View Full Version : Transferring title II items from a gov agency to an individual?

January 28, 2011, 07:07 PM
Here's an interesting question I can't seem to find the answer to:

How do Police Departments (state, not federal) acquire NFA items? Do they go through the same transfer Form 1 procedure, or are they completely exempt from the NFA process? And what about if the department want's to transfer that item to a private individual?

I have a friend that works for a police department here in Virginia, and there is a possibility of him being allowed to "purchase" a used SBS from the department. Before he goes and asks too many questions, is this something that is even possible?

Willie Lowman
January 28, 2011, 07:50 PM
It will transfer to him on a form 4.

January 28, 2011, 08:16 PM
Yeah sorry, I meant form 4, not form 1. So that is doable? Any idea who would have to ok the transfer?

Willie Lowman
January 28, 2011, 08:44 PM
Yes it is doable. I own a SBS that was previously owned by the Columbus police dept. I don't know who would need to sign the form 4 to transfer the gun to your friend.

January 28, 2011, 08:45 PM
We'll at least we know it can be done.

Many thanks.

David Hineline
January 28, 2011, 10:08 PM
Not correct at all, if legal in the location where the officer lives it will not transfer on a tax paid form 4 as all govment transfers in/out are tax free on a form 5. He will still need all other NFA paperwork, prints, cleo, trust, corp. etc just like any other NFA transfer but there will be no tax paid.

David Hineline
January 28, 2011, 10:13 PM
As to incoming NFA to a dept. they can form 1, anyone can form 1 on the behalf of the dept., they can purchase and receive on form 5, they can confiscate illegal weapon and form 10, for dept use. Then can get temp use of govment surplus guns for dept. use, but ownership remains US govment. The only form they would not use is a form 4 tax paid.

James K
January 28, 2011, 10:18 PM
I don't want to get too deep in this can of worms, but I believe a Form 10 transfer can be for any governmental use, not just police/LEA use. Form 10 transfers have been used to transfer guns to government (not private) museums.


David Hineline
January 28, 2011, 11:28 PM
Yes the form 10 would be for governmental use only, I suppose the US Post office would also use this form.


Willie Lowman
January 29, 2011, 11:25 AM
Just talked to my NFA dealer. He agrees, form 10.

My 590A1 sbs is on form 4 and that confused me. My dealer got a dozen of them (on form 10) and then it transferred one to me on form 4.

Learning is cool.

January 29, 2011, 11:40 AM
still confused but I will keep reading and the actual BATFE stuff doesnt help if you don't know it already!

Thanks for the continued lesson's,

January 29, 2011, 03:20 PM
I'm confused now. I thought a Form 10 was to transfer to a government agency, not from. A government agency would transfer to a civilian for "civilian use" on a Form 10 as well?

Willie Lowman
January 29, 2011, 05:06 PM
If you get a class 3 FFL involved, the guns go to them on form 10 and to the private citizen on form 4. As I said, that's how I got my SBS.

If there is a better/different way, I don't know it.

January 29, 2011, 05:59 PM
Ok, so they go through a FFL first. Makes sense now, thanks...

David Hineline
January 29, 2011, 09:39 PM
This thread is so full of incorrect crap it should be deleted.

Form 10 guns can never go anywhere but another agency, they can never even goto a LE dealer, only other agencies, no way you got a form 4 gun that was done on a form 10.

Willie Lowman
January 29, 2011, 10:08 PM
How did this get into my house then? I asked my dealer how he got it and that is what I posted in this thread. (edit: he could have forgotten, been mistaken, or lied to me. It's hard to say. [or he could be spot on and you are the one that is wrong])


If I have presented bad information here, I apologize. If you have better, by which I mean, CORRECT, information you need to share it. Not say that something can't happen and a thread should be locked.

What I have posted in this thread I thought to be good (true) information. By your words I am wrong. I will quit this thread now.

David Hineline, you have put yourself in charge of this bit of NFA education so tell us...

How does a law enforcement agency properly transfer a NFA regulated weapon to a private citizen?

edit: boy that is a bad pic:p

David Hineline
January 30, 2011, 12:49 AM
From an agency, a transferable weapon would go on a tax free form 5, to another agency, a firearms dealer, or direct to an individual. A restricted post 86 machinegun would transfer on form 5 tax free to another agency or to a LE dealer if the dealer had an agency demo request letter for that gun as a sales sample.

Form 10 guns are always and only government use only.

January 30, 2011, 05:32 PM
So you are saying that you would not need to pay the $200 tax if a government (state) agency transferred a title II weapon to you (an individual)?

David Hineline
January 30, 2011, 11:58 PM
That's the way it works no tax to or from government agency, also the tax free form 5 is used to transfer from an estate to a lawful heir.

Austin Cowart
January 31, 2011, 12:39 AM
All your buddy needs to do if find an NFA dealer that will handle a transfer find him a SBS that he wants, buy it and have it sent to the dealer everything to this point he doesnt need to know about except writing a check and paying a transfer to the dealer he is using. Then he needs to fill out a form 1 and get the chief or the sherif to sign off on it and get fingerprinted and photo's shot and mail it in with a $200 check. that or he can ask his chief if the department can buy him an sbs and then they can issue it to him. if he quites it goes back to the department. who cares about forms if the department is handling it. If HE wants a gun he should buy it for himself but thats my2cents

January 31, 2011, 12:38 PM
Austin, I really don't know what you just said there...

so it seems like the Form 5 is the way to go, thanks for the help. Any idea who in the Department would have to okay the transfer?
The transfer would most likely end up going to a Trust.

Zombie Defense
January 31, 2011, 01:02 PM
A transfer TO a gov. agency would go Form 5, Form 10 is GOV. agency only, Gov. agency(Form 5) TO an Indivividual/CORP/ or trust would go on a Form 4 and tax would be due, Unless they are a lawfull Heir, then a form 5 would be used and only if it is a transferable item.

Form 1 application to manufacture a firearm...not a transfer
Form 2 SOT notice of manufacture of Firearm
Form 3 SOT to SOT tax free transfer of firearm

the other are covered above

David Hineline
January 31, 2011, 02:06 PM
Not correct again, the item if transferable will go form 5 no tax paid direct to an individual, not tax paid form 4.

Zombie Defense
January 31, 2011, 03:20 PM
You are going to make me call NFA brach to clarify that you know, LOL. I don't see how they could avoid transfer tax unless they meet the parameters on the Form 5.

January 31, 2011, 03:26 PM
Quoted from the ATF Form 5:

Firearm is Being Transferred to or from a Government Entity


So what David says makes sense. A call to the ATF would be a good idea though. Zombie, if you do call, let us know what you find out.

Zombie Defense
January 31, 2011, 03:50 PM
That does make sense with the way it is worded. I agree.

January 31, 2011, 03:59 PM
Several years ago I bought a used .22 silencer from a sheriffs department. After double checking with a phone call to NFA branch, the silencer transferred directly to me as an individual from the department on a Form 5 tax exempt. The county sheriff signed the form twice, once as the transferror and once for the CLEO approval.

The form does clearly state it is for transfers TO OR FROM a government agency. But before anyone gets any ideas, having a department purchase an NFA item just to transfer to you as an individual on a Form 5 is considered tax evasion.

January 31, 2011, 04:55 PM
Well I guess that settles it. Many thanks Corey.

February 20, 2011, 10:24 PM
If you get a class 3 FFL involved, the guns go to them on form 10 and to the private citizen on form 4...
How did this get into my house then? I asked my dealer how he got it and that is what I posted in this thread.
First off - David is correct.

Second, that is not a Form 10 shown in the picture. It has a tax stamp on it, and FFL/SOT info. You will have neither of those on a Form 10. You can view the form here (http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5320-10.pdf).

As noted, transfers to or from a government agency are tax-free, and are done with a Form 5. I've got two NFA firearms that I bought this way. If the buyer resides in the same state as the selling agency, the firearm can transfer directly to the buyer. If the buyer resides in a different state, it's just like any other out-of-state transfer. The firearm transfers (tax-free Form 5) to a dealer in the buyer's home state, and then transfers (tax-paid Form 4) to the individual.

My 590A1 sbs is on form 4...
herein lies the source of some confusion. Guns are not on forms. They transfer based on the status of the buyer and seller. Just because a firearm was last transferred using one particular form, does not mean it has to transfer again using that form.

Consider when an NFA firearm was first "made". It would have been registered using either a Form 1 or Form 2, depending on the FFL/SOT status (or lack thereof) of the maker. It would then transfer to a buyer using a Form 3, 4, or 5, again depending on the status (SOT to SOT, SOT to non-SOT, or SOT to gov. agency) of the buyer and seller.

It has nothing to do with the status of the gun. Consider an SOT who buys a pre-'86 dealer sample MG. If it is bought from another SOT, it would transfer tax-free using a Form 3. Now if the individual doesn't renew his SOT status, he can still keep the gun (this only works for pre-'86 MGs, not posties). Say he later wants to sell the gun. It has to go to an FFL/SOT. But since the seller no longer has SOT status, the gun would transfer tax-paid via Form 4. Nothing has changed with the gun's status. It's exactly the same as when it was last transferred. What has changed is the owner's status, which is why the different form.

So again, guns are not on forms. They transfer based on the status of the buyer & seller.