View Full Version : Class 3 Permit

Tom B
March 11, 2001, 06:35 AM
I want to buy a 14in barrel for my Rem 870 or purchase a new class 3 shotgun. Can someone walk me thru the process. I researched the ATF website but it was clear as mud to me.

Robert the41MagFan
March 11, 2001, 01:51 PM
First thing, before buying anything or committing to anything. Go and talk to your police chief! He is the stumbling block to this entire process. If the chief won't sign, due to the long and expensive court process, essentially no gun. Once you have had a conversation with your pro gun rights police chief, find your firearm and purchase it. A Class three dealer will finish walking you through the process of typing the ATF paperwork, thumb prints and pictures. You just write the check for the two hundred dollar tax, go back to your police chief and have him sign off and mail the package off. I've seen this entire process take as little as 30 days to the extreme of 6 months. The average being about 60 days to approve the papers.

March 11, 2001, 03:40 PM
The other way to get one if you can't get a law enforcement signature is to form a corporation. If you go with the corporation you do not need a law enforcement signature, fingerprints, or pictures. Corporation approval time is usually within 30 days as there is no fingerprint check. You need to make sure there are no state or local laws prohibiting a short barreled shotgun as well.

March 14, 2001, 03:34 PM
I would like to revisit this a little, since I too would like to get a class III weapon.
So, assuming my Cheif of Plice has no problem with signing, I purchase the weapon, the dealer supplies me the paperwork? I pay him at this time, correct? The Cheif signs the paperwork, that and a check are sent to AFT or IRS, aor what? And in the time it takes to be approved, where's the weapon? The dealer holds it? For up to 6 months, maybe more? And what are the chances that your form won't be approved, or is that not an option?
One last thing, out of state transfers. They must be transfered to a class III in you state, right? Then to you. Are there extra forms or charges that go along with this?
Thanks for the help. This is confusing the first time, maybe second or third too.


Robert the41MagFan
March 14, 2001, 05:07 PM
The key to purchasing any NFA firearm is to have all your ducks lined up in a row so that you don't end up getting fried. And if the deal collapse for any reason, you will. Lose your $200 transfer fee and or be subject to restocking fees. The biggest hurdle is the police chiefs signature. You don't have any troubles with the law, pay your taxes and don't display aggressive behavior (like beat your wife, road rage, assault, battery), then there is nothing to fear about not getting approved. Everyone gets approved. Only time there are delays is when mistakes are made on the forms. Everything has to be correct.

Until the transaction is complete, the current owner MUST possess the firearm. Only other option is that a Class III dealer possesses the firearm, but it is locked in a case and in a vault and ONLY the owner of the firearm has a key to the case. But we are also getting into gray area with this interpretation.

Firearm sales are paid up front and prior to any paperwork. That is why it is so important to have all your ducks lined up.


Edmund Rowe
March 14, 2001, 08:49 PM
...and ask him about transfers in the local area. This may save a lot of heartache later. If the local Class 3 dealer (note, depending where you live, the "local" dealer might be a ways away) says there haven't been any transfers in your area, that may be a bad sign.

If getting the paperwork signed by the local police chief/sheriff is a novelty in your area, the dealer might want to contact the chief/sheriff first and explain what it's all about.

My local sheriff has signed off on several transfers after running appropriate names through the computer for background checks. That's good. One of the detectives at the office thought silencers were illegal to own period. That's bad. Fortunately he wasn't in the loop for the form 4 signature.

Chances that the form won't be approved: I've never heard of it happening as long as you have no felony background or anything else that would prevent you from legally purchasing a firearm from a dealer (like all those questions on form 4473 you answer).

The paperwork requires a picture attached to the form (2 copies) of yourself.

There are some special circumstances for transfer paperwork but these questions are best answered by your local class 3 dealer.

I thought the process was pretty easy, and easier the second time around as long as I did everything carefully and correctly.

NOTE sometimes state laws prohibit certain types of class 3 weapons beyond what federal law states. For example, some states prohibit suppressors completely.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice. I might be wrong. Ask an expert. yadda yadda yadda


March 14, 2001, 10:43 PM
Adding a short barrel to a shotgun means you will _manufacture_ a short-barreled shotgun. Buying a short-barreled shotgun is a _transfer_. The two are notably different. If you're going to manufacture a Class III gun, find the nearest such manufacturer and ask for advice. If you're going to buy one, find a seller and he will walk you through the process.

March 15, 2001, 05:44 PM
A short shotgun is defined as "any other weapon" and requires a special tax, which used to be $5.00, not the
standard $200 fee for autos. I know this because I used to be a Class III until the expense became prohibitive.