Many who have submitted NFA paperwork before or even during the shutdown are probably wondering if the NFA division of the ATF will be processing their paperwork. Well we have an answer and we don’t think you’re gonna like it.
Ammoland writes as the government shutdown extends into its third week, suppressor buyers and dealers across the country have one resounding question: will the shutdown have an impact on suppressor transfers? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. After speaking with sources in the administration, ASA can confirm that the NFA Division is NOT processing tax-paid transfers during the shutdown.
Unlike the actual approval/denial of NFA applications, tax payments for NFA transfers are processed directly by Bank of America. Because Bank of America employees do not work for the government, the $200 tax payments are still being processed as usual. After the checks are cashed, the forms are still being mailed to the NFA Division in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Under normal circumstances, this part of the process accounts for the first one to two weeks of the average NFA transfer. As a result of the shutdown, forms are stacking up as they are received by the NFA Division.
This isnt the first time this question has been asked, In fact during the government shutdown in 2013 a reader from TheFirearmBlog wrote;
“I called [the BATFE] today and Vicky (a pleasant sounding lady who answered the phone) said they have been affected by the government shutdown. Staff furloughed, no applications are being processed, nor can they check status. My Form 4 was sent in Feb 2013, so who knows when I’ll see it.”
According the to ATF’s Contingency Plan during government shutdowns only agents in field divisions, Industry Operations Investigators who conduct compliance inspections on FFLs, and personnel involved with intelligence data on criminal investigations are exempt from being furloughed during a lapse in appropriations.