You have probably read my bitching over the last few months about the lack of service at the ATF and the same old story week in and week out. Well, here is what happened over the last 24 hours and I *highly* suggest that you do the same if you happen to be in my shoes.
As you may recall, I have been in a "pending" state for a Thompson transfer for over seven months. Every time I call, I get the same curt answer and end up in voice mail. I leave polite messages, I send polite faxes, I beg to talk to an examiner or supervisor live on the phone to the clerk and I get voicemail. I call at different times and try to be as persistent as possible. I never get a call back and see nothing for my efforts. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
Well, I decided to break my cone of silence Thursday at around 11:45 AM and call the general ATF number and check my status. Same woman. Same status. Same voice mail. Twenty nine weeks is unacceptable. I guess I just got really pissed off at the whole situation and decided to do something. I went on the web and looked up my congressman. He is a liberal, minority democrat from Baltimore City. On his website, he does say that "if you have a problem with a federal, state or local agency, I encourage you to contact me." I figure, what the hell do I have to lose and punch up the numbers.
I spoke to a (actually very nice and helpful) young man and told him my story, explained the NFA process and what I was trying to accomplish at around 12:15 PM. He asked me to put the details in writing, list my address, sign it and fax it to him. I did so at around 1:00 PM. I went off to another meeting and when I returned to my desk at around 2:30 PM the same day, I was shocked to actually get a call back from the staffer. He said he just talked to the head of the NFA branch of the ATF and needed a few details from me that I did not include in my fax. I supplied him the details (make, model, transferror) and thanked him for his time. He said he would get back to me sometime soon.
Today I go in to work and get a voice mail while I am away from my desk at around 2:30 PM (Friday the 3rd). It is the same staffer saying he had an update and to please call him. I call him back and he says the magic words:
"Chris, I have good news..."
"Well, I could use some!"
"Your transfer has been approved and the paperwork was mailed today"
.... silence.... (jaw drop)....
After thanking him about three times, I hung up and realized the following:
1) A liberal, pro gun control democrat and his staffers CAN help get you a machine gun
2) If I wasn't such an idiot, I would have called a few months ago when I had "that feeling" that there was a problem.
I highly suggest that you do the same if you are at 140-160+ days and get the same old story from our buddies at the NFA. As I understand it, a congressional inquiry requires a maximum of 48 hours of return time so they MUST act on it. In my case, that seemed to be true and now I can proudly say that I should have my Thompson in a few days. After all , I am only a state away from DC (Peoples Republic of Maryland) and mail is pretty quick around here.
Pictures will follow. Thanks for everyone putting up with my bitching and providing me with the suggestions. I cannot remember who said to me to contact your congressman.... and I said there was no way that they would help. Silly me. To whoever that was, I owe you a beer.
Edited by DC Chris, 04 December 2004 - 06:25 AM.