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NFA Branch and Dealer Questions

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Havok7416, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    On May 30, 2019 I submitted paperwork (clearly organized by serial number and held together with two separate paperclips, checks on top) for (2) silencers manufactured by our very own @MachIVshooter. Having already bought another can, I was aware of the long wait. On July 2 I received notification from my bank that a check had been cashed, but when I went to my account there was only one withdrawal. I figured I'd give it a week or so to make sure the other paperwork didn't get stuck in the system.

    I just got off the phone after a very frustrating conversation with the apparently incompetent NFA branch a little while ago. The guy was polite but unhelpful. The second set of paperwork was submitted and he had it on file but he said the check never was entered. The reason being that the money processing side "often assumes there is only one application" in each envelope or package that comes across their desk. Except the paperwork for the second can did indeed get put into the system!

    I asked if there was a way to simply send a new check with a note to attach it to the paperwork already in the system. This apparently is not possible. Nor will they send the paperwork back to me. He said once thw paperwork is there they can't (or won't - on this I'm not sure) send it back for any reason before the process is complete.

    He could give me no further resolution to the problem beyond resubmitting all my paperwork again for the second can, to include a new check. He assured me that if they did end up cashing both checks I would get a refund. (Your check is in the mail in other words!)

    Furious doesn't begin to describe my mood at the moment. If anyone has any insight on how to fix this particular glitch I'm all ears. I'm not holding my breath though.
     
  2. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    Ask to talk to a field supervisor, and ask the supervisor what the usual fix is for this situation. I'm sure this isn't a unknown occurrence.
     
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  3. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I shall attempt that. I guess I was too astounded to ask for a supervisor the first time.
     
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  4. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    While all NFA forms are mailed to Portland, that's only where payment is stripped out by US Bank. (prior to 2/1/19 it was BOA in Atlanta)
    So the error occurred before your forms arrived at NFA Branch.

    It's fixable. You just need to speak to a supervisor.

    BOA in Atlanta was notorious for entering credit card#'s incorrectly, resulting in forms being returned. After three returns in a month I started telling customers to use a personal check. That works best.
     
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  5. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    This was a personal check for both.
     
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  6. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I called back and got a lady on the phone who told me my 2nd can is NOT in the system and there is no provision to put it into the computer until payment clears (which makes a bit of sense really). She further said that they have several new people who are still learning the ropes. She said that I should wait a month before contacting them back to see if my 2nd can processes through in that time.
     
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  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    These are just clerks working from a script. If they had to use individual initiative, (a) they would have to be paid at a higher grade (meaning that fewer could be hired within the agency's budget), and (b) the whole process would take longer. What you have to do is anticipate problems, assuming that you are dealing with a robot.
     
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  8. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Nah, chances are the robot would get it right (or be re-programmed after the first one or two errors) ;)
     
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  9. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    It's well worth all the hassle, trouble and bribery to get the stamp though. Think of how dangerous that item would be without this process! :neener:
     
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  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    And there are folks that want to put their healthcare in the hands of .gov.

    FWIW all of my dealings have been good with the NFA branch, only problems I have had was due to internal rule changes after I submitted but before approval. Polite and quick to mail back my application for modification, approved and returned within 2 weeks, after I sent it back.
     
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  11. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    Well things took an odd turn today. I got a call from the local shop which is holding the cans for me. Apparently the paperwork for the 2nd can is still there. It either fell out of the envelope or wasn't replaced after the last signatures were added. It will be in the mail shortly with tracking information.
     
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  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Going to change the title of this thread? lol
     
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  13. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    It can and should stay as is. There's still no excuse for two wildly different answers from the same government office. The branch needs to be eliminated, but since that's not going to happen a longshot overhaul is nice to dream about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  14. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The whole process could be automated and approvals could be churned out within one week. In fact that could be done by Trump through Executive Order -- no legislation needed. This leads me to think that there's a bipartisan conspiracy to use bureaucratic delays to destroy the entire market for NFA items.
     
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  15. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Wait a minute. If NFA Branch screwed up they deserve to be skewered. But that isn't the case here.

    In your OP you wrote: "On May 30, 2019 I submitted paperwork (clearly organized by serial number and held together with two separate paperclips, checks on top) for (2) silencers...."
    But now you write: "... I got a call from the local shop which is holding the cans for me. Apparently the paperwork for the 2nd can is still there. It either fell out of the envelope or wasn't replaced after the last signatures were added. It will be in the mail shortly with tracking information...."

    Who is incompetent here? NFA Branch never received your Form 4.
    It's a pretty big stretch to say they are incompetent (they aren't) when it's really YOU or your dealer. It remains unclear if YOU actually submitted your Form 4's yourself or that your dealer actually submitted them on your behalf.


    The first clerk was undoubtedly tracking the serial # that shows your silencer is indeed "in the system" (because its registered by the manufacturer and the NFA Branch will show that silencer "in the system" as disposed to your dealer).

    ATF has no problem messing up a lot of stuff and deserves our scorn when they do so.
    But, this wasn't their screwup, its just fake news.
     
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  16. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    The information I received from the first call indicated they had MY paperwork. The guy even asked for my trust information then verified that's what he had in front of him - to include my fingerprint cards and photos (he said they had the whole packet but it was flagged for having no check). Which he obviously couldn't have had since it was later discovered where the paperwork was. Simply saying "I don't have your paperwork" would have been sufficient, but instead I get a great big lie.

    As for tracking the s/n, the second person said there was NO record of it anywhere. I have a pretty good idea how the initial problem occurred but it doesn't excuse outright lies by anyone.
     
  17. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The approval process consists of the following steps:

    1. Cashing the check for the $200 tax. The ATF is very fast in doing this already.
    2. Running a NCIS check on the applicant. This should take no longer than a NCIS check for a Title I weapon. That is, ordinarily just a few minutes.
    3. Verifying the identity of the applicant. Using the photograph and fingerprints submitted with the application, the FBI can do this within a couple of days at most.
    4. Making sure that the weapon complies with applicable state and local ordinances. The ATF already compiles a book with these "published ordinances." Checking the book is a matter of a few minutes.

    In view of the above, the Administration should set a hard deadline of two weeks for the ATF to complete Form 1/4 approvals. This could be done through an Executive Order. OK, considering the tremendous existing backlog, give the agency four weeks transitionally, until the backlog is eliminated. And give them some extra funding for additional staffing if needed.

    In addition, this is a perfect application for "artificial intelligence." Automate the process.

    This is not complicated. The existing months-long delay is utterly absurd.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  18. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    AlexanderA, post: 11178152, member: 146007"]The approval process consists of the following steps:

    1. Cashing the check for the $200 tax. The ATF is very fast in doing this already. ATF doesn't cash the check, in fact never touches payment of any kind. NFA forms are mailed to US Bank in Portland, OR where payment is stripped out before forwarding to NFA Branch in West Virginia.
    2. Running a NCIS check on the applicant. This should take no longer than a NCIS check for a Title I weapon. That is, ordinarily just a few minutes. ATF doesn't call NICS (NCIS is a TV show), but forwards fingerprint cards and the applicants information to the FBI NICS. Unlike Title I transactions, ATF cannot sign and transfer unless the FBI gives a proceed.
    3. Verifying the identity of the applicant. Using the photograph and fingerprints submitted with the application, the FBI can do this within a couple of days at most. Nope. "Verifying the identity" via fingerprints is not part of the process.
    4. Making sure that the weapon complies with applicable state and local ordinances. The ATF already compiles a book with these "published ordinances." Checking the book is a matter of a few minutes. It's not that easy, that book is outdated before it is ever published. And oh.my.gosh. Just keeping up with what is legal in California on Title I guns is more than a "matter of a few minutes".

    In view of the above, the Administration should set a hard deadline of two weeks for the ATF to complete Form 1/4 approvals. This could be done through an Executive Order. OK, considering the tremendous existing backlog, give the agency four weeks transitionally, until the backlog is eliminated. And give them some extra funding for additional staffing if needed.
    "The Administration"? :rofl: where have you been?
    1. The Administration (ATF) cannot just add employees at will. That requires approval of their budget by Congress, signed by the President.
    2. An Executive Order must be supported by statute. Simply giving a deadline or telling NFA Branch to hurry up? Maybe, but not at all likely. Any "hurry up" would still have to comply with the requirements of the National Firearms Act.
    3. That Executive Order would be issued by the same man who directed that the definition of machine gun be changed to include bump stocks. The same man who in reference to silencers said " I don't like them at all". I really don't want Trump messing with anything firearms related right now.
    4. The backlog isn't just ATF data processing. It's primarily getting results on background checks from the FBI.
    5. Submit your Form 1 via eForms and you'll likely have it approved in weeks, not months.


    In addition, this is a perfect application for "artificial intelligence." Automate the process. Well no kidding. Are you not aware that all NFA forms except Form 4's already are automated? ATF tried to automate all forms about eight years ago and it was a hot mess. After a little more than a year they pulled it. The new eForms just came online last October. All eforms does is eliminate the slowest part of the process....data entry. "Artificial intelligence" isn't needed and frankly scares me considering how poorly the original eForms was designed, implemented and operated. ATF requested and received additional funding and examiner positions over the last few years. That budget includes unlimited overtime for NFA examiners. Whether the FBI NICS received any increase is unknown....and that's the problem.

    This is not complicated. The existing months-long delay is utterly absurd.
    We know its not complicated. We know its easily fixable. But convince your President and Congress.;)



    ;)
     
  19. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    The FBI does NOT do background checks on NFA applications. I don't know what they actually do, but I was in an industry where we had real background checks done by the FBI. Your family, friends, former co-workers, etc., are contacted. Your credit history is run. I've purchased multiple cans, and NEVER has anyone let me know the FBI was contacting them. We all let each other know when this happens, so we have an idea of when we are going to get our clearances so we can work. Likewise, the FBI checking your credit will show up in your credit history with the major credit agencies and services like LifeLock. Again, never seen any evidence they are checking credit history.

    So I don't know what the FBI is doing, but I know what they aren't doing. My guess is that they are running NICS and maybe checking a few other databases.
     
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  20. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I believe that's an "agency check" rather than a full field investigation. In any case, my point was that this could be done very quickly, if there was a will to do so.
     
  21. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Oh, absolutely. "A right delayed is a right denied" does not ever seem to apply to guns, though.
     
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  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That’s no lie. Don’t like the wait, ok, shut it down. When’s the last time you heard someone complaining about the wait getting their form 1 back for a machinegun?...
     
  23. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Good grief.o_O
    I'll agree .........you don't know.
     
  24. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Hey, if someone who has been in the FBI or ATF and was involved on doing said background checks for NFA items corrects me, I will publically apologize. But in the entire time I've been involved with guns, the nuclear industry, the Internet, and NFA items (in chronological order), no one has come forward and stated what background checks are actually done or that they had done them.

    So, do YOU know?
     
  25. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Hogwash. Until your post above I thought it was pretty much universally known that FBI background checks were run on all firearms acquired from a licensed dealer.
    Neither the ATF or FBI has hidden the fact that Federal law REQUIRES a background check before the transfer of a firearm. Heck, even the anti gun crowd knows this.
    In less than five minutes on Google you could have found the Wikipedia page on FBI NICS and it would have told you exactly what databases the FBI uses during a NICS background check:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natio...nd_Check_System#cite_note-FBI-NICS-Overview-6
    "...When the background check is initiated three databases are accessed: the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III), and the NICS Index...."


    Yes.
    And once you read this so will you ;) :

    The most recent changes to ATF regulation regarding background checks:
    https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/final-rule-41f-background-checks-responsible-persons-effective-july-13
    • …...all responsible persons named in the trust or legal entity are required to undergo a background check.
    • all responsible persons must complete the Form 5320.23 with photo attached and provide two FD-258 fingerprint cards in order to initiate the required background check....




    Who conducts the check:
    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/are-nics-checks-conducted-atf
    Are NICS checks conducted by ATF?
    No. NICS checks are conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
    [28 CFR 25.3]


    What does ATF do before affixing the tax stamp?:
    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...5c18eab2&mc=true&node=se27.3.479_186&rgn=div8
    §479.86 Action on application.
    The Director will consider a completed and properly executed application, Form 4 (Firearms), to transfer a firearm. If the application is approved, the Director will affix the appropriate National Firearms Act stamp, cancel it, and return the original application showing approval to the transferor who may then transfer the firearm to the transferee along with the approved application. The approval of an application, Form 4 (Firearms), by the Director will effectuate registration of the firearm to the transferee. The transferee shall not take possession of a firearm until the application, Form 4 (Firearms), for the transfer filed by the transferor has been approved by the Director and registration of the firearm is effectuated to the transferee. The transferee shall retain the approved application as proof that the firearm described therein is registered to the transferee, and shall make the approved Form 4 (Firearms) available to any ATF officer on request. If the application, Form 4 (Firearms), to transfer a firearm is disapproved by the Director, the original application and the remittance for purchase of the stamp will be returned to the transferor with reasons for the disapproval stated on the application. An application, Form 4 (Firearms), to transfer a firearm shall be denied if the transfer, receipt, or possession of a firearm would place the transferee in violation of law. In addition to any other records checks that may be conducted to determine whether the transfer, receipt, or possession of a firearm would place the transferee in violation of law, the Director shall contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
    [T.D. ATF-270, 53 FR 10509, Mar. 31, 1988, as amended by T.D. ATF-415, 63 FR 58281, Oct. 29, 1998]




    Nearly everything you would want to know about the FBI NICS is right here: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/nics
     
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