As recently as June, Nick lamented the ever-increasing wait times for the NFA approval queue. As I am currently not-so-patiently waiting for approvals on three silencers, I’ve been watching this situation with more than a passing interest. Fortunately, there finally seems to be some good news on the horizon . . .
The nice folks over at NFATracker.com collect statistics on actual wait times from readers and use it to forecast what your wait time is likely to be.
As you can see from the scatter plot above (courtesy of one of the members of the NFATracker site – read more about Randominfo’s analysis here), at some point in late June 2012, wait times turned a corner and started to move downward for a change. Randominfo has even set up a site where you can plug in what type of form you submitted (Form1 or Form 4), whether you applied as an individual or a trust, what caliber your NFA item is and when either your check was cashed or your application moved to “pending” status. The site will then give you a bar graph predicting when you can expect to get your tax stamp back.
In my case, my check was cashed on July 3 for my .22 silencer so Randominfo posits my chances of receiving my stamp thusly:
For the mathematically challenged, this means my predicted time from start to finish is four to five months – a definite improvement over the previous estimates of six to seven months.
While the hiring freeze is still in effect, my understanding is that the ATF has brought in some temps to help work through the backlog and they appear to be making some headway. There is, of course, no way of knowing if the improving trend will continue or not, but it seems to me that now might be an excellent time to get into the queue. Come January, who knows how government headcounts might be affected as congresscritters try to come up with some way to cut more costs in hopes of restoring the pending and devastating cuts to defense spending that are currently scheduled to take effect at the beginning of the year.