View Full Version : Almost got a deal on a full auto.. question

July 26, 2001, 12:27 PM
I'd like to go into this deal with my eyes a little more wide open so can you help me to understand this.

If I move, do I have to tell the ATF about it cause of the gun?

Do I have to pay another tax or something?

Do I need permission from the local law enforcement before hand as well? If moving that is?

Do I have to get permission from my local law enforcement where I am at now b4 doing this via corporate transfer? That was something the guy told me about. Dealing directly with the ATF about the taxes and cutting out the local law enforement signing off on this.

Do most gun ranges have "no full auto" usage policies on there ranges?

Are there any states (besides cali that every damn thing is just about illegal) that full auto is not legal? Basically, can I move without having to worry about this gun more than any other gun in my collection?


July 26, 2001, 02:37 PM
If you've almost got a deal, do you have a dealer lined up? Once you do that, most of these questions - and others that will occur to you - can be answered by someone closer to your particular situation.

Good luck.

July 26, 2001, 04:17 PM
actually, because I have so many questions I am not going to rush into anything. the deal was locally anyway.

Robert the41MagFan
July 26, 2001, 08:39 PM
Find a class III dealer first and let them guide you through the process. That is what you will be paying them for, whether you use the service or not. Although the process is pretty generic, every local has its ways of doing things. To purchase a class III firearm prior to having all your ducks lined up in a row can be a felony.

If you move to a non Class III state, the firearm must be sold or surrendered (outside the new state of residence). ATF must be notified about ANY residence changes(state to state, not within a state of residence), but if I'm not mistaken, LE permissions (signatures) are not needed and no additional charges (stamps).

Signature is not required for corporate ownership, but you do surrender your 4th Amendment rights when you do so. Corporations have no Fourth to stand on. AFT can come and inspect premises at will.

And yes, most ranges are no full automatic firing allowed.

Here, found this cool link that has most all the information that you need.



July 27, 2001, 07:04 AM
Well that pretty much blows. I want to thank you for that response. It was very insightful. That deal would have only saved me about $150...but I could get all the same items from an online source without having to rush into anything for that same $150 extra.

July 27, 2001, 08:15 AM
I have to take issue with several statements made...

Find a class III dealer first and let them guide you through the process.
This is VERY good advice.

If you move to a non Class III state, the firearm must be sold or surrendered (outside the new state of residence).
Not true. If you move to a non-NFA state you can store the weapon in a NFA-friendly state - happens all the time. The key is that you must retain control of the weapon - meaning only you have access to the weapon. Storage in a bank deposit box or a safe for which only you have the combination are two examples of how this can be done.

Signature is not required for corporate ownership, but you do surrender your 4th Amendment rights when you do so. Corporations have no Fourth to stand on. AFT can come and inspect premises at will.
Not true. You surrender no rights as a corporate owner of NFA weapons. The ATF cannot "come and inspect premises at will". Mere owners of NFA weapons, corporate or otherwise, have all the rights and priviledges as ordinary citizens - they forfeit no rights.

Robert the41MagFan
July 27, 2001, 01:32 PM
chetchat, you are getting into major gray area when you talk about storage of a firearm. We've been leaving Class III just as you described at a Class III dealer when going on long vacation or business. Have had a number of guns (Class III) stolen in the area when owners are out vacationing. We have talked to ATF about what we do and have never been able to give a definitive answer as to whether it is OK or not. They don't even know, but kind of look the other way because we're trying to do the right thing.

AND, we also have corporate NFA weapons holders being visited by the ATF. No warrant, reason or probable cause. Again, corporations have no rights or at least ATF seems to think so. Anyone contemplating the purchase of a NFA weapon via a corporation (or forming a corporation for the sole purpose of owning a Class III firearm) should go and talk to a lawyer first.

From Miami! My old barrio.


July 27, 2001, 03:13 PM

In the two areas I addressed there is no gray area.

In the first, I was referring to your statement about having to surrender NFA weapons when moving to a non-NFA state that they must be sold or surrendered. That is simply not true.

If you want to address casual or temporary storage of weapons while on vacation or business, or the BATF's reaction when those weapons are stolen, that is another subject.

There are dozens of cases where NFA owners have moved to non-NFA states and elected to store their weapons (in a NFA friendly state) in a secure method that allows only the owner's access to the weapons. In this way, the weapons remain under the owner's control - this is a requirement of NFA weapons ownership, whether moving or at the shooting range.

In these cases, the BATF is advised of the circumstances of the owner's move and where and how the weapons will be stored, usually by way of a 5320.20 and accompanying letter. The BATF could, if so inclined, advise the owner of the weapons that these provisions are not satisfactory, or simillar response. There's nothing gray about it if the owner follows the appropriate protocol.


My second point, regarding Fourth Amendment rights, let me refer you to the "cool link" you noted in an earlier post. Mr. James Bardwell is a prominent attorney in the NFA arena. Though he will be among the first to suggest there are many areas where the NFA/GCA regulations and laws are seemingly contradictory, the Fourth Amendment is not one. At the end of his discussion regarding these rights, and the occasions where the BATF can legally enter your premises (when you are a SOT or have an FFL ), he has this final statement :

As to one who is neither a FFL nor SOT, but only owns weapons regulated under the National Firearms Act, ATF may only compel you to show an agent upon request the registration paperwork, that is the Form 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or whatever else might have been used to register the weapon. See 26 U.S.C. sec. 5841(e). They do not have any right to compel you to produce the weapon. As always the Fourth amendment applies, and ATF may not enter your home or other place of storage of the NFA weapon, nor seize the weapon, without a warrant, or without falling under an exception the Supreme Court has created to the operation of the Fourth amendment, or without your consent.

As was pointed out in another thread http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67224
the examples you're referring to may be those of SOT/FFL holders, warrant searches, or searches by consent. The BATF has no legal right to enter any premises - corporate or otherwise - without that warrant or other exemption.

July 27, 2001, 08:20 PM
God I love this place. I feel like a total moron. I don't know anything concerning this stuff.

read up daniel son :)

July 29, 2001, 02:49 PM
Im gonna have to agree with chetchat on both of the issues here. Regarding moving out of state and leaving the weapons behind....remember how all of this tax stamp stuff started. I has to do with interstate commerce, that is the only way they could possibly get all of this unconstitutional BS to fly. Don't you think that the BATF would like to know where every single NFA weapon is at all times? Of course they would, so why don't you legally have to tell them when ever you move in state? Because by law they can't force you to tell them. As long as the guns stay in the particular state they are registered in then they are untouchable by the feds.

Also, its clear that only FFLs give up any sort of privacy rights to the BATF and even then it is only at their business premises, not thier homes. Even what can be done at the business is limited, meaning the BATF can't just decide to do a surprise inspection on you at your business once a week for an entire year. Even though they don't always play by them, they have rules too.

One more thing Robert....This sentence caught my attention and Im not really sure what it means.

"We've been leaving Class III just as you described at a Class III dealer when going on long vacation or business. "

If this means that weapons registered to someone else are being left at the local dealers place for safe keeping until the owner returns, then unless they are completely unaccessable to the dealer himself, BATF would consider this an illegal transfer. It makes no difference whether the dealer is an SOT or not, he still may no possess NFA items that are not registered to him, unless they are being repaired and a form5 was opted not to be filed. Maybe Im off base here, but that is just how I read it.


Robert the41MagFan
July 29, 2001, 11:32 PM

When left at the dealer, it is done exactly as chetchat described. Locked where only the owner has the keys to the locked box. The box is them placed in a vault.

We were out shooting this afternoon discussing this issue and all agreed that it's not as clean cut as thought. And when dealing (and owning) in machine-guns, one is suppose to be way above reproach.

Tell you what. Send ATF a email stating that you are moving to lets say the state of Washington. That as a resident of the state of Washington, you will be leaving the firearm with your parents in a locked vault where only you have the combination. That you will be traveling back to your non state of residence to shoot this machine-gun ever now and then. If they tell you that it's cool, you'll convince me and I'll eat crow. Sound fair?

Corporate issue! Not even going to go there. We have already seen it happen.


July 30, 2001, 12:42 AM
Would the Bowers Board do instead? There's a lot of folks there with a lot of experience.

I personally don't want to write the BATF and ask them about this as I do NFA business with them and don't want to take a chance they'll confuse the hypothectical with reality.

Here is the form the questions will take :

1) If I decide to move to a non-friendly NFA state, must my Class 3 weapons be sold or surrendered (outside the new state of residence), or can I keep them in a NFA friendly state under my control and with proper notification to the BATF?

For example, if I was moving from Florida to New York : as a new resident of the state of NY, I'd like to leave the weapons with my parents (in NFA Friendly Florida) in a locked vault where only I have the combination and access. I'll be traveling back to visit them and occasionally shoot the weapons. The weapons were originally purchased and registered in Florida where I lived.

2) Does a corporate owner of NFA weapons relinquish any Fourth Amendment rights to search, i.e. the BATF can perform a warrantless and unannounced search of the corporate premises? The corporation is NOT a SOT or FFL holder, just the registered owner of Class 3 weapons.

I'm posting them tonight, approximately 01:33 EST Monday on the MG Discussion Board.


Robert, if I'm right I don't want you to eat crow. I don't want anyone to run afowl (bad crow joke) of the GCA/NFA regulations.

July 30, 2001, 07:45 AM
Here is the actual response from the BATF about a question very similar to what we are discussing here. Notice that the BATF has no problem with the person buying an NFA item and leaving it in one state while that person is in another state and legally consided a resident or that state. The BATF goes as far as to tell the person that they could buy NFA items in both states and own them simultaneously. Oh and who is "we" that has already seen it happen over the corporate isssue?


JAN 29 1998

Dear :

This is in response to your letter in which you advise that you
maintain a residence in Florida and a summer residence in North
Carolina. You want to know whether the transfer of a National
Firearms Act (NFA) firearm may be made to you as a resident of
North Carolina. You advise that you have researched "state of
residence," but are not sure how the definition contained in Title
27, Code of federal Regulations, Section 178.11, and the
determination in ATF Ruliny 80-21 relate to the acquisition of an
NFA firearm.

The restrictions on interstate commerce in firearms are contained
In the Gun Control Act (Title 18, United States Code, Chapter 44)
and in the implementing regulations in Title 27, Code of Federal
Regulations, Part 178. Thus, the definition of "state of residence"
and the accompanying examples in section 178.11 provide the
guidelines for making the determination.

"State of residence" is defined as the State in which an individual
regularly resides, or maintains a home. The definition addresses
multiple residences with the following example:

"A" maintains a home in State "X" and a home in State "Y". "A"
resides in State "X" except for weekends or the summer months
of the year and in State "Y" for the weekends or the summer
months of the year. During the time that "A" actually resides
in State "X", "A" is a resident of State "X", and during the
time that "A" actually resides in State "Y", "A" is a resident
of State "Y".

- 2 -

Thus, you could acquire a firearm, including an NFA firearm, in
Florida when you are a resident of Florida and in North Carolina
when you are a resident of North Carolina. Your address on the
application to transfer the NFA firearm to you would be the address
in the State in which you are residing at that time. The law
enforcement certification on the transfer application will be made
by an appropriate official, from the State in which you are
residing at the time.

We trust this has been responsive to your request. Should any
additional information be needed, please contact Gary Schaible in
the NFA Branch at (202) 927-8330.

Sincerely yours,

Walfred A. Nelson
Deputy Assistant Director
Firearms, Explosives and Arson

July 30, 2001, 01:10 PM
excellent info!

July 30, 2001, 01:52 PM
Also posted the questions on Assaultweb 14:51 EST Monday :


Ponyboy, thanks for the letter! I'd heard of dual residency ownership of NFA, that helps clear things up.

Robert the41MagFan
July 30, 2001, 02:57 PM
Very good information Ponyboy. It affirms a dual residency issue. But it does not shed light on our question.

What is the deal with no one wanting to inform or tell ATF about a questionable situation (saw the same thing on Subguns forum)? Is it some sort of rebellion issue? They are the one's that will crack the whip if something is wrong. Why not get an answer from the horse's mouth? I work PT for a full service Class III dealer. I'll talk to them myself and see what sort of answer they give. Post when I get a response.

This is all bull. I know, but I'm a techo-crat. Better than who did what in baseball.


July 30, 2001, 04:20 PM
Actually, it doesn't affirm a dual residency at all. Dual residency meaning that you are a resident of two states at any one particular time. What it states is that for the time that you are living at one house or another you are considered a resident of that particular state, for matters concerning NFA weapons. This is the part that pertains to the arguement, it goes on to state that you may purchase a firearm at both residences. It says nothing about disposing of the firearms left at the previous residence, which for the purposes of the NFA you are no longer a resident of that particular state. Therefore, if you did what the BATF suggests in this letter you would simultaneously own NFA firearms in two different states, while for the purposes of the NFA you would only be a resident in one. The same thing as leaving them in a safety deposit box when you move to another state which is what this whole thing is about.

Regarding the unwarranted searches of a corp. which owns NFA weapons, this is just completely false. I suggest you do a search of the United States Code in the section pertaining to the NFA until you find a statute which addresses the aformentioned subject. Once you find the correct section look for the area where it discusses the loss of the right to unwarranted searches and seizures of corporate property once NFA weapons are aquired by the said company. Here is a hint...you will be looking for a long time, because you won't find it. Corporations do in fact have rights, just not rights like a person would have. They are considered an entity in and of themselves which is why they are allowed to purchase NFA weapons.

The only thing even close to what you suggest is the unnotified compliance inspection that the BATF is allowed to conduct on type 01 FFL holders. Even then the inspection must be conducted during business hours and I believe that it is limited to one but no more than two a year. They are allowed to conduct more inspections, but the license holder must me notified beforehand and is told the exact date and time when the inspection is to occur.

Many people also believe that this is true for type 03 FFL holders (of which I am one) and this is completely false as well. If at anytime the BATF wishes to inspect the weapons in my bound book I must first be notified and I then have the option of the BATF inspectors comming out or I may opt to bring my bound book and all firearms contained in it to the closest BATF field office to my location.

I have seen these exact two questions asked many times at subguns.com and these are the two answers given every time. Many times James Bardwell, a well know and very well respected firearms attorney, will answer them himself. If you don't believe me, just go to subguns and ask yourself, as I have seen chetchat has already done. A thousand posters over there that are much better versed in NFA laws than I am will quickly point you in the right direction. Also, Im not trying to sound pompus or rude, but if the dealer that you work for answers these questions any different than I did then he is wrong. If he isn't sure, then he will have something to ask the BATF inspectors the next time a compliance inspection rolls around.


July 30, 2001, 04:25 PM
As an aside...I stated that unnotified compliance inspections may be conducted on type 01 FFLs, but did not mean to not include other FFL types. I am unsure of all the regs concerning the other various types of FFLs so I omitted comment on them, though I doubt they are any more strenous in these respects as compared to type 01 FFLs.


Robert the41MagFan
July 30, 2001, 10:53 PM
" If he isn't sure, then he will have something to ask the BATF inspectors the next time a compliance inspection rolls around."

That is exactly what I'm doing.

And that my boss is wrong? He happens to be one of the most successful FFL's in the country right now. Well over ten thousand firearms sold a year and the largest Class III dealers in the west coast. Don't think that it is by chance.


July 31, 2001, 09:47 AM
Like I said in a previous post, Im not trying to be rude and in no way am I attempting to call your bosses intelligence or integrity into question. Just because he is a good businessman doesn't mean that he knows every law pertaining to NFA weapons in the federal code. Also, I doubt he would be very happy about you spreading false information on the internet and all the while attributing it to him. Check the facts again and then come back here and report what you found.....


August 10, 2001, 04:08 AM

Just wondering if you'd had a chance to check with your boss, was wondering what his take on these topics is?

August 10, 2001, 10:25 AM

In addition, if one is also a SOT, ATF claims to have the
right to enter onto your business premises, during business
hours, to verify compliance with the NFA. Their regulation to
that effect is found at 27 CFR sec. 179.22. The regulation is
apparently based upon 26 USC sec. 7606:

7606. Entry of premises for examination of taxable
(a) Entry during day.
The Secretary may enter, in the daytime, any building
or place where any articles or objects subject to tax are
made, produced, or kept, so far as it may be necessary for
the purpose of examining said articles or objects.
(b) Entry at night.
When such premises are open at night, the Secretary may
enter them while so open, in the performance of his official
(c) Penalties
For penalty for refusal to permit entry or examination, see
section 7342.

As 26 USC sec. 7342 provides for the penalty for a refusal to
permit entry under section 7606 it is worth a look:

7342. Penalty for refusal to permit entry or examination.
Any owner of any building or place, or person having the
agency or superintendence of the same, who refuses to admit
any officer or employee of the Treasury Department acting
under the authority of section 7606 (relating to entry of
premises for examination of taxable articles) or refuses to
permit him to examine such article or articles, shall, for
every such refusal, forfeit $500.

it looks like the NFA corporation dispute was because of a misunderstanding. Robert was referring to a corporation that is a class III dealer, who would be subject to such searches as a dealer. However, it looks like chet was referring to a corporation that merely was an NFA weapon owner, and not a dealer. In that case, the corporation still has the same 4th ammendment rights as any individual.

Robert the41MagFan
August 10, 2001, 11:46 AM

We talked a few weeks ago about this and he is standing on the same ground. It cool, but very gray. You don't want to push the man (ATF) or tangle with LE, if you know what I mean. In fact, one of our customers, who happens to be a very large collector of machine-guns, went off the handle. He was stating that the paperwork that one gets back clearly states that the NFA weapon must reside at the address stated in the paperwork and in the possession and control of its owner. No exceptions. Definitely an even stronger position then what I have. And also noticed on assaultweb.com (the post you put up) was also mixed. So, I think we opened a major can of worms.

I took it upon myself to contact ATF and get a definitive answer on this issue. Only problem is that they don't take email with technical questions and it had to be done via snail mail. It going to be like that commercial, "not going anywhere for a while!". In other words, it gonna take time. We may have an answer back by Xmas if we are lucky. :)

I'll post either way when we get an answer.

Talked to an attorney on the Fourth issue and he kind of on your position and that there is protection. But, if they suspect foul play, lets say narcotics or some other illegal activity, they will pretty much do things by the book and do what they want to do. Kind of spooky the was he explained how the judicial and LE work hand in hand. More like, what Fourth! But the bottom line was, there is nothing to fear. They are not coming knocking.


August 10, 2001, 01:05 PM
Here's some more info, straight from the ATF Online :


Storage of NFA Firearms

To avoid unauthorized transfers, registrants must store NFA firearms so that no one else has access to them. Firearms may be stored at locations other than the address on the firearm registration form, such as a safe deposit box. However, unless the registrant is a Federal firearms licensee who has paid the special (occupational) tax to import, manufacture, or deal in NFA firearms, the NFA Branch should be notified in writing of the new storage location.