90 Day Form 4 E-File
Tired of waiting a year to get your suppressor? In December of 2021 the ATF opened up the e-file system for Form 4 transfers by individuals and trusts. Claiming 90 day transfers, what does the system really look like? Take a look at this review and the video below to hear my experience with the e-file Form 4 and my 99 day approval.
Over the past several years I have purchased several suppressors and had to wait anywhere from 4 months to just over 13 months to get the paper Form 4 approved by the ATF. As a comparison, you have been able to build a suppressor with the Form 1 e-file process for a few years. In fact, I have created 2 SBRs with the Form 1 process and both were within a couple days of a 30 day approval. That's a huge difference compared to the current wait of nearly a year for paper Form 4s. See an older video towards the bottom of this post that talks about the Form 1 process.
Around the Black Friday shopping season last year (2021) I decided to take advantage of the SilencerCO buy one get one sale to buy a second Omega 300 suppressor. Not only would this allow me to avoid swapping a hot suppressor at the range, but I would get a free SilencerCO Octane. I bought the suppressor through Silencer Shop and was contacted about e-file. The ATF was claiming that the e-file system for Form 4s would be available in December of 2021.
Silencer Shop asked if I was interested in waiting for the e-file system to come online to submit my Form 4, or if I would rather just submit the paper form and get it started. I looked up the trends on paper Form 4 and noticed that they were running about a year from submission to approval. The ATF was expecting and Silencer Shop was pushing a 90 day approval time frame. I figured there may be some difficulties and a mass submission as they started, but decided that I would probably still come out ahead compared to the year long wait.
As expected there were some issues with the ATF getting the site up and then being able to keep it up and running as thousands of people submitted tax stamps. Added on to that, there was some learning curve for Silencer Shop and my local dealer to figure out the proper way to submit the form online and have me as the customer certify it from my end. Ultimately, it wasn't until January 27th that the dealer completed the Form 4 and it was officially in the hands of the ATF.
As I've been through the Form 4 process a few times before, the next item of business was to sit back and wait. Finally, on May 6th I received an e-mail from the ATF that my Form 4 was approved and a PDF of the tax stamp was attached. About an hour later I received an e-mail from the dealer that they received confirmation that it was approved and I could come pick up my suppressor.
All together it took 99 days for the stamp itself to be approved, or about 5 months total if you count the wait before the actual submission of the paperwork. When I checked the trends for paper Form 4 approvals at the beginning of May, it looked like they were taking around 10+ months for approval. So even with the two month wait, I still received approval in about half the time as I would have with a paper submission.
Overall, I was pleased with how much faster the approval took. A couple weeks after I picked up my Omega 300 I was notified that the BOGO Octane from SilencerCO was at my dealer. We submitted that second e-file about a week ago and I am curious how long it will take for this second suppressor to be approved.
Have you used the e-file process yet? Are you more interested in purchasing a suppressor with the reduced wait time? Let me know in the comment section below.