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Updated ATF eForm System to Launch This Month

Written by Orchid


December 03, 2021


White text atop red background next to ATF eForm graphic and ATF Form 4

The ATF has announced they are launching the new cloud-based eForms platform later this month. As stated by the agency: “The goal of this ‘modernized eForms’ is to provide ATF with an infusion of technology to provide better services to our industry members, trade associations, and the public. This much needed modernization will reduce the effort and time required to review and process applications. Specifically, ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 9, 10 and 5300.11, by incorporating online validations and other enhancements.”

As much of the industry is aware, the new platform will again have an electronic ATF Form 4 which should speed up the Form 4 approval process. The new eForm 4 is built to accommodate ATF Ruling 41F, which requires applications by a trust or legal entity to make or transfer NFA firearms be submitted on a Form 4 (or other forms) and completed by each responsible person.

The industry should be aware eForms will be taken offline for an estimated 2-4 days to perform the cutover. The ATF is currently estimating this downtime will be at some point between December 15-25. FFLs with urgent transfers are advised to file their transfer Forms as soon as possible to avoid delays.

With respect to qualified manufacturers holding an FFL/SOT, Form 2 filings for NFA items manufactured during the eForms downtime may be held so long as the system is down. Forms 2 should be filed immediately when the eForms system is back up and running.

Finally, with respect to manufacturers holding Marking Variances, the industry is advised an FFL manufacturing receivers or firearms on behalf of another FFL should only attach the Marking Variances to a Form 2 when they are actually creating the physical NFA item. For example, FFL A, listed in Section I on the Variance approval, is manufacturing GCA receivers on behalf of FFL/SOT B, listed in Section II. Once the GCA receivers are sent, FFL/SOT B is constructing the receivers into completed SBRs. When FFL/SOT B submits the Form 2, they don’t need to include the Marking Variance documents because FFL A only manufactured a GCA item and stamped it with FFL/SOT B’s information.

However, if FFL/SOT A manufactured an NFA weapon on behalf of FFL/SOT B, then not only would FFL/SOT A complete the Form 2 (on behalf of FFL/SOT B), but the Marking Variance paperwork would also need to be included with the submission. Once the Form 2 is approved, FFL/SOT A would Form 3 the weapons to FFL/SOT B for transfer.

The ATF will post a notification to the eForm login page 24-48 hours prior to the system cutover and shutdown. For assistance navigating ATF eForms, applying for marking variances or obtaining your FFL/SOT, contact Orchid operations and compliance experts today.