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Earlier this year the ATF started accepting electronic versions of the standard 4473, the form required for each transfer of a firearm through a federal firearms licensee. You fill out the form ahead of time, then head on over to your FFL of choice and have them complete it before sending it to the ATF. Now, they’ve started allowing applicants to submit an electronic version of NFA-related forms, too . . .

Here’s the website: http://atfonline.gov/

This is bound to raise some privacy concerns, what with the ATF now having an electronic copy of not only the NFA stuff but your form 4473 as well. Those of us who follow such things know that the ATF already had a de facto registration scheme with the bound book requirement for FFL holders to record all firearms transactions. But we consoled ourselves with the idea that the ATF actually had to visit the shop and sift through the physical forms which made it wildly implausible to use on a wide scale.

With an electronic version, things will be a lot easier for those wanting to create a national gun registry. And you have to think it won’t be long before the ATF tells FFLs that all forms must be submitted electronically.

For the NFA items, registration was already a foregone conclusion. Hopefully this speeds up the application process. But then again I’m not holding my breath.

51 Responses to ATF Now Accepting Electronic Forms for NFA Transfers

    • This is interesting that B. Jones Todd Jones just got appointed permanent Director. He and old Eric will have some backroom data bases going with all these digital 4473 forms going to them.

    • Were I a more optimistic man, I might see it as a sign that acquiring NFA items will be streamlined to the point of a simple NICS system and some online paperwork, (after all, it’s just a tax transaction right?) the reality however, is that the gun grabbers are well on their way to what they have always said they didn’t want. A national gun registry. Good thing you can roll your own.

      • Streamlined would be nice. I’ve now been waiting 9.5 months for my stamp. Ugghh. I could have made a human being from scratch in less time!

  1. Currently, the ATF doesn’t get the 4473 unless the gun shop or ffl closes down. This sounds like a potential disaster in the making regarding a back door list if this is accurate.

    • Yeah, why the heck would you send form 4473 to the ATF? The FFL keeps those. This one of those voluntary/trick people registration things?

  2. This is like the creepy man in a van offering candy. He seems like a nice guy and is smiling the whole time. But as soon as you get in he’s gonna F$#@ you.

  3. Anyone who doesn’t believe the ATF isn’t laying the groundwork (if it hasn’t already) for a registration database has their head in their gunpowder barrel.

  4. Interesting. On a related topic, one of my LGS is undergoing an ATF audit right now. Stopped in to see if they have anything going on, and there’s a big filing box of 4473’s out on a table in the middle of the shop. I asked ’em if having an agent in the store might mean I could take care of the paperwork on a suppressor right then & there, but no dice. 😉

  5. The Government that ‘only wants to serve you’ is the same one the has lied about Bengazi and 1000 other violations of the US Constitution.
    Your feelings, your desire to place your well being into the hands of a regime of unsupervised Power is a latent filament of childhood obsession. A desire for the Dopamine of social herionism.
    Be a man, Be an independent spirit. Think, research, exercise freedom of thought and action. And know there is always a price to be paid for liberty

  6. I have no illusions whatsoever that this will speed up the process in any way, shape, or form.

    Well, except the eventual confiscation, that is.

  7. It is always amazing to me that the “OMG they’ll have a database of gun owners” meme is still so large a concern.

    1) As all readers of this blog are well aware, the US Supreme Court has ruled that there is an individualized right to own and bear arms. Gun grabbing is therefore unconstitutional, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. (Besides, most law enforcement folks also own private firearms – they would refuse to enforce any such unconstitutional law, and the courts would strike it down.)

    2) There’s little point worrying about the ATF having on-line forms to hopefully speed up background checks – if the government wants a list of gun owners, they’ll ask the NSA to run a check of their existing database of all internet traffic, using parameters such as frequent e-mails from the NRA, web searches for gun and ammo prices, visits to Second Amendment advocacy websites, etc. The NSA is already giving such data to the DEA for drug enforcement purposes. Source: Fox News, Federal Agents, Under Eric Holder, Caught Using NSA Wiretaps To Prosecute Americans… And Hiding Where Info Came From!

    • I wouldn’t bet on that. If something bad happens, Pres declares martial law and can go after any gun he can find. As for LEOs not doing that. It has already happened. Just Google gun confiscation during Hurricane Katrina a few years ago.

      Recent administrations (both Republican and Democrat) have shown a complete disregard for laws in the past when things got bad (examples: Patriot Act, Border State Long Gun Registry).

      • It just happened in canada too. The mounties broke into registered gun owners homes after the town was evacuated. You know for safe keeping of the guns and you can get them back after you prove ownership just better hope your paperwork doesn’t get destroyed in the flood.

    • Actually, they are breaking U.S. Code and the Statutes in various states by creating such lists. It is a travesty that any one would suggest just looking the other way. You will be suggesting next to just Suspend the BOR and burn all the copies.

    • As to the Supreme Court, always remember, “Mr. Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it”- Andrew Jackson referring to Chief Justice John Marshall. The Court de4pends on the Executive branch to enforce it’s rulings. The ones violating every one of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

  8. Changes nothing for me out here in California. The State does its own background checks, and don’t use the fed system. I think Maryland is the same way, probably a few other states. Now it’s true that California doesn’t keep serial numbers for long guns (except “assault weapons” that are required to be separately registered)–but that changes January 1, 2014. And since FTF transactions must be processed through an FFL, we have had de facto registration for years, and it is only going to get worse. I seem to recall that the big seizure fiascos of recent memory were not performed by a federal agency, but instead a local governmental entity. (New Orleans, North Carolina and New York/New Jersey, all after natural disasters.)

  9. So I notice they’re using Javascript to roll over to the forms login page. Then I see there’s the disclaimer: “Notice to eForms Users: ATF recommends the use of Internet Explorer 8 or Safari OS X (10.7.5) as your browser. The use of other browsers, such as Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, may present problems for registration and submission….” So they recommend using known vulnerable browsers to log in and use the forms. At least they’re attempting to use SSL, so there only about a dozen ways to subvert the login. And I haven’t even looked at the pge html yet.

    Who is the BATFE CIO, Bozo the Clown? I cannot believe that somebody actually signed off on that mess. I wouldn’t put *Bloomberg’s* info on there. It’s a case study in poor design; a negligent disclosure lawsuit waiting to happen.

    • Judging by the recommended browsers, this program has been in testing or was written quite some time ago.

      Can you even get IE8 anymore if you have 10?

      I did the entire registration yesterday on my phone over cellular data (latest edition-non beta iOS) and it was super easy.

      Submitting a form 1 at the end of the month for an SBR. Ill keep you guys updated on the progress. Some form 3s got approved in 12 hours.

    • I have a difficult time getting worked up about that. Ever since hackers figured out how to break out of the java sandbox, pretty much every browser that runs java (all of them) is either known or likely vulnerable. And then there are the ongoing issues with Flash, the OS-level issues, etc…. it all adds up to a big ‘meh’.

      Yeah, yeah, Sun/Adobe/MS/Apple says they’ve fixed it. I’ve heard that one a couple of times.

      Stay up to date, don’t go looking for dirty pictures on servers in Russia, keep in mind that the attachment is probably a virus (not naked pictures of famous people), and those free ‘virus scanners/video players/download accelerators’ aren’t what they say they are. You should be mostly okay.

  10. From an NFA perspective it may help. Here is the current process:

    1. You mail your paperwork to the NFA Office of the ATF
    2. Your check is promptly cashed
    3. At some point your paperwork is entered into the computer and enters pending state
    4. NFA assistant (not the actual examiner) does the background check and verifies all info on the form
    5. Paperwork moves to the examiner queue
    6. Examiner approves or denies
    7. Paperwork goes out to the mailing department and is sent to you.

    In the past (before Newtown) it would take roughly a month between your check being cashed and the paperwork moving to pending state (my experience for the last four forms I have filed). After that it was roughly five to six more months to complete the remaining steps provided no problems were detected on the paperwork. If there were problems, those would be corrected and you would not lose your place in line but would delay it a couple of weeks..

    Now people are reporting 2-3 months between check being cashed and paperwork going pending because of the backlog in entering the paper forms into the system. The online submission may make this step move more quickly as the forms will already be in the system. You will still have the really long wait for the paperwork to be verified and the examiner to sign off (now approaching seven months for this step and its only going to get longer).

    Word on the street is that paperwork being submitted now is going to take up to 12 months to process through the full system. If the electronic version knocks a couple of months off of that, then its a good thing. Whether or not it does will be something we just have to see. Hopefully people who start to use the online system will begin reporting their experiences soon.

    What really sucks is that I just found out about this today and I had sent in my Form 1 this past Friday.

  11. submit a FoIA request to the ATF and see what they come back with, to see if they have any records which may point to them keeping the records longer than they claim

  12. Find a good machine shop with a metal press and start building your own AK’s // no registration required

  13. We have always harped about not letting the Fed. keep a registry of all the (LEGAL) gun owners. We go happily about our lives and fill out all of the transfer paperwork (record of seller/buyer) and move about our daily lives harping about not letting the fed or even the states keep and or maintain a gun registry… The manufactures keep their records on when a gun was made by (SERIAL NUMBER) and they harp right next to us about not letting Government keep or maintain a record of gun owners in the USA.

    If we really want the governments (state/fed) to not keep a record of gun owners then we need to get the manufacturers on board for real… They would have to stop putting SN’s on the weapons made… And they can keep their numbers about how many of what type of firearm was sold, when, and where… They don’t need to put a SERIAL NUMBER on their product… Gunsmith’s didn’t use to put SN’s on the guns they made, just their name… So we knew who was the manufacture… Then the Government thought it would be a good Idea to keep tract of all of their guns by serializing them… They also thought it would be a good idea to just make all guns have a SN so they could keep track of them if they wished. I would bet $10.00 that G. Washington had SN’s on the government/arm owned small arm guns…

    We need to practice what we preach, from the firearms owner to the person the first brings tool to steal to make a firearm. However, that door in pandora’s box was opened centuries before all of this was even a thought in the wind. All that we can do is DAMAGE CONTROL. Also since the Fed. works for us, (in truth), and the Firearms manufacturers work for the end user the Gun Owner we have the power to say enough… The only problem is that we don’t have one voice from which the state/fed and Manufacturers to take their orders from… They just go about doing what THEY think we would like OR how THEY think on how to keep us, their boss, safe from ourselves…

    Just a thought……

      • That is my whole point… We can not stop a gun registry because there has already been a gun registry for well over a century… The Fed. started it before this was even a question in the peoples mind…

        • Actually, just because the manufacturers put serial numbers on guns, they were doing it way before 1968, is not equal to a registration. There are too many in circulation long before the Form 4473 came along.

          @jus bill, it isn’t too late as long as people are willing to push back on this. The digital age is what makes registration legal or illegal feasible. It needs to be made illegal with serious penalties. Make registries of lawful owners illegal and the compilations of such lists treason. When a few AG and ATF directors get hanged for treason, it will help curtail such nonsense.

  14. “This is bound to raise some privacy concerns, what with the ATF now having an electronic copy of not only the NFA stuff but your form 4473 as well.”
    ***************************************************
    Nonsense.
    The 4473 isn’t sent electronically to ATF or anyone else. It remains at the dealer.
    The E4473 is form filling software only.
    Nice research, makes me skeptical of anything else I read on this site.

    • It is unclear why an active internet connection is needed. Plus, the bound books will be in pdf or similar format that can be sent wireless or downloaded on a thumb drive during an inspection. How long before inspections are done remotely? Plus, don’t put it past Eric with-Holder and B. Todd Jones to start pressing all stores to go electronic.

  15. I think the point those who are opposed to the whole big government idea is it’s just to little to late. To many people wanted to blame something other then themselves for their problems or natural weather and used the government regardless of how impudent it is or was at that time. By doing so has opened up a vacuum that has been and continues to be filled by Fed and State government. There are many was to change this and remove big government power from our lives but none will happen because it requires the American people as a whole to get off their arses and do something… Anything… For that reason and that reason alone we know that the only out come will be the governments rain of power will increase while the people’s rights, OUR RIGHTS, decrease exponentially…

    As they say in the Naval aviation “Call the ball: Roger ball”, just call it as I see it…

    • I think you guys make the assumption that there aren’t those off us who have been very active and proactive fighting this crap for 30 + years. Were you around to battle HCI in the 80s or help beat back the Brady Bunch to the farce it is today? I don’t think it is good to go around telling those that did that they deserve shit like is going on in NY or Co.

      • I apologize to those I many have offended by not stating their commendable actions over the years. Its a hard place to be in the spot light, especially when the financial backing is so much smaller then those who seek to rule this country…

        You are absolutely correct and I apologize for not mentioning those who have fought for our rights. They have always been under the stairs as gun nuts but I am one of the gun nuts… Their have always been men and women, mostly men, who have spoken against the government taking our rights, in our own safety, I mean our own best interests… That the American people are not able to manage our own affairs without the interference of a third party who, in truth, is truly only interested in their own power and money… Sadly those freedom fighters are but few… For the MAJORITY of this country is to LAZY to even save it’s self from on rushing storms that THEY had even PRIOR knowledge of…

  16. I just checked NFA Tracker and there are several people who say they have received SBR stamps in less than 4 months. ALL of them eFiled.

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