ATF Form 4: What You Need To Know

The National Firearms Act, (NFA), was created to impose a tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms and weapons.  These restricted weapons include rifles with a barrel of less than 16 inches in length, shotguns with a barrel less than 18 inches in length, all suppressors, all machine guns and all destructive devices.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF), is the government agency responsible for enforcing the NFA as well as regulating and approving all transfers of these restricted weapons.

As of July 13th, 2016, ATF Rule 41F went into effect. While this ruling did change the process of purchasing NFA-regulated items, we are dedicated to helping you easily understand and navigate the new requirements.  We have the expertise to provide clarification about the new rules and to complete all the new ATF forms in one convenient place.

ATF Form 4 is used to transfer a restricted weapon from a seller to a buyer and is required as part of any purchase or transfer.  The buyer must first purchase the firearm/weapon to obtain the serial number and is not allowed to take possession of the firearm until approval is received from the ATF.  As with any government approval, the process can take weeks and sometimes months, which can become very frustrating to someone who is eager to purchase and fire the weapon.  Based on our experience, the current approval time is approximately 8 weeks from the date your Form 4 is received by the ATF.  Assuming your application is complete and accurate.  Our job is to reduce the approval time as much as possible by submitting a complete and accurate Form 4 the first time.  Currently, the ATF is only accepting the paper version of Form 4, opposed to the electronic version accepted during the first part of 2014, (click HERE for the most current paper version of ATF Form 4).  As indicated on their website, ATF eForms, the ATF is working to reestablish the electronic version of Form 4 and once it is back online, the eForm 4 will greatly reduce the approval times.

Assisting you with your ATF Form 4, (both the paper and electronic submission), is one of the services we provide to insure an accurate form which in turn will reduce your approval time.  Here are some of the things you should know about completing the ATF Form 4:

  1. Once the eForm 4 is back online, the relative newness of the electronic submission system means there will more than likely be bugs to work out.  For instance, the way errors on the eForm 4 will be processed is still unclear.  While mistakes on a paper form would cause a delay, the same error might cause an eForm to be automatically denied causing the applicant to start over.  We take great care with each and every form we submit. You can rely on the fact that we also have an interest in making sure each form is properly filled out and submitted.
  2. In the past, clients using a gun trust had to write the $200 tax stamp themselves and send it with the form. Since this will probably not be an option with the e-Forms, individuals will probably be required to pay the FFL/SOT dealer directly who will then turn around and pay the ATF.  However, until the eForms are back online, all submissions must be done in paper form.  When we handle your Form 4 paper submission we will immediately complete your required paperwork.  We will then monitor the status of your payment and send you a confirmation email as soon as the ATF has accepted the transfer.  There is no need for you to keep track of the payment trail since we do the work for you.
  3. Individuals will not have access to the ATF electronic system to submit an e-Form 4.  This must be completed by a registered FFL/SOT dealer.  We are a registered FFL/SOT dealer with access to the ATF electronic filing system.  However, if you choose to submit a paper form, we will complete this form for you to insure it is properly completed.
  4. We also have experience with setting up gun trusts. We recommend establishing a gun trust for all your purchase of restricted firearms.  We can assist you in setting up this gun trust correctly so that you can enjoy all the benefits a gun trust has to offer.

We are dedicated to making the whole experience of purchasing and applying for your ATF approval as easy and pain free as possible.  Our experience has helped us pinpoint exactly what our customers need to complete in order to accelerate this process.

Once the Form 4 has been filed, and your check has been cashed by the ATF, you can check the status of your Form 4 by calling the ATF at (304) 616-4500.  You will need to know the serial number of the item in which you are seeking approval.  The ATF will then ask you the name of the Transferor (this is the company or person who sold you the item) and they will ask you the name of the Transferee (this is typically yourself or the name of the Trust if you used a NFA Trust).  If those items match, the ATF will give you one of the following status: 1. Pending as of _______ (the date which the ATF received your Form 4);  2. Denied; or 3. Returned or Rejected.  Unfortunately they will not tell you any further information.

Modern Warriors

We started Modern Warriors for the sole purpose of providing a less expensive way to enjoy our love of buying and shooting some really cool stuff. What started as a hobby has turned into a business where we have developed the experience and ability to help you enjoy our same hobby and save you money in the process.

We specialize in tactical weapons, including suppressors, short barrel rifles and full auto weapons. We have routine experience in shooting the weapons we carry, so if you want our opinion on how a weapon operates, we will gladly provide it. We also have expertise working with licensed professionals in setting up gun trusts, which is an ideal way of purchasing, owning and operating any weapon restricted by the National Firearm Act. Don’t let the word “trust” scare you. It is very easy to set one up if you have the right help.

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