MARTINSBURG, WVA –-(Ammoland.com)- According to a leaked Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) leadership conference call obtained by AmmoLand News, Industry Operations Investigators (IOIs) that the ATF has assigned to a temporary detail with the National Firearms Act division have not been pulling their weight and are missing their target goals.
In regular times, the IOIs are responsible for visiting Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders and conducting industry inspections. These tasks include inspecting the FFL’s bound book to verify that firearms are correctly cataloged and transferred, checking that the dealers’ customers have correctly filled out the 4473 form and the dealer has processed it, answering FFLs questions about regulations, and making sure the FFLs are following all applicable firearms laws.
512,315 Nation Firearms Act Applications in 2020
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATF has temporarily moved several at-risk IOIs who cannot work in the field to the NFA division to help process incoming NFA requests. 512,315 plus in 2020, according to ATF recent documents. The ATF leadership is not happy with these employee’s performance on their detail. The top brass at the bureau plans to have a conference call with the IOIs assigned to the NFA division detail to reinforce what they expect from ATF employees working in the division. The ATF leadership didn’t lay out the target metrics and how much the IOIs were missing these metrics.
The ATF leadership expects some or all of the IOIs to request a transfer after the conference call. The ATF leadership did not share the number of IOIs currently on the temporary detail with the NFA Division. While these inspectors are on assignment with the NFA division, the number of industry inspections has plummeted. To combat the lack of assessments made by current IOIs, the ATF will be hiring nearly 100 more IOIs to help do the ATF employees’ work that cannot or will not work in the field because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call’s leadership did not give a timeline for hiring the new IOIs but stated that the human resources department has already approved the requisition request. The leadership requested that hiring managers clearly detail the reason for passing on any candidate.
The leadership is worried that someone will ask for the reasons for the rejections through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. AmmoLand News spoke with a few attorneys who deal with FOIA requests, and they believe that this information would not be FOIAable due to personel privacy concerns.
The conference call didn’t make it clear to where the ATF will reassign these at-risk employees. Some believe that the inspectors will want to take a temporary detail in a division that isn’t as visible as the NFA division. The ATF administration does not think that the IOIs on the detail will be able to return to the field for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATF leadership on the call also did not state if the NFA division positions left vacant by the IOIs that request a new temporary assignment will be backfilled or just left empty. Nor did they mention an improved plan to process and/or speed up approvals for the flood of NFA applications the agency is receiving from U.S. citizens. AmmoLand News is firing off several FOIA requests to try to fill in the gaps about the NFA division.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.