Recent calls for a ban on “assault rifles” and magazines and a requirement for universal background checks has led to an unprecedented demand for modern sporting rifles (MSRs). This demand for MSRs has increased the demand for all complimentary accessories such as magazines, ammunition, and silencers. This demand has caused a sharp increase in the number of Form 4 transfers and Form 1 manufacturing applications sent into the ATF, and the ATF response time has slowed from about six (6) months to about (8) months. Because the response time is determined by noting what applications are being approved, it is reasonable to surmise that the backlog being created now will not be fully understood for another six to eight months.
Unfortunately, it is likely that wait times will increase to a year or more as people apply for transfers before any possible ban can be passed. We will not fully know the extent of the backlog until demand has decreased and the ATF has responded to the increased applications. For anyone wishing to purchase a NFA regulated firearm, patience will be required, but placing your name in the queue now will ensure that your transfer is processed. (It is worth noting that nothing is sure, but it is unlikely that the ATF will deny transfers already paid for and in process. )
If you are thinking about a purchase, now is the time to talk with your local NFA dealer and attorney to finalize your trust and application. If you have already purchased an item and are waiting for the ATF to act remember: Patience is virtue.