eForm 4’s and What it Means For Wait Times

It has been a quiet rumor for many months now, a secret more hoped for than considered realitisic.

The eForm system that the ATF uses to update the NFA registry had a glaring lacking feature, it did not process Form 4’s.

Quick Form Breakdown

Form 1: The application to make an NFA item. You are building or converting a firearm into an SBR, SBS, AOW, or a Suppressor. This has been doable via eForms for awhile with reasonable turnaround time.

Form 2: Report manufacturer or importation. Unless you’re an industrial grade FFL you aren’t messing with Form 2’s.

Form 3: A non-taxed NFA transfer. This is usually dealer to dealer, FFL/SOT to FFL/SOT. It is just updating the registrar of where X suppressor is actually at . These were the most common forms since no both transferor and transferee are authorized and properly taxed to ship and receive NFA items. The were also on eForm.

Form 4: The taxed transfer of an NFA item, commonly a purchase from a dealer or a peer-to-peer sale between state residents.

Form 5: The tax exempt transfer of a NFA item to and from government agencies, or applicable disabled firearms transfers.

Form 4’s

The most common form for the general public are 4’s. They are the paid tax transfer and because they were limited to paper, unlike Form 3’s and 1’s, they were also the slowest. Technology has given us the formats to speed all of these processes up and finally we are to where the ATF is ready to fully implement the modern technology to expedite registrar updates.


The practical effect, beyond making life easier on digitally savvy FFL’s, will be much much faster processing times as the forms and the fingerprints are able to be processed entirely via computer… something we have had the capacity to implement for years but the logistics were never pushed hard to be put in place.

It is here now. Let the NFA items flow.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.