WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- According to a leak supplied by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has finished reviewing all public comments received for pistol stabilizing braces and unfinished receivers. The Free Beacon released the cover sheet. AmmoLand News has obtained the rest of the document.
AmmoLand News reported earlier that two teams of 50 ATF employees started the review process for both sets of comments on October 1, 2021. The ATF received just under 300,000 for unfinished frames and receivers. Pistol stabilizing braces came in at 50,000 fewer at just over 250,000.
The Documents proving that the ATF processed all submitted comments were verified by GOA about two weeks ago. The documents state that the total number of comments submitted by the public was 500,000, which is 50,000 comments less than submitted to the National Registry. That means 50 ATF employees processed 500,000 to 550,000 comments at an incredible rate.
After the Trump era bump stock rule change, the ATF developed a new system to process comments for future rule changes, but details on the new process remain murky. These two new proposed rules were the first test of the ATF’s new system for processing public comments.
The number of comments breaks down to 10,000 comments reviewed per ATF employee.
Given that the ATF claims it finished reviewing all the comments, it means each employee processed a minimum of 1,000 comments a day if each employee worked five days a week. If the ATF employees worked the standard eight-hour shift, it would mean each employee processed 125 comments per hour. If each employee would receive two hours of overtime each day, it means they would have to process 100 comments an hour.
It is theoretically possible to process 100 comments an hour due to the number of form letters received from pro-gun and anti-gun groups. AmmoLand News set up a test where we read comments, and we were able to get through 96 comments an hour. We read each comment during the time period and clicked a button to mark it as positive or negative. During the reading, we did not take any breaks. It is the author’s opinion that it would be doubtful anyone would be able to keep up that pace over an eight-hour day. The employees could have worked six days a week, but AmmoLand sources claim that the employees worked a standard five-day workweek.
AmmoLand News could not obtain the exact number of comments against the proposed rules and those for the new regulations. Our sources within the ATF tell us that the majority of the submitted comments were against the new rules. A FOIA is being filed to try to get more information.
The ATF’s next step is to take the input from the comments to help craft the new rules or keep the rules the same. The rules are expected to be released by the end of January. Gun rights groups have vowed to fight any new regulations through the courts.
Gun Owners of America have been working with companies like JSD Supply to prepare for a case like the gun rights group’s bump stock lawsuit that was argued in front of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 20, 2021. A decision in Gun Owners of America v. Garland is expected soon.
The ATF did not return AmmoLand’s request for comment.
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.