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ATF eForms allows electronic filing of various forms related to NFA items (silencers, short barreled rifles and shotguns, etc.), but the Form 4, the form required for an individual to purchase an NFA item and the only one that nearly everyone reading this cares about, has not been available on eForms (except for briefly during 2013). The biggest advantage to e-filing is a significant reduction in wait time from filing to approval.

According a letter from the ATF, beginning sometime between December 15th and December 28th, 2021 (as in, this month), eForm 4s will be back.

Silencer Shop has been preparing for the return of eForm 4s for years and is poised and ready to facilitate them like you wouldn’t believe. Have a Silencer Shop account? Have an ATF eForms account? Silencer Shop and their Powered By Silencer Shop Dealers have a tool ready to process and submit all relevant information quickly.

Check this out: you purchase a silencer on the Silencer Shop website, they complete a Single Shot Trust for that new purchase, your required personal info such as passport photo and fingerprints are already on file with them, and they input and attach all of this info automatically to the eForm Form 4 application and submit it.

But not before Silencer Shop’s software tool checks every field of the application for potential issues, avoiding the number one cause of approval delays. In fact, Silencer Shop has a 99.5% accuracy rate on forms they submit. The industry average is 60%.

This personal information is transmitted via SSL security protocol. While, sure, it’s possible this could be hacked, mailing printed documents with all of the same information is at least as vulnerable.

In fact, I’ve personally had Form 4 documents lost in the mail. ATF mailed back the approved Form 4 for my CGS Kraken-SK and it was lost in the mail. Not only did that have all of my information on it, but I had no idea the suppressor transfer had been approved. Knowing most Form 4s were taking about nine months at the time, I gave it a total of 13 months before calling up the ATF NFA Branch (worried that calling them to check status of my application would, in itself, possibly delay its approval) to ask for an update. “We mailed your approval almost six months ago,” they said. Oh for frick’s sake.

ATF eForms are submitted electronically and approved electronically. A PDF of the approved form is sent via email and is also available to you in your account on the ATF eForms website. There is no additional cost to using eForms (less cost, in fact, as you aren’t printing or shipping anything).

Whether we agree that electronically submitting the forms is safer than mailing them or not, eForms unquestionably eliminates the hassle associated with printing and mailing paper documents, and Silencer Shop eliminates the hassle of you having to fill out those documents. Likewise, the process on the ATF’s end is streamlined and simplified, which benefits us in the form of dramatically faster processing and approval times.

ATF eForms are currently available for ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9. The vast majority of us, though, only use Form 4s and those are [apparently] going live this month. Nice!

NOTE: if you already have a paper Form 4 that’s pending, stick with it. ATF states that any withdrawals of pending paper applications will result in a significant (e.g. one-year) delay. If you have an application pending with Silencer Shop that hasn’t yet been submitted, Silencer Shop will automatically switch it over to eForms once eForm 4s are live.

If you aren’t familiar with Silencer Shop, they’re the leader in NFA processing and are responsible for over half of all of the Form 4s submitted in the U.S. every year. They have over 23,500 reviews on TrustPilot with a 4.9 out of 5 stars rating. Nobody makes it quicker or easier to buy a silencer.

 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I can do an e-form from the comfort of my home? Hmmmm – – – maybe I should fill out a couple thousand, and help jack up the numbers for the number of background checks run! Can I give them the fingerprints from my MacBook Pro? I’ll be happy to give them all ten fingers, not just the middle one!

  2. Jeremy:

    Several questions:

    (1) What is the current approximate wait time for e-filed Form 1’s?
    (2) Do you expect that wait times for e-filed Form 4’s are (eventually) going to be close to what they are now for Form 1’s? (I realize they have to work through the current backlog of paper Form 4’s.)
    (3) Is there currently a material difference in wait time for e-filed Form 1’s for individuals v. trusts?
    (4) If there is, do you anticipate that there will be a comparable delta for Form 4’s?

      • Is there any reason to believe that this will cut times from 6-12+ MONTHS to 2 WEEKS?
        If that happens…there will be a LOT more NFA sales. MILLIONS
        As long as the items remain legal, of course.

        • Apparently, the big slowdown in paper forms is that some clerk spends time typing out the words written on the form, then double checking for errors. then responding to the errors the computer catches that they missed.
          e-forms will probably be scripted to take data from the input form and move it to the check program. big time and effort savings.

  3. Hi Guys…… Did you know Most of the People lose their Jobs because of the
    pandemic and many people facing difficulty to live and to feed their family without a proper job in these days……

  4. Seems like a lot of hassle for something that is perfectly legal.

    Wonder how long this crap would last if women had to fill out a form 4 to vote?

  5. Interesting. Maybe this is why I did not jump on a suppressor purchase three weeks ago–I was (unknowingly) waiting for this faster process to become available.

    Depending on the turn-around time, I might finally get me feet wet and purchase my first suppressor.

  6. Lol
    I’ll remember this article the next time I’m throwing out the tree that advertisers had to print and mail to me.

    You want to reduce hassles? Get rid of the NFA, the GCA, and all the other nonesense in the system. The right had control of all three branches for 2 years. Something could have been done then. Remove silencers from the NFA. But the whole world was backing the Democrats. Go ahead, tell me about hassles after 2020. LMFAO 🤣

    Do you really think any real fix for this craziness will be implemented with this next election cycle? Even if the Republicans take control of all three branches again, if Pelosi says it then it’s true to be takin as gospel. She says it was insurrection so by god it was insurrection. Never mind that it wasn’t.

    • Prndll,

      [Republicans] had control of all three branches for 2 years.

      No, they did not–the United States Senate’s self-imposed cloture rule requires a preliminary vote with at least 60 U.S. Senators concurring before the U.S. Senate votes on the actual passage of a bill. Since Republicans did not have 60 seats in the U.S. Senate, Republicans did NOT control the U.S. Senate.

  7. “The biggest advantage to e-filing is a significant reduction in wait time from filing to approval.
    According a letter from the ATF, beginning sometime between December 15th and December 28th, 2021 (as in, this month), eForm 4s will be back.”

    It’s good to have an administration that’s working to reduce delays and roadblocks for Americans exercising their rights, thanks Joe Biden!

    • All the better to track you…because most of these purchases/transactions will by people on the right or leaning to the right…probably…

  8. So…they get this up and running….and then they ban suppressors and round up the existing ones? Sounds about right for Biden.
    Will this actually speed things up…or will so many people now run out and buy stuff that it overloads/crashes the system?
    Sure would be nice if it did not take 6-12 MONTHS…although it should be an INSTANT check or no check at all…

    • My modest proposal that would not require 60 votes in the Senate (which revamping the NFA would) . . . . .

      To hunt migratory birds, you have to purchase a Duck Stamp (a/k/a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp). But do you have to apply to US Fish and Wildlife in DC to get one? No, they allow third parties (like your friendly neighborhood FFL) to sell them.

      Since the NFA is structured as a tax, there’s no reason ATF could not simply do likewise.
      Allow FFL’s who have the requisite permission slips to sell NFA items to do all the background checks, collect the fingerprints and photos, etc., and then issue you your tax stamp and remit the funds / records to DC. Essentially cash and carry . . . .

      Historical fact: NFA originally was drafted as an outright ban on civilian possession of machine guns, silencers, handguns, and SBS/SBR’s (which were included to keep people who would have been prohibited from having handguns from circumventing the ban by chopping down shotguns or rifles). However, DOJ opined that such a ban would likely violate the Second Amendment, and so they instead decided to structure the legislation as a $200 / item tax stamp (which in 1934 was a HUGE amount of money, and for all practical purposes made legal NFA items unavailable to anyone at that time but the rich).

      There was a huge amount of resistance in Congress to including handguns in the NFA, leading them to be dropped. But that led, more or less accidentally, to SBS/SBR’s remaining in the bill (remember, the main reason they were included was to keep people from circumventing the inclusion of handguns in the NFA — with handguns out, there wasn’t much of a reason to “tax” SBS/SBR’s).

  9. Make no mistake — this is part of Joe Biden’s plan for reclassifying the AR-15 (and all other scary-looking-because-they’re-black rifles, pistols, and shotguns) as “machine guns”.

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