NSSF Successfully Leads Effort to Dramatically Reduce ATF NFA Form Wait Times

NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, praised new data revealed in a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) report that showed processing wait times on submitted National Firearms Act (NFA) forms significantly dropped following direct NSSF advocacy efforts among lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Updated times announced today by ATF show 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 daily 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

NSSF began working to improve ATF NFA form processing in 2013 when it pressed the agency to institute electronic form processing, or eForms.

“The dramatically reduced NFA form wait times just announced by ATF is the direct result of several years of NSSF efforts among allies on Capitol Hill to ensure the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans – those following the law by submitting the appropriate forms – are not unduly delayed,” said Lawrence G. Keane, "NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. NSSF worked successful with allies in Congress to ensure ATF’s NFA Division had the resources necessary to match the increased demand for NFA items. We’re pleased to see industry efforts to reduce these wait times have been successful for our association members and for lawful firearm owners.”

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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