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Old November 29, 2019, 08:56 AM   #1
NRA_guy
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Questions about the Form 4 process

I am 73 years old and interested in getting a suppressor for a .22 LR handgun.

As I understand, I must first pay for and order a suppressor, and have it delivered to my local FFL dealer who can legally hold it while my Form 4 is cleared by the ATF and FBI.

And from what I read, that FBI clearance can take a year or more. The FBI web site says that ANY issue with approval gets your background check put at the bottom of the "when we get around to it" stack.

My normal instant background checks for gun purchases have consistently incurred a delay of an hour or two, but eventual approval. (I got a CCW permit to eliminate that hassel.)

Security and law enforcement folks also are unable to get "acceptable" electronic scanned finger prints from me. They say that it is a common problem with old guys.

So I assume that my Form 4 will go to the bottom of FBI's stack and take a year or more to clear---if it ever clears.

Question 1: What happens if I have a paid for suppressor sitting in my FFL dealer's safe for over a year and I die during that time?

Question 2: What happens to my suppressor if during the waiting period, the FFL dealer goes out of business and/or files bankruptcy?

Question 3: What happens to my suppressor if the FBI never, ever approves my background check because they do not like my finger prints and nobody can get a decent set of prints from me?

By the way:

The ATF web site says: "The fingerprint cards must be completed by your local law enforcement authority."

The Form 4 instructions say: "The fingerprints must be clear for accurate classification and taken by someone properly equipped to take them."
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Old November 29, 2019, 12:18 PM   #2
dogtown tom
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Location: Plano, Texas
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Quote:
NRA_guy I am 73 years old and interested in getting a suppressor for a .22 LR handgun.

As I understand, I must first pay for and order a suppressor, and have it delivered to my local FFL dealer who can legally hold it while my Form 4 is cleared by the ATF and FBI.
Correct.

Quote:
And from what I read, that FBI clearance can take a year or more. The FBI web site says that ANY issue with approval gets your background check put at the bottom of the "when we get around to it" stack.
Average wait is 8-10 months, in the last year the government shutdown affected those times.

Quote:
My normal instant background checks for gun purchases have consistently incurred a delay of an hour or two, but eventual approval. (I got a CCW permit to eliminate that hassel.)
Does your state contact FBI NICS directly or is the NICS check run by a state agency?

Quote:
Security and law enforcement folks also are unable to get "acceptable" electronic scanned finger prints from me. They say that it is a common problem with old guys.
I've scanned plenty of "old guy" prints with no rejections.

Quote:
So I assume that my Form 4 will go to the bottom of FBI's stack and take a year or more to clear---if it ever clears.
Your fingerprints aren't run by the FBI.

Quote:
Question 1: What happens if I have a paid for suppressor sitting in my FFL dealer's safe for over a year and I die during that time?
It remains your property, so it would be part of your estate. The time to plan is now. The dealer could not transfer without ATF approval.

Quote:
Question 2: What happens to my suppressor if during the waiting period, the FFL dealer goes out of business and/or files bankruptcy?
The silencer remains yor property, but cannot lawfully be transferred until ATF approves the Form 4. If the dealer goes out of business, contact ATF immediately as they can assist with the transfer of NFA firearms.

Quote:
Question 3: What happens to my suppressor if the FBI never, ever approves my background check because they do not like my finger prints and nobody can get a decent set of prints from me?
The FBI doesn't run a FP check. ATF keeps those. If you cannot get a proceed from the FBI, your Form 4 goes into the pile awaiting further review by a Document Examiner.....and that takes time. Unlike Title I firearms, there is nor option for " three business day delay". Must be a "proceed".

Quote:
By the way:

The ATF web site says: "The fingerprint cards must be completed by your local law enforcement authority."
No it doesn't. You are looking at the requirement for an FEL (Federal Explosives License).

Quote:
The Form 4 instructions say: "The fingerprints must be clear for accurate classification and taken by someone properly equipped to take them."
"Properly equipped" = ATF NFA fingerprint cards and an ink pad.
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Old November 29, 2019, 01:46 PM   #3
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Security and law enforcement folks also are unable to get "acceptable" electronic scanned finger prints from me. They say that it is a common problem with old guys.
Old methods are still accepted. Paper cards and ink don't cause delays unless they're incomplete or screwed up beyond comprehension.

For example:
In 2018, I filed a Form 4 and a Form 1 with paper fingerprint cards, taken with an ink pad and roller. One card for each of the forms had huge corrections on them, as the Sheriff's deputy filled them out incorrectly to begin with and refused to start fresh. (I figured one card with chicken scratch and big corrections, per form, was better than both nasty cards going with the same form.)

The Form 4 came back about a month earlier than expected.
The Form 1 came back in something like 47 days - which, at the time, was 6-7 months earlier than expected.

I wouldn't recommend the messy cards with corrections all over them, but ink and roller prints are perfectly fine.
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Old November 29, 2019, 08:55 PM   #4
NRA_guy
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Thanks a bunch dogtown_tom and FrankenMauser

Great info.

Re: Does your state contact FBI NICS directly or is the NICS check run by a state agency?

Mississippi relies on the FBI for NICS---but those of us who have a Mississippi issued CCW permit can purchase a gun in a store or gun show without the FFL dealer even calling it in for a NICS.

Re: The FBI doesn't run a FP check. ATF keeps those. If you cannot get a proceed from the FBI, your Form 4 goes into the pile awaiting further review by a Document Examiner.....and that takes time.

I don't understand that.

If the FBI does not run a fingerprint check, what is the FBI's role in the ATF's issuing a proceed?

I.e., how can the FBI hold up a person's Form 4 application for a suppressor?

And why would the ATF even want an applicant's fingerprints? ATF does not have a giant database of criminals' fingerprints to check against the applicant's prints---do they?

Does the ATF just keep applicants' hard copy fingerprints on file without checking for a criminal record?

(I have no criminal record whatsoever. My background is pure as the driven snow. I have only had 2 speeding tickets and that was over 30 years ago.)

Thanks again. You guys are great!
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Old December 1, 2019, 07:39 PM   #5
dogtown tom
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Quote:
NRA_guy

If the FBI does not run a fingerprint check, what is the FBI's role in the ATF's issuing a proceed?
FBI NICS is who ATF NFA Branch contacts for the background check. ATF does not issue the "proceed"......the FBI NICS does. ATF only makes the call/online check.


Quote:
I.e., how can the FBI hold up a person's Form 4 application for a suppressor?
Because the FBI NICS is the one who does the background check. If the background check is not an immediate proceed, it's because the name requires further review by a NICS Document Examiner due to multiple record returns.


Quote:
And why would the ATF even want an applicant's fingerprints? ATF does not have a giant database of criminals' fingerprints to check against the applicant's prints---do they?
ATF requires it because federal law requires it. Blame your relatives who voted in the 1930's.

Quote:
Does the ATF just keep applicants' hard copy fingerprints on file without checking for a criminal record?
Yes they keep the FP cards on file. And again, all ATF does is call the FBI NICS for your background check. ATF does not perform the actual records check themselves.
__________________
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

Plano, Texas...........the Gun Nut Capitol of Gun Culture, USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE
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Old December 2, 2019, 08:02 AM   #6
NRA_guy
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Join Date: January 11, 2006
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Super! Thanks again, dogtown tom.

I guess I will just jump in and see how it goes . . .

(I doubt that my ancestors voted for FDR---although he was a Democrat, and Democrats were staunch segregationists in those days.)
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