What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System
On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) are processed.
Anyone who has submitted an NFA application in recent years is familiar with the long wait associated with acquiring any firearm regulated under the NFA. This wait is in large part due to the antiquated process used to process NFA applications combined with the recent growth in acquisition of NFA firearms.
ATF’s existing paper process for NFA applications dates back to the implementation of the NFA in 1934, but, in recent years, it has proven incapable of dealing with larger numbers of applications. According to ATF’s, in 1990, ATF processed only 173,340 total NFA forms (Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9). In 2020, that number reached 2,409,585. With more than an order of magnitude of change in the last 30 years, it was easy to see that ATF needed to change the application process.
While it would be better for gun owners if there simply were no taxation and registration scheme required to acquire NFA firearms, simplifying the current process and reducing wait times is certainly a step in the right direction.
Here is the information ATF has provided on the new system:
Important Notices for eForms Users
Welcome to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s Modernized eForms Application
The goal of the “modernized eForms” is to provide ATF with an infusion of technology to provide better services to the regulated industries and the public. This much needed modernization will reduce the effort and time required to review and process ATF applications, specifically the ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 9, 10 and 5300.11. If you have used our previous version of eForms your User Id will remain the same, however you will have to use the “Forgot password” functions to create a new password. The new eForms will give you access to many valuable services of the new and improved eForms application. All eForms users will have to create a PIN for authentication of their submissions. When the PIN is created, it establishes a trusted relationship with the identity provider and creates an asymmetric key pair that is used for authentication of the user.
If you are an existing eForms user, all your previous submissions will transfer to the new system. However, the pdf of your forms may not be migrated over on the first day. If your pdf is not available, please check your email as you would have received a copy from the eforms system at the time of submission and final approval.
Are you a returning registered eForms user? You will need to click on the ‘Forgot Password” button on the eForms landing page. Then you will be asked to provide your eForms ID and your email address. If your email is unique to you, i.e., not shared with others within your organization, you will be asked to change your password and create a PIN that will be used for the submission of your eForms. If you are using a shared email address you will be asked to contact our Help Desk for assistance with your first time log in. If you need additional instructions click on the following link:.
New to eforms? For instructions on how to register the following link:
Introducing: eForms User Services: “eForms User Services” is different from the ATF Help Desk, whose primary responsibility will be to unlock user accounts and assisting users in resetting their password and/or PINs. It consists of EPS Admins responding to business process specific questions as it relates to the submission of eForms applications. This service is temporary service that is only available for the first 60 days of the implementation of the modernized eForms initiative. Our goal is to have a response back to the user within 24-72 hours.
eForms User Services is the primary point of contact for technology questions, problems, and issues. Users can contact eForms User Services directly with all technology questions, using the following email addresses below:
For eForms registrations questions:
For eForms National Firearms Act questions:
For eForms NFA Special Occupational Tax questions:
For eForms imports questions:
For eForms Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report Questions:
Below are some of the information technology services and resources that are available to you as a user of eForms:
- Use of Smarter Technology – to improve customer service and to build a foundation for future enhancements such as Application Programming Interface (API) and Captcha.
- The ATF eForm 4 is back – you are now able to submit the ATF Form 4 electronically through eForms.
- Electronic Submission of ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 9, 10, and 5300 – you are now able to submit any of these applications with the required electronic documents
- Electronic Submission of Fingerprint Cards for the Form 4 – you are now able to attach your “digital fingerprint cards” to your submission.
- Enhanced Validations – we have built in validations to ensure that the upfront validations of your data occur prior to submission.
- PIN – submission of all forms will be validated by a user PIN as part of the submission process.
- Rules of Behavior – establishment of defined ‘Rules of Behavior” that have to be accepted in order to proceed with the use of eForms.
- “Ask the Expert” – online submission of questions to Subject Matter Experts (SME’s).
- Self-service Support – for forgotten passwords and PINs.
- Increase in the size of Electronic Documents – the size of the electronic documents has changed from 3MB to 30MB.
- Article by NRA-ILA