PSA: Make Sure To Sign Your ATF Forms

Credit: MP5SD line art by Pewdoodles.

After waiting nearly a year and a half for two ATF Form 4s to clear NFA purgatory, the last thing I wanted to hear was that my paperwork had been returned to my dealer with an error letter. Even worse is that I had no one to blame but myself. So as a warning to anyone who is getting ready to submit ATF forms as part of an application to transfer or make NFA items, I am issuing this public safety announcement: don’t forget to f*^%ing sign them.

The paperwork and process to transfer NFA items like silencers isn’t hard – a little personal information here, a photograph there, throw in some fingerprint cards and you are done. However, you have to sign and date the forms. Sounds pretty simple, but when you are filling out four at a time, some critical fields can be lost in the fog. So don’t forget to sign your f*^%ing forms.

ATF forms

After signing my f*^%ing forms, I sent them all back to the NFA Division in West Virginia via overnight priority U.S. mail. With any luck, I should have an approval in a couple of weeks. In some way, the delay in approval being my own fault has helped with my mourning period. Now I don’t have a nameless, faceless  process to blame. Only myself.

If only I had signed my f*^%ing forms! It’s probably easier if if can all be handled digitally.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Form 4 here.

Pew Doodles line art on Instagram.


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • QuadGMoto


  • datimes

    My SOT has a program. The computer auto fills most of the forms and he highlights any spots I’m required to complete.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      My SOT is great. Does everything except sign my name…

      • Otm Shooter

        One job, Pete. You had one job.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          You know it. Ugh

      • Andy Hills

        Your SOT should have reviewed everything in detial, and not let you miss your signature 🙂

  • Rick O’Shay

    The only mistakes that make me madder than other people’s mistakes, are my own. Sorry for your pain and suffering.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Eh, first world problems. Thanks.

    • iksnilol

      I dunno… I think the worst feeling is when you bump your head into something.

      Because it hurts like the dickens, but… But it is no ones fault.

      • ostiariusalpha

        I hate getting metal filings falling in my eye after taking my safety goggles off. Faceshield every time for me from now on.

        • Dougscamo

          I hate paper cuts….

          • I hate waking up to find that it’s not my girlfriend in bed with me.
            It’s my wife.

  • TangledThorns

    I’m still waiting on my Form 1 from September of 2016… No idea if I made a mistake or not, ugh.

  • Gary Kirk

    Welp.. That’s about enough to make you wanna just sit in the corner and punch yourself in the d!¢£ a few times ain’t it..

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Done and done.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Should have had the firearms concierge do that for you LOL.

    Sometimes I crack myself up.

    • Rick O’Shay

      I loathe that guy.

  • Andy Hills

    I just had a form 4(s) returned, mistake my dealer made 🙁 But I knew it was it was close, I think I had my can’s two weeks later.

  • mrsatyre

    I waited six months to learn that my dealer had lost the paperwork. Then they tried to blame me for their f’up.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ugh. New dealer?


    I feel your pain. As if the wait wasn’t bad enough! On my first two NFA purchases, made the same day, I waited 12 months, but I did sign the forms. How crazy is it to purchase a high dollar item and have to wait a year and half to take possession? A lot can happen in that timeframe. It’s nuts.

  • The Punisher

    “Make sure to sign your ATF forms”. Translation: “Slaves, don’t forget to polish your chains.”

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ok, I get where you are coming from and everything, and I believe that the NFA should be repealed, but you do realize that by not playing the game you are doing exactly what they want. You are banning yourself.

      • Rick

        I was wondering how long it would take for “that guy” to show up. Yeah Punisher, But I’m having way more fun than you…

      • The Punisher

        It’s called peaceful non-cooperation. By actively participating you are lending credibility and legitimacy to it.

        It’s like saying I’m a slave and my master will beat me if I don’t work so by not working I’m doing exactly what my master wants so he gets to beat me…

        What’s the evil in that situation? The fact that I won’t work under threat of violence or the fact that someone is exerting that force over me? Of course I’m “harming myself” by not working, but that’s the point. It illuminates the horror of the violence perpetrated upon me!

        Now apply it to the NFA situation. By merely possessing some arbitrary contraband and being caught with it armed agents of the State will come and forcibly take said property and punish me by locking me in a cage, extract money from me and then take away my right to defend myself and family with a firearm for the rest of my life! Or possibly even kill me and/or my family!

        What’s the evil in that situation? The fact that I refuse to play that game or the fact that armed men will punish me beyond all due comprehension for merely possessing an object?

        Next take it to it’s logical conclusion: Own a piece of metal, you’re a criminal, own a certain kind of plant, you’re a criminal, own a certain kind of substance, you’re a criminal…where will this stop? The answer is it won’t because by complying with it the citizens are signalling to the government that they agree and that it is a legitimate statute.

        The real moral obligation is to not comply en masse. If I illegally possess the contraband, then I’m a lone duck. Expect me to pay the full penalty and serve as an example. If 300,000,000 gun owners illegally possess the contraband? That’s a statement. It effectively nullifies the illegal and immoral statute. But that takes moral fortitude and a strong personal constitution. Things that most Americans lack…

        So you can keep doing what you’re doing, but don’t expect any change, only expect it to get worse. If any person or institution can lay any claim to anything you “own” then you don’t really own it.

        • BryanS

          That was the sucessful tactic taken by Colorado gun owners a few years ago when the “gun show loophole” ban went into effect, they went to the state house and started doing hundreds of illegal transfers a minute, waiting for the police to arrest everyone.

          • The Punisher

            The funny thing is this works every time because it’s how you combat tyranny always. We’re just too stupid and lazy to employ it effectively.

            Want to change the government you have? Stop complying. Make them punish you. If one person is “Spartacus” then they just haul him off and make an example out of him. If everyone is “Spartacus” then they’ve lost because the illusion of the con game is exposed. They cannot enforce these things without our implied consent and cooperation.

            But we let them divide and conquer us or convince us that these laws are just and moral and right.

            It’s the reason they won’t let people talk about jury nullification outside of courthouses. They don’t want you to know that any unjust law can effectively be vetoed by the people when it is applied at trial. It’s a super powerful tool and during jury selection if you mention it you can guarantee you won’t be on the jury.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          I admire your sacrifice, but I don’t think anyone is noticing. And if either no one abided buy the law or stopped purchasing NFA, the world would just keep on turning. We need real money and power involved to make change.

          A better solution is to get as many people interested as possible. Drive it out of the dark into the light. Once you have numbers that matter, then you take more overt steps because that is what officials would notice.

          I don’t think the slave analogy works – if you stop working as a slave, you get punished. Whereas you have to actively make an unregistered item to get punished.

          • The Punisher

            Well Pete, gosh it seems to me that you are a writer on the internet that has a sizable readership.

            If you really believed in what you espoused then the least you would or could do would be to help create that interest and drive that change no?

            If TFB wants to hire me I’ll crank out all sorts of articles here drumming up support.

            And lol to your not thinking the slave analogy breaks down. You’re only looking at it from the contraband side of things. Try not paying “your” property taxes or the taxes on “your” vehicle! Master will send agents out to you right quick to get you in line. You stop working as a slave in the tax system and you will be punished.

            The definition of a slave is one who does not have true ownership of their self or their property. Anyone else who can lay claim to those things is the true owner of those things. Last I checked the FedGov and others all have first claims to our bodies and property as we cannot do what we want with them. Ingest something they don’t approve of? You get punished. Own something and not pay them their cut? Punished. Drive a little fast? Punished. Own something they don’t like? Punished.

            So tell me again how the slave analogy doesn’t work?

  • nonobaddog

    Here’s your sign.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I earned it.

  • chedolf

    I got my ATF Form 1 stamp in the mail today. First ever for me. 8)

    When I saw the envelope (after reading your post), I assumed they’d sent the application back for some kind of correction.

    • Pete – TFB Writer


  • Mystick

    They really should redesign some of these forms to make it more obvious what needs to be done. There are so many secondary and optional boxes that are for unicorn information… I like how many lawyers do it(I know, I know…)… with big red arrows pointing to where you need to focus your attention. But then again, I have a handicap – a mental block when it comes to bureaucratic paperwork and red tape. It’s really weird… excelling in so many areas and being completely retarded when it comes to this stuff. Maybe it’s the contempt I have for the red tape and “the system”, I dunno.

    But I know I’m not alone. There’s a whole industry dedicated to legal compliance and consultation on the fulfillment of “the necessary paperwork” that’s been generated by our inefficient bureaucracy. I guess it’s similar to the situation in education. There are some people that may not know the material, but are really good at taking tests, and people that know everything but aren’t good at taking tests.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I feel the same way.


  • Havok

    We do everything but sign, and we watch you sign it here.