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Old January 8, 2018, 10:50 AM   #1
TrueBlue711
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What could slow down tax stamp approval?

I read another post by a gentleman on this thread saying his suppressor tax stamp was approved after only 5 1/2 months. I got really anxious since I submitted mine around the same time as his, but still no word on mine. So I'm just curious if mine was held up for some reason or for "additional screening" or something.

So what could slow down a tax stamp approval? I'm sure any criminal history would do it, but I have no criminal history at all. Just 2 speeding tickets from high school/college days.
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Old January 8, 2018, 02:42 PM   #2
raimius
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Thousands of forms and a shortage of reviewers.
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Old January 8, 2018, 07:48 PM   #3
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individual or trust?
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Old January 8, 2018, 07:49 PM   #4
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Old January 9, 2018, 09:28 AM   #5
TrueBlue711
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individual
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Old January 9, 2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue711 View Post

... So what could slow down a tax stamp approval? I'm sure any criminal history would do it, but I have no criminal history at all. Just 2 speeding tickets from high school/college days.
Easy. The limit on adolescent speeding tickets is 1.


Mine was a trust and took 13 months. (With a spotless background check. Really)
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Old January 9, 2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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You can call ATF and inquire
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Old January 9, 2018, 11:11 PM   #8
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First stamp?

If you are already in the system, that MIGHT make things quicker.

At one time certain regions had assigned inspectors and if one region had more submissions than the others that made it slower for folks in that high-traffic region. Not sure if the work-load is still divided that way.
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Old January 10, 2018, 09:24 AM   #9
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First stamp?
Yes. I sent two in as well: one for 30 cal and one rimfire.

Quote:
You can call ATF and inquire
Good idea! I didn't think about that. I'll give them a shout.
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Old January 12, 2018, 09:46 AM   #10
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"What could slow down tax stamp approval?"

No return address.
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Old January 15, 2018, 07:54 AM   #11
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"If you are already in the system, that MIGHT make things quicker. "

Not in my experience.
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Old January 15, 2018, 06:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 9x19
If you are already in the system, that MIGHT make things quicker.
No, each submission is a separate entity. There is nothing in the process that is made faster by having done it before.
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Old January 15, 2018, 07:00 PM   #13
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To answer the OP's question, there are three major influences on Form 4 (and Form 1) wait times:

1: Backlog.
Depending on how many total forms they have in their system compared to how many examiners they have on staff, the wait time will go up or down. My last two Form 4s were submitted within 2 months of each other, the first came back in 4 months and the second came back in over 7 months. And that went along with the trend I saw at the shop I where worked at the time. So in just 2 months the backlog went up by about 3 months.

2: Trust vs. individual.
I hear ATF is currently processing forms submitted as individuals faster than forms submitted as trusts.

3: Random chance.
Sometimes paperwork gets shuffled around and some examiners are better than others. At the high-volume NFA dealer where I used to work, I saw more than one Form 4 that was signed and approved way before we got it back. That means it was approved and then sat on someone's desk for sometimes up to two months for no apparent reason. This was relatively rare though, much more common was just a seemingly random approval time fluctuation among forms sent in at the exact same time. Two customers could each buy a silencer at the exact same time, and it wouldn't be unusual for one form to come back a month or two before the other.

There's no reason to worry and no reason to call them and waste their time. If they've cashed your check then your form is in the system. Now you just have to be patient and wait.
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Old January 22, 2018, 10:15 AM   #14
TrueBlue711
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Quote:
To answer the OP's question, there are three major influences on Form 4 (and Form 1) wait times:

1: Backlog.
Depending on how many total forms they have in their system compared to how many examiners they have on staff, the wait time will go up or down. My last two Form 4s were submitted within 2 months of each other, the first came back in 4 months and the second came back in over 7 months. And that went along with the trend I saw at the shop I where worked at the time. So in just 2 months the backlog went up by about 3 months.

2: Trust vs. individual.
I hear ATF is currently processing forms submitted as individuals faster than forms submitted as trusts.

3: Random chance.
Sometimes paperwork gets shuffled around and some examiners are better than others. At the high-volume NFA dealer where I used to work, I saw more than one Form 4 that was signed and approved way before we got it back. That means it was approved and then sat on someone's desk for sometimes up to two months for no apparent reason. This was relatively rare though, much more common was just a seemingly random approval time fluctuation among forms sent in at the exact same time. Two customers could each buy a silencer at the exact same time, and it wouldn't be unusual for one form to come back a month or two before the other.
4: Government shutdown (joke for current events haha)
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Old January 22, 2018, 10:30 AM   #15
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That may be a joke, but unfortunately it’s also the truth. As long as the government shutdown is going on, the ATF’s progress on forms will be paused (unless special stopgap funding is added for the NFA branch, which seems unlikely). And meanwhile, the backlog still grows.
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Old January 22, 2018, 10:51 AM   #16
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The biggest reason for the slowness is that it's a branch of the Federal Government. Government employees are not noted for speed or efficiency.
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Old January 22, 2018, 10:20 PM   #17
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shootbrownelk The biggest reason for the slowness is that it's a branch of the Federal Government. Government employees are not noted for speed or efficiency.
Not at all correct.
ATF NFA Branch employees are working their butts off. The "slowness" is mostly due to the volume of forms submitted.....with little change in staffing.
NFA Branch Examiners have been getting unlimited overtime to relieve the backlog.

The problem isn't the employees....it's the procedure. They are still in 1970's technologically.



Number of NFA Forms Processed by Fiscal Year:
2016 379,410
2015 308,563
2014 236,290
2013 163,691
2012 137,649
2011 105,373
2010 91,949
2009 86,753
2008 72,808
2007 66,560
2006 57,783
2005 41,579
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Old January 26, 2018, 09:09 PM   #18
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Number of NFA Forms Processed by Fiscal Year:
2016 379,410
2015 308,563
2014 236,290
2013 163,691
2012 137,649
2011 105,373
2010 91,949
2009 86,753
2008 72,808
2007 66,560
2006 57,783
2005 41,579

One would think that a government agency faced with that sort of increase in work load would DO SOMETHING besides plod along hoping for divine intervention. Those figures don't provide any justification for the ineptitude displayed by the agency.
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Old January 26, 2018, 11:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mobuck
One would think that a government agency faced with that sort of increase in work load would DO SOMETHING besides plod along hoping for divine intervention. Those figures don't provide any justification for the ineptitude displayed by the agency.
What exactly do you expect them to do to increase their output on their own? That requires more manpower, which in turn requires more funding. And it's Congress that funds the BATFE. They can't increase it on their own.
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Old January 27, 2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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"And it's Congress that funds the BATFE. They can't increase it on their own."

I've never seen a government agency that couldn't manipulate their budget to meet demands.
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Old January 28, 2018, 02:26 PM   #21
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Mobuck I've never seen a government agency that couldn't manipulate their budget to meet demands.
Then you should be able to provide plenty of examples of Federal agencies that manipulate their budget contrary to Congressional budget restrictions.
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Old January 28, 2018, 07:58 PM   #22
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"Then you should be able to provide plenty of examples of Federal agencies that manipulate their budget contrary to Congressional budget restrictions."

Simple. The agency has x dollars to fulfill their commitments. How those dollars are spent is determined by the priorities of the agency. It's easier to just say "We don't have the funds" than it is to admit intentional disrespect of citizens' legitimate expectations.
Are you saying that CONGRESS is telling BATFE how to allocate nickels and dimes?
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Old January 28, 2018, 09:40 PM   #23
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Mobuck
Quote:
"Then you should be able to provide plenty of examples of Federal agencies that manipulate their budget contrary to Congressional budget restrictions."
Simple. The agency has x dollars to fulfill their commitments. How those dollars are spent is determined by the priorities of the agency.
Good grief. Do you really think that's how budgeting is done? At any level of government or heck even a business?
If so, you got a lot to learn about budgets......and government.



Quote:
It's easier to just say "We don't have the funds" than it is to admit intentional disrespect of citizens' legitimate expectations.
It's more like Congress says "No more $$$ to the program you are asking for".
Every wonder why ATF can't restore someone's firearm rights?
Quote:
Although Federal law provides a means for the relief of firearms disabilities, since October 1992, ATF’s annual appropriation has prohibited the expending of any funds to investigate or act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities submitted by individuals. As long as this provision is included in current ATF appropriations, the Bureau cannot act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities submitted by individuals.
[18 U.S.C. 925(c); 27 CFR 478.144]


Quote:
Are you saying that CONGRESS is telling BATFE how to allocate nickels and dimes?
Yes.
While there are often requests to increase budgets, only Congress can approve that.

And FYI, if you spent twenty minutes on google you would know that ATF HAS ASKED FOR AND RECEIVED additional $$$$ to be allocated to the NFA Branch for contract, temporary and permanent employees. The number of examiners has increased in the last two years.
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Old January 28, 2018, 09:56 PM   #24
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"Good grief. Do you really think that's how budgeting is done? At any level of government or heck even a business?
If so, you got a lot to learn about budgets......and government."
Actually, I've operated a successful business for 40 years and have worked for Federal agencies for over 30 years. Budgets get allocated based on priorities-either financial or personal. When there's a limited amount of time or funds a priority is established.
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Old January 29, 2018, 06:47 PM   #25
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Mobuck ....and have worked for Federal agencies for over 30 years. Budgets get allocated based on priorities-either financial or personal.
Then you should be aware of whose priorities are important.
It certainly isn't the program that costs the taxpayers more than it brings in.
The NFA Branch expenses greatly exceed the revenue from NFA tax stamps.

But when you post:
Quote:
Simple. The agency has x dollars to fulfill their commitments.
You sound like you have no clue on how government or budgets work.
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