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

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    Pete

    Editor In Chief- TFB
    LE – Silencers – Science
    [email protected]


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