Gun import info goes online

ATF's eForm 6 system

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has deployed a new system to allow defense contractors and firearms importers to file electronic import applications.

The system, known as eForm 6, was launched this year and announced by ATF officials last week. It allows forms to be filed electronically to ATF's Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch for review and approval.

Firearms importers are required to file applications for importing any firearms or firearm parts into the United States. Defense contractors must also file applications for permits to import parts and sub-assemblies.

The process was previously entirely paper-based, officials said, requiring importers to mail an application. The bureau then mailed back a permit for the importer to present to Customs officials. All forms were manually entered into the internal tracking system and all inquiries were done over the phone, officials said.

"EForm 6 demonstrates the value of the e-government strategy by not only reducing the regulatory burden on the industry, but also enhancing our national security through faster and more thorough analysis during the import application review process," said Marguerite Moccia, ATF's chief information officer.

The system, developed under a contract between ATF and Fairfax, Va.-based Idea Integration, also provides automated checks and validation of information prior to submission; automated e-mail notification of form receipt; online status confirmations; and the ability to copy the information from one Form 6 to another, officials said.

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