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August 3, 2018

ATF Announces Updated Processing Times — E-filing Wins!


ATF recently posted updated processing times for NFA forms, as well as for other firearms and explosives applications. These statistics, available here and here, clearly show that filing NFA forms electronically results in much faster processing times, with a processing time across the board of seven days versus one month for paper forms.

Also available for e-filing is ATF Form 6, Application and Permit for Importation of Arms, Ammunition and Implements of War. As the chart shows, the processing time for paper Form 6 to be six weeks, but electronically filed Form 6s are processed at a significantly faster rate.

If you are still filing paper forms, you are waiting at least three more weeks for your forms to be processed than you would if you filed those same forms electronically. This unnecessary wait certainly impacts your business, including your customer relations.

Interested in learning about filing electronically? Just follow the directions for the types of forms you to file here.

What About NFA Forms 1 and 4?

There has not been any progress in reducing the processing times for ATF Forms 1 and 4. Despite considerable expenditures in overtime and the detailing of personnel to the NFA Division, the workload has continued to increase.

The ATF NFA division is currently developing electronic versions of both Forms 1 and 4. In fact, an electronic version of Form 1 was operating briefly for trusts and corporations but was discontinued with the implementation of recent 41F regulatory changes, such as the responsible person questionnaire.

NFA intends for an updated e-Form 1 to go online first, possibly by the end of the year. There will be separate programs for individuals, trusts and corporations to complete, due to different requirements. Once the processes for Form 1 are perfected, the Form 4 will be introduced. It will likewise have separate programs for individuals, trusts and corporations.

It’s important to understand that one problem that currently prevents these forms from being completely electronic are the requirements for fingerprints and current photographs of the transferee or responsible persons. Currently, applicants have to obtain and submit fingerprints and photographs and mail them to the NFA Division. Electronic scanning of these items and transmission to the division will not be ready before the electronic Forms 1 and 4 are ready to go.

You may also be interested in: Getting Started on Class III/NFA Licensing