The authenticity of the information surrounding the legality, cost, and availability of Silencers / Suppressors, Machine Guns, and Short Barreled Rifles has been anything but favorable in recent past. Only during the last few years has this information began to spread correctly throughout the firearm community and general public. We still meet people regularly who think that Silencers are completely illegal to own for regular people like you and me. In some instances we have met people who understand that they are legal to own but think that they are prohibitively expensive to own. So with that said, here is a quick down and dirty on what you need to know about purchasing an NFA item.
First, let’s clear up this whole NFA / CLASS 3 definition.
NFA stands for National Firearms Act which was passed by congress in 1934. Silencers (or suppressors, whatever you want to call it), Short Barreled Rifles (rifles with barrels less than 16 inches), Short Barreled Shotguns (shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches), Destructive Devices (M203 grenade Launcher, M79 grenade launcher, etc.), Machine Guns (self explanatory), and Any Other Weapons (Serbu Super Shorty, Revolver-Knife) are all defined as NFA items which need to be registered with the ATF.
In 1986 the NFA was amended by the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act. The amendment made it illegal for civilians to transfer or posses any machine gun manufactured after the act was passed on May 19, 1986. For this reason, there are only a limited number of transferable machine guns in existence which have gone up in value drastically and continue to do so every year.
Class 3 refers to the license that a dealer must posses to sell NFA items. It does not pertain to individuals wanting to purchase NFA items for personal use. You may also hear something about SOTs. That stands for Special Occupational Taxpayer which your NFA dealer MUST be in order to be doing business legally.
With all of that said, here is the major take away.
1. YOU DO NOT NEED A SPECIAL LICENSE TO BUY A SILENCER.
2. If you can legally purchase a firearm you can legally purchase an NFA item if your State allows it.
3. When you purchase an NFA item from your dealer it is registered to you on an ATF FORM 4.
Second, how do I go about purchasing an NFA item?
Your first step in purchasing an NFA item is to locate a dealer in your area that you can purchase the item through. Once you have located this dealer you need to go in and speak with them about the item that you want to purchase. A good dealer should be able to help you with this process and be knowledgeable about the item or items that you are looking at. Once you have the item picked out that you want to purchase things should follow a particular sequence of events outlined below.
1. Decide based on local laws and personal preference how you will be registering the item.
A. Purchasing an NFA item as an individual is convenient and quick
The benefits are no legal costs, less paperwork and smaller margin error in filing out the forms.
B. Purchasing an NFA item through an NFA trust provides flexibility and peace of mind.
The benefits to using a trust is mutiple person ownership of the items put into the trust. You can add new owners/trustees at any time and property protection after death. The items in the trust will go to the trustees and the beneficiaries of the trust.
If you file as an Individual, you will need to submit 2 copies of the completed BATFE Form 4’s (5320.4), 2 fingerprint cards (form FD-258), a check for $200 per item for the transfer tax and 2 passport photos to the ATF. You will also need to send a copy of the form 4 to your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer for notification of transfer. If we submit the form 4, we will do that for you. Ask your local dealer if they do the same.
If you file using an NFA trust, you will need to submit 2 copies of the completed BATFE Form 4’s (5320.4), a copy of your notarized trust, a completed BATFE Form 5320.23 for each responsible person in the trust, 1 passport photo for each responsible person, 2 completed FBI Form FD-258’s(the fingerprint cards) and a $200 check for each item purchased. A copy of the Form 4 and a copy of each responsible person questionnaire (BATFE Form 5320.23) will be sent to your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer.
If we submit your Form 4, we will complete all necessary forms and submit copies to your local CLEO’s.
2. WAIT……6-8 months on average as of August 2016.
3. Once your dealer receives your approved FORM 4 from the ATF, come pick up your new NFA item.
If you are purchasing the item from us and live in another state besides Nebraska, we will submit a BATFE Form 3, which is a no-fee, dealer to dealer transfer to the ATF. Upon approval from the ATF, we will ship your item to your local dealer and they will do the transfer to you.
Third, how much do they actually cost?
This is one area specifically where there is quite a bit of misinformation. Silencers / Suppressors and SBRs can actually be quite affordable. Machine Guns on the other hand can be very expensive depending on which one you are looking at. Here is quick break down on what you can expect to pay for one of these items on average. None of these prices include the cost of your NFA tax – $200 per item – and are not meant to be exact.
SILENCERS / SUPPRESSORS
Rimfire $250 – $400
Pistol $300 – $900
Rifle $500 – $2000
SBR / SBS
Registered Receiver – $220 and up
Complete Rifle – $1200 and up
Mac 11 – $5500 and up
UZI – $12500 and up
M16 – $18000 and up
Forth, once I have an NFA item can I decide later to get rid of it?
If you purchased the item from a dealer on a FORM 4 it can be transferred to someone else at a later point in time if you decide you no longer want it. Whoever it is transferred to will have to pay the $200 NFA tax on the item and wait for the approved FORM 4 to come back before they can take possession of it.
If you still have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us directly and we will try our best to get them answered for you. Thank you.