action to make them even easier to procure – requiring only a 4473 instead of the tedious NFA paperwork and wait time (contact your reps!).
eForms Changing to Firearms and Explosives Application Module (FEAM)
Liason says system wont be ready in time to demo at SHOT Show
As a BATFE eForms valued customer (what, you don’t have your frequent buyer’s card?), we received an update email today to notify us about some changes that are coming in the system.
The first change that you will notice is the name. No longer will it be called “eForms.” Rather, it will go by the new moniker of “Firearms and Explosives Application Module (FEAM)”. This change, the BATFE says, is to emphasis that FEAM is more than a “fillable form”.
A Business Process Module
The advisory maintains that, instead of just being a form, the system is a “business process module” and gives a list of minimum the functionalities, listed below. Although it doesn’t explicitly say as much, reading between the lines might lead one to believe that the changes are, in part, to pave the way to accommodate (or not) the requirements of ATF 41F (nee 41P). It also sounds like they may be scrapping all of that hard work that they had been promising was underway toward the reboot of the eForms Form 4 functionality.
- Auto assignment – All applications will be immediately upon submission assigned to an examiner for processing. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It seems like it could slow down some applications if it immediately goes onto the desk of a slow or grumpy examiner versus working its way through the queue to land on the first available desk.
- Auto approval – Some forms, like the ATF Forms 2 and 3, if they meet certain pre-determined criteria will be automatically approved by the FEAM system upon submission. This generally sounds like a good thing, as it could cut down on the amount of time buyers spend waiting for custom-built NFA items to hit the registry from the manufacturer or for the transfer to their local dealer to go through so they can start waiting on their Form 4.
- Internal controls and performance measurement reporting – ATF has a full audit trail of every application received with date and time stamps for every step in the process. Digital signatures can be used to lock down portions of the form to ensure the security of the data and the authenticity of the submitter.
- Improved business processes with automatic Records Management & Retention, as mandated by the Office of Management and Budget.
- Electronic Signature (for submitter and ATF personnel) – provides enhanced authentication, validation and improves processing and approval. From an individual viewpoint, this doesn’t sound like that meaningful of a change; particularly barring the absence of a mechanism for users to submit fingerprints and photos – which will soon be required for all non-SOT users.
- Enhance Industry satisfaction: user-friendly interaction. Aww, look… the BATFE is humble. To be honest, the eForms interface couldn’t have got much worse. It looked like a hello world website from the ’90s. But it suited its purpose as an online fillable form.
- FEAM provides the Application Program Interface (APIs) needed to update the existing ATF back end databases, to allow for the batch submission of multiple forms using one computer session. Yahtzee. Bulk forms.
- Improves efficiency for the Enforcement Programs and Services staff – Forms can be automatically routed, evaluated and tracked so that final determinations can be made in a consistent and expeditious manner.
The advisory also indicates that they had anticipated being able to demo FEAM v1.0 at SHOT Show this upcoming week, but – shockingly – they didn’t have it done in time. Drats! We had hoped to see something good when we stopped by their show booth this year.
We had hoped to be able to present the first iteration of FEAM at the 2016 SHOT Show. ATF performed an assessment of what was contracted to be developed for FEAM and what the contractor planned to deliver. At the end of the assessment, all parties involved felt that the product outlined in the current contract did not fully provide all the functionality that we expected, or that the industry requested. For these reasons we decided that rather than to continue on the current course, we would take the steps listed below to ensure that FEAM is a worthwhile investment for both the industry and ATF:
- Curtail the current development effort.
- Determine what is needed to sustain the existing eForms system, until the full requirements for FEAM can be determined and developed.
- Make the necessary changes to eForms to stabilize the infrastructure with the ever-increasing user population.
- Determine if we can re-introduce the Form 3 to the current eForms, through load testing and other system validations.
- Perform an assessment of the ATF and industry requirements for FEAM.
- Secure required funding for a new FEAM initiative, based on the revised requirements.
- Restart the FEAM initiative, to include industry participation during the requirements gathering and testing processes.
We look at this as only a minor delay. It is our intention to use this delay to acquire the tools and resources necessary to develop a product that will provide more functionality and a stable workflow process and infrastructure. All the work previously done on FEAM is not lost. It will be the foundation for the work that is yet to come.
As announced last week, a new bill has been introduced in the House to “provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.” That is, to essentially remove them from the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and ease the cumbersome process of acquiring one of these valuable safety devices – a process that involves a lengthy wait and a $200 tax on top of the cost of the device.
Matt Salmon (R-AZ), introduced HR 3799, the Hearing Protection Act of 2015, to the house on October 22nd. There, it was Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and to the Committee on the Judiciary for consideration. The full text of the bill, as well as updates about its progress, is available here.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced almost immediately their full support of the bill. GunLink also fully supports HR 3799 and urge everyone to contact their representatives and ask that they also support the bill, which is co-sponsored by Frank Guinta (R-NH), John Carter (R-TX), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Chris Collins (R-NY), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mia Love (R-UT), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), and Bruce Westerman (R-AR).
An easy way to contact your representatives is to use the tools at the PopVox HR 3799 page. From there, HR3799 proponents can choose to support the bill. Be sure to include a personal message about why you support the bill. By including your personal message about why you support the bill, you guarantee that the PopVox system will generate a physical letter of support that will be hand delivered to your representatives’ offices.
Why Support HR 3799?
Aside from the fact that Continue reading