U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America & AmmoLand News are in possession of the complete Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.) Manual for the ATF’s Firearms & Ammunition Technology Division (FATD).
Recently Gun Owners of America filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking the ATF to supply FATD’s “Standard Operating Procedures.” For years gun rights activists and firearms journalists speculated that the document existed. The ATF has always been tight-lipped about the existence of the document and what it could contain. GOA was able to determine the exact name of the document and requested it from the ATF.
GOA has shown the will follow through and sue the ATF and other government organizations over denied or delayed FOIA requests.
The ATF could have forced GOA’s hands but, to their credit, turned over the document to the gun rights organization for publication as required under Freedom of Information Act law. If GOA did have to sue the ATF, the group could have forced the ATF to pay the legal fees if the government lost in court.
Now GOA & AmmoLand News now have the complete Firearms & Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) “Standard Operating Procedures” document.
The amount of information in the ATF FOIA release is vast. Some of the information given by the ATF to GOA was already released but buried deep inside the ATF’s FOIA response was FATD’s “Standard Operating Procedures.” That document gives us a deep insight into the shadowy division of the ATF responsible for deciding what is and isn’t a stock and what is and isn’t a firearm.
GOA approached AmmoLand News and asked if we would be interested and digging through the document and analyze the inner workings of FATD. AmmoLand News agreed to the offer because we believe that this information should be publicly available for anyone to view. Over the coming weeks, AmmoLand News journalists will be highlighting some of the information locked inside the documents. AmmoLand News and GOA will make the complete document available for the industry, defense attorneys, and the public at the end of our reporting.
Inside the FATD Standard Operating Procedures is how the branch handles and examines different items. These items include discussions of armor-piercing ammunition and non-evidentiary firearms. It gives a great insight into what the ATF officers look at when reviewing different things before issuing an opinion letter back to a firearms company or individual that submitted a firearms product for a determination.
Not only does the document cover the methods and procedures the FATD department needs to follow, but the document goes into the training of Firearms Enforcement Officers. For the first time, the public will get to look at the training that the ATF provides these officers. It will be an eye open for the readers to learn what type of training programs that new officers must be complete before being allowed to examine items.
Not only does the document covers what information an officer needs to know about importation laws and knowledge of the Nation Firearms Act, but it also talks about how the officers must write a short essay about a firearm from a list that includes guns like the SKS, Sten, or the FN FAL.
There is more to come on this story so stay tuned.
About John Crump
John is an 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.