Earlier this year the ATF started accepting electronic versions of the standard 4473, the form required for each transfer of a firearm through a federal firearms licensee. You fill out the form ahead of time, then head on over to your FFL of choice and have them complete it before sending it to the ATF. Now, they’ve started allowing applicants to submit an electronic version of NFA-related forms, too . . .
Here’s the website: http://atfonline.gov/
This is bound to raise some privacy concerns, what with the ATF now having an electronic copy of not only the NFA stuff but your form 4473 as well. Those of us who follow such things know that the ATF already had a de facto registration scheme with the bound book requirement for FFL holders to record all firearms transactions. But we consoled ourselves with the idea that the ATF actually had to visit the shop and sift through the physical forms which made it wildly implausible to use on a wide scale.
With an electronic version, things will be a lot easier for those wanting to create a national gun registry. And you have to think it won’t be long before the ATF tells FFLs that all forms must be submitted electronically.
For the NFA items, registration was already a foregone conclusion. Hopefully this speeds up the application process. But then again I’m not holding my breath.