These days you can walk into almost any gun store and find silencers in stock. Just a few years ago that wasn’t the case. You needed to order a silencer from a distributor and have it shipped to your local shop, but before the can ever left the distributor’s shelves the ATF had approve the transfer.
These inter-dealer transfers, called “Form 3 transfers,” could sometimes add months to the total time it took from purchase to actual delivery of your legally purchased firearm safety accessory. Now, according to our friends at Silencer Shop, what once took months to accomplish is now being done almost instantaneously.
This is a big deal for Silencer Shop (not to mention lots of other suppressor retailers). Their business model depends on individuals ordering dirt cheap silencers from their online store and having them shipped to participating local dealers.
That was needlessly complicated when it could take a month just to get permission to ship the silencer. It further delayed the customers from starting their own ATF paperwork, getting in line with their Form 4. Now, those same cans will be free to ship to FFL’s instantaneously which should significantly speed up the process.
This is even better news for those who have a “kitchen counter FFL” or are in the business. No longer will you need to wait a few months to play with your new can, now you can get it almost instantly.
Improving the Form 3 process was one of the bullet points that has been on pro-gun folks’ radar for some time now. It was always a no brainer. All the ATF is doing is updating the registry to say that one licensed and properly investigated entity is transferring a regulated item to another properly licensed and investigated entity.
That process should have happened long ago. Does the new administration have anything to do with this improvement? We can’t possibly say. But it’s awfully good to see the ATF finally catching up. And catching on.