With support from Dead Air Armament and GEMTECH, Silencer Shop created software that digitizes all ATF Form 4 information into a single barcode. Instead of NFA inspectors having to manually enter everything on a physical Form 4 into their database, now a simple scan of the barcode ingests the information instantly. Today, we got news that the system was approved by the ATF and goes into effect immediately!
Bottom line: the new norm for Form 4 wait times — if your Form 4 has a Silencer Shop barcode (more on this later) — should be in the three to four week range. At this point, the delay will no longer be at the ATF but at the FBI, which processes the fingerprints and background check. What used to require a few minutes of manual data entry for every single Form 4 received — sometimes resulting in typos, which mean further delays — will now be done almost instantly.
I have it on good authority that the ATF will be creating two queues, as it were: one for standard Form 4s and one for barcoded Form 4s. While standard Form 4 wait times are expected to start coming down and may eventually, at the current NFA sales rate, be as short as three to four months, that’s still a far cry from the three to four weeks expected for F4s with the barcode.
Are you a silencer retailer but not a Powered by Silencer Shop partner? Fear not! Any dealer in the U.S. can use, free of charge, Silencer Shop’s Form 4 Generator to create and print a Form 4 with a scannable barcode on it.
Kudos to Silencer Shop for figuring out a way to work within the existing system while still massively boosting Form 4 processing efficiency! While we all wait and hope for the Hearing Protection Act or similar legislation to pass, it’s good to see resources still going towards improving the current system in creative ways that avoid bureaucracy. Form 4 approvals in 3-4 weeks? Sign me up!
In fact, the ATF received my barcoded Form 4 for a Liberty Goliath on August 15th. The timer has started. Within a week or so, RF will be submitting a Form 4 on a Q El Camino. We’ll keep you apprised of the progress.
For more information, see Silencer Shop’s blog post here.