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How to own a Suppressor, SBR, Machinegun or AOW

 
NFA Questions? Download the PDF
NFA - National Firearms ACT - Handbook
NFA - National Firearms Act Handbook

NFA Handbook Requires Adobe Reader - Download Here

Frequently Asked Questions
Obtaining a suppressor, (SBR) Short Barreled Rifle/Shotgun, (MG) Machinegun or (AOL) Any Other Weapon
is a serious undertaking. However, to lighten things up and inject a little bit of humor into the process....
Here's a video illustrating the purchase process from our friends at Silencerco..... Enjoy!

 
Are the weapons for sale by Class3Weapons machineguns , full-auto or select-fire?
All weapons unless noted as NFA Title II Select-Fire, are Title I semi-automatic. New production of full-auto weapons have been prohibited for civilians manufacture and/or sale since 1986 when it was signed into law by then President Ronald Reagan.

Can you make a machine gun or full-auto out of my pistol or rifle?
No. Unless you are the U.S. Government or a law enforcement department, manufacture is prohibited by law.

Can you sell a machine gun or full-auto rifle or pistol to me as a civilian?
Yes, however machineguns and full auto weapons have been banned from civilian production since 1986. The only machineguns and full-auto weapons that may be purchase by civilians were those made and entered into the NFA registry 1986 and prior. As a result of high demand and low supply prices range from $3400.00 to $20,000.00 and up. I suggest pulling the trigger faster instead, it's a lot cheaper.

Can a civilian buy a suppressor or short barrel rifle?
Unless prohibited by your local city or state law, a civilian through proper paperwork, fee's and taxes can legally own a suppressor or short barrel rifle.

If I want to buy a suppressor or short barrel rifle, how long does the entire process take?
In a perfect world, about 45-60 days. In the real world, just a tad longer or shorter, maybe. "Your mileage may vary"

I am a police officer, do I have to go through the same paperwork as a civilian?
In the eyes of the BATFE there is no difference between LEO and civilian. Your paperwork is put in the same pile and takes just as long.
 
History of the National Firearms Act of 1934
(NFA) & Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA)

Since 1934 the Federal Government has regulated the ownership of machine guns, suppressors and AOW's Any Other Weapons through the National Firearms Act of 1934.
 
The National Firearms Act of 1934 provides for the registration, and the taxing of the transfer, of a class of weapons described as NFA Title 2 weapons also referred to as "Class 3 weapons". Weapons regulated include machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, silencers, suppressors and also a class of weapons known as "Any Other Weapon" (AOW). An example of an AOW is, but not limited to, a smooth barreled pistol or a short barreled combination gun.
 
The new manufacture of machine guns or the conversion of semi auto weapons to full auto weapons that are transferable to individuals has been prohibited since May 19, 1986. This means that all transferable machine guns that are available for sale to the general public must have been manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. Furthermore, unless you are a police department or the U.S. Military, you are prohibited from converting a semi auto weapon to a full auto weapon otherwise known as a machinegun. Prohibition on conversion of semi auto weapons extends to police officers and any law enforcement personnel seeking to convert or make a full auto weapon as an individual outside his or her department.

In 1968, the U.S. Government banned the further importation of machine guns from outside of the United States by passing the Gun Control Act of 1968. Meaning, any foreign-produced factory machine gun was no longer able to be imported for civilian possession. From 1968 to May 20, 1986, foreign machine guns were only imported as law enforcement sample guns for dealer inventory. Also during this time, domestically-produced machine guns and machine gun sears were still being produced for legal civilian possession ("transferable"). This would include such weapons as the M16, MAC domestically produced clones such as the UZI, and machine gun conversion sears like the registered Auto Sears, drop-in auto connectors, registered HK-style trigger packs etc. After May 20, 1986, the U.S. Government banned the further manufacture of all domestically-produced machine guns for civilian possession. Thus, anything in the NFA registry was considered "transferable" and anything registered after this date is considered "Post-86 Sample." Post-86 guns are primarily produced for law enforcement agencies and for Class III Dealers for use as a sample product to law enforcement agencies who would be prospective buyers.
 
Process for obtaining a Class 3, Title 2 or NFA Weapon The transfer tax on machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and suppressors is $200 payable to the BATFE. The transfer tax on AOWs is $5 and is also payable to the BATFE. This transfer tax is a one time only tax and not an annual tax. Each time an NFA weapon changes hands, the tax is charged except if the transfer is between class 3 dealers.
 
The paperwork required for the transfer of an NFA weapon consists of an application known as the Form 4. The Form 4 is completed and submitted with the applicant's photograph attached and a fingerprint card. These are submitted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in duplicate along with the respective transfer tax. The finger print cards are forwarded to the FBI for a background check. The background check and transfer process takes about 2 months or so depending on the examiners work load and if there are any errors on the preparers part. Once the Form 4 application is approved, one copy of the approved application with a "stamp" is sent back to the dealer or seller of the weapon. The dealer or seller contacts the buyer and makes the physical transfer of the weapon at that time. The approved Form 4 application stays with the weapon and is proof that the buyer has paid the transfer tax. The original should be stored in a safe place and a photocopy carried with the weapon should the legality of the NFA weapon be questioned by law enforcement officers.
 
Individuals transfer NFA Title 2 weapons between each other:
For the sake of clarity and conformity the term Originator is to mean the seller or transferor. The term Recipient is to mean the buyer or transferee. Originator & Recipient in same state A SOT dealer is not required for this transfer. Originator receives payment for weapon in accordance with the purchase agreement between originator and recipient. The ATF Form 4, 5320.4 is filled out and signed by both parties in duplicate, no signature photocopies, original signatures only. Either party can send in with a check for $200. The check for $200.00 can be from anyone. Who pays the $200.00 tax and shipping is usually worked out in the contract either verbally or written. Also to be included with the Form 4 package are ATF approved finger print cards, 5330.20 citizen compliance form and local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) signoff. To be sure of a complete and timely mailing, it is preferred that originator complete and sign the Form 4 with originator and weapon information and in turn send form to recipient for completion and inclusion of additional documentation as described above. When the form is approved by the ATF it is mailed to the originator and the originator notifies the recipient. The firearm is picked up as soon as possible and the recipient gets the form from the originator as proof of ownership.
 
Originator & Recipient in different states A NFA SOT dealer is required for this transfer. Originator receives payment for weapon from out of state recipient in accordance with either verbal or written purchase contract agreement. It is encouraged to have written agreements signed by both parties. The contract for purchase should include a detailed list of items sold, sale amount, terms and condition of sale, shipping terms, list items to be shipped after payment and items to be shipped after approval such as the receiver. Further, a contingency plan for recipients failure to get ATF Form 4 approval and course of action to remedy. In any transaction, what can go wrong will. Have an agreement in writing.
 
Anytime an individual (non SOT dealer) is involved with a transfer (recipient or originator) it has to be on a form 4. Without exception, all Form 4 applications require a $200.00 or $5.00 tax to be included.
 
Purchases from an individual in another state require that you transfer to a SOT dealer in the recipients state. The form required for transfer from an individual to a SOT dealer in the recipients state is Form 4 5320.4. Depending on the terms of the purchase agreement between the parties either the recipient or originator will pay the first $200.00 or $5.00 tax as negotiated. The Form 4 from the originator must include a $200.00 or $5.00 check regardless or whether the originator or recipient writes the check.
 
The out of state originator completes 2 copies of the Form 4 with originators information including weapon serial number and originator signature. No photo-copies. To be sure, its a good idea to have the originator enclose a copy of his original Form 4 in addition to the completed 2 Form 4 copies when mailed to the recipients SOT dealer so the recipient and SOT dealer know the information is correct. The in state SOT dealer will complete his portion of both Form 4 copies received from the originator as the recipient SOT dealer. Licensed dealers, manufacturers & importers are not required to submit photographs and fingerprint cards. Individual details specific to form completion and documentation to include in the Form 4 package can be found on the back of the Form 4 5320.4. The SOT dealer mails the completed Form 4 duplicates to the ATF. When the approval form comes back from the ATF it will be mailed to the out of state originator. The out of state originator will send the firearm to the dealer with the original approved form as received from the ATF as soon as possible.
 
The recipient in state SOT dealer who now has the weapon is now the originator and fills out his information on his form 4 in duplicate and in turn completes the recipients information. Recipients must included with the Form 4 ATF approved finger print cards, 5330.20 citizen compliance form and local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) signoff and a 2x2 color photo. The recipient then includes a check for $200.00 or $5.00 with the Form 4 package. At this point usually the SOT dealer mails the Form 4 duplicates complete with all associated paperwork to know it was sent in a complete and timely manner. Expect the in state SOT dealer to charge from $75.00-125.00 fee for transfer paperwork.
 
Alternately, sometimes the originator desires to transfer to a dealer in his state on a form 4 with the $200 tax and then transfer to your in state SOT dealer on a dealer-to-dealer Form 3, with no tax. The recipients in state dealer transfers to the recipient using a Form 4. This adds an extra unneeded step and some extra time. Form 4 5320.4 will be rejected if not printed double sided. Forms may be obtained from the BATFE.
 
Still have questions? Visit the BATFE Website BATFE FIELD OFFICES
 
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison
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