ATF eForm 1 is one of the most frequently used eForms available on the ATF’s eForm Portal. ATF eForm 1 allows you to apply for approval for making and registering a firearm. There is plenty of tinkerers, firearm enthusiast, and hobbyists that like to make or modify their own firearms or firearm accessories. ATF Form 1 allows you to make and register your own firearm.
Unlike off-the-shelf firearms and firearm accessories, DIY firearms and accessories allow you to modify them as per your preferences, enhance your knowledge about them as well as repair them in case of any malfunction. DIY NFA items, however, can only be made if you have prior approval to make and register these items (as defined under the National Firearm Act), and ATF eForm 1 is the eForm that is used to seek this approval from the ATF.
1. What is a Form 1 (ATF)? Or, what is a Form 1 used for?
ATF Form 1 is an “Application to Make and Register a Firearm”, which is filed by an individual or entity to get approval to make and register an NFA item.
Since ATF Form 1 is an application for permission, it means you cannot start making your firearm (or the NFA item) unless the permit is granted to you (i.e. your application is approved by the ATF). We would advise that you should not start any activity of making your own NFA item, including procuring the tools or material required to make a firearm, unless your application (ATF Form 1) is approved.
2. How long does it take to get a Form 1 back (ATF eForm 1 wait times)?
ATF Form 1 application may take 60 days to up to 5 months to process, depending on how you are going to apply. With a paper-based manual submission, expect the wait time to be as long as 5 months, while with electronic submission (eFiling) the wait time reduces to 10 days. You do have some variability in that just because of the FBI background check system.
ATF eForm 1/Form 1 wait times may also vary whether you file as an individual or a legal entity (such as NFA Gun Trusts or Corporation). Gun Trusts or any other legal entity may take longer depending on the number of NFA items or persons it includes. Since the ATF has to conduct a background check on each individual as well as verify the details of all firearms enlisted, these processes tend to result in longer ATF Form 1 wait times.
3. Can you eFile Form 1 to ATF?
Yes, ATF Form 1 or Application to Make and Register a Firearm is readily available on the eForm system to eFile to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This form is filled out by an individual or entity to get approval to make and register an NFA item.
4. What is a Form 1 suppressor?
A Form 1 suppressor is a homemade DIY suppressor that is registered with the ATF with Form 1 or eForm 1. Since these DIY suppressors are registered using ATF Form 1, they are also called Form 1 suppressors. A Form 1 suppressor can be the easiest and fastest way to get a suppressor, which is registered with the ATF and perfectly legal to possess.
5. What is the difference between Form 1 and Form 4?
ATF Form 1 is applicable for an individual or a legal entity to be able to make and register their own firearm or to convert it again into a short barrel rifle or short barrel shotgun. On the other hand, ATF Form 4 is an “Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm”, i.e. it is used for requesting approval for transferring an NFA item to an individual. It is filed by a qualified federal firearms licensee to transfer to an individual or other entity (non-licensee).
6. How long does it take for a Form 1 suppressor? Or, how long do you have to wait for a suppressor?
ATF Form 1 application may take from 60 days to up to 5 months to process, depending on how you are going to apply. With a paper-based manual submission, expect the wait time to be as long as 5 months, while with electronic submission (eFiling) the wait time may be as little as 60 days in some cases. You do have some variability in that just because of the FBI background check system.
7. Can I file a Form 1 through silencer shop?
Though Silencer Shop, being one of the prominent silencer, firearms, and firearm accessory dealers in the United States, provides a plethora of firearm-related services including ATF approvals, licensing, etc. It also helps you set up NFA Gun Trust, a legal entity in which you can include firearms and firearm accessories (NFA Items) and share among listed individuals.
Despite offering a wide range of services, currently, the Silencer Shop is yet to offer ATF Form 1 service and as of March 2022, ATF Form 1 service is listed on their website but shows status as “coming soon”. However, as Silencer Shops expands its portfolio of services, we are quite hopeful that the “Coming soon” status will soon be changed to “Available”.
8. Do I have to carry my tax stamp with my suppressor?
If you are carrying your suppressor, you should also carry your tax stamp and produce it whenever there is a need to prove that you are a legal owner of your NFA item. However, it becomes an additional thing to keep track of if you travel a lot with your suppressor. Carrying your tax stamp also exposes it to loss or theft.
Though tax stamps are required while you carry your suppressor, what people actually do is, keep their original tax stamp somewhere safe (to avoid any incident of loss and the consequences that follow), and carry a photocopy or a digital photograph of it in their phone. While the original tax should be produced whenever the need arises, a digital photograph should be enough to prove your legal ownership in most cases.
9. What should I engrave on a Form 1 suppressor?
First, let us understand why engraving is required on Form 1 suppressors. Form 1 suppressors are DIY items and unlike factory-made branded suppressors, they do not come with any branding or serial number. Suppressor manufacturers have a set protocol for branding and engraving the serial numbers on the suppressors. However, Form 1 suppressors are home-made DIY items; it is you to decide what to engrave on them.
What should you engrave on a Form 1 suppressor may also depend on how you are filing for the approval. If you have filed as an NFA gun trust or other legal entity, you can engrave the name of the trust (or the legal entity), the city, and the state. You can use a two-letter postal abbreviation to keep it short. You can also engrave the name of the individual if the suppressor is filed as an individual.
You would also need a serial number to engrave. You will have to decide on the serial number while seeking permission from the ATF to make and register the suppressor i.e. filing the ATF Form 1 as your serial number will be mentioned on Form 1. Be it an individual, an NFA Gun Trust, or any other legal entity, it is the maker’s responsibility to mention the serial number on Form 1 and engrave it on the suppressor when you get the permission to make and register your own suppressor.
When your ATF tax stamp is approved, it should have your serial number the same should be engraved on your suppressor along with other information.
10. Is suppressor a Form 1 or Form 4 NFA item?
A suppressor can either be a Form 1 or Form 4 registered NFA item depending on how you get them. If you just want an off-the-shelf suppressor that fits on your gun, your firearm dealer (FFL) will have it registered by eFiling an ATF Form 4 (or eForm 4). ATF Form 4 is the form used to apply for the tax-paid transfer and registration of a firearm.
On the other hand, if you choose to make your own suppressor instead of purchasing it from a licensed firearm dealer, it has to be registered using ATF Form 1 – Application to Make and Register a Firearm. It is important to note that you need to file ATF Form 1 before making your own suppressor. Unless your request is approved, it would be illegal to make or even start making a suppressor (or any other NFA item).
11. What are the advantages of a Form 1 suppressor?
A Form 1 suppressor is a DIY NFA item registered with ATF. Unlike Form 4 suppressors, which are purchased from a federally licensed firearm dealer, Form 1 suppressors have to be made or manufactured on your own. These suppressors can be made using easily available DIY kits that allow you to make your own suppressor with easily available tools and material.
The biggest advantage of Form 1 suppressors is that they have faster approval times. They are highly modifiable as you can choose the material (such as aluminum or titanium tubes), length of the tube, caliber, and so on. There are clones (copies) of branded tubes available in the market, which are perfectly legal and you can use them to make your own suppressor.
12. Don’t I need an FFL to make firearms? Or, how eForm 1 allows me to do so without an FFL?
Approval obtained with ATF Form 1 enables you to legally make your own firearms, i.e. Short-Barreled Shotgun (SBS), Suppressor (silencer), Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), or Any Other Weapons (AOWs). Federal Firearm License is required if you are manufacturing firearms for commercial purposes, which is generally done on large scale.
However, if you are making your own firearm or firearm accessory for your personal use, you do not need to get a Federal-Firearm Licence to make your firearm if you get your approval with ATF Form 1/eForm 1.