Ultimate Guide on What is an NFA Tax Stamp and How to Fill the ATF eForm 1 for NFA Tax Stamp application

This blog is your step-by-step guide on a tax stamp and how to fill the ATF eForm 1, specifically eForm 5320.1 for the NFA tax stamp application. But first, let us elaborate on why you need an NFA tax stamp.

What is an NFA tax stamp, and why do you need it?

NFA tax stamp is a requirement when you do not own an FFL license to create, possess, or transfer a class II firearm. To acquire the tax stamp, you need to fill the ATF eForm 5320.1, an application to make or register an NFA firearm. This requires a $200 tax, and you can get your legal class II firearm registered under federal law with the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).

There are two ways to apply for a tax stamp. You can either apply

  • As an individual applicant or, 
  • With a Gun Trust

What is a Gun trust?

The NFA gun trust is a legal document that allows you to quickly and easily acquire an NFA firearm. It requires many other legal documents to attach to it so that the ATF can trust you and process your request faster. This was previously a way to speed up the registration process, but that has ended, and many people find it tedious to do a gun trust. Your mileage may vary. 

Before you Start

Once you initiate this process you’ll have 10 business days to send in the rest of these documents, it’ll likely take 15-30 minutes to get your fingerprints done, and passport photos the same amount. Get this done first so you’re not rushing around to get it done within the timeline. 

Before you even open your computer to begin filling out the Eform, you’ll need a few things. 

  • 2 Fingerprint Forms (FD-258)
  • 2 Passport Photos
  • Name and information for the CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) of your area
  • Data on the firearm or silencer that you’re going to be making
    • IE what caliber is this? 9mm? Multi-Caliber?, how long is the barrel, how long is the silencer in its longest configuration, who makes the product, etc.

Call your local police department, or their CCW permit office, and ask about getting fingerprint forms done (the form is called FD-258), this is something they do quite often, and likely have a fairly streamlined process for completing it. Bring cash to the appointment and make sure you have no major cuts or extremely dirty hands. Again make sure that you have 2 fingerprint forms.

The passport photo CAN be done at home, but often it’s easier to get it done at a pharmacy or other place that does these photos often. You can save a bit of time and a few bucks doing it yourself, but if the ATF rejects your form, it’s likely for some benign reason that the pharmacy has seen before with other passport photos (wrong size, bad lighting etc). 

Finding out your CLEO is usually pretty easy, when you get your fingerprints done, ask the office there, or call your local Sherrif’s Department and ask around about who the CLEO is. 

Be patient

 The ATF website is SLOW, if you click something and it doesn’t load immediately, stop, pretend this is 2005 and you’re on dialup. This ATF site is Netscape era and it is not speedy. Take your time, depending on how many people are applying for FORM 1s, you might have to wait up to 5 min to load one page.

Step-by-Step Process to Fill the ATF eForm 5320.1

1. This process should take between 30 min and 1hr, depending on you, your internet, and how many other people are applying all over the country.

2. The first thing you need to do before filing for eForm 5320.1 is registering on the ATF’s eForm website. The registration process will give you a username and password. Make sure to use a password you can either remember or write it down for use during this process, it will be asked of you at the very end to submit the form. Use these login credentials to sign in on the eForm website. The website to fill the eForm 5320.1 is https://bit.ly/2ViPIC1 

Ultimate Guide on What is an NFA Tax Stamp and How to Fill the ATF eForm 1 for NFA Tax Stamp application

This is the login screen that you will see. 

3. After logging in, you will see the scrolling ATF eForm selector in the middle of the screen, from which you need to select the eForm 1 ATF F 5320.1 (green).  

4. Next, it will ask you to select the applicant type. The four applicant types you can choose from are:

  • Trust
  • Corporate or Legal Entity
  • Individual
  • Government

If you are applying as an individual candidate, select ‘individual,’ and if you are applying with a gun trust, select ‘trust.’ The others are likely not for you to use. 

5. Next, the screen with ‘Intended Use of Form’ and ‘Special Instructions for Individuals, Trusts and Legal Entities’ will appear. You will need to do and agree on what this page requires as per the type of applicant you are. 

‘Intended Use of Form’ is filled to get ATF’s permission to make an NFA firearm. You will need to pay the firearm-making tax if the application requires you to do so. You will also need to attach all the documents it asks you to upload by selecting the attachment type. 

If you are applying with a trust, you will need to:

  • Provide all the documents to validate your trust
  • Provide your photo with a completed ATF Form 5320.23, NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire (RPQ) for every responsible person in your trust, their photograph, and a scanned and signed RPQ form by the responsible person. 
  • Provide the fingerprints of every responsible person. Just like an individual filing, the eForms website will send you a cover sheet with the names of every responsible person. You will print and mail (hard copy) the cover sheet along with the fingerprint card of every responsible person to the mentioned address within ten business days. This used to be an interesting workaround to getting multiple people to use your NFA item, however that is now not the case, if you want Uncle Jim to be able to use your Suppressor or SBR, he’ll need to get you all these relevant documents. 

You will need to follow and complete every step as per your applicant status. Read this page thoroughly and make sure you do as it says. Click next to agree to what it asks for. 

6. Next, you will advance to the ‘application type’ page. 

Ultimate Guide on What is an NFA Tax Stamp and How to Fill the ATF eForm 1 for NFA Tax Stamp application

This is where you select that you will pay a $200 tax if you are filing as an individual or with a gun trust. You can leave the control number box empty and proceed to the next page.

7. The ‘Applicant’ Page. This is where you will fill in all your details, as an individual or with a gun trust. When you apply with a gun trust, the eForms will automatically select the ‘No FFL’ button, and trustee options appear for you to select. While filing as an individual, you will select the ‘No FFL’ button when you do not have the FFL license. Submitting an eForm with an FFL license would need you to submit additional information.

For an individual, sections like first name, middle name, and last name appear automatically. Next, you will add the:  

  • Title of the submitter, which is the title of the person registering the application
  • Country
  • Address
  • Zipcode
  • City
  • County
  • State
  • Telephone
  • Extension
  • Email
  • Most of these questions are just like a 4473 form which is what you fill out when buying a gun, pay attention to which ones to mark N/A, and don’t mark NO for everything without reading it. 

Ultimate Guide on What is an NFA Tax Stamp and How to Fill the ATF eForm 1 for NFA Tax Stamp application

8. Next, you will move on to the ‘Responsible Persons’ page. This page is rather tricky to navigate, use the scrolling bar on the bottom where it says (columns hidden) This is where you need to enter every information about the responsible persons in your trust. It could be trustees, grantor, or settlor. The detailed information you need to enter on this page is yours:

  • Your citizenship
  • Your cadence (Jr, Snr, etc)(leave this blank if it doesn’t apply)
  • Your Photo
  • Responsible person
  • First name
  • Middle name (make sure that you designate that you have a full middle name and then type it completely)
  • Last name
  • Email
  • If you’re using a trust, a Signed and scanned eForm 5320.23 (RPF for every responsible person)
  • Photo (a picture of your passport photo is okay if you did this all at home, using the photo you used to print out the passport photo is a good idea)
  • Social Security Number (SSN) (this is not strictly necessary, but improves the chances of you going through the first time and not delaying your Form 1, remember, the government knows a LOT about you, including the fingerprints you’re uploading with this form. Add your social, it’s just safer for this form)
  • Zip Code
  • State
  • City
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth Country
  • Birth State
  • State of residence
  • Sex
  • Race
  • UPIN (the vast majority of people won’t have this, it’s if someone else that is a criminal or something else precluding them from gun ownership/NFA ownership has your exact same name, leave blank if you do not have it)

9. The ‘Chief Law enforcement Officer’ page (CLEO) page. Add the detailed information of the agency or law enforcement department to which you are sending the CLEO notification. Add details as follows:

  • Agency Name
  • Name of the CLEO
  • Title of the CLEO
  • Country of CLEO
  • Their address
  • Zip Code
  • State
  • City
  • County

10. The ‘Line Item’ page. This is where you add the information about the NFA firearm you are about to get the tax stamp for. There are four sections (screens) for this page. In section one, you will click on the ‘add firearm’ button, and it will open a new window (section two) to start adding information about your firearm manufacturer. If you are creating the firearm, you will be called the manufacturer. For this, click on the “By Manufacturer Code’ button and enter ‘FMI.’ Then Verify Manufacturer.   Then Select the United States. This is when you enter the information like caliber and model, etc. 

In section two, start adding information about your factory-made class II firearm manufacturer. 

  • Manufacturer name. Select from the options or add manually. You can also add the manufacturer by a code. Click on the ‘verify manufacturer’ button to unlock the manufacturer’s country. 
  • Manufacturer country. 

In section three, you will add information about your firearm. 

  • Product Type (for the purposes of this article, we will select “SILENCER”)
  • Model (There is already a FORM1 ULTIMATE CONCUSSION CONDENSER Model in the ATF system, selecting this WILL speed up your approval time, a direct quote from the ATF website “Selecting a pre-populate Model from the drop-down list will prevent delays in processing time. Selecting the “Create New Item” box will increase process time, in addition to normal process time”
  • The following should be pre-populated when selecting the FORM1 ULTIMATE CONCUSSION CONDENSER as the model
    • Caliber 
    • Units of Measure
    • Barrel length – it does not apply if you are applying for a silencer.
    • Overall length (OAL) – Add the MAXIMUM  silencer length if you are applying for one.
  • Serial number. The serial number of the product or the number you have given to your project.
  • Description
  • State why you intend to make the firearm
    • A common response to this is “all lawful purposes”, choosing something more specific could be an issue. 

In section four, you can upload digital documents of the firearm that you are manufacturing. This is usually used for special purposes

11. The ‘Electronic Documents’ Page. If you are filing as an individual, disregard this page. This is where you upload the NFA gun trust. Make sure your gun trust is notarized, dated, and signed. Since the upload limit is 3MB, compress it before uploading if your document is over 3MB. This page is not for people applying as an individual. Go through the page thoroughly to check for every document you need to upload to verify the identity of your trust or legal entity. 

12. The ‘Certify’ page.  If there are any issues, they will be shown here, you can click the link and the site will take you back to the error that you made; again be patient, this could take some time. Before proceeding, turn off your pop-up blocker as paying online will bring a pop-up to enter your credit card info. Click on the certify button and go to the ‘pay’ button. A pop-up window will appear, and you can submit the payment. Next, sign and submit the application. This will then require your password to submit the final application. 

After the eForm is submitted, the eForm website will send you the cover letter for fingerprint details and the CLEO copy of your ATF 5320.1. You will send your fingerprint cards and passport photos along with this cover letter.  The fingerprints must be printed on Fingerprint Identification Cards, FD–258. You need to send two copies of the fingerprints of every responsible person. Remember to also send the CLEO copy to the CLEO you mentioned in your form 5320.1 

ATF’s address to send the papers to is:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
National Firearms Act Division
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, WV 25405

That is how you can successfully complete your eForm 5320.1 application to make or register an NFA firearm. 

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  • Thank you.
    This is very helpful info.


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