Last weekend this same friend was at Cabela's purchasing a handgun. He was #128 in line for a background check. It took hours.
I was at the Cabelas near Olympia WA several weeks ago, after many months of not stopping there.
Found, yes, a crowded gun counter. But what was interesting was the several computer terminals set up to fill out and, I guess, print the federal forms. So they were completed (by the purchaser) even before their number was called and the deal made. The rest of the form had to be completed at that point, of course.
I don't know if there was also a way to do early completion of the WA state form for pistol purchases.
Who knows that this post has nothing to do with the very good gunshows available to him every month.