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Form 4 Approvals in Days - The Details

March 18, 2024 No comments

Shockingly Fast ATF Approvals!

ATF approvals are always all over the map, but right now, some are exceptionally fast.

We've seen a fair number of approvals in a matter of days and even a few within hours. Without a doubt, these are some of the fastest Form 4 approval times in decades. Don't get too excited just yet, though; it's still a circus. Fortunately, it's the kind of circus many folks can enjoy. (As opposed to the ATF's usual one with the ringleader who needs to consult his experts, the forgetful clown, the magician who can't disassemble a Glock, and the unfortunate 'dog tamer' act.)

To cut to the chase, most fast approvals are recently submitted individual applications.
The ATF has stated it's no longer processing forms "first-in, first-out," and now the speed of approval depends on the result of your background check. Those lucky individuals with a squeaky-clean background may quickly see approval. It's not a guarantee, but it is happening consistently now, and it's a good time to roll the dice.

Batch approvals are also back.
Capitol Armory has also received numerous applications from trust and individual applicants that were batch-processed exceptionally fast. At this time, there's a chance of rapid batch approvals for those who have purchased multiple items.

We've been told the ATF will process trust applications in the same way as individuals soon.
This most likely will be limited to industry-standard trusts with a single responsible party. The idea behind this is still one background check, and if the trust is commonly reviewed, there is less need for a legal examiner's time. Ultimately, this means they would treat trust applications with one responsible person like individual applications.

Please keep in mind that the ATF's unpredictability is top-notch, and they tend to change their minds at the drop of a binary trigger. They claim this is the new standard, and faster approvals are here to stay. While we are seeing numerous fast approvals, we don't have a fortune teller on staff and can't guarantee the future. We don't know what cards the ATF may play, but we know it's not a bad time to jump in and play your hand!

You shouldn't have to wait on your dealer. We file faster.

Capitol Armory is the only national dealer that can have your Form 4 electronically certified within days. With a purchase through Capitol Armory, no third-party or dealer transfer is required to get your paperwork started. If your prints are already on file with us, we'll have you electronically submitted in days, not weeks, in comparison to our competition. With the recent quick approvals, many customers receive their approved Form 4s within several days of purchasing.

Time for the Common Questions:

What are my chances of getting a fast approval? Chances are higher for an individual than a trust and higher if you have a spotless background. With a spotless background and individual application, there is a significant chance for fast approval. We can't say 100%, but it's the best chance in recent history.

Why was my approval fast previously but not now? The ATF is unpredictable and doesn't always follow logic. The examiner may have made a typo in running the background check, or someone with the same name may have recently been arrested. Our advice would be to count yourself lucky with the previous fast approval rather than being upset the current one is taking longer than we all would like.

Why is mine taking so long? My background is clean! No one knows, probably not even the ATF. Several hidden factors seem to affect approval time but remember that your background check may be influenced by other bad actors. Someone with a similar name, address, social, or birthday could cause your background check to be delayed.

My approval took forever previously. Will it be fast next time? Maybe? With the NFA process, history doesn't dictate the future. A few reasons could cause a previous application to take abnormally long and a more recent one to be faster. Our clients with numerous approvals always seem to have one or two that took far too long.

Why didn't they approve my applications in a batch? An examiner could have been lazy, negligent, or perhaps they didn't feel like it. We're at the mercy of the ATF, but we can hope for the best. A good chance of batch approval is still far better than no chance.

I've been waiting 8, 10, or 14 months. Why? It is most likely a delay in the background check. Remember that this doesn't mean YOU have a background issue; another individual with similar information could be flagging your application (or the ATF examiner could have an ex-husband matching your name and put you at the bottom of the stack out of spite!) There's no way of knowing, but we urge those with applications pending over a year to contact their congressman.

The ATF's Hard Numbers

June 2024 - In June, there was a 19% decrease in Form 4 applications when compared to May. For the year, there's a 63% increase in applications when compared to June of 2023. 53,186 applications were submitted, while just over 70,000 were approved. With more approvals than submissions, it's a strong indication of the ATF reducing its backlog. This is great news, as fewer forms in the pipe theoretically lead to a faster approval process. According to the NFA branch, at this time roughly 30% of applications experience delays or "longer than normal" approval times.