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Cutting the Data: Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

Friday, March 2, 2018

Cutting the Data: Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

The number of Form 4 applications received by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) in 2016 and 2017 seems to indicate a clear peak followed by a marked drop-off. Nearly three times as many applications were received in 2016 as in 2017. Another indication of the Trump Slump or pre-Hillary Clinton panic buying? 

Hardly.

About two years ago, BATFE issued Rule 41F Machine guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity with Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm. 

The ATF reports that the goal of this rule is “to ensure that the identification and background check requirements apply equally to individuals, trusts, and legal entities who apply to make or receive NFA firearms.” The rule became effective on July 13, 2016. Approximately two years’ worth of consumer purchases were compressed into the first six months of 2016 – pushing the total number of Form 4 NFA applications to 312,850 for the year. All but about 12% of these applications were submitted before Rule 41F came into effect. Since suppressors account for around 90% of the tax-paid transfer applications, one can reasonably assume that the majority of these applications were for suppressors. 

Rule 41F put individual applications and trusts on equal footing. Previously, individual applications required approval from the local chief law enforcement officer – and, predictably, not all applications were given the same consideration. Rule 41F changed the landscape; legal entities and trusts went from 89% of transfer applications to 48%. Individual applications move much faster through the vetting process, if only because there are fewer background checks to conduct in relation to each application.

Since suppressors account for around 90% of the tax-paid transfer applications, one can reasonably assume that the majority of these applications were for suppressors. 

After the pre-rule rush, 2017 looked like a down year with “only” 110,377 Form 4 Applications received. This is actually in line with previous years before Rule 41F. By the end of 2017, there were nearly 1.4 million suppressors registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record – the database of all suppressors not owned by the federal government. The number of suppressors manufactured between the announcement of Rule 41F and April 2017 outpaced the number of Form 4 Applications; supply simply outpaced demand. The rest of 2017 saw four times as many Form 4 applications as suppressors manufactured as the market forces rebalance and BATFE catches up on processing the backlog of applications.

One big number in a chart doesn’t always tell the story.

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Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

In a November 30 tweet, Tom Arnold, famous for being married to Roseanne Barr and making a few really bad movies, has proven that he knows nothing about guns, gun owners or firearm misuse.

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

While the New Mexico Legislature will not convene for its 60-day Regular Session until January 15, lawmakers can start prefiling bills on December 17. 

Ohio: Self-Defense Legislation Passes Senate Immediately Heads to House for Concurrence

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ohio: Self-Defense Legislation Passes Senate Immediately Heads to House for Concurrence

Today, the Ohio State Senate passed Substitute House Bill 228 by a vote of 19 - 10.   While the legislation was amended, Sub. HB 228 still contains important protections for the Second Amendment and ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

California: Firearm Excise Tax Legislation Introduced

This week, the California Legislature convened for an organizational session and swearing in ceremonies for legislators. During their short stint in Sacramento several new anti-gun proposals were introduced, including Assembly Bill 18, sponsored by Assembly ...

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

In a recent piece for the Bangor Daily News ironically titled, “Why banning handguns makes sense,” Associate University of Maine Electrical Engineering Professor George Elliott struggled to argue why the tools of self-defense have no ...

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.