ATF Meeting Highlights & Other News from the Nation’s Capital

ATF Meeting Highlights & Other News from the Nation's Capital

Washington, DC – -( The F.A.I.R. Trade Group recently met with ATF.

On May 20, 2019, the F.A.I.R. Trade Group met with officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to discuss several areas of interest or concern for the firearms industry. Below are the highlights from that meeting.

Regulatory Reform – pursuant to Executive Order 13777 (Feb. 24, 2017), ATF has designated Claudia Murray as the new official to head up the agency's regulatory reform task force. The task force helped identify unnecessary guidance documents, which ATF revoked under ATF Rul. 2017-1. The task force will continue its review of the ATF firearm and explosives regulations in 27 C.F.R. Parts 447, 478, 479 and 555 to identify areas for improvement in line with the Trump Administration's directives on regulatory reform.

Technical Evaluations and Classifications – average processing times are currently six months.

The reason for such a long review time is that there are only nine (9) Firearm Enforcement Officers (FEOs) to serve both the criminal and industry branches within the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD). The current backlog is more than 100 cases, and ATF has hit its ceiling for FEOs under the current budget. The number of FEOs falls way short of an optimal operating level, but it is possible ATF may be able to acquire a few more with the 2020 budget.

Import Classifications – FATD has made a list of certain types of firearms that do not require evaluation for import (e.g. .22 cal. rifles, bolt-action rifles, over/under shotguns, break open shotguns). For a product that has already been reviewed but not reflected in the Form 6 drop down table, best practice is to include a letter of explanation and pictures so as to avoid if possible another conditional approval for evaluation.

NFA Classifications – ATF confirmed that length of pull can be a factor in determining whether a particular accessory makes a firearm a short barrel rifle or shotgun under the National Firearms Act. Any classification request for an accessory must be submitted with the firearm platform. ATF does not “approve” accessories; rather, they will review and classify a firearm. For more information, please refer to ATF's Notice of its Discontinuance of Accessory Classifications.

Marking Variance Requests – The processing times for these submissions is currently around 60 days.

eForms – Wednesday outages are continuing to allow for bug fixes and other maintenance. ATF is working on getting the IT system to the cloud, which will resolve many of the glitches with eForms. For example, the forms will be enhanced to eliminate line-item limitations. ATF hopes to have a time estimate for cloud implementation at the 18th Annual Import/Export Conference.

OFAC and DOJ Issue Guidance on Compliance Programs

On May 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control published “A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments” in which it lists five essential components for an effective compliance program: (1) management commitment; (2) risk assessment; (3) internal controls; (4) testing and auditing; and (5) training. Also on May 2, the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division updated its guidance on evaluating corporate compliance programs. While this document is issued to guide DOJ prosecutors in the context of criminal investigations, it is a useful resource to review when preparing or updating internal compliance programs.

DDTC Revises the “By or For the U.S. Government” ITAR Exemption

On April 19, 2019, the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a final rule amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (27 C.F.R. Parts 120-130) to make changes to the license exemptions available for transfers by or for an agency or department of the U.S. Government. The changes were effective immediately upon publication. In this revision, DDTC expands the scope of the existing exemption in ITAR § 126.4 to include temporary and permanent exports, temporary imports, reexports, and retransfers. It also allows for transfers by third parties under specific criteria. This revision to the “by or for” exemption is a welcome change and should allow the industry to better and more quickly support U.S. Government operations overseas, as well as international agreements and arrangements.

However, like most ITAR exemptions, this one also has restrictions for §126.1 countries (countries subject to sanctions, embargoes, and policies of denial). If your transaction involves one of those countries, be sure to review the exemption carefully to make sure it applies.

Political Appointments

It appears there has been some headway in Senate confirmations of President Trump's appointments. On April 30, 2019, the U.S. Senate confirmed R. Clarke Cooper as the new Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. His term began on May 2, 2019.

Another important confirmation was that of Jeffrey A. Rosen as the new Deputy Attorney General. The DAG acts as the Department of Justice’s Chief Operating Officer and advises and assists the Attorney General in leading the Department’s more than 110,000 employees. President Trump announced his intent to nominate Mr. Rosen to this position on February 19, 2019, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination on May 16, 2019.

Please, direct comments or questions regarding this alert to F.A.I.R. Trade Group at [email protected]

F.A.I.R. Trade GroupAbout F.A.I.R. Trade Group

The F.A.I.R. Trade Group is a 501(c) (6) organization dedicated since 1994 to protect the interests of the firearms and ammunition import and export community. F.A.I.R. operates entirely on the funds derived from our dues-paying membership. If you are interested in becoming a member or contributing to the organization, please visit our website at:

  • 40 thoughts on “ATF Meeting Highlights & Other News from the Nation’s Capital

    1. Wild Bill ; got to my Senators yesterday and voiced them to oppose ATF, conformation on Chuck Canterbury, anti-gun from the get go!!!!!!!

    2. Congress has engineered this so the alphabet agencies make the rules and take the heat. Congress couldn’t do that because it would mean they would make their constituents mad and get dumped the next election. See, there is a method to their madness and it is not our best interests. A 13% approval rating is, probably, higher than actual.

    3. The way A.T.F. was ” created ” is a massive Fraud, will make your head spin — ” SMOKE AND MIRRORS

      Despite all the pen flicking and the smoke and mirrors, there is no such organization of the Department of he Treasury known as “Internal Revenue Service” or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.” 31 USC IS ‘Money and Finance’ and therein is published the laws pertaining to the Department of the Treasury (D.O.T.). 31 USC, Chapter 3 is a statutory list of the organizations of the D.O.T.— Internal Revenue Service and/or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ARE NOT LISTED WITHIN “31 USC” AS AGENCIES OR ORGANIZATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. — THEY ARE REFERENCED, HOWEVER, AS, “TO BE AUDITED” BY THE CONTROLLER GENERAL IN 31 USC SECTION 713.

      Search : BATF Criminal Fraud by Dan Meador

      1. There will be legalese weasel words and § 31.5 of the FYTW Act, paragraph III, to explain away these arguments, while they may be plausible.

        But explain that to the guys with the guns who show up at 0 dark 30 to kick in your door, shoot your dog, and throw you in a cage, with the weight of The State behind them.

        What I’m trying to say is that there needs to be a coherent legal argument, with mass support, pushed on representatives in government to do away with the police state oppressing our rights..

    4. The BATF is the most corrupt of all Federal law enforcement agencies, with good reason. They are ridiculed by and are a joke to ALL law enforcement agencies at ALL levels throughout the nation and should be eliminated. If Waco and Ruby Ridge and Fast & Furious weren’t enough justification, then there are tens of thousands of instances where the BATF has broken the law, abused their authority and damaged or destroyed the lives of honest American Citizens in the name of “doing their job”. The majority of their work involves enforcing laws they themselves create under the auspices of “Administrative Law” (which is unconstitutional) where they create a regulation, list it in the Federal Register and after receiving public comments (which are ignored), it becomes “law”.

      1. That is what We The People know as tyranny when fake agencies that are actually corporations scribble shit on paper and declare themselves GOD. These agencies don’t even have a copy of the real US Constitution let alone any desire to obey anything other than what they dream up in their sleep. They, according to them are when confronted, “just doing my job” which equals fuck you America.
        Good job JPM you nailed their scummy ass’s to the wall.
        Happy to back you up anytime.

      1. Yep. The ATF is a Corporation, just like the IRS. There is NO clause in the Constitution allowing for any rules or regulations in regards to firearms. And Where is Congress?

        1. True but if you continue pointing out these facts they will jump your ass here. Tell you to get back on your meds and so forth but go ahead please do continue.

    5. I see some people don’t know the difference between deflagration and detonation. I wonder if they still teach Chemistry in high school anymore.

    6. Once Trump gets the southern border to Mexico secured against infiltration of enemy forces from outside countries (Russia, China, Iran etc) and moves ahead with plan for civil war in USA you will get to see how effective the US Corporation has been at keeping guns out of the hands of your enemies who have been stashing them since Clinton was President. Two tiered southern security at both top and bottom of Mexico will not stop the forces already in USA and will only slightly slow down if at all the forces already staged right on the other side of the line. Jihadis that have been coming in through Canadian border check points like in Maine for over 20 years might be slowed a little if were lucky but ultimately will hump it through the forest terrain and walk right in for the fun. You’re soon to learn the alphabet soup agencies have been working diligently to disarm citizens for the fall of USA and that your enemies are armed well.
      Ask me no questions, Ill tell you no lies.

      1. Good thing I didn’t ask. That way you don’t have to lie. Of course, if you have actual evidence which you can use in a court of law to prove your case, I would love to review it. Unfortunately, your post just sounds like what we have been complaining about that comes from the left…. like the crapola Obama just spewed in Brazil. The liar in chief has not changed one iota.

        1. No such thing exists as a court of Constitutional law in USA have you not been paying attention but yes the liar in chief did change from black to white. It’s a small change but one just that same and it is insignificant because the tyrant remains in office. Doesn’t matter if we put Woody Wood Pecker in there will never get tyrants out of office. As long as governed by another tyrant remains. Bootlickers demand tyranny. Cant wait to go vote for more of it in 2020. Only tyranny exists on the ballot, nothing else. Fake Vatican Crown courts operating under their fraudulent Washington DC corporate charter constitution since 1871 doesn’t represent We The People. All information is open source and distribution is A1 protected. Sorry, nice try.
          Good thing you didn’t ask, thank you.

          1. Bla bla bla! More soveriegn citizen insanity! A fantasy world created by fruitcakes and mental patients still trying to live by the articles of confederation. No one listens to that drivel!

    7. Here is something that was not mentioned in the article, but is of great importance to us. President Trump has nominated an anti-gunner to lead the ATF. His name is Chuck Canterbury. Canterbury has a long track record that should concern gun owners: He’s testified before Congress to support anti-gunners like Sonia Sotomayor and Eric Holder.
      Please contact your US Senators and plead, pressure or pay them off to oppose the Canterbury nomination.

      1. But they are ALL anti-gunners so who you want for a replacement?

        Quick, call your gun group who supports gun control and demand they take action!

        But Trump said he is pro-gun how could this happen?

        Would never get a single one of them to obey the Constitution because it gets in the way of their tyranny.

        1. Lots of people could do a better job than Canterbury
          First to mind would be Steve Scalise.
          Andrew Pollack
          Caitlin Bennet
          Dana Loesch
          Mark Robinson
          Eric Brakey


          1. I wouldn’t pick Dana Loesch and Caitlin Bennets voice is far too squeaky.
            You have my vote.

    8. I’ve got an easy solution for the ATF being over worked: Follow the law.

      Under US law a firearm is an object that propels a projectile through the energy of an explosive. Smokeless powder propels a projectile through the force of expanding gas. A device that uses smokeless powder is not a firearm and doesn’t need ATF to do anything.

      1. @Nanasi, Where do you get, ” Under US law a firearm is an object that propels a projectile through the energy of an explosive.” Which section of the US Code, please?

        1. 18 U.S. Code §921 – Definitions The term “firearm” means

          (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;

          (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;

          (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

          (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.”

          Now we can clearly see here at the end it says this doesn’t include antique firearms. So what is the Federal definition of a antique firearms? Lets see:

          “18 U.S. Code § 921 – Definitions (16)The term “antique firearm” means—

          (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

          (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—

          (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

          (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

          (C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.”

          1. @Nanasti and Guesty McGuesterson, Holy Crap! You guys are right! Powder produces a fast burn, but not an explosion. Ergo the application of 18 USC 921 to what we all shoot is a legal fiction! Stunning!

            1. No, Wild Bill. Modern smokeless gunpowder is classified as an explosive material, due to its nitrocellulose base. Added chemicals create regulated burn rates.

      2. @Nanashi,

        While 18 U.S. Code §921 technically supports your literal definition, the argument is that the primer is the explosive, and the expansion of the smokeless powder is part of the same action. A true explosive involves a detonation resulting in sublimation, which is the conversion of a solid to a gas, completely bypassing the liquid phase (dry ice exhibits sublimation, while C4 Plastique is a rapidly expanding sublimation). An airgun operates with expanding gasses, but a modern cartridge relies on the detonation of a primer+powder, which loosely fits the definition of a controlled explosion.

        I’m on your side. The ATF needs to be abolished, as well as the NFA. But I don’t agree with your statement.

        1. Even if the primer were an explosion 1: It does not propel a projectile, merely ignite the powder. 2: Electric primers and other alternatives would evade it entirely (and if electronically primed firearms were declared non-firearms, an infrastructure them would pop up overnight).

        2. The N.F.A. needs to be abolished because it goes against the 2nd Amendment. The Founders clearly said in their commentaries on the Bill of Rights it is a documentation of GOD given rights no person shall tamper with. In light of their personal statements all laws hindering a citizen from owning and carrying the firearm of their choice is illegal. They are not keeping short highly portable rifles and shotguns out of criminals hands, they come across the border everyday in the cartels’ tunnels. All these laws do is hinder law abiding citizens from owning them, which is wrong.

      3. That is the ignorant definition the State of Missouri came up with, also. Smokeless powder is NOT explosive and cannot be made to explode. You can cause a rupture of a containment vessel (like a pipe bomb), but they end up being very low-powered. In fact, smokeless powder is divided into different categories based upon how quickly or slowly it burns. Cans are labeled “extremely flammable.” NOT “explosive.” It has long been known – and used to be taught to fire departments and the media – that there is NO danger from ammunition and stocks of powder in a fire.

        Therefore, only black powder guns are truly firearms, right? (Even so, you cannot get TRUE black powder these days; they are all “black powder substitutes” and say so.)

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