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Old October 15, 2001, 02:50 PM   #1
Pipper
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
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How do I get a Class 3 license?

I would love to own a fully automatic firearm someday soon. I'd like to find out the process for obtaining such a firearm. All that I know is that I have to apply for a Class 3 license, undergo a thorough background check, and pay a $200 transfer tax. Although this sounds simple, I'm sure that it's much tougher to get such a license and a full auto firearm.

I live in Texas, and I have a concealed carry permit.

Thanks
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Old October 15, 2001, 09:58 PM   #2
Normalizer
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First you need to find out what class III items are legal in the state where you live. Once that is done find a class III dealer, they will be of great help to you.

Choose your toy and pay for it and the $200 tax. You will be given paperwork to sign and then must get passport photo's made and be printed by your local law enforcement. They get copies of the paperwork and do a background search and if all is well sign saying it's good. You then send copies of that to the BATF and wait.

It's preety simple actually.

The hardest part is coming up with the money and making sure you find someone in the local law enforcement who will approve you, once that is done (assuming you are legal and have no criminal history) you just bide your time.

Good luck.
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Old October 15, 2001, 11:07 PM   #3
James K
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Technically, it is not a license, unless you plan to become a dealer. It is an application for tax paid transfer of an NFA firearm. The Form 4 is not available for down loading, but if you want to see what is involved and look at the form, write or call:

ATF Distribution Center
P.O. Box 5950
Springfield, VA 22150-5950

Phone: (703) 455-7801

and ask for a couple of copies Form 5320.4 (or just Form 4) and the fingerprint cards as well. No obligation, no charge.

Again technically, the Chief LEO sign off is not a background check; BATF does that. It is a certificate that your ownership of the firearm or item in question would not violate state or local law. Some CLEO's unfortunately have used it to prevent NFA item ownership in their jurisdictions; I have even heard of cases where a CLEO has demanded a bribe for signing off.

Jim
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Old October 17, 2001, 01:27 PM   #4
ENC
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In Texas as well as here in Oklahoma you can get anything your heart desires.

'round here Liberal means you own one automatic weapon
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Old October 19, 2001, 04:03 PM   #5
hkg3
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Do you have to get approval for every toy you buy, or can you just get approved once, then go to town?
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Old October 19, 2001, 05:31 PM   #6
KSFreeman
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No such thing as a "Class III item." Whatever those are. Weapons are either Title I or Title II. The Class refers to the type of FFL. Since most people buy NFA weapons from a Class 3 dealer, this misnomer has stuck (to my annoyance--pet peeve).

Your friendly NFA dealer will walk you through your first time. (AHHH, the first NFA weapon). Mr. Keenan has the larger points. (Jim, you mean the CLEO sign-off isn't suppossed to be a bribe??? Hmmmm.).
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Old October 24, 2001, 03:32 PM   #7
Monkeyleg
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hkG3, yes each gun requires its own form 4.

And, from the voice of experience: if you do find a sheriff or police chief to sign, don't sell your full-auto. Politics can change situations so that you can't get anybody to sign anymore. Been there.
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Old October 24, 2001, 04:09 PM   #8
James K
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The CLEO signoff is misunderstood by both CLEO's (often deliberately) and by applicants. It is not "permission" to own the weapon; "permission" is granted or denied in the state or local law, or assumed if there is no law against it. Nor is it a background check, although some CLEO's do run a check.

Basically, it is a cop out by BATF, for understandable reasons. They really can't be expected to know about the law in Duckass, Idaho, or to know what the Duckass town council did the night before. The CLEO, by signing, certifies that there is no law in the applicant's jurisdiction that makes ownership of the item illegal. That should be it. Sometimes, it is not.

Jim
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Old October 24, 2001, 07:02 PM   #9
KSFreeman
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Sorry about that, Jim. Sometimes I lapse into the jargon without realizing it. Thanks much for catching the "sign-off."
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Old October 25, 2001, 04:13 PM   #10
James K
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I wasn't trying to catch anyone, just clarify the point. It is a signoff in that BATF will not approve the sale without it (except to a corporation), it just isn't a "permit" or an "approval", at least it isn't supposed to be. One CLEO (in another state) told the press that he never signed Form 4's because if the buyer "went and shot somebody with his machinegun they could sue me for letting him have it." That was his excuse for not doing what he wouldn't do anyway. The same excuse is often used for denial of handgun purchases or carry permits.

(In Maryland, the only recognized CLEO is the State Police, who also approve handgun sales; they are immune by law from any civil action over approval of gun sales as long as they stick to the law. I know of no Form 4 being rejected by the MSP. Better than a patchwork of local chiefs and sheriffs.)

Jim
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Old October 27, 2001, 03:51 PM   #11
mussi
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(In Maryland, the only recognized CLEO is the State Police, who also approve handgun sales; they are immune by law from any civil action over approval of gun sales as long as they stick to the law. I know of no Form 4 being rejected by the MSP. Better than a patchwork of local chiefs and sheriffs.)

Jim, you want to tell me that you can own Class III stuff in Maryland?
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Old November 15, 2001, 08:52 PM   #12
flusher
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Many auto weapons can be bought with your Curio/Relic FFL thereby bypassing a class 3 dealer. However, all other BATF rules apply
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