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.

  • Machine guns (MG) 
  • Short barrel rifles (SBR)  
  • Short barrel shotguns (SBS) 
  • Any Other Weapons (AOW)
  • Silencers/Suppressors   

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.

  • Form 1: Form 1 is an application to make and register a firearm, by a non-SOT. This requires payment of a $200 registration tax. Form 1s can be done for any NFA item, except a machine-gun.
  • Form 2: Type 07 and Type 10 FFLs, and 02 SOT NFA Manufacturers to register a newly created NFA item tax free.
  • Form 3: Tax-Free SOT-to-SOT transfers.
  • Form 4: Transfers of NFA items to, or between non-SOTs, requiring payment of $200 tax.

Federal Firearms License (FFL) Types

  • Type 1: Dealer or Gunsmith
  • Type 2: Pawnbroker
  • Type 3: Collector of Curio & Relic (C&R) firearms
  • Type 6: Manufacturer of Ammunition
  • Type 7: Manufacturer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices
  • Type 8: Importer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices 
  • Type 9: Dealer in Destructive Devices
  • Type 10: Manufacturer of Destructive Devices 
  • Type 11: Importer of Destructive Devices 

Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) Types

An SOT is an FFL who has paid a yearly tax to deal in NFA items. 

  • Class 01: Importer of NFA Firearms 
  • Class 02: Manufacturer of NFA Firearms 
  • Class 03: Dealer of NFA Firearms

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.


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