The Elusive NFATCA Petition that Prompted the ATF to Enter into Rulemaking Regarding Silencer Engravings

As Chief Counsel Joshua Prince reported back in May, the organization responsible for ATF 41P/F, the National Firearms Trade and Collectors Association (“NFATCA”) had once again petitioned Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) to enter into rulemaking, this time in relation to silencer engravings.


The docket specified that copies of the petition would be available on and in the ATF Reading Room which is located in Washington, D.C. After having inspected the docket, there was no sign of the petition which was purportedly available for inspection.

After doing some digging, I was able to obtain a copy of the Petition that NFATCA had filed with ATF back in 2008. As noted in the docket, ATF had previously released guidance to the industry regarding the marking of silencers.

NFATCA in its petition stated “There has been an overwhelmingly negative response from the members of our trade to this particular guidance . . . there is strong policy agreement between ATF and our trade that only the silencer [outer] tube should be marked in accordance with the marking requirements of Parts 478 and 479 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations. . . . Allowing end caps to be the possible marking location for silencers does constitute a serious public safety issue in the areas of diversion, tracing, and evasion of other NFA rules.”


NFATCA went on to say “[w]e have also been further advised that the Bureau does not see how they would be able to take any adverse legal action against a person or entity that should decide to mark the end caps of a silencer without promulgating a change in the regulations.”

As a result, NFATCA requested that ATF “immediately draft and propose to the Attorney General an emergency regulation prohibiting marking a silencer in a location other than the tube, unless a variance is granted by the Director on a case by case basis for good cause”.

Also included with the Petition are the exhibits that NFATCA references in its Petition.

Of particular interest is that NFATCA, an organization which purports to represent the industry and individual collectors, actually asked for more regulations which would restrict the flexibility of the industry and requested that the regulations be adopted as “emergency” measures without going through the Administrative Procedures Act notice and comment period.

If you are interested in leaving a comment in opposition to the proposed regulatory change, head on over to and search for “ATF 29P” or click here. Comments are due on or before August 2, 2016.


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7 thoughts on “The Elusive NFATCA Petition that Prompted the ATF to Enter into Rulemaking Regarding Silencer Engravings

  1. Did you see the nfatca asked that their petition be withdrawn? At least that is what they say on their website.



  2. AFAIK, only the tube and baffles are considered the registered parts. If the tube is not marked it is an unregistered silencer.
    And that is where mine is marked, on the tube.


    1. 18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(24)

      The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.


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