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Old November 10, 2005, 05:27 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Posts: 1,519
Full-auto sticky?

Would it be possible to get a sticky in the Full-auto section on the process to get an NFA weapon? Seems like every few days a question arises like "Can I buy a machinegun?" or "Whats the process for obtaining a silencer"? (I think there were two more posted just today) Rather than continually answering the same question, why not just have a sticky concerning the process and the legalities? Heck, I'd be happy to take the time to write up a detailed description of the process if we could get it on a sticky.
shaggy is offline  
Old November 10, 2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: June 15, 1999
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,558
Not a bad idea, Shaggy.

Something like that would probably need to be limited to Federal hoop-jumping since state and local laws vary widely.

Another consideration is that all of the information is probably available on the website of the BATFE and we may not want to be liable for presenting incorrect or outdated information.


Thinkin' about it... any other input would be appreciated.

TheBluesMan is offline  
Old December 20, 2005, 05:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: August 21, 2005
Location: Ahyah
Posts: 290
the other consideration is that many posters aren't even in the US.

that said, i think it still would make sense to have something...maybe a list of 'what not to ask' or a faq?

- how do i make a silencer
- how can i make my gun full auto
- why do full autos cost so much
- does a silencer wear out

i'm sure if you start a thread in full auto there would be a ton of really good suggestions.
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Old December 21, 2005, 04:42 PM   #4
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,541
I believe the following is correct and was written by Karl Mann:

Purchasing NFA weapons doesn't really differ all that much from state to state or from one locale to another. You generally can either get them or you can't. A few states don't allow them at all, or allow some but not others. A few states allow them but have their own registration requirements. If you live any where in the US that allows NFA weapons, and your CLEO will sign, the basic procedure is like this;

First assuming you have located an NFA weapon, it will need to be in the same state as you live in, in order to be transferred to you.

If it is in another state you will need to get it transferred to a dealer in your state. Most people selling a weapon are going to require you to pay for the weapon prior to them transferring out of their state. If it is in the hands of a private party, it is usually considered acceptable for them to transfer the weapon to a dealer in their home state prior to you paying. Once in the hands of a licensed dealer in their state, you make the payment to the seller (who is now the out of state dealer), who in turn pays the private party. NOTE (this isn't a required way of doing things, just a common and safe way for all involved). Once paid, the dealer transfers the item to your in state dealer. This will take around 2-4 weeks, depending on BATF.

Once in the hands of the local dealer, or if already in the hands of a local dealer, you are ready to start the paperwork process. You will need two copies of BATF form 5320.4 (aka form 4), two fingerprint cards (not just any fingerprint card, we'll get into that in more detail later), two photo's (passport size - aka 2" x 2").

The ATF form you should be able to get from the local dealer and possibly the fingerprint cards as well. If not they can be obtained from ATF by either calling their publication/forms Ph# (703) 455-7801 or ordering them online at . Order them online and you will have them QUICK. Now for the fingerprint card details. There are two kinds of cards, good guy cards (blue printing) and bad guy cards (red printing). I hope I don't need to tell you which to use. Also the cards have an area (ORI field) that must have the ORI for the ATF in Wash. DC. If you get your cards from a local PD it will have the local PD's ORI. Get a small blank/white sticker and cover the local PD ORI. Fill in


or just get the right card from ATF in the first place (see URL below).

You can get the two photos from where ever you like. Just have them before you attempt to get the CLEO signature on the form.

Fill out the form as instructions guide you to do, you will need certain specific info from the weapon so the dealer will help you with this. Once the form is filled out, attach the two photos. One to each copy of the form. Take the two forms and the two fingerprint cards to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where you reside (unless you are purchasing this weapon for some sort of job requirement). Get your fingerprints taken (usually a charge for this so bring money) and either request to see the Chief/Sheriff or drop off the forms for him to sign. In most small counties you will just go in and see the CLEO. In most large counties you will just drop off the forms and be called when they are signed. Again BIG NOTE, you should already know if your CLEO will sign for these types of weapons before purchasing. Your local dealer should be able to give you at least a clue.

Below is a list of eligible CLEO’s.

Chief of Police (if you reside inside city limits).
District Attorney.
State Attorney General.
Chief of State Police and/or Chief of State/Highway Patrol (some states have both)
Head of Department of Public Safety.
District Court judges.
County Judge (no traffic court or municipal judges though)
Head of local Highway Patrol office.
Head of local Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (don't bother).
U. S. Attorney (don't bother).

and maybe a few more.

Once you get your forms back from the CLEO take them, the fingerprint cards, and a check or money order for $200.00 made out to the Dept. of the Treasury, and mail it all off to the address on the form. Sometimes the dealer will do this for you, but it doesn't matter much either way.

If this is your first ever application of any kind to ATF it will take a few months to process. It's been know to take as much as 6 months average at some times. This is rare though, it will usually take around 3 months. If you have already purchased an NFA weapon in the past year or if you have an FFL, the process can be as quick as a few weeks.

Once ATF approves the form they will retain 1 copy for their records and send the other back to the dealer. NOTE, under the law, the seller is the person paying the tax. Therefore if you have any questions during this lengthy wait, ATF will not talk to you. They can't give out someone elses tax information to you. If you have any questions, you need to speak to your dealer. Be patient, dealers can't do anything to speed up the process, and constantly pestering them will only make them not answer your calls. Once the dealer has the approved form in hand they will call you and you can go pick up your new friend.

Since the following are PDF files, they are suitable for printing (noting the color restrictions above).

Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C 922(g)(5)(B) (proof of citizenship)

The page for ordering forms needed to purchase (transfer) or manufacture a Title II weapon.

Various (always usefull) ATF publications.
Al Norris is offline  

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