Southwest Florida

ATF eForm 4 is Back!

NFA firearm
New eForm available for silencers and other NFA firearms.

If you have or desire NFA firearms (suppressors, machine guns, short barreled rifles/shotguns, etc.), you may know that the ATF has a streamlined way to submit some ATF applications online. However, the online Form 4 (eForm 4) was not available except for a very brief period in 2014. But at the end of December 2021, the ATF re-released its eForm 4 for the transfer of NFA firearms.

Unfortunately, unlike the original eForm 4, at this time its use is limited. The old version could be used by FFLs, individuals, or trusts to transfer NFA firearms to FFLs, individuals, or trusts. When the new version was released before Christmas, it only allowed FFLs to use it to transfer to individuals. But when I checked the ATF’s website again on January 9, it had expanded its use so FFLs could also use it to transfer to “other entities”, including trusts. At this time, there’s no capability for an individual to use the eForm 4 to transfer an NFA firearm from his or her individual name into a trust.

I don’t know whether the ATF plans to add more capability to the eForm 4 in the future or not – I hope so. The old eForm 4 was an easy way to transfer an NFA firearm from a person’s individual name into that person’s gun trust; maybe that’ll be allowed soon.

The ATF allegedly says the processing time for the eForm 4 will be 60-90 days, versus the current nine months or longer for paper form processing. We’ll see. But any improvement to the current snail mail system for NFA firearm approvals is something.

Here’s a link to the ATF’s eForm 4 video tutorial.

If you’ve used the new eForm 4, please leave a comment below to let me know how it went, what’s changed, how long approval took as an individual or as a trust, etc.

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