Home Gunsmithing ATF Wait Times for NFA Form Processing Significantly Reduced « Daily Bulletin

ATF Wait Times for NFA Form Processing Significantly Reduced « Daily Bulletin


April 11th, 2024

ATF Wait Times for NFA Form Processing Significantly Reduced

Thank to efforts by the NSSF, and the ATF adopting eForms, you can now get a suppressor purchase authorization with a far shorter wait time. NSSF began working to improve ATF NFA form processing in 2013 when it pressed the agency to institute electronic form processing, or eForms. This has had significant positive effects in reducing NFA wait times. As a result you can pay the required Federal $200 tax and obtain suppressor purchase authorization much more quickly.

Suppressors are now legal in 42 U.S. States. There are certain legal requirements for obtaining a suppressor, including paying a $200 Tax Stamp. To own a suppressor you must be legally eligible to purchase a firearm, pass a BATFE background check, pay a one time $200 Transfer Tax, and satisfy age requirements. The process for paying the $200 requires submitting an ATF Form 4 for each suppressor that you purchase. You can submit either electronically or via paper. The Form 4 authorizes transfer of the suppressor from the dealer or manufacturer to you. MORE INFO HERE.

A significant drop in processing wait times on submitted National Firearms Act (NFA) forms is shown in a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) report. The ATF has revealed that the average wait time on a paper NFA Form 4 — the most popular NFA form submitted — dropped to an average of 245 days for processing, while average processing times for electronic eForm 4s dropped to 53 days. Previously, wait times on Form 4s were near 280 days for paper form processing and between 90 and 190 days for electronic processing. NSSF has learned that in some cases fully electronic Form 4s were processed in as few as four days and in some cases on the same day.

Form 3 processing times also dropped with reports of of them being processed in as few as four days. Form 5 processing wait times for the tax-exempt transfer and registration of firearms dropped down to 19 days for paper forms and an average of one day for the electronic form.

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OPINION: Suppressors Should Not Be Subject to NFA Regulation
NSSF continues to support the Hearing Protection Act and other proposed legislation that would remove silencers, commonly called suppressors, from the National Firearms Act. Suppressors are devices that provide hearing protection for hunters and target shooters. They are legal to own in 43 states and to hunt with in 42 states. Removing suppressors from the NFA would free up considerable ATF resources unnecessarily spent processing paperwork.

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