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  1. #1
    Grandmaster Scutter01's Avatar

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    NFA from a beginner's perspective

    I wanted to expand on VUPDBlue's FAQ with my personal experiences as a first-time NFA purchaser. I will use and update this post with my observations and notations as I proceed through the process.

    Having had some amount of confusion as to the process when I started, I thought this would provide some additional assistance for the NFA newbie above and beyond the FAQs.

    Note that this is not meant to be procedural, but rather anecdotal. This is only what I have experienced. Your experience may vary, and I've made some notes to that effect below.

    *****
    March 7, 2009: My purchase was a Tactical Innovations TAC65 .22lr suppressor purchased from 21st Century Firearms. I provided only a driver's license, and paid for the item at that time. The dealer provided all paperwork and filled out 95% of it for me which consisted of two Form 4's (Application for Transfer), two blank fingerprint cards, and one Declaration of Citizenship.

    I completed the Form 4's with my signature and a small amount of other information and affixed one passport photo to each copy by means of a small piece of cellophane tape along each side of the photo. Under "reason for transfer", I wrote "All Lawful Purposes". I also completed the Declaration of Citizenship (titled Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) and shown below), entering my own name in both the "declarer" and "certifier" fields. In other words, certifying myself. I then completed the fingerprint cards with my name, address, physical description, SSN, and employer. In the "reason" field, I wrote "NFA purchase".

    My passport photos were obtained from Walgreen's for a nominal fee, although you can take and print your own photos. If you decide to take your own, be sure to print them on photo paper, and be sure the dimensions and composition follow federal guidelines for passport photos.

    March 10, 2009: I brought the completed Form 4's and the fingerprint cards to the Noblesville PD. I was fingerprinted and sent home with my cards with instructions not to fold them or get them wet. I was told the ATF would reject them if I did.

    There was no fee for the fingerprinting or the local background check that the NPD performed. I don't know if all municipalities have the same procedures. I understand that some will sign while you wait while others make you jump through hoops. NPD's 24-48 hour local background check does not seem unreasonable to me. I never spoke with anyone besides the clerk that did the fingerprinting. She was very friendly and helpful, although I actually fingerprinted myself. All she did was roll the ink and tell me where to print.

    Interestingly enough, this is almost the exact same process I went through when applying for my LTCH, for which I was charged $50 by the City of Noblesville. She even used the same internal form for the background check that they use for the LTCH application. I reminded her that I wasn't applying for a license and she told me that they only had the one form type so they have to make a note on it that it's for NFA.

    Noblesville PD will take fingerprints and submissions (including for LTCH) at any time during normal business hours (M-F, 8:00-4:30). I understand some PD's have specific days or times, and some require an appointment.

    March 11, 2009: I received a call from NPD that the NPD CLEO had signed off and I could pick up my forms, less than 24 hours after submitting. I arrived at 8:30am the previous day for fingerprinting, and was called today at 7:55am to pick up my forms.

    I sent my forms paperclipped together along with a personal check for $200 made out to "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives" to the BATFE in Atlanta, GA (address listed on Form 4) via USPS Priority Mail in a standard flat-rate 12-1/2" X 9-1/2" cardboard Priority Mail envelope. The envelopes are available for free from the post office and sometimes at stores that specialize in shipping (like the UPS Store). Postage was about five bucks. I also opted to pay the 65 cents for a delivery confirmation receipt because it was only 65 cents and then I could watch, via the intarwebs, my envelope's whirlwind world tour. Also note that my checkbook is the "Parker Bros. Board Game" series. The BATFE got a Monopoly check, which I found amusing on several levels.

    March 12, 2009: USPS reports that envelope left Indianapolis processing facility:
    Acceptance, March 11, 2009, 3:47 pm, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46256
    Processed, March 12, 2009, 12:18 am, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46241
    See? Wasn't that thrilling? All that excitement for only 65 cents! A bargain at twice the price!

    March 14, 2009: Paperwork arrived at ATF Atlanta office. It dawned on me today that after months of saving my pennies and pining over a shiny thing I don't really need, that all the paperwork is done and all the fees are paid. My part is finally finished. I don't expect to update this again for several months, except possibly with a date the check was cashed.

    Processed, March 13, 2009, 12:24 am, ATLANTA, GA 30320
    Arrival at Pick-Up-Point, March 13, 2009, 4:24 pm, ATLANTA, GA 30353
    Delivered, March 13, 2009, 4:25 pm, ATLANTA, GA 30353
    March 18, 2009: BATFE cashed my check

    June 3, 2009: Called the BATFE at (304) 616-4500. I spoke with a live person. There were no voice prompts. When answering the phone, all she said was "NFA. Can I help you?" I said I was calling to inquire about the status of a Form 4. She asked me the serial number and then my name, and told me it went pending in their system on 5/6/09. From what I've seen of other members' applications, the time from pending to approval seems to be in the 3-6 week range, with some occasionally much longer. Since it's been about 4 weeks since I went pending, hopefully mine will be approved soon!

    June 22, 2009: Forms still pending. NFA says awaiting fingerprints to return from FBI. Examiner is Ashton. On a side note, the guy on the other end of the phone sounded kind of tired of answering status questions. When I mentioned that he must be getting tired of it, he chuckled a bit and said that's pretty much his day every day. I hope my empathizing with him brightened his day a bit, at least.

    July 7, 2007: Received a PM from Britton at 21st Century Firearms:

    Quote Originally Posted by Britton
    Subject: NFA Ticker

    You can stop the ticker now.

    Drove up there and picked it up!
    Made a high-resolution scan of the Form 4 when I got home so that I can print out color copies as needed. One slightly-reduced copy went into the case with the suppressor. I will make several smaller copies for the range bag, etc. and put the original in the safe. All the information I have says that I do not need to have the original with me, but I will at least need to have a copy with me.

    I also picked up a thread adapter for my P22. The P22's barrel is threaded by the manufacturer, but the thread size and location is not correct for a suppressor. The thread adapter replaces the factory thread protector and extends the barrel beyond the slide so that the suppressor can screw on. You can see the adapter in the picture below.



    *****
    FOOTNOTES:

    Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B)
    aka "Declaration of Citizenship Form"
    Last edited by Scutter01; 10-06-2011 at 10:31. Reason: Updated FAQ link

  2. #2
    Expert JByer323's Avatar

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    Scutter, that was great, thanks!

  3. #3
    Sharpshooter hotrodtba's Avatar

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    Nice post!! Gives the newbs, and us regulars, a good step by step of getting things filed.

    Gave you a rep, even though you don't really need it.

  4. #4
    Grandmaster Scutter01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodtba View Post
    Nice post!! Gives the newbs, and us regulars, a good step by step of getting things filed.

    Gave you a rep, even though you don't really need it.
    Thanks for the rep. I'm trying to collect the complete set.


    Meh.

  5. #5
    Sharpshooter hotrodtba's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scutter01 View Post
    Thanks for the rep. I'm trying to collect the complete set.
    I am surprising lacking in the rep department. Guess nobody likes my posts.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster Scutter01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodtba View Post
    I am surprising lacking in the rep department. Guess nobody likes my posts.
    You need more than 100!


    Meh.

  7. #7
    Grandmaster Bigum1969's Avatar

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    I'll add some rep. You're about to lap me.

    Seriously, thanks for the info. I'm getting ready to embark on the NFA adventure and am completely wet behind the ears. Your post will help!
    It's hotter than Hades down here.

    Gosh I smell good.

  8. #8
    Grandmaster Scutter01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigum1969 View Post
    Seriously, thanks for the info. I'm getting ready to embark on the NFA adventure and am completely wet behind the ears. Your post will help!
    I had a lot of fiddly little questions (like how to attach the photos), so I was hoping to describe everything I did and exactly how I did it, just to try to help anyone else who was just getting started. If you think I may have left out a useful detail, let me know and I'll add it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigum1969 View Post
    You're about to lap me.
    Ew.


    Meh.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster Clay's Avatar

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    good deal! Ill be watching this thread.

    One question: did you ever give consideration to setting up a trust for NFA purchases? if so why did you choose not to have one? Im still debating.
    RIFLEMAN

    I love 'lovemywoods'' woods!

  10. #10
    Grandmaster Scutter01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay View Post
    good deal! Ill be watching this thread.

    One question: did you ever give consideration to setting up a trust for NFA purchases? if so why did you choose not to have one? Im still debating.
    I did consider it. After discussing it with some other NFA people, I decided that, at least for this purchase, it was more trouble than it was worth. If I ever go the SBR route, or make a habit of buying NFA items, I will probably do it. A big part of the decision was that I didn't really have the extra money to invest in the Willmaker software or attorney fees.



    Meh.

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