What is the NFA (National Firearms Act) and what does it cover?
The National Firearms Act of 1934 was the first attempt by the federal government to regulate firearm ownership in the United States. The NFA made it illegal to possess several classes of firearms unless an individual paid a $200 tax on the item. The classes of firearms covered under the NFA are.
These firearms are also known by other names. They are actually classified as Title II weapons under the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, which further defined and amended the NFA. The GCA added a fifth category: Destructive devices (DD) – these are weapons with a bore diameter greater than .50 caliber and a bore that is rifled. An example would be one of our M203 40mm Grenade Launchers. These firearms are also known as Class III firearms. This is in reference to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL)s that possess a Class III Special Occupancy Tax (SOT) to sell NFA items. ASA (Ares State Armory, LLC) is a FFL / SOT Class III dealer.
Who can possess NFA items?
The simplest answer is everyone that can buy a handgun can purchase an NFA item and take possession of it. The longer answer is that you must also live in a state where possession of NFA items is legal. Some states limit some classes or all classes of the weapons. Oklahoma does not limit possession of any category as long as their ownership is in accordance with federal law.
What do I have to do to own an NFA item?
The first step is to find the item you wish to purchase and buy it. Next, your Class III dealer will initiate paperwork to begin the transfer of the item to you. NFA items can presently be owned through two pathways: First, individuals can take possession of the items. Second, entities such as businesses and trusts can own the items. In such a case, founding documents for the entities must be submitted with the transfer forms. After the completion of the paperwork, you will send in a check or money order for $200 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).
ATF Forms for NFA
There's a variety of ATF Forms that are for various different types of NFA Actions.
Federal Firearms License (FFL) Types
Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) Types
An SOT is an FFL who has paid a yearly tax to deal in NFA items.
Owning an NFA Item doesn't mean surrendering your 4th amendment protections
The mere ownership of an NFA item does not give the ATF the authority to come search your house at any time day-or-night. This myth stems from the ATF's "right-of-entry" that is required for FFLs. In fact the only person you are legally required to show your NFA registration paperwork to is an "ATF Officer on request". Technically you do not have to show local, state, or non-ATF law enforcement your NFA registration paperwork; yet your personal experience may vary on how successfully that works out for you. You are required to maintain control of your NFA items at all times. As long as you are maintaining control (which means you don’t leave the NFA items in the sole care of someone other than yourself) your friends and family are welcome to use them, as long as you are physically present.
THIS IS INTENDED TO BE INFORMATIONAL ONLY AND IN NO WAY CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE