ATF Form 4 eFile
Norris Arms is a Federally Licensed 07FFL/02SOT firearms manufacturer located in Northern Indiana. They also provide ATF required-depth engraving for Form 1 SBR’s as well as custom logos and surface marking.
Norris Arms manufactures the finest AR platform weapons and offer complete firearms in short barrel NFA, Pistol, and regular Rifle Length in different calibers. The manufacturer is technologically well equipped and has been constantly upgrading itself to offer more seamless services in firearm customization and engraving for NFA requirements.
The Business Need
Norris Arms strives to ensure a smooth experience for its customers who purchase firearms from them, however, it had little control over ATF Form 4-related formalities as ATF only accepted paper forms before December 2021.
Just like any other firearm manufacturer in the country, Norris Arms had been following a manual paper-based process to submit Form 4. One of the major issues with the manual process has been the incredibly long ATF Form 4 wait times. In some cases, processing Form 4 and having an NFA item successfully transferred to a customer could take more than a year!
Norris Arms wanted to process ATF forms online, capture fingerprints digitally and reduce rejections caused by data entry/fingerprint errors. Overall it wanted its customers to be happy and have their NFA items transferred to them in the fastest possible time.
ATF has also been hard at work overhauling its eForm system and bringing back the eForm 4, which was made live earlier but was taken down due to several issues and technical glitches. Back then, it also did not include digital fingerprint submission so it was a half-baked Form 4 eFile experience for its users. Eventually, ATF made its new eForm portal live in December 2021 and also made the new ATF eForm 4 – the electronic version of ATF Form 4 available for all users.
ATF Form 4, aka Application for Tax, Paid Transfer, and Registration of a Firearm is one of the frequently used ATF forms as it is filed by a qualified federal firearms licensee to transfer an NFA item to an individual or other entity (non-licensee).
Norris Arms has been a strong advocate of using technology and as soon as the news of ATF eForm 4 started to surface, Norris Arms started looking forward to adopting the functionality as soon as possible and passing the benefits of the Form 4 eFile process to its customers.
What our clients say
Norris Arms considered a couple of options before reaching the decision of deploying an in-house live scan NFA fingerprinting system.
One of the options considered was to outsource the electronic fingerprinting part of the Form 4 eFile process as it required live scan hardware and software to operate. The rest of the eForm 4 process could easily be completed online on the ATF eForms portal.
Outsourcing the eForm 4 fingerprinting had the following challenges:
- First of all, it was inconvenient as it required customers to leave the Norris Arms premises and go to a fingerprinting site.
- Along with the inconvenience, it also had the risk of losing customers. There were chances that customers leaving for the fingerprinting would never return.
- Processing ATF eForm online and sending fingerprints on fingerprint cards were not a viable option as it could again result in longer ATF Form 4 wait times.
Norris Arms wanted a single-window solution that could handle its requirements without customers leaving its premises.
After careful consideration of all available options and weighing the pros and cons of each of them, Norris Arms concluded that deploying an in-house live scan NFA fingerprinting solution for its customers would be the best shot among all available options. Along with necessary hardware and software, Norris Arms also required training to further smoothen the transition.
After doing thorough due diligence, they decided to put their trust in Bayometric. Since Bayometric supplied hardware and software package comes with end-to-end training and support, Norris Arms was pretty comfortable on that front as well.
Bayometric supplied the live scan software package including the required hardware within the committed time frame and also provided the necessary training required to fingerprint customers to eFile Form 4 through ATF Portal.
Business Benefits Achieved
Once the order was finalized by Norris Arms, Bayometric was quick to respond and the system was up and running in a matter of days. Deploying an in-house live scan fingerprinting solution resulted in several business benefits for Norris Arms.
Fingerprint capture became more efficient
Before introducing live scan NFA fingerprinting, Norris Arms customers had to go through manual ink-based fingerprint capture, in which ink-stained fingers are pressed/rolled on fingerprint cards. Due to the several variables in action such as different skin types, amount of ink applied, amount of pressure applied, speed of rolling, etc. ink based fingerprint capture can be quite challenging and hard to capture a perfect print.
Despite putting significant efforts into capturing ink-based fingerprints to file NFA item forms (such as the ATF SBR Form), Norris Arms could not be sure about the quality of fingerprints submitted.
On the other hand, live scan fingerprinting is based on digital imaging of fingerprinting, which captures flawless fingerprint images without ink and paper. These fingerprint images can be printed on fingerprint cards or submitted electronically to the ATF.
Fewer or no rejections
Submitting high-quality digital fingerprint images to ATF means there would be fewer or no rejections due to fingerprint quality issues. Live scan fingerprinting systems are built on specifications prescribed by the FBI so fingerprint images are accepted by the system only if they withstand these stringent quality requirements.
Bayometric’s live scan fingerprinting software comes with an inbuilt quality control mechanism, which can detect if the quality of captured fingerprint is not at par and ask the customer to rescan.
Reduced data entry errors
With manual submissions of ATF Form 4, Norris Arms were filling data manually, which offer little or no opportunity to edit if there is are errors in the data. That is not the case with the Form 4 eFile process, as data can be edited before submission if there is an error or typo. On top of that, data entry on the electronic forms is way faster than filling out forms manually.
Faster Form 4 processing
One of the significant benefits of deploying a live scan fingerprinting system for submitting ATF Forms online with digital fingerprints is the faster processing time. With the new eForm system, ATF is committed to bringing the ATF Form 4 wait times down to 90 days. ATF Form 4 wait times have been ridiculously long, which took more than a year in some cases. Bayometric clients have been receiving approvals within the 90-day mark.