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Whether you’re turning an existing pistol or rifle into a short barreled rifle (SBR), sawing off the barrel on your shotgun to create an SBS, or making your own silencer, you’ll need to first file and receive approval on the ATF Form 1 and pay your $200 tax. If you’re inclined to turn a braced pistol into an SBR right now to “take advantage of” ATF’s tax forbearance, you’re almost out of time! (you have until the 26th to do it via Silencer Shop, as described below)

Technically designated ATF Form 5320.1, Application to Make and Register a Firearm, the “Form 1” is used when you want to turn an existing, Title 1 / GCA gun into an NFA item (Title 2). If you can pass the standard NICS check when filling out a Form 4473 for the purchase of a standard gun, you are almost certain to be approved for a Form 1. It’s more about registration and tax payment than it is any sort of enhanced background check.

Thanks to the ability to eFile a Form 1 and to the lower volume of Form 1s as compared to Form 4s (transfer and registration of an existing NFA item, like when you buy a silencer or SBR retail), approval on an eForm 1 typically takes just 4 to 6 weeks.

I’m aware of two primary ways to submit an eForm 1: via the ATF eForms system and via Silencer Shop. Not gonna lie, Silencer Shop makes it so much quicker and more foolproof that I’m going to focus on that process first and in more detail.

If you don’t already have an account at Silencer Shop, that’s the first step. In there you enter your relevant information and upload a headshot-style selfie. If a dealer in your area has a Silencer Shop Kiosk, you can use it to quickly and easily submit your fingerprints in digital form. If not, Silencer Shop can provide you with a fingerprint card and ink to do it the old fashioned way and then mail it in.

If you’ve previously purchased a silencer or done any other Form 4 through Silencer Shop, your info is already there. You may just have to snap a new photo since it has to be less than a year old.

To create a new Form 1 submission, just click the “Start a New Form 1” tab and then enter your firearm information as it is engraved on the gun. You can even upload a photo(s) of the engravings, as the Silencer Shop compliance team reviews your submission for accuracy and will even verify that you’ve read and entered the relevant firearm information correctly.

That’s it! Once Compliance reviews your information you simply click the “Certify” button and Silencer Shop’s software syncs directly with ATF eForms to complete the official submission.

What this actually means is that Silencer Shop — the compliance folks and the software — is handling all of the following tasks for you behind the scenes:

•  fingerprint submission to ATF
•  passport style photograph submission to ATF
•  CLEO notification to your county’s chief law enforcement officer and confirmation of notification to ATF
•  Form 1 cover letter submission to ATF
•  review and optimization of your firearm trust if you’re filing as a trust
•  Form 5320.23 (responsible person questionnaire) creation, optimization, and submission to ATF
•  quality assurance check by Silencer Shop Compliance Specialists

And that, really, is the biggest difference between using Silencer Shop and attempting to navigate the ATF’s eForms website on your own. Not only is that system slow and clunky and you’ll be responsible for completing all of the forms, CLEO notification, etc. on your own, but in my experience (based on doing it myself a few times plus having a couple dozen customers and friends email/text questions to me) the section where you have to enter your firearm information is not very straightforward.

In it, for example, you’re presented with drop-down menus via which you’re supposed to select the manufacturer and model of the firearm you’re starting with, and it’s a bit of a mess with multiple, very slightly different options for the same manufacturers plus missing information on models, calibers, and more. It gets even more complicated with an imported firearm where the legal “manufacturer” may be the importer rather than the overseas company that actually made the gun originally.

Anyway, for $50 Silencer Shop takes care of all of this for you, verifies it, ensures your trust and/or all other information is formatted correctly, and jumps through all of the other hoops for you. They have the lowest ATF form error rate in the industry, which is great because nothing stinks more than having to re-submit applications due to minor typos or other mistakes!

Should you want to go through Silencer Shop for a tax-exempted Form 1 SBR registration on a pistol brace-equipped pistol that you currently own, Silencer Shop is cutting these off after April 26th. You have another week! I do not personally like the idea of using this ATF-offered tax forbearance (frankly, if you want to SBR your pistol, which is always a sweet idea!, I’d suggest paying your $200 tax and filing a normal Form 1), but I’m not your mom and if you want to do it I’d still say do it through Silencer Shop.

Now, go out and create some NFA items!

 

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57 COMMENTS

    • In an article on form 1, making a firearm or silencers, you are not going to mention the fact that they have stopped approving form one silencers?

      They say that the parts needed to build a suppressor, are already a suppressor.
      And you can’t build an approved silencer out of unapproved silencers.

      They are doing this, even to people who have not bought any parts.

  1. And in the end your STILL registering your stuff with a blatantly unconstitutional and thoroughly corrupt agency that’s proven time and again they’re just ITCHING to make you a felon.
    No Thank You.

    • VicRattlehead,

      I share your exact same thoughts. That is why I do not yet have any NFA items.

      I also have an additional thought, although I am not sure that I will do a good job describing it briefly here. It could be very handy to have one or two NFA items for a SHTF situation, whether that means a home-invasion or a much larger entity suddenly and unexpectedly run amok. Acquiring those items ahead of time and acquiring them “legally” (albeit the laws with which you are complying are unconstitutional) is sort of hedging your bets–placating government and mitigating risk in the meantime. And it would potentially reduce your risk with local law enforcement while you train and gain proficiency.

    • How to not comply is pretty straightforward. ‘Don’t do anything’. There isn’t much for a writer to work with there.

      • rosignol,

        Not that I disagree with you (I don’t), but unless you are making of modifying a gun yourself, you don’t have much choice. My younger son applied to buy a can for his AR. He was, AT THE TIME, an instructor at a local gun range (with an FFL and a good relationship with the ATF). He bought and paid for the can, had been NICS-approved for three firearms within the prior year . . . and it still took him over a year to actually get his can.

        FUCK the ATF, right up the pooter, with a splintery telephone pole. Unconstitutional is unconstitutional. I hate those lying, authoritarian bastards.

  2. It’s big brother taking a Right from you and Selling it back to you…A 4473 is more than enough hoops to jump through like a silly circus animal. Especially when the difference is in a few inches and the sound reduction is not gnat fart quiet. More damage can be done with a silent ice pick, motor vehicle, etc.

    When it comes to the criminal misuse of inanimate objects firearms by a long shot are not the center of the universe and to treat them as such is ridiculous. The vast majority of crime problems circle back to the revolving door criminal justice system.

  3. Another possibility, just build it, DON’T drag it around in public and don’t go around telling everything with ears about it… I HEARD of a guy who said he knew a guy whose wife’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin knew a guy that owned several SBRs and sawed offs and has not registered any of them… If you own “acreage” and shoot on your own property it is not a problem… Gotta get a “muffler” for my aluminum baseball bat…

    • Even if you saw it yourself you wouldn’t beleive it,
      but I wouldn’t trust a person like me if I were you!

      Sure I wasn’t there, I swear I have an alibi! I heard it from a man who knows a fella who says it’s true.

    • Disbanding the ATF needs to be done for sure. For all kinds of reasons. But that does not change the existence of the NFA. That is for congress to deal with. There simply wouldn’t be any way to enforce it without the ATF unless it gets shifted over to the FBI. The answer is really to get rid of both.

      • Prndll,

        As neiowa suggested, I think SCOTUS also has the power (and apparently the inclination – thank you, St. Clarence!) to tell Congress to take a long walk off a short pier. That we even have to discuss it is an insult to the Constitution and the Founders. May Feinswine and Senile Joe rot in Hell.

    • Read it. Wow.
      Reported tax income.
      So you will be put on a list if you spend more money then what the giverment thinks you should, you can only make money if you pay taxes on it?
      This is very bad and I doubt it’s only with the gunms.

    • It’s not so much about the 4473 as it is NICS.

      There is quite a bit of assumption here for things that shouldn’t be legal to do in the first place.

    • “It’s time for the NFA to be repealed.”

      No going to happen anytime soon.

      What we can do is speed up the ridiculous amount of time it takes to process the paperwork.

      For crying out loud, nearly *everything* today is on a searchable database somewhere. They can easily do the work in 30 days, maximum… 🙁

      • 30? The guns are either already in the database or have no backgrounds to check; as Jeremy said, the personal background check is no more stringent than NICS, so why should it take longer than three?

        For that matter – as I note whenever the antis screech about three days being too short for the process to work – why should something that was fully feasible in 1994 (when the internet was in its infancy) still take the same time now when data storage and transfer are orders of magnitude more capable?

  4. My finger prints are on DOC records so they can just them from there.
    .
    Man that double barreled shotgunm is sweet.👍

  5. Yes the NFA is unconstitutional and it needs to be repealed, but I also really enjoy SBR’s, I would recommend anyone wanting to get into it go the form 1 rout, turnaround times will be 15 to 30 days rather than form 4 factory SBR’s which will run you 8 + months.

  6. Yes it is unconstitutional and yes it sucks, but Form 1s are super easy. You don’t need anyone to file it for you and pay more than the tax stamp price. There is a wait right now because of the stupid brace rule registrations. Instead of 15-30 days for a Form 1, it is now taking months. I’ve had one in processing since January. That was with paper fingerprint cards. I now have digital prints so I will see how long it takes for my next few SBRs.

    • Thanks for the reassurance. I’ve been waiting since mid-Feb, and was concerned when others wrote they were getting them back in 15-30 days.

    • I just submitted 2 form 1’s, 1 was a braced pistol (free stamp) the other I paid for, both were submitted 3/18 the one I paid for was approved 4/13, braced pistol is still pending.

      • Interesting! Mine are both the free kind.

        You’d think they’d expedite the free kind (applications people have to fill out because of a problem they created) over the others (applications people filled out because they wanted something).

    • Looks like something from Lancer Systems from the carbon fiber and octagon shape… I’ve seen similar but not that exact pattern…

      • I though Lancer too at first but they do octagon and the one in the pic is straight round tubular (or looks that way from the pic) and Lancer doesn’t have a cut out and slot pattern like that in the pic (unless its an old Lancer the no longer sell). But yeah, it looks carbon fiber.

      • OK its an older Lancer model then and probably discontinued as I don’t see it on their website, but they have their LCH7 which I guess is comparable and replaced it maybe. Oh well, kinda like its looks and was wanting to update a few firearms. The ones Lancer has now are sort of ‘ho-hum dull’ and don’t really appeal to me.

  7. No thanks, I’m good.
    “Free tax stamp”. Nothing is ever “free” if it comes from the government. Monetarily, maybe but there’s always a catch. Kinda like being on some type of list comes to mind.

  8. The document describing the final brace ban specifically states the tax forbearance does not apply to new builds. Presumably they only want those applications from people willing to submit evidence that they are newly-minted felons.

  9. Jeremy,
    Informative, well-referenced article, as usual. Five or ten years ago, I would have thought you’d done a real public service in easing the path to acquiring NFA stuff. I jumped through the hoops and bought a couple of cans at that time, got my stamps, etc.

    Now, I’m in agreement with those posting above. I think it’s time to drop the “law-abiding gun owner” label. When every single gun law passed in the last 15 years or so is clearly unconstitutional, it’s long past time to tell the ATF to get bent and place their various forms in an appropriate orifice.

    • Maybe if you have secluded private land to shoot, like MADDMAXX. I used to, but (ironically) that really isn’t even an option where I live now.

      Otherwise you’re giving not only LE, but every person who could possibly see the weapon, a Sword of Damocles to hold over you for the rest of your life.

  10. If you purchased a silencer through form 4 (all of mine are) then they already have you on the books.

    • KJ – IF ya ever bought ‘anything’ via an FFL and filled out a 4473 they already have you on their books. After all, the bats recently admitted that they (illegally) have almost a BILLION firearms transaction records ‘on file’. That tells me at least 2 things – 1) there are a whole lot more legally owned firearms than the supposed 400 million or so in private hands; 2) they admit that they are blatantly breaking federal law by maintaining a firearms registry. And they think we should now ‘trust’ them?

      • It’s not a registry, it’s just a searchable “file” with your name, address, date of birth, social security number, mfg, type and serial number of the firearm purchased… Nothing to worry about, it’s just the government looking out for the little people. Coming soon 4473 questions… Do you own a dog? Is it a big dog?

        • MM – re the dog question – is it a biter? Doesn’t matter we will shoot it anyway………………..

        • is it a biter?

          Not really pertinent, actually neither is the size of the dog… They do dog drills, dog strolls out and they drill it… big dog, small dog, dog asleep on the porch, tied up in the back yard… All that matters is “DOG”!!…

  11. Something about applying for and paying a blatantly Unconstitutional Tax for a “Mother May I” Stamp just chaps my a$$.
    Especially for something that was 100% Legal to own when I bought the parts.
    F**k the ATF and F**k Biden.

  12. waiting over 2 months for my most recent 2 Form 1 applications.
    I’m guessing the FBI wasn’t counting on the work load of running fingerprints and background checks after the atf pistol brace fiascco

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