suppressors

SHhhhhhhOT Show 2016 – The Silencers of SHOT Show

SuppressorsThe 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!).

As such, it is no surprise that recent years at SHOT Show have seen an increase in suppressors in display, and the 2016 show was no exception.   Continue reading

Changes to ATF eForms are Underway – Now to be Called FEAM

eForms Changing to Firearms and Explosives Application Module (FEAM)
Liason says system wont be ready in time to demo at SHOT Show

ATFeformsAs a BATFE eForms valued custome(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 assignmentAll 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 approvalSome 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 reportingATF 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 staffForms can be automatically routed, evaluated and tracked so that final determinations can be made in a consistent and expeditious manner.

BATFE-MolonLabe-SHOTThe 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:

  1. Curtail the current development effort.
  2. Determine what is needed to sustain the existing eForms system, until the full requirements for FEAM can be determined and developed.
  3. Make the necessary changes to eForms to stabilize the infrastructure with the ever-increasing user population.
  4. Determine if we can re-introduce the Form 3 to the current eForms, through load testing and other system validations.
  5. Perform an assessment of the ATF and industry requirements for FEAM.
  6. Secure required funding for a new FEAM initiative, based on the revised requirements.
  7. 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.

Support HR 3799 to Remove Silencers from NFA

supportHR3799As 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.

You can also discuss the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 on the GunLink forums.

Why Support HR 3799?

Aside from the fact that Continue reading

NRA Backs Hearing Protection Act

SuppressorsFairfax, VA –  The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support today for the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799).

Sponsored by Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), the legislation removes suppressors from regulations established under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“Suppressors significantly reduce the chance of hearing loss for anyone who enjoys the shooting sports,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA and our 5 million members, I want to thank Rep. Salmon for his leadership on this important bill.”

Prevailing regulations requires buyers to send an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pay a $200 tax, and pass an arduously time consuming ATF background check. Under Salmon’s bill there will be no application, no tax, and buyers would be required to pass the same National Criminal Instant Background Check (NICS) as law-abiding guns owners.

As a leading voice in the industry, the American Suppressor Association has provided valuable insight to the creation of the Hearing Protection Act. “Suppressors benefit all involved in hunting and the shooting sports. It’s time to bring the law in line with modern technology,” said Cox.

It is currently legal to hunt with a suppressor in 37 states. 41 states allow private ownership of suppressors.   Continue reading

New Additions to AAC’s Line of Pistol, Rifle, and Rimfire Silencers

AAC_logo_bannerTrue to Mike Smith’s (somewhat brash, perhaps) letter earlier this year, Advanced Armament Corp. is not only still open for business with real, live employees, they are continuing to innovate and release new suppressors for centerfire pistols, rifles and rimfire firearms.  We got a chance to see them at SHOT Show 2015 and they will be on display to the general public in booth 2033 at next month’s NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Nashville.

Among the new offerings are a couple of neat little pistol suppressors.  Filling the void left by the popular-but-discontinued Ti-Rant 9 is the new Illusion 9 with a claimed 33db sound reduction.  The Illusion 9’s offset bullet path allows the bulk of the suppressor to hang below the bore axis, freeing up the real estate above the axis to allow the use of factory sights instead of raised suppressor sights.  The Illusion also incorporates AAC’s “Assured Semi Automatic Performance” (ASAP) booster which the company claims “ensures reliable pistol operation, allows for zero-shift adjustment, and provides for modularity to support multiple weapons platforms.”  The Illusion has an MSRP of $800 and should be available this spring.    Continue reading

The Truth About AAC?

Following SHOT Show 2015, Advanced Armament Corporation’s Mike Smith recently made a post on the AAC Blog to clear up “some of the wild rumors and unfounded speculation” about the silencer company, which has been under the purview of Cerberus Capital Management’s firearm and outdoor arm, Freedom Group for the past several years.

The post has been widely criticized as being wildly unprofessional, attacking a writer from another gun blog.  Others have come to Smith’s defense saying that it is understandable that he is hot under the collar when his company is the target of unsubstantiated rumors or outright lies.  Regardless of how you feel about the tenor of his post, Mike does at least provide some official commentary on what is going on at the company:   Continue reading

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