When I bought my first silencer, it took over seven months from the day I sent the forms in to the ATF until my tax stamp came back. It took so long, in fact, that I had moved to Texas in the intervening months and flew back to Virginia to pick it up. That was at the peak of the ATF’s backlog, when waiting a year for a stamp was commonplace. Needless to say, while a $200 tax for something that is otherwise completely legal to own is enough of a hurdle. But the inordinate wait time was probably the biggest barrier to entry for most people who want to buy a can. These days, though, the excuses are dwindling: wait times for a Form 4 are officially under 90 days. And dropping . . .
I’ve confirmed this with two silencers purchased through two different gun shops in two completely different cities over the last two weeks. My first non-AAC cans, actually. The time it takes for a Form 4 to come back — the bit of paperwork releasing the silencer from the gun shop to the owner — is consistently under 90 days. The folks over at NFATracker.com confirm the ever decreasing delays with wonderful, beautiful data.
Naturally, being able to walk into a gun store and walk out with a brand new can, no questions asked, would be ideal. Sadly, we son’t live in an ideal world. But any incremental improvement is appreciated, and no doubt the shorter wait times will give a little spark to the silencer industry. Just in time for the SIG SAUER silencers to hit the shelves, and right on the heels of SilencerCo’s latest releases as well. Perfect timing.