View Full Version : Need Class III purchase help

Daren Thompson
March 29, 1999, 07:47 PM
I plan to buy a machine gun at Knob Creek in April. Would it be better to have the CLEO form already signed? Is there a place on the internett to download the form? I have never made a class III purchase and any help or advice will be appreciated.


Art Eatman
March 30, 1999, 12:30 AM
Click on "Links", click on "Gun pages" in the "Miscellaneous" section, and then "machineguns"--you'll get to a page of Class III dealers. Phone & ask...

March 30, 1999, 08:44 PM
A lot of the forms are available in PDF format.

Go to personal.pitnet.net\danbrew\docs

March 30, 1999, 11:17 PM
personal.pitnet is my old site -- you can download the latest revs of my forms from the following location: http://members.blueribbon.com/~danbrew/docs.

A few notes about your pending Class III purchase... Unfortunately, it is not a cash and carry business. You may very well find what you're looking for at the Creek, but you certainly won't walk with it. If you bring enough cash, you'll probably get to shoot it a bit. But back it goes with the individual or dealer that currently owns it.

There are several steps to getting your gun to you. Here's a quick summary:

1. Find the gun you want.
2. Find the gun you want from somebody you trust.
3. If any doubt about the integrity of the person selling the gun, see #2.
4. See #2 again for good measure.
5. Pay for gun.
6. If papered by a dealer, that dealer will Form 3 the gun to a dealer in your state. If papered by an individual, that individual will Form 4 the gun to a dealer in your state. If on a Form 4 it will cost $200 to get from the current owner to your dealer.
7. You get your dealer to help you fill out the Form 4 and then you take it in to your CLEO for signature. I would be surprised if your CLEO would sign a Form 4 without it being completely filled out. Some might, but I would wager they would be the exception.
8. Submit $200 tax (yes, even if the last owner paid $200 to get it to your dealer on a Form 4, a $200 tax is due on every Form 4), fingerprints and a photo with your Form 4 and wait 4-6 months.
9. Pick up gun.
10. Go have fun!

danbrew :->

[This message has been edited by danbrew (edited March 30, 1999).]

James K
March 30, 1999, 11:27 PM
Better check with your state laws first. Some states flat ban possession of auto weapons, others require some form of state registration or licensing. Assuming everything is OK in your state, you have to do the Federal paperwork. The Federal $200 tax is a transfer tax, paid by either party when the gun is transferred. It is not a yearly license fee, as some think.

If you are a resident of the same state as the seller, you may not need a dealer, depending on state law, but you still have to submit the Federal form, which requires the signature of your state/local police chief or representative, and $200.

If you are buying out of state, you will have to have the gun sent to a Class III dealer in your state (check with one first), and he should take care of the Federal paperwork, and will charge you for doing so, just like any other interstate transfer. You will probably have to appear in person at the police HQ, either way.

Obviously, if you are a convicted criminal, fugitive, etc., it is a crime even to apply.

You may think of BATF as that evil monstrous agency that will harass you forever if you own an auto weapon. Actually, the Feds don't really care much as long as the law is obeyed. If you get the OK from your local folks, and the NCIC doesn't turn up anything, they cash your check, stick on the stamp (yes, it is actually a stamp) and back comes the form. Don't lose the form and stamp; they are proof that your ownership of the gun is legal.

James K
March 30, 1999, 11:37 PM
Danbrew got in with good stuff while I was typing. He is right about the additional $200 if your seller is not a dealer. Any transfer where a non-dealer is involved requires the tax. Individual to dealer (tax), dealer to dealer (no tax), dealer to individual (tax).

Again, though, if you are dealing with an individual who is a resident of your own state, you don't need a dealer as far as the Feds are concerned, but the actual transfer should take place in your state after the paperwork comes back to the seller.

March 31, 1999, 10:26 AM
Danbrew, your advice is appreciated. However, class III dealers are few and far away. I don't know any at all much less well enough to trust as per your item #2. Any suggestions or references?

March 31, 1999, 10:32 AM
Depending on the weapon, a Curio & Relic license may be an option.

March 31, 1999, 08:17 PM
Hmmmm... well, you can check out the Tom Bowers' good guy list. They are dealers that have had several people vouch for them over time.


There are a lot of ways to buy a machinegun -- until you've been into it awhile, you may not feel comfortable sending $10k off in the mail to someone you've never met, especially when you haven't seen the gun. I have an informal rule that I won't send over $2000 to someone unless I: a. know them, b. have seen the gun, or c. somebody I know vouches for them. That's my personal level of pain. I would be pissed if I lost 2k, but it would not be the end of the world. Your mileage may vary. However for every rule, one must break it. I recently send $7500 off to someone I had not met, but the "deal" was too good to be true. Sometimes you find them that way. As it turns out, this was an exceptional deal, so trust and gut feelings really play an important part in the transaction. As in any business deal, I suppose.

I would suggest you do consider some of the following:

1. Find a local dealer in your state or town. Check out the Tom Bowers' list for local references. Go in and meet with the person and tell them what you're looking for. Chances are they are going to be able to help you find it. But, consider the fact that if they help you find it, they are likely going to buy the gun and then you will have to buy from them. With a markup of some sort involved. If you find the gun on your own and just use your local dealer to transfer it to you, you're not really "buying" the gun from him/her (and, btw, this means you do not pay them sales tax on the price of the gun -- perhaps on the $100 or so that they charge you to perform the actual transfer, but not on the gun.)

2. Ask around on the boards - post a few WTB ads - you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll get a response. But be prepared to quickly come up with the cash -- many items do not stay available for long. The use of the internet as a sales tool means these things go quickly.

3. Be prepared to put down at least 50% on order. Many dealers will require 100%, but a lot also only require 50%.

4. Before you send *anyone* money, have them fax you a copy of the Form 3 that they have that shows the gun is currently in their inventory. The worst thing in the world is to buy a gun that someone doesn't have. Then the scumbag dealer will have to go out and find one for you -- which cna mean that you'll wait 2-3 months for him to find it, 1-2 months for the gun to get Form 3d to your dealer and then 5-7 months for you to get the gun on a form 4. That would really piss me off.

5. Consider finding a dealer that will accept credit cardws -- many do. You may have to pay and extra few points on the gun, but the protection that using a credit card affords you is super insurance when you're trying to get to sleep after about four months of waiting.

I seem to remember from your original post that you are in KY -- I'm sure there are a ton of folks in KY that can help you -- you may even want to talk to Kenny Summers at Knob Creek -- I would imagine he could refer you to local dealers that are good guys.

But... you've got to decide what you want and then you've go to find it. Find a local dealer and make sure that you can get a signature in your locale and then go find a gun and have your dealer assist with the paperwork.

danbrew :->

Daren Thompson
March 31, 1999, 09:01 PM
Thanks for the info. I understand(for the most part) the procecess I just want to have all of my ducks in a row when the Creek rolls around. A feller told me that U have to buy the gun and then if the CLEO will not sign U will be out the money. I will not gamble on federal beuracracy. If the transaction does not go happen by means that are not under my control how do I get my money back?


James K
March 31, 1999, 10:38 PM
It is a pretty good idea to check with the CLEO first. In Maryland, state law says the only CLEO is the State Police. Generally they are pretty good, it is simply another bureaucratic job, and no sweat if your background is OK. If the CLEO can be local, talk to him or her, or whoever is the CLEO representative. If they never approve, forget it. If they say no problem, fine. Also get to know a local Class III dealer; there are more around than you might think, they keep a low profile.

As to your money, it is easy to write a short contract that says x dollars down, to be refunded if rejected, rest contingent on approval of transfer. Might say y dollars to be refunded, allow the seller something for trouble. Shouldn't be a big problem.

The C&R business as applied to auto weapons is tricky. Some auto arms have been C&R classified, but then BATF says that all auto rules still apply. Also, remember on any C&R licensee to licensee transfer, both licensees must be C&R licensees. If one is a Class III or an individual, the C&R license of the other doesn't mean a thing.

April 12, 1999, 09:39 AM
I'm another one who's about to make a first NFA purchase.

Any ideas on how best to approach the "if I ask you [CLEO] to sign this, will you refuse" question? It would be nice to know before I buy the AOW in question and have it transferred to a NY dealer and _then_ have to get the paperwork done.

Long shot: anyone know whether the CLEO for Genesee County in NY will refuse to sign?

Also: can anyone vouch for C3 dealers Allen Kirchner (SC) or Mark Kalil (NY)?

April 13, 1999, 08:03 AM
You need to talk to your local C3 guy (or other local C3 guys) to find out if your CLEO is signing for other people -- they should know one way or the other. If the topic is new to your CLEO and he/she hasn't been presented with the situation yet, you need to either write a letter or schedule a visit and explain what you want to do.

danbrew :->