The group, announced this week, is helmed by Arizona lobbyist and long-time National Rifle Association board member Todd Rathner. Among other initiatives, the NFAFA plans to work on passage of “shall certify” measures, now law in just seven states, nationwide. The legislation mandates that local Chief Law Enforcement Officers or CLEO’s in NFA parlance sign off on certifications for those applying for Title II firearms such as suppressors, machineguns, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns. From there the group wants to work with the U.S. Congress to eventually eliminate CLEO certification altogether.
In addition to the push for shall certify, the group has nearly a dozen stated goals ranging from streamlining and expediting the process to obtain a regulated device or firearm to pushing legislative reform at the state levels.
Finally, the group aims to eventually remove silencers, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns from NFA regulatory control and repeal the 1986 Hughes Amendment that prohibits new made machineguns for civilian ownership.
In recent years, increased interest in NFA items has exploded in popularity. According to statistics by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in the seven-year period between 2005 and 2012, the number of regulated firearms processed per year ballooned from 147,000 to nearly 1.2 million. Similarly more than 3,000 manufacturers are currently in operation with the Special Occupational Tax license to produce these firearms. This is largely fed by trends towards increased mainstream acceptance of suppressors and similar devices.