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10 Steps to getting your Tax Stamp

Submitting a Form 4 Application and getting your Form 4 Application approved are two completely different things. Not only do you have to have your Form 4 filled correctly, but you also have to submit it in a particular way, with specific attachments. To make sure your Form 4 isn’t denied, follow these steps:

Create your NFA Gun Trust,
Purchase your Silencer or SBR,
Complete your portion of the Form 4,
Have your SOT Dealer fill out their section of the Form 4,
Complete an ATF Form 23 (Form 5320.23) for each “Responsible Person,”
Take photographs of each “Responsible Person,”
Have fingerprints taken on FBI FD-258LE Fingerprint Cards for each “Responsible Person,”
Review, Review, then Review again
Submit documentation to your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO)
Submit your Application Packet to the ATF

Now let’s cover each step in more detail

Step 1
Create Your Gun Trust

Creating your $49 Gun Trust is easy when you use the Trust Shop. We’ve created an easy to follow information form that has detailed explanations to guide you through the process. As soon as you submit your information, the Trust Shop lawyer will review your answers to make sure everything looks good. Within a few hours you will receive your new Gun Trust along with a packet of instructions on how to finalize your trust, as well as FAQ’s on the Form 1 and 4 Tax Stamp application process.

After you complete this step it won’t be long before you’re at the range playing with your new suppressor, SBR, or machine gun!

Create your new Gun Trust

silencer shopStep 2
Purchase your Silencer or SBR

Without a doubt, the best place to buy suppressors is at The Silencer Shop. How do we know? Simple, we’ve been purchasing our suppressors from the Silencer Shop for years. We never have any problems or delays, the paperwork is always done correctly, they have a money back guarantee, and the customer service is outstanding!

Another benefit of using the Silencer Shop is that they have a dealer locator that tells you what local firearms dealers have their Class 3 License (Dealer of NFA Firearms). You can purchase your Silencer from the Silencer shop and they will take care of getting it transferred to your local store.

Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to have a local Class 3 Dealer that keeps a decent inventory, you can buy your silencer from them.

Step 3
Your portion of the Form 4

Because filling out your Form 4 can be so confusing, the Trust Shop created an instruction guide to make the process easier. Complete with detailed descriptions and examples, this guide will make filling out the Form 4 Application a snap! Just follow this link to our article on How To Fill Out A Form 4

After you read our instruction guide, you will be able to confidently answer all of the questions on your Form 4 Application. Now the only thing you need to do is choose which method you want to use to get the form filled out. There are a bunch of different ways you can enter information onto a Form 4, but these three methods work the best:

The ATF Interactive Form 4 allows you to fill out the Form 4 using Adobe PDF fillable fields. The benefit of using this method is that you only have to enter the information once, as it automatically fills out the 2nd and 3rd copies of the Application. The down-side is that the form can get a little bit finicky about fonts and formats, as it is a pre-formatted document.
Trust Shop customers can use the Trust Shop ATF Form System to create their Form 4 Application. It’s a great resource, as it guides you through the Form 4 questions and provides detailed explanations as to what each field requires. Again, the up-side is that you only have to enter the information once, as the automated form builder transfers everything onto the 2nd and 3rd copies of the form.
The third method is the ATF Blank Form 4. Just print out the form and fill it in with a black pen. As long as your handwriting is good, you won’t have any problems. However, you will have to write out three separate copies of the document, which kind of sucks.

Want to see how the Trust Shop ATF Form System works?

Click here to take the

ATF Form 4 Test-Drive

Try it out, we think you will like it!

Step 4
Gun Store’s (FFL/SOT Dealer) information

Boxes 7-11 of the Form 4 concern the Transferor (your Gun Store). Gun Stores that sell a lot of NFA stuff usually have partially filled out Form 4’s sitting behind the counter (their information is already entered), But, just in case, it’s a good idea to have a Form 4 with you when you go to the store.

If you’ve gone through our tutorial on How to fill out a Form 4, then you know that you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of all information entered on your Form 4 Application, regardless of whether you entered it or not. This is why it is so critical that you double-check any information provided by the Gun Store. One easy way to verify information provided by the Dealer is to go to the ATF’s FFL eZcheck website. Just enter the first 3 and last 5 numbers of the Dealer’s Federal Firearms License Number and click on the “Submit” button. You will instantly see the Dealer’s License Number, Expiration Date, License Name, Trade Name (if different), Premise Address, and Mailing Address. If anything on the eZcheck website differs from the information provided by the Dealer, you will know right away… instead of six months later in a “Denied Letter” from the ATF.

Step 5
Complete the Form 23

Steps 5 (Form 23), 6 (photographs), and 7 (fingerprints) are all part of the National Firearms Act (NFA) Responsible Person process. To learn more about Responsible Persons, you can read our article Who is a Responsible Person & Why Does it Matter?

The first thing to do is to Complete an ATF Form 23 (National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire) for each “Responsible Person. Just like the Form 4, there are three good options for filling out the Form 23:

1. The ATF Interactive Form 23 allows you to fill out the Form 23 using Adobe PDF fillable fields;
2. Trust Shop Customers can use our free Form 23 Generator (with detailed explanations as to what each field requires); and
3. The ATF Blank Form 23 (Just print out the form and fill it in with a black pen. As long as your handwriting is good, you won’t have any problems).

You can learn more about the Form 23 by reading our article How to Fill out a Form 23

Form 23 Generator

Exclusively for Trust Shop Customers

Step 6

The ATF requires each Responsible Person to attach a 2-inch by 2-inch frontal view photograph to the form 23. The photograph must have been taken within the previous year, but it doesn’t have to be anything special. The guys at the Trust Shop take “Selfies” on their smart phones and the ATF hasn’t ever complained to us.

Note: Even though you have to complete three copies of the Form 23 (2 for the ATF, 1 for CLEO), you only have to attach a photo to the “ATF Copy” of the Form 23.

Step 7

Each Responsible Person’s Form 23 must include two copies of their fingerprints. The fingerprints must be taken on FBI Form FD-258LE Fingerprint Cards. Each fingerprint card has a bunch of blue bordered fields, one of which has the label “ORI.” The field labeled ORI must contain the following information:


The ATF provides examples and instructions on their website.

Just like the mugshots, you don’t need to attach fingerprints to the Form 23 that you send to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO).

The FD-258LE cards are available at most law enforcement agencies. Or, you can order them from the ATF by calling the ATF Distribution Center at 703-870-7526 or by following this link to the ATF Distribution Center Website.

Note:The FD-258LE fingerprint cards must be completed by your local law enforcement authority. Unfortunately, no “selfies” allowed on the prints 🙁

We’ve had a lot of people ask if they can complete the FD-258LE Fingerprint Cards on their own, as the new Form 1, 4, and 23 directions are not very clear. This is what the directions say:

Form 1 & 4: “submit two properly completed FBI Forms FD-258LE (Fingerprint Card with blue lines) with application. The fingerprints must be clear for accurate classification and taken by someone properly equipped to take them.”

Form 23: “Fingerprints: The responsible person shall submit, in duplicate with the ATF copy of this form, his or her fingerprints on FBI Form FD-258LE and the fingerprints must be clear for accurate classification and taken by someone properly equipped to take them.”

So, what does this mean? The cut-and-dry explanation is that you are not required to have a Law Enforcement Officer take your fingerprints, as long as you use the correct cards and your fingerprints are clear. However, we strongly suggest having your prints taken by the cops, if possible. There just isn’t any point in risking a possible delay if your prints aren’t up to the ATF standards.

Step 8
Review, Review, then Review again

Now that you have your new Gun trust, you’ve purchased your Suppressor, SBR or other NFA item, and you have your Form 4 & Form 23 completed, it’s time to Review, Review, then Review again!

At least once a week, the Trust Shop gets contacted by someone that just got a letter from the ATF saying their Form 4 has been denied. Some of the most common reasons for denial or delay are:

Missing applicant information,
Incorrect applicant name,
Missing CLEO Agency Name,
Missing CLEO Title,
Incomplete description of NFA item, and
Incorrect Federal Firearms License Number

Nearly every denial or delay we see could have been avoided if the applicant had carefully reviewed all of the paperwork before submitting the application packet to the ATF. The best thing to do is to use a checklist (like the one we provide below) to make sure you have all the necessary documents and correct information included. Once you’ve reviewed your checklist We recommend putting everything down for the day. Pick it up again the following day and go through your checklist again. When you are 100% confident that you have everything you need and all your information is entered correctly, go through everything one more time. Then and only then, should you move on to the next step.

Step 9
Notify your CLEO

The following items must be sent to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO):

CLEO Copy of the Form 4 – You will see CLEO Copy at the bottom of Pages 10 – 12 of the Form 4.
CLEO Copy of the Form 23 – You will see CLEO Copy at the bottom of Pages 3 -4 of the Form 23.

Note: Every Responsible Person is required to send the CLEO portion of their Form 23 (pages 3 & 4) to the CLEO of the jurisdiction in which they reside. The best practice is to collect the Form 23 information from each Responsible person and then submit it yourself. That way you know everything was submitted correctly.

Step 10
Submit your Application Packet to the ATF

The following items must be sent to the ATF:

Two Copies of the Form 4

The 1st copy must say ATF Copy at the bottom of pages 1-3 of the Form 4
the 2nd copy must say ATF Copy 2 – To Be Returned To Registrant at the bottom of pages 7-9 of the Form 4
Each of these copies of the Form 4 must have original signatures in Blue or Black ink

One Copy of the Form 23

It must be the copy of the Form 23 that says “ATF Copy” at the bottom of Pages 1-2
You must include a copy of the Form 23 for each Responsible Person.
Each Form 23 must have a photograph affixed to Box 3e
Each Form 23 must have 2 copies of the fingerprint cards attached
Use a paperclip to attach the fingerprint cards to their respective Form 23. Do not staple the fingerprint cards to the Form 23

One copy of your Gun Trust

It must be a signed and notarized copy of the Gun Trust
You must include all attachments, amendments, & schedules to the Gun Trust
Trust Shop Gun Trusts use Assignment Sheets instead of Secedules. So, if you got your Gun Trust from us, you must also attach a Copy of the Assignment Sheet listing the Make, Model, & Serial Number of the Silencer or SBR that you are applying for. Remember: You do not need to attach any previous Assignment Sheets (that’s why we use Assignment Sheets instead of Schedules). For more information on the difference between Assignment Sheets and Shedules, go to our FAQ page and look at the question titled Does a Trust Shop NFA Gun Trust include an Inventory “Schedule A?”

Payment in the amount of $200

Checks must be made payable to “ATF”
The fee is only $5 if you are applying for an “Any Other Weapon (AOW) Tax Stamp
Though we recommend paying by check, it is okay to use a credit card. Just make sure to accurately enter all of the credit card information and sign Box 20

The entire packet should be mailed to:

National Firearms Act Division
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
P.O. Box 5015
Portland, OR 97208-5015


Create your Gun Trust
Purchase your Suppressor, SBR, or other NFA item
Fill out your Form 4
Box 2 – Name of Trust (not you)
Box 4 – Verify Firearm Info
Box 3 & 7-11 – Verify all info entered by Gun Dealer
Box 12 – Verify CLEO Information
Box 13 – Any Lawful Purpose
Box 18 & 19 – Responsible Persons
Box 20 – Verify Credit Card Info
Original Signatures on bottom of pages 2 & 8
Fill out Form 23
Separate Form 23 for each Responsible Person
Box 2 – Name of Trust (not you)
Box 3 – Your name
Box 4 – Verify Firearm Info
Box 5 – Each Responsible Person submits Form 23 to the CLEO of the area where they live
Original Signatures & Date on pages 2 & 4
Get Photographs of each Responsible Person
Get Fingerprints of each Responsible Person x 2
Submit Docs to CLEO
CLEO Copy of Form 4 (pages 10 – 12) Remember: send to CLEO of area where Trust is Located
CLEO Copy of Form 23 (pages 3 & 4) Remember: Each Responsible Person must send to the CLEO of area where they live
Submit Docs to ATF
Form 4 – ATF Copy (pages 1 – 3)
Form 4 – ATF Copy 2 To Be Returned to Registrant (pages 7 – 9)
Form 23 – ATF Copy (pages 1 & 2) With Photographs Remember: Attach a Form 23 for each Responsible Person
(2) FD-258LE Fingerprint Cards for each Responsible Person
Copy of Gun Trust with all attachments
Payment in the amount of $200

The most comprehensive Gun Trust package available!

You simply won’t find a better product anywhere! 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed. We love what we do… and it shows! But don’t take our word for it… Check out some of the Reviews from other Customers.

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 58 reviews
by Jerry on NFA Gun Trust
Truth & Trust W/ Trust Shop

After reviewing the TRUST SHOP and consulting with lawyers as well as exhaustive internet searching. I decided to go with the TRUST SHOP (big surprise right...) well after putting together the trust I was having problems with my payment. I put in my payment information and submitted it, but I clicked the back button before getting a confirmation. I figured my payment didn't go through, so I and entered my payment info again. I received a confirmation and thought all was well. The following morning I had an email from the TRUST SHOP that said I accidentally paid twice and they voided the extra charge. If that alone doesn’t show good business practices well.....

by Matt C. on NFA Gun Trust

These folks are just plain awesome! If you've been thinking about doing this for a while, just cough up the $49 and take the 10 minutes to do this. You will not regret it.

I don't think I've ever gotten a better value for a product that provides such peace of mind.

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