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ATF eForm and Form 4 Process

ATF eForm and Form 4 Process

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ATF eForm and Form 4 Process

Purchasing a silencer, also known as a suppressor, for your firearm is a legal process that requires you to go through the silencer ATF Form 4 process. This involves filling out several forms, undergoing a background check, and waiting for approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In this article, we will explore the Form 4 process, what you can expect while filing the paperwork, and what the current wait time is for the ATF to approve your forms.

harvester evo suppressor
The SilencerCo Harvester Evo on a precision rifle

What is the ATF Form 4 Process?

The ATF Form 4 process is a procedure that individuals must follow to legally purchase a silencer. The process is mandated by federal law and is overseen by the ATF.

While filing the paperwork for a silencer with the ATF Form 4 process, you can expect to provide personal information such as your name, address, and social security number. You will also need to provide information about the silencer you wish to purchase, such as its make, model, and serial number – all this information will be provided by the silencer dealer at the time of purchase. Along with that information, you will need to provide fingerprint cards, passport-style photographs, and pay the $200 tax stamp fee, all of which you dealer will be able to assist you with at the time of purchase to make the process easy and smooth to navigate.  

What is the Expected ATF Form 4 Wait Time?

The expected wait time for the ATF eForm and Form 4 process can vary depending on several factors. No matter which process you choose, paper or eForm, the current wait time for approval is approximately 8-9 months. The wait time can also vary depending on your state of residence and the time of year that you file your application.

Maxim Gun Silencer vintage advertisement
An add for an original Maxim suppressor

How Can I Fill Out the ATF eForm?

All Form 4 submissions, eForm or paper, need to be done with a dealer. There are two main ways to fill out the ATF Forms. The first is to fill out a paper form and mail it to the ATF. The second is to use the eForms system on the ATF website. The eForms system is faster and more convenient than the paper form option. To use the eForms system, you will need to create an account on the ATF website and provide some basic information. Once you have an account, you can log in and fill out the ATF Form 4 online. You will also be able to track the approval status of your application through the eForms system. Dealers provide services to help buyers navigate this process at the time of sale.

What Happens After I Submit My ATF eForm 4?

After you submit your ATF eForm 4, you can expect to wait approximately 8-9 months for approval. During this time, the ATF will review your application, perform a background check, and conduct any necessary investigations. You can check the approval status of your application through the eForms system on the ATF website.

gun trust
NFA Gun Trust paperwork

What is a NFA Gun Trust and How Can I use it for the ATF Paperwork?

A NFA gun trust is a legal entity that can hold assets, such as firearms and silencers. Using a gun trust can be a useful option for those looking to purchase a silencer through the ATF Form 4 process.

When setting up a NFA gun trust, you will need to appoint a trustee who will be responsible for managing the gun trust and its assets. Once the gun trust is established, you can then use it to purchase a silencer. The NFA gun trust is considered a legal entity, rather than an individual.

The main advantage of using a NFA gun trust is that it can allow multiple people to possess and use the silencer. This is because the gun trust can name multiple people as beneficiaries. This can be useful for families or groups of friends who wish to share ownership of a silencer. The NFA gun trust can also be used to pass down silencers and other NFA and non-NFA firearms and assets.

best .38 Special and .357 Magnum Suppressor, Hybrid 46M.
The Hybrid 46M mounted on a .38 Special lever gun.

With a NFA Gun Trust, do I still need to pay the $200 Tax Stamp?

When using a NFA gun trust for the ATF eForm or regular Form 4 process, you will still need to pay the $200 tax stamp fee and have fingerprints and photos taken of the Responsible Person(s) listed as trustees on the NFA gun trust.

How do I create a NFA Gun Trust?

NFA gun trusts can be purchased online and printed out at home. When looking into creating a NFA gun trust, make sure to use a service that is established in gun law and NFA compliance, such as a gun dealer or attorney, to help ensure you get the proper NFA gun trust set up for your needs. No attorney is needed to set up a NFA gun trust.  

Purchasing a silencer through the ATF Form 4 process can be a lengthy and complicated process. However, by understanding the process and using resources such as the eForms system and a NFA gun trust, you can simplify the process and make it more efficient. While the current wait time for approval is approximately 8-9 months, using the eForms system and a NFA trust can help to make the process easier to navigate.

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