Things of interest and note from the recent ATF eForms bulletin

The big story in the world of ATF eForms is both the rapid turnaround on eForms and unlawful NFA “eStamps” issued by the ATF’s NFA Branch, but it is not the only important eForm news to emerge in the last few days. Several items of importance were disclosed by the ATF in their most recent eForm Bulletin.

The eForm Bulletin is an attempt to address common issues that users of the eForms have been having and issues that the ATF has been having with eForms that have been submitted. Many of the issues are of a highly technical and/or limited nature, so we’re going to try and highlight some of the ones that our readers may find the useful when preparing their eForms.

1. No P.O. boxes may be used on a eForm:

“Please do not use a PO Box address as the address for the maker or transferee. The physical address of the legal entity (trust, LLC, etc.) must be used”

2. If you make a mistake…you’re going to need to try again (so try and get it right the first time):

“We cannot make changes to a submitted NFA eForm. If you make an error in the name or serial number, you will need to contact the NFA Branch at (304) 616-4500 and request the withdrawal of the form. You will then need to submit a new application. Please ensure that the information is correct upon submission.”

3. No, there isn’t “this one trick” to get more than one firearm registered via a Form 1. Due to a glitch in the system, it was possible to submit a Form 1 with more than firearm on it. Most people realized that you can’t do this, but for many new to NFA firearms and unaware of the rule, take heed, you are not going to be able to do a discount multiple item Form 1…believe me if you could have we would have already done it:

eForms was designed for only one firearm to be submitted on a taxpaid Form 1 as a tax stamp is affixed upon approval. We have found that there is a glitch that allows the filing of a Form 1 with more than one firearm. ATF cannot approve the Form 1 application filed with multiple firearms as the system cannot create multiple forms with multiple stamps. We will have to disapprove the application and refund the tax paid. The applicant will need to file again with only one firearm per submission. If you have submitted a Form 1 with more than one firearm, please contact Gary Schaible at (202) 648-7165, so that he can advise you of the procedure to rectify this problem. Our apologies for this and we will look to fix this glitch.

4. Choosing a short name for your trust isn’t just useful for engraving purposes. It also factors into the eForm as well, it pays to not name your trust in a manner that Fiona Apple named one of her albums:

If the trust or corporate name for an eForm 1, 4 or 5 exceeds 50 characters, you will not be able to submit the application. The trust or corporate names are the entries made in the Licensee/Permittee Name on eForm 1 or as the transferee Business Name on eForms 4 or 5.

For example, a trust entitled ‘THE JOHN JAMES DOE AND MARY ANN DOE REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST’ will prevent the submission of the application due to the length of the name. Typically, the form will close when you submit and bring you back to the carousel. You may receive an error message or a message that the application has submitted but it remains in the draft folder.

To preclude this error, an acceptable way to decrease the number of characters is to replace ‘REVOCABLE LIVING’ with ‘RL’ as an acceptable abbreviation for the purposes of the application. Thus, the above cited trust would be shown as ‘THE JOHN JAMES DOE AND MARY ANN DOE RL TRUST’ as the applicant maker or transferee.

Please spell out as much of the trust or LLC name as possible within the 50 character limitation.

5.When entering the applicant’s name on an eForm 1, just put down your trust name:

When an eForm 1 is submitted by a legal entity on an eForm 4 or 5, only the trust or LLC name should be entered as the applicant (Licensee/Permittee Name field on eForm 1) or as the transferee (Business Name field on eForms 4 or 5).
Do not list the identification of the trustee (for example, John Doe, trustee) as part of the applicant or transferee name. The identification of the entity members will be available in the information attached, to document the entity.

6. The proper way to identify the manufacturer of a firearm.

For those who will simply be modifying an existing weapon:

If you are modifying an existing firearm, typically a standard configuration rifle into a short barreled rifle, the form requires the name of the original manufacturer of the firearm. When submitting an eForm 1, on the line item screen, a window for the entry of manufacturer is opened after clicking the Add Firearm button. At this point, the applicant would enter a short version of the manufacturer’s name to bring up a list of names for selection of the manufacturer from the list. Select the correct manufacturer and proceed to the description screen. You may note that the manufacturer code field also populates. We issue a code to a manufacturer. While the original manufacturer information is captured, the applicant is the maker and registrant for purposes of the NFA and must mark the firearm.

For those who will be make their own item.

If you are creating the firearm yourself, such as a silencer or a short barreled rifle (when finishing a receiver that is not yet a firearm), there is no original manufacturer. Because of the large number of makers (which includes filings by trusts), we do not issue a specific code to each maker. Instead, we use a generic code of FMI to denote a Form 1 registration. Thus, when submitting an eForm 1 where there is no original manufacturer, on the line item screen, a window for the entry of manufacturer is opened after clicking the Add Firearm button. At this point, the applicant should click the “By Manufacturer Code’ button and enter FMI as the manufacturer code and click Verify. The applicant will then select the United States as the country of manufacture and proceed to the description screen. Please note that ‘FORM 1 REGISTRATION’ will appear as the name of the maker on the PDF of the eForm 1. Again, the applicant is the maker and registrant for purposes of the NFA and must mark the firearm.

7. You may want to change your password. It appears that the complexity rules for choosing a password were not fully functional and allowed for weaker than allowed passwords to be registered.

An eForms industry member has brought to our attention that an important rule is missing from our password complexity rules, listed on the registration screen where you create your eForms password.

The requirements are currently displayed as follows:

Choose a password as per the following rules:

1. Must have at least twelve (12) characters in length.

2. Must contain at least one or more number(s) (0-9).

3. Must contain at least one or more special character(s) (!@#$%^&*(),).

4. Must contain at least one or more upper and lower case letter(s) (a-z, A-Z).

The rule that is missing is:

Must be no fewer than 5 alphabetic characters in your password.

Please adhere to this rule when you are creating or changing your eForms passwords.

Note: Thank you to the industry member who discovered and reported this problem.

While it may not make for the most exciting reason, the rules are the rules…well except when the ATF doesn’t feel like it…but you don’t get that luxury, so it’s best to make sure you are well acquainted with the rules for the NFA Process. If you are interested in acquiring NFA Items and need guidance, Prince Law Offices, P.C. will be happy to assist you in matters ranging from Gun Trusts to eForm questions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s