Still on the fence about making your Heckler & Koch SP5 into a short barrel rifle? Are you thinking about picking up a stock for your SIG Sauer MCX instead of a shoulder brace? Now may be as good a time as any.
ATF EForm Articles @ TFB:
Speaking generally for the uninitiated, if you are in the United States and you want to add a buttstock to a pistol or a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches (maybe swap that janky-looking shoulder brace to a buttstock) or a shotgun with a barrel length shorter than 18 inches, one way of doing this is through applying for a Form 1 “tax stamp” from the BATFE. This costs $200 and gives you the governmental permission required for you to enjoy what many other countries get for free: a short barrel rifle or a short barrel shotgun.
While this silly government oversight isn’t ideal, for the time being, that’s the way it is. At least the silver lining is that this process, which used to take months, has been streamlined by BATFE’s eForms system, which allows you to apply online and mail in your fingerprints. Yes, you can request the cards, buy some ink pads, and take your own fingerprints – you don’t need to pay someone to do this as long as you are sober enough to get a good finger roll on the card. The process is extremely easy, as outlined by my boss and life coach, Pete, in this E-Form Tutorial.
It’s also extremely quick, even as recently as July and August of 2021.
I’ve applied for three eForm Form 1s in the past year to make short barreled rifles (“SBR”), and I’ve been getting approved rather promptly:
- On July 20, 2021, I applied to SBR a SIG P320 Fire Control Unit for a Flux Raider (video below). My Form 1 was approved on August 6, 2021.
- On May 4, 2021, I applied to make an FN PS90 into an FN P90. My Form 1 was approved on June 6, 2021.
- On September 11, 2020, I applied to SBR a Heckler & Koch SP5k-PDW. My Form 1 was approved on October 5, 2020.
As you can see, these Form 1s are being approved in a month or less, and that’s often with my taking a few days to mail off my fingerprint cards. In 2018, my SIG Rattler Form 1 was approved in 16 days, and my most recent P320/Flux Raider was approved in a mere 17 days. Don’t forget to properly mark your firearms, too.
The point is, if you are thinking about taking the plunge and making a short barrel rifle or shotgun, forms are being approved in just 2-4 weeks. And while there has been speculation that a shoulder brace ban could result in an SBR free for all, with the government waiving the $200 fee for braced guns to be registered if braces are restricted, it’s just that – speculation. As this alleged SBR buffet scuttlebutt fits within the scope of this article, I reference it purely for your information; just realize this is nothing more than industry gossip at the moment.
Yes, we know: forms suck, over-regulation sucks, red tape sucks, and taxes suck. But having your own Mk18 does not, and at least you can get through the process now without waiting for nearly a year.