ATF Rollouts New eForms Online System, BUT Problems Persist

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ATF Rollouts New eForms Online System, BUT Problems Persist istock

U.S.A.-( The improved eForms platform launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to review and process ATF  Forms 1,2,3,4,5,6,6A,9,10 and 5300.11 applications online, is finding implementation bugs. This is expected in the major launch of any large software system.

The new, improved, modernized eForms system at the ATF was rolled out on December 23, 2021. The American Suppressor Association said it was the biggest technological jump in the process since the fax machine. From the association:

We’re very excited about the launch of the much anticipated new eForms system. This represents the largest technological jump for NFA since the advent of the fax machine. The system is online as of this morning, December 23rd.

The system is experiencing bugs and difficulties. Those difficulties have been acknowledged in a broadcast email, which appears to be from the ATF :

Dear eForms Users,

At this time, we find it necessary to make everyone aware of some problems many of you are experiencing with ATF’s shift of all licensing applications to cloud services to include the eForms application. We are working on all reported issues around the clock to ensure they are fixed as quickly as possible. The failing infrastructure of the original legacy eForms system required us to move to this new environment as expeditiously as possible. We are sorry that you have been experiencing problems as a result. There will be continuous fine tuning to ensure all applications are working in sync.

Unfortunately, anomalies still exist with registration, login, and other areas in the application, and we are triaging those issues in real time. The development team is actively working to improve your ability to access your accounts and to perform all functions in eForms quickly and reliably. Despite internal and industry testing these anomalies have still surfaced after launch. You should be seeing significant improvements in the coming hours and days. Once basic performance is stabilized beyond an acceptable level, we have several planned tasks to add and improve features over the coming months.

Part of eForms Portal Page

We apologize for any current problems that you are experiencing and are taking them very seriously. This new eForms is built to evolve rapidly and continuously. ATF has the support team in place to keep pushing improvements until eForms smoothly delivers the services needed by all users.

Mason B. McDaniel

Chief Technology Officer

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF)

While it is boilerplate legalese which has no real application to a broadcast email, this notice was tacked on to the email message:

NOTICE: This e-mail message and any attached files are intended solely for the use of the addressee(s) named above in connection with official business.  This communication may contain Sensitive But Unclassified information that may be statutorily or otherwise prohibited from being released without appropriate approval.  Any review, use, or dissemination of this e-mail message and any attached file(s) in any form outside of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives or the Department of Justice without express authorization is strictly prohibited.

Government correspondence released to the public is in the public domain. It is not protected by copyright laws.

One of the most significant changes in the administration of the National Firearms Act by the ATF has been the implementation of licensing and tax stamp applications online.

While considerable paper forms were still required, the online application process significantly improved processing times. This, in turn, has assisted in the exponential growth in tax stamp holders. The number of legal silencers has been growing at a 21% rate for at least 10 years. There are now over 2.6 million legal silencers in the United States.

This correspondent expects the exponential increase in legal silencers to continue for the next decade and more. At some point, barring the destruction of our current form of government, the requirement to have a $200 tax stamp for a firearm safety accessory (silencer) will be removed.

The already massive increases in legal silencers have sparked a serious movement to remove silencers from the NFA. As the number of legal silencer owners and silencers skyrockets, the pressure to remove silencers from the NFA grows exponentially.

The implementation of an improved online system to apply for tax stamps is a step toward reform of the National Firearms Act (NFA).

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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In Florida Eform 4473’s have been in use for years. My preferred FFL hands me a tablet and I complete the form. It then gets transmitted to the FDLE who does the background check. In about 15 minutes the approval comes back and I take home another new toy. No wait for CCW holders.

Floridas system is efficient and fast.

I have buying guns from dealers and mail order for 46 years in Florida and never had a problem.


Next, they will push the 4473, you watch. Then all of the sellers will be required to sit down and submit all the 4473’s they have on paper to the system and still keep the hard copy. Later, ATF will go check seller’s records to ensure that all the forms that they have were input to the system and if you miss one, that is it. You will be fined such a large amount it will be cheaper to close your doors because if you did that you could avoid having to pay the penalty, your choice, which is it.… Read more »

Gun Lawyer

Why would this government agency make this process more efficient? What’s in it for them? I speculate that it has something to do with the pending Pistol Brace Rule that will require registration of millions of SBRs.


It makes sense that if you have a silencer that you have something to put it on. Electronic registration system capable of being accessed 24/7. All government agencies regardless of state will probably be able to access the information through NCIC at a later date.

My guess.


So the government rolls out a “new and improved” system which wasn’t broken to begin with and managed to screw it up? Say it isn’t so! This has never happened before! My faith in the infallibility of the U. S. government bureaucrats is shaken.


A year long wait for a simple paperwork check and background check. Yes, it was broken. It just still is.


Ya, but it’s a new and improved broken that costs millions of dollars and is a good waste of your tax dollars. Right? NOT!!!!!


Ya, something to be hacked by the UN so they know which houses have guns in the US which is what they want.


Anything the ATF does has persistent problems as it’s all unconstitutional and the BATF needs to be done away with . They complicate the process to discourage people from exercising thier rights . Thier new E forms are just another way of tracking people’s gun purchases as you know the information will be logged on a permanant microfish . The old system the papers were ussually thrown away at the dealer after a certain time period . The new e tracking system this will not occur creating a permanent purchase record and tracking system . Big brother with his eyes… Read more »


2.6 million is sure more than the 140,000 stun guns or tasers that the Supreme Court ruled constituted “in common use” and thus a protected “arm” under the 2nd amendment. Time we ditched the unconstitutional NFA and the courts recognize we have suppressors and short barreled rifles in numbers far exceeding “in common use”. Not that common use is necessary for your rights or for arms to be protected. We can arm ourselves with any bearable weapon we damn well please, and the gov has zero authority to influence or control our decisions.


No argument from this quarter. I couldn’t agree more.