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I tried to fill out an eForm 4 yesterday to transfer my silencer into my trust. I originally registered the can as an individual, but with proposed rule changes coming down the pike I don’t want to take any chances. But when I got to the first page of the form, I couldn’t fill out a single thing. It didn’t work. Since I’m not an FFL, it wouldn’t let me transfer something I already own into my own trust. While I found the website useless, one of my favorite merchants of awesomeness has been using the new eForm system since it first rolled out. According to him, he’s now getting approved Form 4s back in exactly 2.5 months . . .

Some caveats here. Each section of the country is assigned an examiner, so the time to approval will vary depending on where you live (this guy is in Florida). And as more people flood the eForm system, the wait time will only increase. But nevertheless, this is a pretty interesting development.

Things had been looking up in the NFA department. Besides the new eForms making things faster, they’ve hired a buttload of new examiners to hopefully increase their bandwidth for applications. But with the proposed rule change soon closing to public comments (hint: make your voice heard NOW) I don’t find myself being very hopeful that the rose-colored trend will continue much longer. With the gun control movement losing steam on every front, the last place that there’s any opportunity to “crack down” on gun owners is by having the ATF create some wonderfully draconian rules that do nothing to stop “gun violence” but are a massive wet blanket on firearms ownership.

Gather ye rosebuds, my friends.

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  1. Nick,

    I am curious to why you want to put your suppressor in a Trust. I thought the ATF was looking at getting rid of Trusts and Corps for NFA items.

    • No, the ATF is not “looking at getting rid of Trusts and Corps for NFA items”, they are simply proposing to make it a bit more difficult or onerous. “Getting rid of” and “adding a requirement for fingerprint/photo/CLEO signoff/etc”, aren’t the same thing.

      Perhaps Nick should write an article on the potential implications of the proposed rule changes and interstate commerce/law impacts. The proposed rule changes do have some interstate impacts, which would be challengeable for judicial review. Just thinking outloud….

      • Thanks for the clarification. I believe the article that I read in the past was referring to Trusts and Corps as loop holes, but did not elaborate fully on the proposed changes.

        • The “loophole” is that the trust may have multiple members, only one of whom submitted the personal identification information–and the ATF wants info on everyone who may potentially have actually possession of an NFA item.

  2. This is kinda the news I’ve been waiting to hear. So what do you think, Nick? Haul ass and get my paperwork in now, or do you think I can wait til after X-Mas to start my can purchase?

  3. I’ve been gettin my hopes up, unfortunately…eFormed an SBR beginning of Sept, suppressor early Oct, and another suppressor a few days ago. On NFA Tracker the eForms from Beginning of Aug have recently shown up as approved…if I can get my rifle in Dec and suppressors in Jan/Feb I’ll be pretty happy. I’m trying to still keep in the “Not until May” mindset but it’s tough to not be hopeful

    Still hopeful that one day all this NFA stuff will go away!

  4. How do you submit the required fingerprint forms and CLEO signature with the e-form? I’ doing an SBR and silencer application now.

    • “How do you submit the required fingerprint forms and CLEO signature with the e-form?”

      Answer: in a large container filled with … oh never mind.

    • You cannot use eForm unless you are submitting via a trust or corporation. There is no provision for uploading “digital” fingerprints currently. There has been talk of doing this in the future, but for now it is a bridge too far for them.

  5. Would love to see more frequent posts regarding the proposed rule changes at the ATF. Only 2400 comments so far on this, doesn’t seem like nearly enough to me.

    • Those 2,400 comments are not painting a rosy picture, either.

      The chief complaint (as is mine as well) is that often times it’s departmental policy for Sheriffs not to approve any Form 4s. Period./i> That is essentially a de-facto ban on NFA items. There has supposedly been a movement to get rid of the CLEO signature for some years now.

      The BATFE would rather close the NFA registry wholesale before they even so much as giving up a single inch on that front.

      It’s a rogue and unconstitutional government agency that has been abusing powers not even legally delegated to it by Congress to abuse, intimidate, and even maim and murder innocent citizens for decades, and needs to be abolished. It was not established to be, has never been, nor will it ever be a champion of <any of our natural, civil, and Constitutionally-affirmed and protected civil rights. It was specifically created to take away those rights in every way it can get away with.

    • I think the low comment count is reflective of the fact that the vast majority of gun owners don’t care about NFA items. That’s not to say that many gun owners wouldn’t love to have a suppressor or select-fire toy or SBR, just that most don’t want to deal with the hassle. In that sense, the NFA registry is working exactly as designed: it’s intended to discourage ownership of these items, and it’s doing that. So a rules change regarding how NFA trusts are set up and administered doesn’t resonate with most gun owners – they’ve already written off the whole ridiculous process as a colossal pain in the ass (which it is).

  6. As with a lot of things, your mileage may vary on the eForm system. 2.5 months is not unheard of if the stars align correctly. Four months appears to be the average, which is a lot nicer than the paper route (9+ months and growing). Really sucks for some of my customers that will have second and third purchases beat first purchases to my mailbox.

  7. I had a form 1 E-form approved in 3 months that i submitted on 8/9/13. I got lucky and so is everyone else who has gotten approved so far. The ATF is conducting tests on the system and some forms got processed. It is no guarantee that these forms are going to be this quick in the future.

  8. I just got a trust setup for myself and family – however if they get their ways for the new rule changes with trust will the old trusts be grandfathered or we all be subjected to CLEO sign-offs and fingerprints?

    • No one knows for sure, but in the past when they’ve implement rule changes, they’ve grandfathered those already in the pipeline.

  9. So the instructions are not very clear. Can the owner of the trust use the Eform site to submit a form 4 or is it just an FFL that can submit the Eform?

    • Only dealers can submit a form 4 electronically. Individuals are only allowed to submit a form 1 electronically. And keep in mind all these eForm submissions only apply to Trust applications at the moment.

  10. Here is the reply I got from my dealer after forwarding the article:

    “Yes, I am well aware of the E Form. What the article doesn’t say is that it was only forms that were done during a BETA test. And they were Form 1s. The “rumornet” strikes again!”

    I like the rumornet! That describes TTAG to a tee!


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