About 4 years ago there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel with the possibility of removing suppressors and SBRs from the purview of the NFA however that quickly drifted away after a psychotic person shot up Las Vegas. Maybe it was just a pipe dream the whole time, but regardless any political steam we had was lost. It certainly doesn't appear that we're going to get suppressors or SBRs on a normal same-day background check like your handgun any time soon if ever at all. The NFA appears to be here to stay and with that comes some complexities and costs.
The required $200 tax stamp isn't chump change, but the most annoying part of the whole ordeal is the paperwork and amount of time it takes from buying your NFA item to getting the tax stamp and approval letter from the NFA branch so you can take it home. It's almost worse than going to your local DMV office on a Saturday afternoon and sitting in a stuffy government-run waiting room with 50 annoyed people plus all of their kids in tow.
The government typically doesn't have a lot of incentive to make our lives easier. On the contrary, when new laws and regulations are created it's generally more frustrating and more expensive for the law-abiding citizen at the end of the day. Once government has a mechanism to collect money from you the path to get what you want out of the deal usually doesn't improve. If anything is going to get faster it's most likely to be the speed at which government collects your money.
In a rare turn of events something has gone in our favor and that's the eForms. Before eForms everything was analog. If a dealer wanted to receive a suppressor the manufacturer would first have to send off the Form 3 for approval by mail so it could be moved from their books to ours and mail that aproval back. And if we shipped the suppressor to another dealer that step would repeat itself. It could easily take multiple weeks. Now we can submit Form 3's online and usually get the approval in days. Shaving off weeks is a big deal, but for the consumer that is just the beginning.
The real grind was the customer figuring out everything needed and mailing off the Form 4 paperwork. Then you would have to wait upwards of a year (in some cases longer) for your tax stamp and approval letter. The wait would be longer if you did something wrong and had to correct it. That has also been simplified in a couple ways. First is the eForm process allowing the submittal of the Form 4 online vs maling everything in. The second is the in-store kiosks such as the one we operate by Silencer Shop. There's an app to allow you to enter personal information at home, but the kiosk allows you to do your required fingerprints in-store. The kiosk also eliminates the time and expense of going somewhere and paying for taking and printing your picture with an appropriate backdrop. A photo from your phone can be uploaded instead.
The kiosk can't be easier and you can likely get your approval in 90 days or less. That's 3-5 times faster than doing it the "old way." At first we were a bit apprehensive about touting those potential approval times, but they're starting to come through so it's no joke. It's MUCH faster. Below is a handy video that Silencer Shop put together regarding the process:
Given all of the options the eForms combined with the kiosk is the best tool you have. If you were holding off on your NFA item because of the hassle of paperwork or long approval times then it's time to give it a second thought. The long wait times even disuaded a few of us at Osage County Guns from buying suppressors for ourselves in the past, but in this rare turn of events have gotten better for the legal firearm owner.
Remember that your gun's threaded barrel doesn't have to be alone anymore. Don't you think it's time to give it the friend it deserves while spending less time and losing less hair doing it?