View Full Version : NFA FAQ's

October 13, 2007, 01:04 PM
**Please do not post replies in this thread** It is intended to be an ongoing FAQ. Feel free to IM me with something you want answered.

October 13, 2007, 01:08 PM
To own any NFA item, you must first live in a jurisdiction where it is legal. This means State, Town, Township, County etc...

There is no blanket "license" to own NFA items like machineguns, suppressors etc....for non-dealer individuals. For each item that you want to purchase, you must pay the Federal Government a one-time $200 transfer tax. This happens when you go to transfer a machinegun or suppressor or any other NFA item from a dealer, or if in-state, an individual. You submit the application for transfer along with $200 to the NFA division of the BATFE and uppon approval, you can take posession of your item.

October 13, 2007, 01:16 PM
If you live where it is legal then, yes, machineguns are legal to own. For individuals, there are 2 kinds of machineguns that you need to be familiar with.

Transferable-these were made and registered before May 19, 1986.

Non-transferable--these were either made but not registered before May 19, 1986 or made after 1986.

For non-dealer individuals, the only machineguns you can own are transferables. You must bear-in-mind that some parts that are intended to convert semi-automatic firearms to fire automatically (such as Sears and Lightning Links) are classified as machineguns and must have been registered to be legal.

October 16, 2007, 09:51 AM
According to the Federal Government, suppressors are legal to own. Your locale may have laws prohibiting them, but they are legal at the Federal level. Actually, suppressors have never been illegal. They were regulated by the GCA 1934 and require a $200 tax paid at the time of transfer, like any other NFA item. At least one report that I have seen lists the reason for adding them to the NFA was for fear of poaching during the depression years, not for fear of them being used in other street crime. There is no "cutoff date" for legal suppressors. Suppressors are still being manufactured, and you can own a brand-spankin-new one if you wish. In fact, suppressor technology is still evolving and there are units out there that are very efficient (read: quiet).

October 16, 2007, 09:57 AM
By definition a short barreled rifle, or SBR, is a rifle (which is defined as a shoulder-fired, rifled bore firearm) with a barrel length of less than 16",
or an overall length of less than 26". In measuring barrel length you do it from the closed breech to the muzzle. On a folding stock weapon you
measure with the stock extended, provided the stock is not readily
detachable, and the weapon is meant to be fired from the shoulder. The rules are pretty cut-and-dry as to the definition of a SBR.

October 16, 2007, 10:01 AM
Let's examine the definiton first. A Short Barreled Shotgun, or SBS, is defined as any shotgun (which is defined as a
shoulder fired (read "has a stock" this is important), smooth bore firearm) with a barrel of less than 18"
or an overall length of less than 26", or any weapon made from a
shotgun falling into the same length parameters. There is always some confusion as to whether a weapon is a SBS or an Any Other Weapon (AOW). We'll get to that later, but if your weapon has a smooth bore, a shoulder stock, and has a barrel less than 18" or an overall length of less than 26", then you have an SBS.

October 16, 2007, 10:15 AM
Any other weapons (AOW's) are a number of things; smooth bore
pistols, any pistol with more than one grip, gadget
type guns (cane gun, pen gun) and shoulder fired weapons with both
rifled and smooth bore barrels between 12" and 18", that must be
manually reloaded. This category always causes some confusion. I'll provide some examples to try and clarify things.

A weapon is an AOW and not an SBS if the weapon never had any kind of stock attached. If a virgin (shotgun) receiver was delivered without a stock, has a barrel length of less than 18" and registered with the NFA, then it is an AOW. As soon as you ad a stock, it becomes a SBS. This is a bad thing, because the AOW's transfer with only a $5 tax. Uncle sam will want his $195 if you want to put a shoulder stock on. You cannot go from an AOW to an SBS without re-registering. You can, however, remove a stock from a registered SBS and put a pistol-grip on without penalty, it's still an SBS. The important part is how the receiver started it's life.

**I'll add more info to this one as time permits.**

October 16, 2007, 10:32 AM
A destructive device (DD) can be two basic categories of things. It can be an explosive, incendiary or poison gas weapon, like a bomb or grenade. It can also be a firearm with a bore over 1/2" with exceptions for sporting shotguns, among other things. I call the second category large bore
destructive devices. As a general rule only this second category is commercially available. Some obvious items I can think of are 37mm and 40mm launchers, and the Striker-12 & Streetsweeper shotguns. This category does contain some of the most subjective language in the NFA. The Striker-12 and Streetsweepers were ruled to be DD's and thus part of the NFA not because of any measurable characteristic, but because they were "declared" not to be suitable for any sporting purpose. The Strikers were banned from importation and the ones already owned were ordered to be registered (tax free at the time) or destroyed. The language used in the definition of a DD in the United States Code says: Destructive device.--The term "destructive device" means * * *

any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be

readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or

other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than
one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the

Secretary or his delegate finds is generally recognized as particularly

suitable for sporting purposes; ..."

This is where subjectivity comes into play. If the Sec. doesn't like it, then it is no longer a shotgun, but a DD.

November 17, 2007, 02:27 PM
No they cannot. Individuals who legally own NFA items are NOT subject to random inspections from ATF. This is a huge misconception of the NFA laws. Agents from ATF cannot conduct any sort of checks of your premesis without a warrant. This, of course, does not apply to licensed dealers, however.

November 28, 2007, 03:08 PM
When dealing with NFA items, there are different forms that must be used to effect a transfer of an NFA item. I will list the ones commonly used by individuals and when dealing with a Class 3 dealer.

Form 1: A Form 1 is an application to make and register a firearm. If you wanted to, for example, make your AR15 into a Short Barreled Rifle, you would need to file a Form 1. Even though your AR15 is already a complete rifle, you are "making" it into an NFA item, thus the application to "make and register" it. Any time you "make" an existing firearm into an NFA firearm, you would use this form. Form 1's require a $200 tax.

Form 3: A Form 3 is a dealer-to-dealer transfer of an NFA firearm. Lets say I wanted to buy a suppressor from a dealer in another state. I would have to get that dealer to transfer the suppressor to a dealer in my state before I could have it transfered to me. Form 3's usually get processed in a matter of days or a week, not nearly as long as transfers to non-dealer individuals. Form 3's do not require any tax be paid.

Form 4: A Form 4 is an application for tax-paid transfer of a firearm. When you go to buy an NFA item, whether it be from a dealer or an individual in your state, you use a Form 4. If you go to your local dealer and decide you want to buy a suppressor, you must first file a Form 4 in order to have that suppressor transfered from your dealer to you. Form 4's require a $200 tax for all NFA items, except AOW's. If the item being transfered is an AOW, the tax is $5.

Form 5: A Form 5 is an application for tax-exempt transfer of a firearm. Form 5's are most commonly used to will a firearm upon the death of the owner. If your Grandfather passes-on and leaves you his Thompson SMG, you must file a Form 5 before you can take posession of the firearm. Form 5's do not require any tax be paid.

February 2, 2008, 10:05 PM
Yes, you can legally manufacture your own suppressor. You must first obtain an approved Form 1 before you even begin manufacture of any single component of your suppressor. They are actually fairly easy to make and assemble on either a lathe or CNC machine. You can have someone assist you in making your suppressor, but you must be present at all times and all materials must be in your posession 100% of the time.