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Batch Approvals from the ATF Explained

Batch Approvals from the ATF Explained

Batch Approvals from the ATF Explained

There is a lot of focus on approval times for eForm 4 submissions to the ATF with regards to purchasing a suppressor. Some of that focus is coming from the recent announcement that they are doing batch approvals. What does it mean to have a batch approval? Let’s look at the process and how it applies to you. 

The approval process 

Many of us have come to believe from what we’ve seen until recently was that to get a suppressor purchase approved from the ATF took months upon months of waiting for them to get it done. The process has sped up, especially in 2024, where now very few are waiting many months for their approvals. Trust-submitted approvals are rapidly increasing in speed, with a goal from the ATF to get it down to a couple of weeks. They aren’t there yet, but it is coming. Individually submitted eForm 4s are moving through at a rapid pace lately, with many happening in real time – essentially the same amount of time it takes to get a NICS check done for a firearm purchase. 

Batch approvals 

What a batch approval means is that if you have an eForm 4 in the approval process, and you then add additional submissions for additional suppressor purchases, the ATF’s system now identifies that and moves all your forms to be approved at the same time.  

Hey! Buy another silencer while you wait for the first one. You can get them both at the same time!

For example, let’s say you bought a BANISH 30 through a trust a month ago and are waiting for the approval to come through. During that month, you also bought a BANISH 46 and a BANISH Speed K Ti. Besides having impeccable taste in suppressors, you will have all of them approved at one time when the original submission gets approved.  

It helps to buy your silencer from the experts – Silencer Central – as we work hand-in-hand with the ATF and have the paperwork down to a science. 

Why are approvals speeding up? 

The leadership in the ATF and specifically the National Firearms Act (NFA) branch of the ATF has been focusing on efficiency. The ATF and NFA process for approvals has historically been based on paper forms.  

Ben Hiller, the acting NFA branch leader, took a deep dive into the Form 4 approval process. He found that as much as 80% of the process being done manually was redundant, as a computer program already did it. Keep in mind that the NFA was enacted on June 26, 1934. Even as the process went digital, the approval process still relied on criteria that came from the original planning. Now that things are more efficient, it is much faster. 

What do batch approvals mean for you? 

Honestly, if you are waiting for a suppressor approval, it means it is a great time to buy more suppressors. You’re not going to have the wait time for each one. Even with shortened approval times, if you’re filing under a trust, there is still some wait time. If you are thinking of buying another suppressor or three, now is a great time to do so.

And we’re not just saying that to get you to buy more suppressors from us. Customer service has long been our mission. When we see something that can help you in any way, we’re going to let you know.