ATF Goes Through Major NFA Branch Reorganization

BATFE organizational changes might mean greater processing efficiency and shorter wait time. Here’s the scoop…


If you own or have been thinking about owning an NFA item like a short-barreled rifle (SBR) or silencer, no doubt you know that processing times have been going up. The reason is ATF Rule 41F, which became active in July of 2016. The increase of required paperwork under the new rules combined with the front-loading of many submissions by those attempting to make it before the deadline have led to a larger workload for the NFA Branch. It hasn’t helped the silencer industry either.


But on April 3, 2017, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) made some major changes that amounted to a complete reorganization of the National Firearms Act (NFA) Branch.

In an attempt to better provide oversight, cut down wait times, and increase efficiency, two distinct new branches have been formed: The Industry Processing Branch (NFA IPB) and the Government Support Branch (NFA GSB).

The NFA IPB is responsible for industry forms processing and working towards refining current operations.

The duties of the NFA GSB include processing SOT applications, government transfers, exemptions, and expediting LEO/Gov requests.

Furthermore, a new NFA Division Staff Program Office has been formed to manage publications, FOIA requests, respond to data calls, and oversee the vetting of statistical data.


These new changes just might mean greatly reduced wait times — keep your fingers crossed!

6 thoughts on “ATF Goes Through Major NFA Branch Reorganization”

  1. Times awasring get to work ATF! Never seen a reoqanization in the federal government in crease efficiency! Just means they are getting less people to more work! It’ll take at least a year to see if there are any improvements in NFA !

  2. Make the BATF efficient? Eliminate it!
    It’s a redundant agency with a history of abusive policies.
    They don’t do anything local LE and the FBI aren’t already doing.

  3. So, they took some people who were processing everyone’s forms (civilian & government applicants) and moved them to another branch that just does approvals for govt & businesses? Wow, that should speed things up for the citizen’s approvals :/

    It’s treasonous that we we need to pay a tax, have a 1+ year wait time, and get permission to keep & bear arms. Too bad voters don’t have to pass background checks, pay a $200 tax and wait 1+ years to vote. Could you imagine having to pay a $200 tax for each church you were registered to attend, or for each public article you wanted to write. Maybe the Supreme Court will finally do their job & ban blatantly unconstitutional practices like this.

    1. That is exactly how I read this when I first heard it. Not “we are adding more cashiers”. Instead, “we are moving some of the cashiers from the checkout line to an express lane”. And, by the way, only dealers and LEO/ Military can use the express lane.

  4. Why do I think the branch expediting LEO/gov requests will get the reduced wait times, while the other branch turtle along?

    Two new branches and one new office means lots of new bureaucrats. No info about an improved investigator/civvy request ratio or rule changes like maybe keeping an approval “live” for a time so I don’t need a complete new vetting for 2 SBRS and 3 suppressors in the same year. A quick check of the main 3-4 criminal databases would show I haven’t suddenly gone rogue.

    Tomorrow begins month 12 for my form 4 which was submitted well before the deadline stampede.

  5. Been waiting since 1-9-17 for the newly revised Form 4473’s that took affect on 1-16-17. It is now 4-17-17 and no forms received even after numerous orders to BATFE. We were issued 50 forms at the start of January and have been forced to make our own to stay in business.
    Think these changes they are making will streamline the agency?
    B S!

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