NFA Weapon Definition
• Machine guns — this includes any firearm which can fire more than 1 cartridge per trigger pull. Both continuous fully automatic fire and “burst fire” (i.e., firearms with a 3-round burst feature) are considered machine gun features. The weapon’s receiver is by itself considered to be a regulated firearm. A non-machinegun that may be converted to fire more than one shot per trigger pull by ordinary mechanical skills is determined to be “readily convertible”, and classed as a machinegun, such as a KG-9 pistol (pre-ban ones are “grandfathered”).
• Short-barreled rifles — this category includes any firearm with a buttstock and either a rifled barrel under 16″ long or an overall length under 26″. The overall length is measured with any folding or collapsing stocks in the extended position. The category also includes firearms which came from the factory with a buttstock that was later removed by a third party. Short-barreled shotguns — this category is defined similarly to SBRs, but the barrel must be under 18″ or a minimum overall length under 26″. and the barrel must be a smoothbore.
• Suppressors — this includes any portable device designed to muffle or disguise the report of a portable firearm. This category does not include non-portable devices, such as sound traps used by gunsmiths in their shops which are large and usually bolted to the floor.
There are two broad classes of destructive devices:
• Devices such as grenades, bombs, explosive missiles, poison gas weapons, etc. Any firearm with a bore over 0.50 inch except for shotguns or shotgun shells which have been found to be generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes. (Many firearms with bores over 0.50″ inch, such as 12-gauge shotguns, are exempted from the law because they have been determined to have a “legitimate sporting use”.) The state with most machine guns per capita is New Hampshire, with 7.4 for every 1,000 residents. New Hampshire also happens to have the lowest murder rate. In Wyoming, which has a population of only about 600,000, there are over 100,000 “destructive devices” registered. I have not managed to figure out why, but there must be an interesting story there. Washington D.C., which does not appear on the map, has the second highest number of NFA weapons per capita, with 62 per 1,000 residents. Oklahoma‘s total NFA registrations are lower than the national average, but the number of silencers registered is the second highest per capita. California is well known to have some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S. Yet, it ranks #2 in terms of total number of registered weapons (Texas is #1). Ironically, many of these weapons are owned by Hollywood, an industry that includes some of the loudest voices supporting gun control. Arizona, one of the states that bans nun chucks, ranks #9 overall with 16 NFA-registered weapons per 1,000 residents.
In theory, all Class III weapons are completely banned in New York. Even being in the same room as a machine gun is enough to get you in trouble:
National Firearms Act
The NFA 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. Firearms subject to the 1934 Act included shotguns and rifles having barrels less than 18 inches in length, certain firearms described as “any other weapons,” machineguns, and firearm mufflers and silencers. While the NFA was enacted by Congress as an exercise of its authority to tax, the NFA had an underlying purpose unrelated to revenue collection. As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms. Congress found these firearms to pose a significant crime problem because of their frequent use in crime, particularly the gangland crimes of that era such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The $200 making and transfer taxes on most NFA firearms were considered quite severe and adequate to carry out Congress’ purpose to discourage or eliminate transactions in these firearms. The $200 tax has not changed since 1934.
As structured in 1934, the NFA imposed a duty on persons transferring NFA firearms, as well as mere possessors of unregistered firearms, to register them with the Secretary of the Treasury. If the possessor of an unregistered firearm applied to register the firearm as required by the NFA, the Treasury Department could supply information to State authorities about the registrant’s possession of the firearm. State authorities could then use the information to prosecute the person whose possession violated State laws. For these reasons, the Supreme Court in 1968 held in the Haynes case that a person prosecuted for possessing an unregistered NFA firearm had a valid defense to the prosecution — the registration requirement imposed on the possessor of an unregistered firearm violated the possessor’s privilege from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Haynes decision made the 1934 Act virtually unenforceable.
Title II of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968
Title II amended the NFA to cure the constitutional flaw pointed out in Haynes. First, the requirement for possessors of unregistered firearms to register was removed. Indeed, under the amended law, there is no mechanism for a possessor to register an unregistered NFA firearm already possessed by the person. Second, a provision was added to the law prohibiting the use of any information from an NFA application or registration as evidence against the person in a criminal proceeding with respect to a violation of law occurring prior to or concurrently with the filing of the application or registration. In 1971, the Supreme Court re-examined the NFA in the Freed case and found that the 1968 amendments cured the constitutional defect in the original NFA. Title II also amended the NFA definitions of “firearm” by adding “destructive devices” and expanding the definition of “machinegun.”
Firearm Owners’ Protection Act
In 1986, this Act amended the NFA definition of “silencer” by adding combinations of parts for silencers and any part intended for use in the assembly or fabrication of a silencer. The Act also amended the GCA to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.
TITLE II WEAPONS
Some of you may have heard of title 2 guns, or any attachment/firearm protected by the National Firearms Act. If you’ve played any war-related game, such as Call-of-Duty, you’ll be somewhat familiar with this information. Title 2 weaponry isn’t anything to mess with. In order to legally use, distribute, or own a title 2 weapon, there’s a lot of background information you’ve got to know.
There are five main classes of title 2 weapons, with some subcategories. All of these classes of title 2 weapons require a special permission to wield or possess any of them. Title 2 weapons, otherwise known as NFA firearms require a type 1 Federal Firearms License and a Special Occupation Tax (SOT) if they’re being sold to you. In order to possess the title 2 weapon, you’ve got to pay a $200 tax through a tax stamp, and fill out the ATF Form 4. The Gun Control Act of 1968 (initially prompted by Kennedy’s assassination in ’63) is a revision of the National Firearms Act in 1934. The Gun Control Act regulated firearms in America so they’d be a bit more difficult to purchase.
Short Barreled Weapons
A Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) is justified as a weapon having a barrel, or barrels that are less than 16 inches in length. A rifle is used by firing from the shoulder, a single bullet through a barrel, however SBR’s may or may not be able to maintain a shoulder recoil after modification. SBR’s are usually modified fully-automatic versions of AR-15’s, M4’s and occasionally an AK-47. Short barreled rifles are much less common than short barreled rifles due to the loss of accuracy in making an SBR.
A Short Barreled Shotgun, or SBS is more commonly-known as the sawed-off shotgun. The sawed off shotgun is America’s iconic shotgun due to the entire cameo’s in old-western movies and video games. The sawed-off class is a celebrity with most sawed-offs consisting of the prior gun being a double-barreled shotgun. Similar to the SBR, SBS’s are made by sawing, cutting, or replacing the barrel of a shotgun that is supposed to be shoulder-fired, shooting shot (pellets) or one projectile at a time.
The National Firearms Act depicts machine guns to be… “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” Machine guns have little to no boundary. Just as other weapons and rifles, machine guns hold a specific bullet count in a magazine; however the gas-powered operation system to reload the bullet is a tad different. Rather than waiting for the bullet to load itself into the chamber immediately after the trigger is pulled, a machine gun (fully-automatic) releases a spurt of bullets based on the length of time the shooter is holding down the trigger. These bullet spurts are called ‘bursts’ and some machine guns even feature a ‘3 round burst’ where three shots are fired in one pull of the trigger, rather than one.
Silencers – otherwise known as suppressors – are any muzzling or silencing device attached to the barrel of a gun. Its immediate purpose is to diminish the report of Suppressors come for all sorts of weapons, and have many uses. One popular use among weapon owners is for hunting. Silencing a shotgun, or rifle prior to a hunt could save you a lot of time, and allow you to not have to wear ear protection. Another common use of a silencer is to reduce the recoil of fire. This can greatly reduce firing fatigue. Ironically called a silencer, attaching a suppressor doesn’t always make the weapon ‘silent’. While accounting for 15-30 dB of noise that the silencer actually works for, much more sound (~50+dB) is still forced from the weapon on fire.
DD’s, or destructive devices aren’t a normal title 2 weapon. There’s two types of DD’s, there are large-bore firearms as well as explosive ordinance. Large bore firearms are any weapon with a bore diameter larger than a half inch, or 12.7mm (50 calibre). The USAS-12 automatic shotgun is considered a large-bore title 2 firearm, or destructive device. Although most shotgun’s have a bore diameter or a half inch or larger, they are exempt through the fact that they are legitimate for sporting. Explosive ordinance are all of your grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, poison gas, bombs, rockets, mines, missiles, and the parts to make or construct any of those. However any rocket that contains less than four ounces of propellant remains exempt.
Any Other Weapon (AOW)
Any other weapon can legitimately be any device or item that is made into a gun. This catch-all category is defined as “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive,” other than a pistol with a rifled barrel. This category contains improved guns and disguised firearms including cane, knife, and pen guns. An AOW can be transferred to non-prohibited civilians using a $5 stamp rather than a $200 stamp used when transferring machine guns and SBR’s. AOW’s are often misunderstood, and some less common firearms in the NFA AOW section are items like short barreled shotguns without a shoulder stock, or pistols with a secondary vertical grip. NFA – Title 2 Weapons – Machineguns, Short Barreled Rifles (SBR), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS), Silencers (Suppressors), AOW (Any Other Weapons) and Destructive Devices Title 2 firearms are not as commonly known nor as straight forward as the Title 1s. All title 2 firearms are regulated by what’s known as the National Firearm Act or what we like to refer to as NFA. One could spend months reading about NFA but I’ll hit the major misconceptions… which are (contrary to the assumptions by many individuals and even law enforcement) that NFA weaponry. Most all 6 categories above are allowed in just about all states within the Continental United States. A few states restrict machinegun ownership, others may restrict short barreled shotguns (SBSs) or suppressors, etc.. One does not need or obtain a “Class 3” license to own. In fact there really is no such thing as a class 3 license. When a Title 1 FFL dealer pays what’s known as a Special Occupation Tax, he/she then becomes a SOT that can then deal in NFA/Title 2 weapons. SOTs have several classes too and they are based on the type of FFL license you currently hold. The term Class 3 comes from when a normal Type 1 (standard dealer) FFL holder pays his SOT tax. He becomes a Type 3 SOT hence the term Class 3. When a manufacturer likes myself (a type 7 FFL) pays his/her SOT, they become a Type 2 SOT and can both MAKE and DEAL in NFA weapons. Transferring ownership of an NFA weapon – All NFA weapons regardless of category (machineguns, silencers, etc.) are controlled during their transfership from one person/entity to another. These weapons transfer to another entity on what is called ATF tax forms. Each ownership transfer must be approved by the ATF before the transfer takes place. This approval takes sometimes many months.
Generally individual transfership is approved in 3-4 months, dealer to dealer in 3-4 weeks. When the ATF approves the transfer, they cancel a tax stamp and this is why you sometimes hear some say class 3 stamp. Transfers from/to individuals require a onetime $200 tax stamp to be paid for EACH transfer (AOWs require just a $5 stamp). These are considered tax paid transfers and usually are on ATF form 4s. Dealers can transfer to other dealers using a tax free Form 3. If a person buys a NFA item from someone outside his/her domicile (home) state, the weapon must be transferred 1st to a SOT holder within the buyer’s state. Similar to a Title 1 firearm transaction. It must go to a FFL/SOT dealer in the buyer’s state before going to the buyer. Making of NFA weapons. In May, 1986 President Reagan signed a bill that basically stopped the making of any new machineguns. All the other 5 categories (SBRs, SBSs, Silencers, AOWs and Destructive Devices) however can still be made. even by an individual if he/she first applies for and receives permission to do so. They will file an ATF Form 1 (maker form) and pay a $200 make tax fee. A civilian can still legally own any machinegun that was created PRIOR to May, 1986 as long as they get approval on the ATF form 4 discussed above. Machineguns or full-autos as they are sometimes referred command a hefty price though due to supply and demand. Remember that no civilian can possess a machinegun manufactured after May 1986 except for law enforcement so there is a finite quantity available. Your more common machineguns (M16, MP5s, etc.) are currently selling for close to $20,000!!!! Pretty pricey for a gun that basically is really worth less than $1000.00! Machineguns generally go up several thousand dollars per year and some use as investments. I have bought and made considerable profits within just a few years by buying and selling NFA machineguns. They have been legal to own since 1934 so this is nothing new to the US laws. Officials have erroneously associated their approval with liability on their part. When in all actuality, the signoff in the ATFs eyes is only to state that the individual has nothing negative in his or her NCIC check. Corporations (LLC, INC, etc.) and Trusts (Revocable) do NOT need LEO signoff (still need ATF approval) however they have tax implications and are not recommended to merely obtain NFA items.
Utah Gun Lawyer
Gun Lawyer In Utah – call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506