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The process of purchasing a firearm is failry straight forward, right? However, most gun enthusiast may be unfamiliar with the process of purchasing NFA items.
So to start, what is an NFA item?
The NFA (or National Firearms Act) was originally enacted in 1934. Similar to the current NFA, the original Act imposed a tax on the making and transfer of firearms defined by the Act, as well as a special (occupational) tax on persons and entities engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms. The law also required the registration of all NFA firearms with the Secretary of the Treasury.
This act regulated :
* Machineguns : The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) defines “machine gun” to include any combination of
parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot,
without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
* Silencer or Suppressor : Per 18 U.S.C. 921(A)(24) a silencer or suppressor means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combiation of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly of fabrication.
* Any Other Weapon (AOW): The term "any other weapon" means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition. Ambiguous as hell right? This term includes items such as cane guns, pen guns, and all of the other oddities that don't fit into many other categories of firearms.
* Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) : Is defined by the ATF as a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
* Short Barrel Shotgun (SBS) : Is defined by the ATF as a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
* Destructive Devices (DD): According to 26 U.S.C. SS 5845(F) a destructive device is :
So, what the hell does all of this mean for me?
Purchasing an NFA item requires a little more than purchasing a regular firearm. Good thing this is WHAT WE DO!
With over 20 years of combined NFA experience, let our team help you navigate these confusing (but suprisingly simple waters!)
So many types of forms! What do they mean!
It's a fairly simple process:
Form 1: This is the form for an individual or an entity such as a Trust or Corporation that is not a licensed manufacturer (Type 07/Type10 FFL) to manufacture an NFA item. Check out our how to guide on filing a Form 1 here
Form 2: This is the form for a licensed manufacturer to fill out when manufacturing an NFA item.
Form 3: This is the form that is for the tax free transfer from dealer to dealer
Form 4: This is the most common form (aside from a Form 1) that many of you purchasing an NFA item will need to use. See our guide on the Form 4 process here and why using Recon Rifleworks is the easiest , care free choice when purchasing your NFA item in North East Florida.
Form 5: This is the form for a tax exempt transfer from dealers/manufacturers to government entities, and for the transfer of items post mortem. See our how to guide here for navigating the Form 5 process and when you would need this!
Essentially these are the primary forms that anyone navigating the process will utilize
Wait, wait, wait... I can buy a silencer? a MACHINEGUN?! I thought that was illegal.
So, no, in a nutshell it is completely legal for civilians to purchase suppressors, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns, AOWs, destructive devices and even MACHINEGUNS!
Okay, what's the catch?
There are really only a few catches here. First and foremost being the regulation of machineguns. Machineguns and conversion devices that fall under the definition of a machinegun (i.e. auto sears, and yes... those infamous Wish.com Glock Auto Sears) are considered to fall under 3 categories:
1) Transferable : These are machineguns that were manufactured, and placed on the registry before May 19, 1986 are what we consider to be "transferable". This means that any civilian that lives in an area where machinegun ownership is not further regulated by state or local laws, can purchase this item. What is required? A tax stamp, the waiting period for the background check and approval of your form 4 and that's it. Unfortunately you can't just walk into a gun store and purchase a machinegun like you would any other gun. There is a fairly substantial, although much faster now (see our guide on Form 4s here), wait time involved.
2) Post-sample/Post 86/ Postie/ Non Transferable/ Dealer Sample: These are machineguns that were registered after May 19, 1986 by licensed manufacturers (i.e. Type 07 FFL with Class II SOT) as demonstration pieces or for LE/GOV contracts. These items are not available for transfer to civilians. There are some Pre 86 samples that an SOT can retain for personal purposes after closing down their business, however once the owner decides to sell they must transfer to another dealer/mfg or LE/GOV agency.
To get a few things out of the way:
* No, just because a gun existed before May 19, 1986 as a semi-auto, it can not legally be converted into a transferable machinegun.
* No you can not Form 1 a machinegun any more (although there was a screw up on ATF's part a few years back, but they rescinded that approval)
*No, just because a torched parts kit was manufactured (and even a machinegun) before May 19, 1986, you can not bring this item back as a new machinegun and let it be transferable.
Q: Why the parts kits? Licensed manufacturers can purchase torched parts kits and weld them or make new receivers to make them functional once more and file a Form 2 to put it on the registry as a post sample. Also, for now, individuals can purchase these parts kits and create or purchase a semi auto receiver and modify the parts to work in a semi auto function only.
Q: Will you guys show me how to convert my gun to full auto? Or will you do it for me?
Absolutely not. We also will ask you to leave if you come into the shop with your delusions of grandieur regarding your grandaddy's stash of machineguns in the back yard or that time you converted your AR 15 to select fire. We hate the government as much as the next guy, but we're not trying to fight until you guys kick the party off.
3) Illegal : Yeah.. there's a bunch of them out there. But trust us, that kit you bought on wish... the ATF/FBI are tracking those. Just don't buy them. Come to one of our machinegun shoots and just do it legally (it's just as fun without having to worry about burying your dog!)
Next catch: Tax Stamp. For each NFA item you purchase you must pay The Man $200. When your form is approved you get this fancy little stamp that is specific to the serial number on your NFA item. This is what is commonly referred to as your "tax stamp"
Why Choose Recon?
In a nutshell, this is what we do. We have over 50 years of collective NFA experience and can assist you in navigating through any of the red tape! We are also well versed in NFA products with significant hands on experience with the products and companies that you have to choose from!
Instead of dealing with that shop that is still filing paper forms and making you run to the Sheriff's Office for prints, come to Recon and experience what buying NFA items is supposed to be like. We provide all of the services under one roof (finger printing, passport photos and e form filing !)
Current Wait Times
Based on what we are currently seeing, Form 1's are taking 1-8 months, and form 4's are taking between 2 (yes 2!) -12 months. The longer you wait to get started, the longer it's going to take !