If planning to purchase an ATF regulated firearm or accessory using the eForm, you must register an ATF account 24 hours in advance.
Buying or selling NFA items can be a time-consuming affair due to the different regulatory procedures and red tapes it involves. Time-consuming and lengthy paperwork can add insult to the injury as it further delays the process. That is why ATF eForms has become a preferred way to apply for approvals, transfers, etc.
ATF’s eForms allows individuals and members of the firearms industry to file certain forms electronically rather than via paper applications. The electronic filing is designed to be more efficient and accurate and will allow ATF to process the submissions more efficiently. The forms that can be filed relate to the importation of firearms, ammunition and defense articles; transactions with National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms; and the Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER).
Being all electronic, ATF eForms can be processed faster. Right from filling the data to submitting them electronically, they offer a significant improvement over traditional paper-based mailing and processing. In paper-based applications, your approval process does not start until it reaches the agency. However, ATF eForms cut the time taken in the mail to zero.
ATF eForms can be designed to reduce errors by validating data type in each field, for example, in a date of the birth field; a drop-down calendar can be added to avoid errors. Instead of providing data by typing, users can be provided with drop-down menu items to choose from.
ATF going live with all electronic eForm 4 will definitely have a significant impact on the sales of NFA items. Currently, filling and submitting ATF Form 4 is an all-manual process as you have to snail mail the hand-filled Form 4 to the ATF. Then there are long wait times of six to nine months or more. ATF eForm 4 eFile process is expected to significantly reduce the wait time to 2 to 3 months, or even lesser depending on how efficiently ATF will streamline the approval process.
Since no certain period of time is provided by the agency to process your application, at this point, you might ask – how will I know when my Form 4 is approved? ATF allows people to check the status of ATF Form 4 over the phone. You need to simply call the ATF at (304) 616-4500 and request – check the status of ATF Form 4.