View Full Version : Moving class III's

Eric Yarnell
August 2, 2001, 03:02 PM
My boss, who does nothing for himself, is moving to a different state and needs to transfer some suppressors, short barrel shotguns and machine guns. He gave me the job of getting the paperwork done. My questions are:

1. What paperwork needs to be done? (Is the transfer paperwork the same as the change of address paperwork?)

2. How long does the transfer usually take before it is approved?

3. What are my options as far as actually getting the items out there? If they can be shipped instead of someone actually driving them, what company do you recommend I use?

4. If I end up having to take them, what paperwork needs to be done then?

thanks in advance

August 2, 2001, 04:30 PM
I'll take a shot at this...

1) First, he needs to be sure all the items he's moving are legal in the state he's moving to - not all Class 3/NFA stuff is legal in all 50 states, and even among the states that do allow C3 some don't allow SBSs, some do. One source to check is :


or call the BATF.

If the weapons are OK to transfer, get a few 5320.20 forms
Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms here :



ATF Distribution Center
P.O. Box 5950
Springfield, VA
(703) 455-7801

Follow the instructions.

2. That I'm not sure of. I've heard you can fax the forms in and that's all you need to do, but I'd sure call the ATF and be sure - or someone who's done it will post. I've heard it doesn't take long, a couple of weeks...?

3. The Class 3 items must remain under the control of who they are registered to. If it's your boss, he has to take them there. If they are registered to your boss' corporation, a corporate officer can be designated to take physical possession of them during the trip. Unless your boss is a SOT (he'll know) he cannot ship the items, and I'm not sure he could ship them to himself like that anyway.

4. If C3 items are not in the possession of the registered owner - or in the case of a corporation, a designated officer - then that could be considered an illegal transfer. This is the case regardless of whether you're moving the guns to a different state or to the shooting range.

Have fun and good luck.

BTW - does he let you play with his C3 toys? What kind of stuff does he have? Not being too nosy, just curious :)

Sarge 13
August 4, 2001, 12:43 AM
You can put several weapons on a 5320 and if not enuf space attach (staple) a seperate page with the balance on it. Best if this is all typed as it avoids confusion on unreadable handwriting.
BATF will NOT accept a fax as they require an "original" signature, the owners - NOT yours.
The 5320 gives him the Federal authorization to transit thru "non gun" states, but he Can Not stop in one of these states and shoot or display the guns. To do so would make him subjekt to arrest and the guns confiscated by the local law.
The weapons can be transported by common carrier - the name of which you must specify on the 5320 - or by private vehicle (POV). Anyone should be able to drive these to the new location with a copy of the 5320 and all form 4s. However since this guy sounds like a jerk, I'd tell him he has to do it himself.
I would personally be hesitant to send these by any commercial method as there are several problems - you must declare what they are, you "might" not be able to insure them for value and I just wouldn't trust my guns to some strange company to loose or damage.

August 10, 2001, 01:03 PM
Regarding faxes, I know it's customary and acceptable to send some documents via fax to the ATF, specifically 5320.20s for the Knob Creek shoot. Here's some more info regarding the ATF ruling regarding faxes :


Regarding possession of an NFA weapon, several quotes from James Bardwell's NFA FAQs
(http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/nfa_faq.txt) :
"It is illegal for anyone to have possession of an NFA weapon that
is not registered to them in the NFA Registry."

"While it is illegal for anyone to have possession of an NFA firearm that is not registered to them, ATF haas carved out an
exception for getting the guns repaired."

and from ATF Online

"Possession of an unregistered NFA firearm is a violation of Federal law and subjects the possessor to possible criminal prosecution and the seizure and forfeiture of the firearm."

If you're driving with a NFA weapon that is not registered to you - i.e. in possession of that weapon - you're violating the law. Regardless of the paperwork you may have, unless it's a corporate NFA weapon and the paperwork shows you are an authorized officer to possess the weapon.
Moving Registered NFA Firearms Interstate

Individuals other than qualified Federal firearms licensees must obtain permission from ATF prior to temporarily or permanently moving a machine-gun, short-barreled shotgun, short-barreled rifle, or destructive device interstate. To obtain permission to move these firearms, please submit to ATF either a letter requesting permission to move them or an ATF Form 5320.20, Application to Transport Interstate or Temporarily Export Certain NFA Firearms. This form is available at the ATF Internet website or may be obtained by contacting the NFA Branch. If you are submitting the request by letter, please include the:

• Name of registrant;
• The firearm(s);
• The current location of the firearm(s);
• The location to which the firearm(s) will be transported;
• The date(s) and means of transportation (car, plane, boat, etc.); and
• The reason the firearm is being moved.

Please also indicate in the letter whether: (1) the move is temporary or permanent; (2) the move will involve a transfer of the title; and (3) whether the possession of the firearm will violate local or State law at the destination. The ATF Form 5320.20 includes these requirements. Requests for interstate transportation will be denied by ATF if possession of the firearm at the destination will violate State or local law.

Registrants do not have to obtain permission from ATF to move a silencer or “any other weapon” interstate. However, if a registrant’s address for these types of firearms changes after registration with ATF, please notify the NFA Branch in writing of the new address, so the NFRTR can reflect the registrant’s correct address.