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Leaked ATF Document Shows Americans Filed 512,315 NFA Applications

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Guns Owners of America acquired a leaked document from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) highlighting their “accomplishments” in 2020 and their goals in 2021.

The document comically opens with a picture of a dog. The ongoing joke in the gun community is that the ATF likes to shoot people’s dogs. It does not appear if the image of the dog is used in jest. Dogs appear throughout the document including on the last page of pictures.

The ATF document starts with its main goal for 2021.

The ATF’s Primary Goal Is To Increase Diversity Within Its Ranks!?

The ATF has a quota for “diversity,” stating 25% of all special agents (SA) and Industry Operations Inspectors (IOI) must “represent diversity.” It appears that the ATF is making a massive push to hire minorities even though the document does not come out and say that there is a quota for minority ATF employees.

One of the good changes coming in 2021 is the new eForm 4. This new form should speed up the ATF’s NFA response time. Currently, purchasers of NFA items end up waiting up to a year for the ATF to issue their tax stamp.

Getting into the ATF’s 2020 highlights, the document starts with the “Office of Management.” This section gets into what the ATF did with their $1.4 billion allocated to the agency by Congress. The ATF purchased 4,000 pieces of equipment for a total cost of $496 million. This cost includes the agency’s purchase of 332 law enforcement vehicles for a total of $11.9 million. Additionally, the ATF leased 611 other cars for its IOIs costing it an additional $3.2 million. The Bureau also spent another $320 million on leased office space around the country.

The Office of Management also oversees asset forfeiture, including the controversial civil asset forfeiture. In a civil asset forfeiture, the agency seizes property and money from people without the ATF charging them with a crime. [for examples see ATF Makes Moves Against the Solvent Trap Industry] The office processed 107,372 items. The agency disposed of 93,835 items and served around 12,000 seizure notices.

The Firearms & Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) looked at 1,716 pieces of evidence in 637 criminal cases. FATD only conducted 379 evaluations for the industry. There is currently a massive backlog of firearms industry items for FATD to examine. Some companies have waited over two years for their products to receive an opinion letter from the division. FATD did respond to 2,623 contact requests from the industry, and 6,637 inquires from the public.

Americans Filed 512,315 NFA Weapons Applications in 2020

ATF NFA stats Report for Year 2020
ATF NFA stats Report for the Year 2020

The Firearms & Explosives Services Division processed an astonishing 129,792 applications for Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). That number is massive, but it doesn’t have the astounding numbers of the National Firearms Act (NFA) applications. The ATF processed 512,315 applications for NFA items. That number is mindblowing and shows the need for a new eForm 4.

Another surprising number is the number of people purchasing multiple handguns. Whenever a buyer buys multiple handguns in a week, the FFL must report the transaction to the ATF. In 2020, buyers purchased 1,253,422 handguns as part of multiple handgun sales. Americans are stocking up on firearms.

Field operations investigated 37,772 criminal cases. Out of these cases, 34,562 were firearms-related. The ATF referred 9,880 total cases for prosecution and arrested 14,700 suspects. Only 12 cases were tobacco-related. The document doesn’t go into the specific charges. IOIs conducted 35,482 inspections and revoked 49 licenses. An additional three FFLs surrendered their licenses to avoid the ATF revoking them.

During the 2020 civil unrest, the ATF responded to 936 arsons. Surprisingly the agency also responded to 83 explosive incidents. Most of these incidents did not make the mainstream news.

The leaked document is an interesting look into the ATF in 2020 and we are looking forward to the increased “Diversity” solving the enormous application and review processing delays at ATF.


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.

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