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View Full Version : 5.5 months for Form 4 approval


olgunner
February 04, 2012, 18:52
Longest I've ever waited for a Form 4. And less than what...18 months since my last one cleared. Wouldn't you think they could keep some kind of database that tells them I was clean 18 months ago? Then they could focus on the last 18 months and maybe get the danged paperwork off their desk a little quicker??

Gotta love the efficiency of our federal agencies.

Another example of quality government: This was an original AR10, built around 1960 and sent to the Portuguese army. When it was imported to the US, the original lower had to be destroyed. It was then rebuilt on a semi-auto lower. And THEN it was converted <i>back</i> to select-fire!
Sure wish it still had the original lower. :(

<br />
<img src="http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r500/AR10er/3-4view1.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

I posted pics and notes on <a href="http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_123/562109_My_Re_Converted_AR10__pic_heavy____.html&page=1&anc=5384527#i5384527" target="_blank">the arfcom retro forum</a> if anyone is interested.

partisan50
February 05, 2012, 07:14
Get used to it especially with more states allowing suppressors and less examiners to do the paperwork.

olgunner
February 05, 2012, 17:31
All the more reason to improve the process! (But maybe that's just the evil capitalist businessman in me talking.)
More work and fewer resources mandates improved efficiencies. Every place except in government, apparently.

And note I'm not even railing against the underlying requirement to buy a tax stamp to start with, despite my belief that there's something very un-American about a tax stamp.

Mason
February 06, 2012, 02:27
Tell me about the .gov bullshit. I'm now on day 4 of a NICS delay (standard 4473 transfer) without a return call, and absolutely nothing on my record. And I've done about 15 transfers in the last 2 years without a hitch. I know they didn't find anything, because there isn't, and they're too lazy to call my FFL back and tell him so.

Sweet AR10, by the way! It's a shame it couldn't be imported as a transferable firearm.

Blackmore
February 06, 2012, 06:03
I'm now on day 4 of a NICS delay (standard 4473 transfer) without a return call, and absolutely nothing on my record.

On a delay, if there is no call back in three business days - no holidays or weekends - the FFL can complete the sale. If he doesn't, and wants to wait to hear from them, it is his choice and policy, not a NICS requirement.

Mason
February 06, 2012, 12:19
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/brady-law.html#business-day-definition

My FFL called in after noon last Wednesday. So that made Wednesday null and void. Thursday, Friday, state offices are closed on the weekend, now Monday is officially the 3rd business day, so tomorrow after noon my FFL can legally transfer the firearm to me.

greenpeas
February 06, 2012, 14:42
Wouldn't you think they could keep some kind of database that tells them I was clean 18 months ago?

As far as they know, you could have gone out and committed a felony in the last 18 months.

I'm not trying to display my love for the NFA branch or anything, just sayin'.

olgunner
February 06, 2012, 23:14
As far as they know, you could have gone out and committed a felony in the last 18 months.

I'm not trying to display my love for the NFA branch or anything, just sayin'.

No, no--I agree 100%. But that's the point--all they have to do is look at the last 18 months, not the full last 50 years! If they learn I haven't done anything wrong since the last clearance, they should be able to assume I didn't go back in time and do something wrong prior to that.

Same thing with the history of the weapon. I'm guessing that part of the ATF process is to check the history of the rifle and make sure it hasn't been reported stolen, that it was legitimately registered in the 80's, etc.
Once the rifle had been transferred once, they shouldn't have to go back to day one for the next transfer--just look at history since the last transfer.

Instead of taking 5.5 months to examine ME all the way back to '61 and the rifle all the way back to '60, they could have focused on me for the last 18 months and the rifle for the past 4 or 5 years. That would <i>have</i> to save some time and effort!

jaykden
February 07, 2012, 02:53
well,

i'm sure you know this but they are not spending 5.5 month looking up info about you.

the 5.5 month wait is the PILES of forms that are sitting on the examiner's desk that were sent in before yours.

check out this bit of info i found. also, bear in mind they are now down to 10 examiners and with the hiring freeze, they cannot hire any more at this time...

http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2011/10/the-way-the-government-works.html

greenpeas
February 07, 2012, 12:58
No, no--I agree 100%. But that's the point--all they have to do is look at the last 18 months, not the full last 50 years!

I don't think it works that way. They just look up your name and see if you have any felonies, this part of the process probably takes all of 2 minutes.

I've gotten FBI background checks for work and they come back the same day. Jaykden is probably right that 99% of the NFA wait time involves your forms sitting in a pile on someone's desk.

I think there is a lot more interest in NFA ownership will all the TV shows (son's of guns, etc...) Missouri just legalized silencers a year or two ago, imagine how many people from this state alone have bought silencers in the past year? With the same amount of examiners and twice the number of submitted forms the wait time will double.

olgunner
February 08, 2012, 22:05
Points well made, gents. Thank you for that info!

But now I don't know if I should be annoyed by how long the whole thing takes, or that they're only doing a half-assed job of it.
If the NFA background check is actually no more extensive than the basic instant-check that they do by phone in 5 minutes (for $3) every time I buy a pistol, then what the hell is the point of this whole process other than to discourage citizens from exercising this particular right?

I don't like paying to exercise a right, and I don't like how long the process takes. But at least up till now I felt like something was being accomplished!

greenpeas
February 09, 2012, 11:57
I do believe it is to make the process more difficult and to discourage people from wanting to possess NFA items.

My belief is that the BATFE views NFA owners simply as unconvicted felons.

Correlia
February 09, 2012, 13:50
I have always found the NFA branch to be quite responsive to questions, answer the phone, etc.

Slow- HELL Yes. I have 4 in the hopper that are over 6 months right now.

101ABN327
February 09, 2012, 18:28
I just went over the 6 month mark this week. It's ridiculious that it takes this long! And I'm a multiple stamp holder...

101

olgunner
February 09, 2012, 22:19
6 months+ ?!
OK--I'll stop complaining, then! Maybe I should be thankful they got me done when they did!

Honestly, though, the dealer who I bought this AR10 from said he had other buyers who submitted their Form 4s after I did and got their approvals well before I did. I'm guessing there's some "luck of the draw" involved in whose desk your form lands on.

I wonder if anyone tracks the efficiencies of the various approvers.

Warbirds Custom Guns
February 10, 2012, 03:41
I'm guessing there's some "luck of the draw" involved in whose desk your form lands on.

All F4's in your state go to the same examiner.
They have had this new system now for at least 6 months that I'm aware of.




A couple months ago I was told by Joyce at the NFA branch that an average of 5 months will be the norm.
Provided there are no changes in the current flow rate.
I have also learned that more private individuals are selling their machineguns back to dealers because they need the $$$ due to the bad economy.
In fact, more machineguns are being sold back to dealers more now than ever.
That alone can or will increase wait times.

If TPWD approves the use of silencers for hunting game animals here shortly, F4's could take as long as 12 months.
I have a few guys wanting to buy cans before the mad rush starts in about 2 months if TPWD gives their approval.

I'm glad I can get my chit in 2 weeks if I want something new. :D



.

Prototype Services
February 10, 2012, 22:05
Georgia is about to allow suppressors for hunting too, so I bet the wait times just keep getting longer.

olgunner
February 11, 2012, 16:16
So if all form 4s from a state go to the same examiner, and a state changes the suppressor law like that, it's gonna hammer that one examiner, but other states (assuming different examiners) shouldn't be affected.
Hardly seems fair to the suddenly-overworked examiner...or to the customers being served.

Warbirds Custom Guns
February 11, 2012, 18:19
So if all form 4s from a state go to the same examiner, and a state changes the suppressor law like that, it's gonna hammer that one examiner

Yep that's what will happen & some examiners have 2 or even 4 states to handle transfers for. That's why wait times will get longer.
I also handle form 4 transfers for guys within about a 75 mile radius & guys are saying they want a new can before the wait times get ridiculous.



.

101ABN327
February 11, 2012, 21:33
They either need to streamline this idiocy or remove suppressors from NFA! Why the hell are they on the NFA list anyway? I use them because I like my hearing, or what is left of it, and I thought reducing the noise was good for the "children"! Screw ATF! They are slow rolling this because they can!

sain
February 12, 2012, 11:00
Man, my CLOE has had me on hold eversince the day after the PACK lost to the G-men! They said 7-10 days. I can't even send in my application at this point. Then another 6mo.?? :cry:

Warbirds Custom Guns
February 12, 2012, 14:33
They either need to streamline this idiocy or remove suppressors from NFA! They are slow rolling this because they can!

They should be AOW but, the tax would be less so less $$$ to the Gov't.
They went from 12 to 11 examiners awhile back.
I think there's only 10 now but maybe they're the dealer side don't know.



.

Blackmore
February 12, 2012, 15:17
They either need to streamline this idiocy or remove suppressors from NFA! Why the hell are they on the NFA list anyway? I use them because I like my hearing, or what is left of it, and I thought reducing the noise was good for the "children"! Screw ATF! They are slow rolling this because they can!


Are suppressors subject to the 11% F.E.T.? If not, take them off the list and charge F.E.T. on them. They'd more than make up for the lost $200 tax stamps with increased F.E.T. collections from the vastly increased suppressor sales.

101ABN327
February 13, 2012, 10:30
They should be AOW but, the tax would be less so less $$$ to the Gov't.
They went from 12 to 11 examiners awhile back.
I think there's only 10 now but maybe they're the dealer side don't know.



.

They SHOULD NOT be AOW! They are an accessory, not a firearm. A friggin' muffler should be considered a nuissance mitigation and available at any gunshop! It's time for the idiocy at AFT to be addressed! They are slow rolling the process because they don't have anyone to answer to! It' bullshit!

101

Danus ex
February 14, 2012, 00:42
What about this approval process can't be accomplished by a secure form, some database integration, and some server-side programming?

101ABN327
February 15, 2012, 15:37
What about this approval process can't be accomplished by a secure form, some database integration, and some server-side programming?

Uhhhhhh. NOTHING! ATF slow rolls the process because they can. It takes about as much time as an instacheck when you do a 4473 at a gun shop. Nothing about this process is to make anyone "safer" or keep them out of the hands of criminals. Crinimals have access to anything they want but for some reason they don't mess with cans. I've never read a report of a suppressed anything at a crime scene.

Correlia
February 16, 2012, 13:36
I've never read a report of a suppressed anything at a crime scene.

That is because it really is a "silencer" that makes shooting completely silent, more dangerous, and harder to catch the criminal. :beer:

Don't hold me to this, but if memory serves suppressors have been on NFA prior to the mainstream use of fully automatic guns. (Or their advent as it was early 1900's)

The $200 tax has been the same since then. Someone really wanted to get rid of selling them for some reason. $200 then was a lot of money.

JohnnyReb
February 16, 2012, 16:18
I finally finished my trust and dropped it off at my FFL today. The form 4 is now on the way, only 5-6 more months for silence!

101ABN327
February 17, 2012, 10:38
Today is 17 FEB and still waiting. Looks like I'll be pushing the 7 month mark...

dirtyrice
February 19, 2012, 01:04
All the tactical training schools, clinics and classes plus youtube have definitely made nfa demand for sbrs and cans ramp up a bit. Plus with people figuring out you can use trusts. I like it. Just wish they would let us register new mgs again. I know people said when they built the 2nd location to process nfa forms the times decreased but now more people are going at it so it has increased again. I need to get off my butt and send in the forms to build my krink already.

I've never had a hiccup with nics and I was born in another country. But having a Texas chl now I don't have to have a nics run anymore. But nics is run by the fbi...not atf so much.

JohnnyReb
February 23, 2012, 12:19
They cashed my check yesterday.

01BIRDDOG
March 04, 2012, 09:40
I know of five that just came back, three suppressors and two SBR's and they were all over eight months. If someone is a old fart time becomes a real issue. I use to get them back in less than two months so has the number of forms gone up like ten times in the last two years???

Delta-3
March 04, 2012, 10:23
Just got my form 1 back last week. It took six months & five days, door to door.