Crowdsourcing ATF Data: Behind The Curtain At NFA Tracker

Let’s get the big news out of the way first: in an effort to reinvest in the entire NFA community, Silencer Shop has purchased NFA Tracker – a website dedicated to crowdsourcing ATF data to predict wait times based solely on user input. At least, that’s what  NFA Tracker used to do. After over a year of redesigns, feature additions and upgrades, the new website relaunched last month with one promise – to provide users with more accurate NFA approval predictions as well as provide discussion forums, user reviews and expert opinions without bias towards (or away from) any industry member.

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Ok, so what does the change in ownership mean for you, the NFA buyer? Using the new interface, you will be able to input your transfer items easier. The previous version of the site allowed users to basically input any information in any format, causing data quality issues. For instance, filling out the electronic form to start tracking the progress of something as simple as a SilencerCo Saker could result in dozens of iterations in the NFA Tracker database. The new bosses have cleaned the old data and replaced the user input with drop-down selections. Don’t see the silencer you are looking for? Send the team an email or Facebook message and it will be added – sometimes within minutes of receiving the request.

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Preserving the quality of the information in the database becomes more complicated with items such as Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) and Form 1 builds because of the nearly infinite combinations and possibilities. As such, NFA Tracker has simplified the electronic forms to include “Custom” input values when adding a non-factory suppressor or other NFA item.

NFA TRACKER DATA:

In the previous version of the website, the data output could only be displayed in a few limited forms. Within the design lies the capability to sort graphs and charts based on different periods of time. For example, last year some stamp approvals were being returned within 30-45 days. To remove those “anomalies” users can adjust the data to more accurately predict current wait times.

The New And Improved NFA Tracker

The New And Improved NFA Tracker

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Those dots represent hopes and dreams…

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PRODUCT REVIEWS:

One of the new additions to the NFA Tracker website is a section for user generated product reviews. Have a favorite silencer? Make sure everyone knows so they can make better purchase choices. The same goes for an item you wish you never bought – prevent someone else from making the same mistake by leaving a detailed review.

The new NFA Tracker also includes a section for professional write-ups done by experienced and established reviewers in the industry. Writers and videographers (I’ll refrain from using the terms blogger and vlogger) can request to have a section specifically dedicated to their product reviews and can link to external content as well as upload content directly to their section on the site.

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FFL REVIEWS:

On a more local level, users are encouraged to submit reviews on the shops they use for their transfers. Great service? Leave a note and hopefully send more business towards your dealer.

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FORUM:

To further guide prospective buyers as well as inform current owners, NFA Tracker has added a forum section where users can discuss different manufacturers and their products. As good as sites like the suppressor section of AR15.com are, there is still a drought of information regarding silencer manufacturers that can be efficiently searched for information. NFA Tracker has made it easier for buyers to research all the manufacturers – from industry veterans to the new kids on the block (not the boy band – that’s a different Internet forum all together).

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FAQS, QUESTIONS AND FEATURE REQUESTS:

Q. I DON’T SEE MY NAME/FORM LISTED ON THE TRACKER. I THOUGHT NFA TRACKER TRACKED MY FORM THROUGH THE ATF.

NFA Tracker is a user content generated site. We don’t have access to the ATF records. Users enter the submission, check cashed dates, and approval dates. This allows others that were submitted around the same time to get a general idea of when their form will be approved. Please submit your information for the good of the NFA community.

Going forward, the new site will continue to add new features and updates. The hope is that Silencer Shop will be a able to integrate customer’s purchases directly into the tracking database on the NFA Tracker site. More importantly, the new management at NFA Tracker is both responsive to users questions and open to new feature requests. Have an idea? Let them know.

There will be those that will have concerns with a major distributor running a manufacturer-independent website. And I had similar questions. Specifically, I asked what if SilencerCo or Dead Air wanted to participate or advertise on NFA Tracker. The answer was ‘both of those manufacturers already have a place on our site’.

In my humble opinion, independent from my personal fondness of the Silencer Shop team, NFA Tracker provides a service that really should already be available with the ATF eForm site – adding a bit of insight into the bureaucracy of transferring and making NFA regulated items.

About Us:

NFA Tracker is a website dedicated to tracking and reporting NFA Form 1 and Form 4 transfer times as reported by users. We are dedicated to the NFA community and 2nd amendment supporters. The goal of the site is to not only provide data but to build and unify the NFA community.

Please explore the site and its features. If you have any questions please reference our Frequently Asked Questions or you can find most of the answers in our NFA Community forum.


NFA Tracker

NFA Tracker On Facebook 





Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete
https://www.instagram.com/tfb_pete/


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  • Cymond

    I noticed the website has changed, it’s good to know why. It certainly looks a lot sleeker.

    What I have to ask, is does the company or model of the suppressor matter AT ALL to the NFA processing time?

    • HSR47

      “Does the manufacturer/model effect transfer times?”

      In general no.

      That being said, NFA branch has apparently been using transfers as an opportunity to try to polish the turd that is the NFRTR; In some cases, I could see the model/manufacturer mattering with older stuff, especially things that date to before BATFE NFA branch existed.

  • datimes

    Have you seen their passwords?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      ? Not following.

      • milesfortis

        Older users (like moi) have to reset their passwords to use the new site.
        Their suggested password format reminds me of the format required to make one up to enter the SIPRNet.

      • datimes

        If you can’t log in, and need to reset your password, their computer generated passwords sent at your request are ridiculous.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          Ahh. Gotcha. I’m guessing they are being overly cautious with their data protection…

  • Ryan L

    Hey guys come on in and tell me whatcha bought, when and where…privacy, don’t worry about that, we gotcha covered. ….itch itch scratch scratch….any ya’ll need any more silencers btw?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      You know there’s no requirement to join, right?

      And that every retailer, online or otherwise, is collecting information on you.

      NFA Tracker is about the lowest threat to anyone’s identity – unless your Form 1 builds use your SSN and DOB as model and serial numbers. 😉

      • Ryan L

        Sure but I assume they are attempting to gather data on all silencer purchases not just folks that purchased from them. From a tinfoil hat perspective yeah I realize the credit card companies can compile all the lists for anybody they want and sell it to the highest bidder. Privacy and anonymity are mostly farces.

        This just seems to me like buying a TV on amazon but then heading over to Bestbuy to fill out a form that essentially says “hey guys I bought a TV”

        Maybe I’m just burned out on spam or bacn email but I’d rather not tell the fox what time the hens will be out.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          I’m tracking. (See what I did there).

          It’s mostly benign info, but I can understand not wanting to give any more up. Maybe you’ll feel different after the holidays. ?

  • Greg Torchia

    Big brother wants to know everything -imagine that