Buying an NFA Item
NFA firearms are divided into seven types - Machine guns, silencers, Short barrel shotguns, short
barrel rifles, AOW's & Destructive devices. For all practical purposes these can all be considered
pretty much the same in the way the transfer process is handled by ATF. These types of weapons
are legal in most states (see our legality map) and are easier to require than many people realize. In
fact if you can buy a handgun at your local gun store ATF will most likely approve your transfer of an
NFA weapon. We have had very few customers denied transfer of an NFA weapon. There tends to
be a lot of confusion about how the NFA transfer process works. The following is a brief description
of the process, designed to help our potential buyers understand what is required.
First it is helpful to understand an NFA weapon is a registered weapon. These can be owned by
individuals, Corps or trusts. The NFA branch of ATF must approve transfer of these types of
weapons from one individual or entity to the next prior to transfer of actual physical possession. You
can think of an approved transfer document as a title so to speak, and the said weapon to be
actually titled to its owner. It is a serious violation for anyone to possess an NFA weapon which is
not currently titled to that person or entity and is therefore important that the item remain with its
previous owner until the NFA approval of transfer is received.
ATF regulations require that an NFA weapon be transferred to its new owner from a class 3 dealer
in their own state. For this reason, after payment is received for an item purchased, we submit a
request for transfer by submitting an ATF form 3. This form 3 is submitted to the NFA branch of ATF
via fax and is currently approved within 30-45 days. When approved NFA branch will physically mail
the approval to our office. We will not be able to send the NFA item to your dealer until this approved
form is received.
When your NFA item is received by your dealer, it will be time to inspect the weapon. If there are
any issues we should be made aware of, this is the time. We stand behind our product with an
unconditional 3 day inspection period after your item is received. If needed we will refund the
purchase, or repair the item. Problems are fairly uncommon but we want you to know your
satisfaction is important to us.
Your local class 3 dealer will work with you on submitting a one page (front and back) form called an
ATF form 4. The dealer normally completes the front of the ATF form 4 with information about the
firearm, serial number, etc. as well as his FFL numbers and info. On the front page your name or
trust name will be listed as the transferee of the item. You will normally complete the back of the
form and will attach a passport size physical photo of yourself. Fingerprints are also currently
required. The CLEO sign off is no longer required. This is a big change as this means your local law
enforcement agency will no longer be able to block your acquisition of legal NFA firearms.
After your form four is ready to send, it should be sent in duplicate to NFA branch along with a one-
time 200 dollar tax payment. The NFA branch will do a background check and verify the document
sent is correct prior to approval. You will be able to check on your transfer via phone, but will need
the serial number for the item in order to check. The process times for items going to individuals,
trusts and corps vary based on ATF work load, but have been averaging roughly 4-6 months. When
the item is approved NFA will send the approval to your local dealer. At that time it will be legal for
you to possess your new NFA firearm!