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Sean Cody

Alternate Title: EFORMS for Dummies (written by one)

REMINDER: EForms is only available for entities such as trusts/corps/LLCs to use. A person filing as an individual cannot file electronically at this time.

The form filled out during the making of the Visual Guide has been approved. Follow These Steps and get your form 1 approved. This is what the digital stamp looks like:

Type your paragraph here.

NOTE from ATF EFORMS bulletin: An eForms industry member has brought to our attention that an important rule is missing from our password complexity rules, listed on the registration screen where you create your eForms password.
The requirements are currently displayed as follows:
Choose a password as per the following rules:
1. Must have at least twelve (12) characters in length.
2. Must contain at least one or more number(s) (0-9).
3. Must contain at least one or more special character(s) (!@#$%^&*(),).
4. Must contain at least one or more upper and lower case letter(s) (a-z, A-Z).
The rule that is missing is:
Must be no fewer than 5 alphabetic characters in your password.
Please adhere to this rule when you are creating or changing your eForms passwords.
Note: Thank you to the industry member who discovered and reported this problem.
(the “missing rule” has caused a lot of people problems)

There have been several questions asked regarding the forms:

 The first pertains to answering all the questions on the back of the Form 1, specifically sections 10 & 11 (the Yes/No questions about age, being a fugitive or illegal alien, having been found mentally defective or being dishonorably discharged). These questions are not asked in EFORMS, because the entity filing cannot answer those questions. A trust cannot be addicted to drugs, and an LLC can't be convicted for domestic violence. There is no need to print out a copy, answer the questions, and then upload it as an attachment.The other commonly asked question focuses on the need for a Certification of Compliance, the form known as the 5330.20. It is not required for an entity. A lot of people fill it out anyway when they mailed in their paper forms, just in case. I did that on my first two. However, the ATF addressed this in one of their earlier EFORMS bulletins. The screen shot below has some good info, and the top-right section answers the 5330.20 question:

For those of you that printed a copy of your form, I want to clarify a couple things that have been discussed on several times:
1. You should've put your entity (trust/corp) in the Licensee/Permitee field and left the Trade Name field blank. The Licensee/Permittee name (and address) will show up in section 3b. However, you'll also notice that the entity name is duplicated in field 3a, the Trade Name. This is not a problem, it's the way EForms works. 2. Section 4j ("Is this firearm being reactivated?") will not have a mark in either "Yes" or "No". You were never asked this question when filling out the form. Multiple users with approved forms have confirmed this section is blank on their forms, and I've yet to see anybody say they were disapproved for this reason.
2. The entire back (page 2) of the Form 1 will be blank. This is the benefit of filing as an entity. You didn't have to provide photos (section 12) or CLEO sig and info (section 13). You also don't have to provide fingerprints. In addition to that, sections 10 & 11 will be blank, as you were never asked those questions. You weren't asked those questions because the entity is the applicant, and not you as an individual. Your entity can't be an illegal alien, can't be addicted to a controlled substance, can't be a fugitive, can't have been dishonorably discharged, can't have renounced its US Citizenship, etc. Same rules would apply to a paper F1, although a lot of people seem to check the boxes anyway. It is not required to answer these questions when filing as an entity, therefore you haven't done anything wrong resulting in unanswered questions.

Although not specific to EForms, I'm going to post something that gets discussed often. The question is what needs to be engraved.

The answer most of the time is:
Name of applicant (either individual or entity)
City, state of where maker made the firearm (not necessarily home address, or even same city)

Remember, when it comes to looking at the statutes as a Form 1 applicant, you are a maker, not a manufacturer. A Form 1 is an Application to Make and Register a Firearm. There are a whole different set of forms/regulations/taxes to be a manufacturer.

Here are the statutes behind those requirements:

§ 479.102 How must firearms be identified?
(a) You, as a manufacturer, importer, or maker of a firearm, must legibly identify the firearm as follows:
(1) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and
(2) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
(i) The model, if such designation has been made;
(ii) The caliber or gauge;
(iii) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer or maker;
(iv) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business, or where you, as the maker, made the firearm; and
(v) In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.

Those are the general guidelines...then the ATF clarified for NFA items:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes licensed manufacturers and licensed importers of firearms, and makers of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms, to adopt the serial number, caliber/gauge, and/or model already identified on a firearm without seeking a marking variance, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met. Licensed manufacturers seeking to adopt all of the required markings, including the original manufacturer’s name and place of origin, must receive an approved variance from ATF. ATF Ruling 75-28 is superseded, and ATF Industry Circular 77-20 is clarified.

Held, pursuant to 27 CFR 478.92(a)(4)(i) and 479.102(c), ATF authorizes licensed manufacturers and licensed importers of firearms, and makers, to adopt the serial number, caliber/gauge, and/or model already identified on a firearm without seeking a marking variance, provided all of the following conditions are met:
1. The manufacturer, importer, or maker must legibly and conspicuously place on the frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide (if applicable) his/her own name (or recognized abbreviation) and location (city and State, or recognized abbreviation of the State) as specified under his/her Federal firearms license (if a licensee);
2. The serial number adopted must have been marked in accordance with 27 CFR 478.92 and 479.102, including that it must not duplicate any serial number adopted or placed by the manufacturer, importer, or maker on any other firearm;
3. The manufacturer, importer, or maker must not remove, obliterate, or alter the importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number to be adopted, except that, within 15 days of the date of release from Customs custody, a licensed importer must add letters, numbers, or a hyphen (as described in paragraph 4) to a foreign manufacturer’s serial number if the importer receives two or more firearms with the same serial number;
4. The serial number adopted must be comprised of only a combination of Roman letters and Arabic numerals, or solely Arabic numerals, and can include a hyphen, that were conspicuously placed on the firearm; and
5. If the caliber or gauge was not identified or designated (e.g., marked “multi”) on the firearm, the manufacturer, importer, or maker must legibly and conspicuously mark the frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide (if applicable) with the actual caliber/gauge once the caliber or gauge is known.
Held further, licensed manufacturers seeking to adopt all of the required markings, including the original manufacturer’s name and place of origin, must receive an approved variance from ATF.

So...the quick list of required engravings:
1. Serial Number
2. Model
3. Caliber
4. Name
5. Location

A maker on an F1 can reuse the SN and model. They must engrave caliber if it's not present anywhere else, (i.e. if lower is marked "multi" and barrel isn't marked). You add your name, or name of entity that is the registered owner. Then, as maker, the city, state of where it was actually made.

That information can be on the frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide. But, it must always be on the firearm. That simply means if you choose to engrave on an AR upper or barrel, you'd have to engrave every upper/barrel you plan to use. That's why most will engrave the lower receiver. The serial number, however, must be on the frame or receiver (could be upper or lower depending on which part the ATF has defined as the "firearm").

Notice only the SN has the 1/16" minimum size. Everything else is only held to the .003" minimum depth.

If you want to read the documents yourself, you can find 27 CFR 479.102               and ATF ruling 2013-3 here.

Texas NFA Gun Trust in Houston and Across the State of Texas!!

Type your paragraph here.

Note: I want to get this in before you register, and give you an alternative solution if you already registered. When you register, there is a Title field available. Notice it's after your name. This is not a title like Mr/Mrs/Dr, rather a title like Trustee. When you sign a paper form, you sign and print as Full Name as Trustee. In EForms, you sign electronically. Box 7 shows DIGITALLY SIGNED and Box 8 shows your name as registered. If you have Trustee in the Title field, your form will include that title after it prints your name. Here's an example of what one of mine looks like:

The wording from the EForms bulletin:

The proper way to identify the manufacturer of a firearm.

For those who will simply be modifying an existing weapon:

If you are modifying an existing firearm, typically a standard configuration rifle into a short barreled rifle, the form requires the name of the original manufacturer of the firearm. When submitting an eForm 1, on the line item screen, a window for the entry of manufacturer is opened after clicking the Add Firearm button. At this point, the applicant would enter a short version of the manufacturer’s name to bring up a list of names for selection of the manufacturer from the list. Select the correct manufacturer and proceed to the description screen. You may note that the manufacturer code field also populates. We issue a code to a manufacturer. While the original manufacturer information is captured, the applicant is the maker and registrant for purposes of the NFA and must mark the firearm.

For those who will be make their own item. (would include builds on 80% lowers)

If you are creating the firearm yourself, such as a silencer or a short barreled rifle (when finishing a receiver that is not yet a firearm), there is no original manufacturer. Because of the large number of makers (which includes filings by trusts), we do not issue a specific code to each maker. Instead, we use a generic code of FMI to denote a Form 1 registration. Thus, when submitting an eForm 1 where there is no original manufacturer, on the line item screen, a window for the entry of manufacturer is opened after clicking the Add Firearm button. At this point, the applicant should click the “By Manufacturer Code’ button and enter FMI as the manufacturer code and click Verify. The applicant will then select the United States as the country of manufacture and proceed to the description screen. Please note that ‘FORM 1 REGISTRATION’ will appear as the name of the maker on the PDF of the eForm 1. Again, the applicant is the maker and registrant for purposes of the NFA and must mark the firearm.

To close the loop on the actual application (the one with the yellow warning for unknown model)...I got the email at 6:15p tonight indicating my submission changed to SUBMITTED/IN PROCESS. Subtracting the 48 hours for the weekend, that's just under 24 hours. The screen shown above the two emails now indicates a Permit Number for all three, with a Submitted Date of 1/13/2014 for the top line.

If you have the yellow warning, your form will have a DRAFT watermark across it when you view/print it. When you get the email notifying you it's now SUBMITTED/IN PROCESS (same as Pending), you can view/print your form and see it now has a SUBMITTED watermark.

If anybody knows for certain that something in the above is incorrect, let me know and I’ll fix it. Hopefully this gives you an idea of what’s involved in filing online. As a reminder, this is available for entities only (trust/LLC/corps) and not individuals. Your first one may take a little longer, but I know I can fill one out faster than I could actually read all of the information on my screen shots (assuming the system is running OK…as attaching the files and using sometimes goes really slow). I went overboard in trying to make sure everything possible was covered.

It was mentioned earlier how you could get a duplicate form in the DRAFT folder when uploading attachments after they're in the SUBMITTED status. There are other things that cause this as well, not all of which are known. This has happened as recent as the day I'm adding it with somebody simply logging in to look at their form and hitting Save. It created a Draft copy, which the user deleted after verifying the Submitted copy was there...and they both disappeared. All is not lost, as the ATF still has the Submitted form, but they'll have to email it to you since it's not in the system any longer. Here's a snippet from an EForms bulletin that addresses it:

From EForms bulletin:

Attachment Limitations
The maximum size of a single upload for an attachment is 3 MB and the total size of the attachments cannot exceed 30 MB (with a maximum number of attachments of 10 at- tachment for the Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10). Forms 6 and 6A may contain a maximum of 10 line attachments per line item (the total submission cannot exceed 30 MB per submission).

Instructions NFA Trust Documents:
We have been advised that, for NFA forms, the size of the trust or corporate documents may exceed the 3 MB limit. If you encounter this situation, we suggest that you split the document into 2 or more ‘packages’ (as needed). When the attachments are added, identify the packages as, for exam- ple, ‘XXX Trust 1 of 3,’ ‘XXX Trust 2 of 3,’ etc.

Note: After you submit the application attachments cannot be added. I have found this statement to not be true. You can add documents after the form is submitted but before it's approved. However, it's a little confusing. It will create a duplicate copy of the form in DRAFT status. At first, my Draft copy had the new attachment and the Submitted copy had the old attachments. When checked the next day, all attachments were on both copies. The NFA branch confirmed they saw the new attachment, and was told not to delete the Draft copy, as it would delete both. Several months later, I still have Draft copies of all my Approved forms just sitting there. (if you have any questions about this process, feel free to post them or send me an IM).

**also see the screen shot at the bottom of this guide to clarify when to add attachments**

For register as an individual that will represent the entity, using your name. You don't register as the entity itself. You will use the trust/corp name as the Licensee/Permitee (you'll see this in detail on a later screenshot).

If you have already registered, you can still add a title if you choose. Simply log into EFORMS and go to the My Profile tab at the top. Then look at User Information. The Title field is right below your name.

Notice that on both the Registration page and the User Information page there is not an asterisk next to the Title field. It is not required. Just like your middle initial isn't required. The trust you submit will have your name listed as Trustee. I've yet to see anybody post that they were denied because of Trustee not being present. Quite a few posted success with the Title field blank. I think it's a non-issue, but I wanted to point it out in case you wanted to use that field.

ETA: I registered with my "nickname" of Greg and my last name. After I submitted my first three forms, they each had Greg Lastname in Box 8. After the third form, and reading about somebody putting their title in their profile, I went back in and changed my first name to Gregory, added a middle initial and also added Trustee as a title. The fourth form showed Gregory S Lastname, Trustee when I previewed it. The more interesting fact is my first two forms actually have my full name and title on them in the Approved status. This may have happened because it updated when status went from Submitted to Approved. Or, it may have happened because the two forms had the DRAFT watermark, and the person I contacted said they'd have to reset the forms. The only way I'll really know is if the third form comes through cleanly without the DRAFT watermark so it doesn't have to be reset. I'll check to see how my name shows up in Box 8 and update this post. (Every one of my F1s, and my one F4, all had the DRAFT watermark and had to be reset. Didn't remember to look at the 3rd one to see how my name/title appeared.)

The question of what to upload comes up fairly often in regards to a trust. It is not sufficient to simply upload the Certificate of Trust. You must include the entire body of the trust, with all signature and notary stamps, as well as any Schedule A/B/C or Assignment of Property sheets required, depending on how your trust is written. I also included the signed and notarized Acceptance of Trusteeship & Affidavit of Eligibility to Serve as Trustee sheet I have for each trustee. It's better to be safe than sorry, so I'd definitely opt to send more than less. I have sent the same Schedule A for all of mine, showing just the initial $200 I used to find the trust, and just keep an updated copy at home. Everything (both paper and EForms) I've sent in so far that way has been approved. I did remove any blank/extra pages, and also skipped the "Information about your NFA gun trust" and "Delivery Verification Acknowledgement" sections, which were just information for me and a confirmation for my lawyer. Because of the wide variety in how trusts are written, there's unfortunately not a simple "include pages 2-6, plus the Schedule A" answer here.

There's often a discussion about file size for attachments, and people having trouble getting their document scanned into a single file 3MB or less. I've always tried to point out that checking the settings is the key. B&W scans are significantly smaller than color, even if the document is nothing by black text. You also don't need extremely high dpi to make it readable.

I took a single paper Form 1 I had (so there is one small color section, the stamp itself) and scanned it on my Brother multi-function printer multiple times using every quality option I had available. Here are the results:

B&W 100dpi = 36KB
B&W 200dpi = 77KB
B&W 300dpi = 133KB
Color 100dpi = 113KB
Color 200dpi = 313KB
Color 300dpi = 573KB
Color 600dpi = 1,228KB

So, based on that sample, a color scan is 3-4.5 times the size of a B&W scan. My trust scanned in at ~7MB at the default setting of 200dpi color. I submitted a 200dpi B&W copy which was only 1.7MB.

In addition, I want to add another note/tip/suggestion here that is mentioned in a couple of the screenshots. If you put the checkmark and enter your own information, it is helpful to add an attachment at the end of the process (when you upload your trust/corp) to explain why. Removing any confusion for the examiners will do nothing but help to speed up the process. So, if you choose a manufacturer, but then your model number isn't in the dropdown, attach a pic showing the SN and Model. If you choose a manufacturer and then a model, but your caliber doesn't show up, attach a .doc explaining that you're building the firearm with an upper chambered in ### (whatever caliber you input).

1. barrel length includes any permanently attached muzzle device; can be found by inserting wooden dowel down barrel until it contacts closed bolt face
2. OAL is measured with collapsible stock in fully extended position
3. There have been multiple reports of all applications that used "multi" for caliber being rejected. It may have been ok years ago, but save yourself the hassle and pick a single caliber. Do not use "multi" or try and list multiple calibers.

The drop down menus are populated based on what prior users have input...and not provided by the ATF. That's why an option that is available can still be incorrect. There are many users here that learned the hard will get disapproved. Why is “Multi” in the drop down box?   While it's not a valid selection on a Form 1, it is used on some other forms in certain situations (a sear on a Form 2 was one example) so it needs to be in the system.