ATF First Says They Will Prosecute FFL/SOTs For Early Form 2s Then Walks It Back

ATF Confusion Chaos Misleading Road Sign iStock-BrianAJackson 649236630
ATF Confusion Chaos Misleading Road Sign iStock-BrianAJackson 649236630

U.S.A.-( According to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) internal document obtained by AmmoLand News, employees of the federal agency will start referring cases of manufactures filing Form 2s early for…(wait for it)… criminal prosecution!   After AmmoLand News requested comments about the new rule the ATF walked back the statement by deleting it from a revised memo.

When a manufacturer holding a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and has paid the Special Occupancy Tax (SOT) makes a suppressor, the company will file a Form 2 with the ATF. The Form 2 will include information about the new suppressor. This information provides the caliber, serial number, manufacture, and location (city/state) of the company. Once the suppressor is created, The FFL/SOT has until the end of the next business day to file a Form 2 with the ATF for the serial number for information about the suppressor to be added to the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).

In the past, the federal government has prosecuted FFL/SOTs for not filing a Form 2 fast enough. The ATF has prosecuted FFL/SOTs for having unassembled suppressor parts that were not serialized. Now it seems that the agency is about to crack down on FFL/SOTs that try to get ahead of the process and not miss the deadline for filing a Form 2 with an agency with a history of overzealous prosecutions.

The ATF considers registering a suppressor early the same as making a false entry to the NFRTR. The violation could also cause the FFL/SOT to have their license revoked, putting the company out of business. In addition to being shut down by the ATF, the FFL/SOT holder could be put in prison for committing a felony.

The now-deleted paragraph in the document reads:

“At no time should an ATF Form 2 be submitted for devices that don’t meet the definition of a NFA firearm, likewise an ATF Form 3 or ATF Form 4 should not be submitted for these devices. This results in falsification of NFA records and is a violation of the NFA, such activity should also be referred for prosecution. “

It would have made the manufacturer guess as to when a suppressor is in a state where an Industry Operations Inspector (IOI) would consider it “complete.” Even the IOIs are not given strict guidelines. It is like the ATF using phrases like “readily convertible” without defining what the agency considers readily convertible.

A lot of the determinations that the IOIs use are subjective. One IOI could look at a suppressor and consider it in a state that could be regarded as complete and refer the FFL/SOT for prosecution for not filing a Form 2 fast enough. Another IOI can look at the same device that has a Form 2 filed and determine it is not far enough along in the manufacturing process to warrant a Form 2 and would have referred the manufacturer for prosecution for falsifying an entry to the NFRTR.

Both documents also talk about the IOI requesting a “freeze” of a serial number of an unfinished suppressor. That state would mean that the suppressor could not be transferred until the freeze is removed. The ATF could compel the FFL/SOT to complete the suppressor, or the NFA division could purge the serial number from the NFRTR if the suppressor remained in an “unfinished” state.

The original document muddies the waters of what is allowed and what is not allowed.

Even IOIs were confused by the original document. It isn’t clear how the IOIs will use the new document in their inspections.  This cloudy area of the original document wasn’t lost on Gun Owners of America’s legal counsel and lead counsel in the bump stock case, Robert Olson.

“The original version of the ATF guidance was insane,” Olson told AmmoLand News.  “Well intentioned FFLs literally have gone to federal prison for failing to register NFA weapons, even though they are unfinished.  Now, on the flip side of that coin, ATF threatens to prosecute manufacturers who register NFA items before ATF considers them to be complete.”

“Together, this creates a bureaucratic Catch-22, creating criminal liability for manufacturers who register items either too early or too late, leaving it entirely up to ATF to decide when that critical line has been crossed.”

Neither document addresses ATF Form 1 builds where gun owners make their own NFA firearms.  Before the firearm can be assembled the gun owner needs to have an approved Form 1. Does that mean all the gun owners that went through the proper channels and paid their tax are guilty of falsifying NFA records?  Was this going to be a test run for the ATF to block new Form 1 builds? Also, the ATF has admitted NFRTR is inaccurate so why would the ATF crackdown on the submission of Form 2 documents?

AmmoLand News reached out to the ATF for a comment, but the agency didn’t respond.  The agency did change its document after AmmoLand News started inquiring about the new “Goldilocks” mandate.

About John Crump

John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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Ansel Hazen

Neither party has any interest in what their constituents want. They are in it for the money and the free ride and there’s more than enough hardware in the hands of real patriots to deal with the current situation in this country. Time to start throwing tea in the harbor.


What their constituents WANT, hell, what they NEED!


H. L. Mencken once penned something that seems to fit here:
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”


I have a Jolly Roger as well as a Gadsden flag. IMO, it’s past time to hoist them both.

Alan in NH

This is why anyone would be a fool to order one of those ‘fuel filter/solvent trap/99% finished suppressor kits out here. The ATF policy is to ruin your life for even thinking about it and they will bend their own policy to mean whatever they want it to mean on any given day. Especially with the political climate today, the BATF cannot be trusted to play fair, they want to manufacture as many violations as possible.


see the head of the snake is the President and his whore..I mean VP doing this….ATF is being told to do it…just like good little stormtroopers


You really think Dementia Biden is calling the shots here?? WTF?


Understand the term ‘rogue’ as it applies to rogue federal law enforcement agencies and individuals. The law on paper is meaningless, the intent of legislators is meaningless and due diligence is irrelevant. What counts is the ever growing quest for power on the part of rogue federal agents and agencies. This is one such example. Make it impossible to comply with ‘law’ and then destroy. That is all they know how to do. Destroy.


I am telling you the ATF needs to be disbanded and President Sippy Cup needs to be put in a nursing home where he belongs.

Happy Everafter

Unfortunately, your voice, and so many others, are cries in a wilderness of the now Marxist Amerika, comrade.

Henry Bowman

In that case, it’s time to start up the rotors! 🙂


Cheaper option: The Flying Commie Short Bus, made by the Short Brothers of Belfast. C-23 Sherpa.
Up to 19 ‘skydivers’. Later version, the Short 360, up to 39.


Cheaper option: The Flying Commie Short Bus, made by Short Brothers of Belfast. Up to 19 ‘skydivers’. It was put to use in Argentina. Later version, Short 360, goes up to 39.

(Posting without links to avoid “Awaiting for approval”)

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Like every other criminal government agency and traitorous media corporation, the ATF is just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. The goals are obvious at this point, and they have nothing to do with laws, law enforcement, or even safety. Just as the goals of media have nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, informing people, or even conveying information.

It’s all about controlling you a little more every day.

Ryben Flynn

I wish commenters would learn the difference between
there- a location
their – possessive
they’re – contraction of they are.
It irks me that people don’t know the correct word to use.
Rant over.
BTW, the same goes for other sound alike words. Think, people.
And that goes for article authors.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ryben Flynn

Amen, brother! I’m no grammar nazi either, but I’ll add: Stop calling magazines clips, and cartridges bullets! As a gunsmith, both of those errors irk me even more!
OK, rant over. Carry on. 🙂


I’m as vigilant a grammar nought-see as anyone, I see ALL these gaffes. But I am here reading for content, and have decided to just pass them on by. What you are seeing is the end result of three generations of gummit edjumicayshun at the hands of the librul soshulist dweebs produced by “higher” education. No wonder Johhny can’t read, the skewlz are more concerned about teaching him how to put a funny looking ballon on a banana, and that there really are fifty seven varieties of Heinz Pickles, er,I mean “genders” and he’d better learn them all or will… Read more »


My favorites are the ironic ones like “YOUR AN IDIOT!”. Butthurt ex-cop thug-troll TEX(!)/Will seems fond of these.

However, I have to admit caps & exclamation points do make the argument overwhelmingly compelling.

Deplorable Bill

Like many other thugs, bullies, tyrants, they are looking for a reason to cause harm, to inflict damage, to steal, to vilify, to jail, to threaten and maybe, to kill LEGALLY. Things have not changes much since Waco have they. They murdered 80+ innocent men, women and children because they didn’t get their $200.00 tax stamp! Whatever happened to “The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED?” When is the supreme court going to put an end to the afte and all the other tyrants who are depriving the free American citizen of our… Read more »


“the U.S.A. actually came into existence as a result of decades of tyranny from king George and the British parliament AND ATTEMPTED GUN CONTROL.”

Glaring ommission.


Fill us in. I don’t recall decades of pre-Revolution gun control.


The people who came to confiscate firearms, cannon, shot, & powder were the colonists’ own military – the armed government employees of their own country. It’s common for people here to post about King George and the members of Parliament and gloss over the fact that the people who followed orders and stepped on the necks of the colonists were the redcoats. It’s an unpleasant fact to some. After the war, Americans despised the notion of a standing military for this very reason – that it can be turned against the citizens. They even went out of their way to… Read more »


Well said, totally agree, but was the pre-Revolution gun-control really over decades? That’s all I’m asking.


it was a part of the tax stamp imported powder shot and guns and parts, colonists had gotten to where they were actually making better guns and shot than the government , the taxes were to keep the hired army(redcoats were mostly mercenary’s)paid french english and spanish kept raiding and “stealing” from each other costs were high remember the king even tried to recoup the colonies in 1812 we “acquired” the west from the french in 1803 we were becoming a threat


Thanks! The tax stamp was broad, though, not specifically aimed at guns.


these morons are incapable of understanding and interpreting their own orders and laws. yet they are charged with this and are willing to unjustly prosecute anyone because of their stupidity. just another reason to abolish these idiot tyrants.


Yes, we have done nothing for many, many, years.



We pay taxes. We should not give the Government any money until it tells us exactly on what and when the tax money will be spent. On the other hand, if they collect those taxes and do not immediately spend each dollar and complete the public project, we should put them in jail after we take all of their personal assets.



What do dicks taste like? Asking for a friend. I assured them you would know.


You seem pretty curious.


Maybe no such LAW can be passed, but they can(and do) pass such as STATUTES. You should look into the difference.


law lô► n.A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority. stat•ute stăch′oo͞t► n.A law enacted by a legislature. These are partial definitions. I think the one for law could apply to the legislature if that were the authority. So the statute comes first and the law follows. I will have to remember that. What I would like to know is the meaning of the term “lawful” in the phrase “lawful purposes”. Does that mean that there is a specific law that applies to the term, or that the lack of the purpose being un-lawful means that it must… Read more »


ATF should come out of the closet & reduce the legal filing window down to one minute after completion. FedEx has a 1-minute delivery option, right?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

I think they should mandate psychic powers, and have suppressor manufacturers submit paperwork quarterly, for the NEXT quarter. Keeping everyone proactive is way more productive.

Eventually, things will get so efficient that the ATF will be arresting people for crimes that haven’t even become law yet.

Henry Bowman

I believe the ATF is already making arrests for precrime.