Not everyone is aware that the ATF allows any US citizen over the age of 21 that is not a “Prohibited Person” to manufacture their own non-machine gun NFA devices! That is, individuals can build their own short-barrel rifles, short-barrel shotguns, and AOWs by filing and receiving an approved Form 1.
The Form 1 is somewhat similar to the ATF’s Form 4, but requires some specialized steps that might be confusing for newcomers to the NFA world.
Lemcoe Precision has filed numerous ATF Form 1’s on behalf of customers and ensure that the process is as simple as possible for the buyer, with all of the application steps completed in one visit.
ATF Form 1 Process
1. Decide what to manufacture
Currently, the ATF allows individuals to manufacture short-barrel rifles, short-barrel shotguns, and silencers/suppressors. However, the vast majority of Form 1 filings are for converting existing “pistols” with barrels less than 16 inches into short-barrel rifles. For example, a 10.5″ AR-15 pistol being converted into a 10.5″ AR-15 rifle. Upcoming ATF rulings may require that all existing pistols with barrel lengths under 16 inches become registered under the National Firearms Act.
2. Determine Filing Status: Individual or Trust
Just like with a Form 4, this is where things start to get a little complicated. When filing Form 1 or Form 4s with the ATF, buyers are given the opportunity to elect to file as an individual, as a corporation, or as a revocable trust. Each option has pros and cons, but most of the differentiating factors involve:
- What happens to your device(s) after you pass away?
- Who can use and/or possess your device(s) when you are not present?
- Does a notary public need to get involved?
Lemcoe Precision can prepare trust documents for you and any desired co-trustees.
3. Fingerprint Cards
You and any co-trustees on a trust must submit two (2) fingerprint cards, each, and physically mail them to the ATF. Lemcoe Precision will complete this process on-site free of charge, ensuring the fingerprint cards are perfectly filled-out.
4. Passport-Style Photograph
The ATF requires a passport-style photograph to be included with all Form 1s. Lemcoe Precision will take this picture, print it, cut it, and include it with your Form 1 free of charge.
5. Notarize Trust (if applicable)
If in Step 2 you decided to establish a revocable trust, the trust must be notarized.
6. Fill Out Form 1
One of the trickier parts of the process is filling out a Form 1 on the ATF’s eForms website. Because you are truly manufacturing a new firearm or device, there is additional information and pictures required to satisfy the ATF’s investigation process. Lemcoe Precision will complete the entire form free of charge and ensure that your Form has the highest possible chance of approval.
7. Pay $200 Tax Stamp
Prior to the submission of an ATF Form 1, buyers must make a $200 payment to the ATF either by check or credit card. Lemcoe Precision will charge you the $200 (without fees) at the time of purchase and submit this payment on your behalf.
8. Submit Form 1 With Fingerprints
Once all of the paperwork and addendums to your Form 1 have been completed, it is time to submit the form and mail any paper items (like fingerprint cards) to the ATF. Once again, Lemcoe Precision handles all of this on your behalf.
9. Wait In Line
Arguably the worst part of the entire process and the only step that Lemcoe Precision cannot help you with is the waiting period for receiving approved Form 1’s from the ATF. With the release of ATF eForms, these waiting periods are down from 90+ days, and are currently around 52 days at the time of this post.
Once your Form 1 has been approved, you are free to manufacture your SBR, SBS, or silencer! However, it is critical to not forget Step 10 below:
9. Wait In Line
In the eyes of the ATF, you are creating a brand-new firearm or device by filing a Form 1, and with that comes ATF marking considerations. All NFA devices (no matter who makes them) must properly mark the device with the name of the individual or trust that owns it as well as the city and state of the individual or trust.
This engraving/marking must follow very specific guidelines.
Lemcoe Precision has on-site equipment that can mark your device with the required information in less than 15 minutes!