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Why does it take the ATF so long to approve a form 4?

Discussion in 'NFA Weapon Discussion' started by NoEcm, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. NoEcm

    NoEcm Seattle Member

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    Not complaining but just wondering why it takes so long to approve a form 4?

    With all of the computer databases available to the Fed, you would think that it should'nt take more than a week or two.

    Just wondering.
     
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Cause there is only a few people doing all the work and Form 4's are not the only forms they process. They do all the work on ALL NFA transfer/building so you are also in line with all the agencies too.

    Another time consuming thing is your finger prints go off to the FBI for processing and that takes time, another advantage of a trust.

    If you read up on some of this on other boards there is one guy who only mails them out once a month too so if you are approved right after he mailed last time you are waiting on him to mail it.
     
  3. korntera

    korntera Oregon Member

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    Times can be fast and slow. I had two suppressors go in on the same day, December 28th check was cashed for both, i got one back Feb 15th and another back April 22nd.
     
  4. jaybird013

    jaybird013 Florida Member

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    I think it depends on which inspector you get. I have had it take only a month and my Red Jacket SBS S-12 toke 6 months. Plus if you go the Living Trust route you can by-pass the FBI finger prints and your Local Sheriff's signature.
     
  5. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    Because it's a needlessly convoluted bureaucracy with no incentives to expedite.
     
  6. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    Small Arms Review had a nice article about this months ago. They cited large volume of
    applications, poor completion of information (causing delays), the awareness of corp/trust
    applications and their ability to bypass CLEO, poor internet advice e.g. two page applications
    taped/stapled, multiple calibers listed, smart *** reasons for T2 acquisitions....etc etc.

    About 2 yrs ago, they beefed up the staff. They moved NFA to VA. Turnaround time had
    dropped.....but then they hit a bottleneck again (again, read the first paragraph).

    With budget cuts all around, etc, should be interesting if the 4-6+ months become status
    quo for now. May make us wax nostalgic for the times where they used to be 3+ months.
    We beyotched then, too.
     
  7. Abiqua

    Abiqua Oregon Active Member

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    This.
     
  8. sigman

    sigman Olympia, Wa Member

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    Cuz the fun things in life cost you time and money.
     
  9. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    what i did several years ago was to buy one Title 2 item every 2 months....and
    continued this for well over a year. there came a point where approvals were
    being received every 2 months. xmas, wait 2 mos, xmas, wait 2 mos, etc.
     
  10. Larry G

    Larry G Las Vegas New Member

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    I'm sure this makes too much sense, but does the $200 tax go to the NFA office's budget? Or does it go to a general fund, from where it probably goes to pay interest on our foreign loans? You'd hope that an office that generates $X/year in taxes would be automatically eligible for up to $X/year toward their operating budget. I wonder what the cost of processing one of these forms is...

    On a tangent, you all know about NFATracker.com, right? Share your NFA milestone dates there so others can get a sense of how long different processing times are. I downloaded the data, fit some statistical models to it, and turned it into an NFA wait time calculator. Given the date your check was cashed or the date your application went pending, info about what type of form you filed, etc, it gives you the probability of your stamp coming in future months. If you try the calculator, let me know if it gives you any trouble.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, there has been a funding issue with the ATF recently. Don't know all the details but expect more with the Director figuratively giving Congress the "finger" over the "Gun Walker" scandal. This could lead to many more delays, some on purpose and some because they just won't have the staff to "push paper".
     
  12. korntera

    korntera Oregon Member

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    Awesome app! Thank you for this
     
  13. Abiqua

    Abiqua Oregon Active Member

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    Why does it need to know the caliber? That's not relevant to the transfer time.
     
  14. Larry G

    Larry G Las Vegas New Member

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    Sorry if this is a double reply -- I thought I replied earlier, but I don't see it now.

    Caliber is there because an earlier version of the calculator was showing links to subsonic ammo and I wanted to narrow the links down to the right caliber. I should probably replace the "Caliber" drop down with one for "Inspector", which could figure into the calculation. I haven't yet done the math to see how significant the particular inspector is. Some people say it makes a difference.
     
  15. Abiqua

    Abiqua Oregon Active Member

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    You can run a report at nfatracker and sort by examiner and see their average approval times.
     
  16. sigman

    sigman Olympia, Wa Member

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    I have that link but always forgot to sign up. Got to track my examiner.
     
  17. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    Paperwork Accepted Sep 4, 2011 - Check Cashed Sep 9, 2011 - Form 4 - Individual - Suppressor - Nothing yet ...... :(
     
    OFADAN and (deleted member) like this.
  18. adipose

    adipose Warren Member

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    It also helps if you SOT; who processed your form 4 for you; talks weekly to the controller(s) weekly on other issues. In this case, he can bring up small talk to the status of your form.

    My last (3) form 4's have all averaged 30 days; in the last eight months. Plus remember, they re-organized the structure last July with the controllers.
     
  19. CatCow

    CatCow Portland, OR Active Member

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    Just because you don't have the possibility of an extra delay because of the FBI doesn't mean a trust will go through faster at the ATF. They all seem to run around the same speed. My last can on a trust took 6 months, right in the same window with all the other transfers I saw people talking about that were submitted at the same time.
     
  20. nrc

    nrc Oregon Member

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    Because there is no - zero, zilch, nada - incentive for them to be quick.

    They aren't measured on it. Their compensation doesn't tie to it. No one in the Fed has any worries about public opinion on this particular topic.
     
    Nwcid and (deleted member) like this.