​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 weapons fall into 1 of 6 different categories.  1) Machineguns, 2) Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs), 3) Short Barreled Shotguns (SBSs), 4) Suppressors,  5) Any Other Weapon (AOWs) and 6) Destructive Devices.

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 ...

    1) Is legal in almost every state.  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..   

    2) 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 like myself (a type 7 FFL) pays his/her SOT, they become a Type 2 SOT and can both MAKE and DEAL in NFA weapons.  

   3) Transfering 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 one time $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.

4) 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.

5) Tennessee is a special state when it comes to NFA.  Part of the Form 1 or Form 4 approval process requires that you need to get local Chief Law Enforcement Official (Sheriff or Chief of City Police) to signoff on your form. Well, several years ago, a bill was past in TN that makes us a SHALL SIGN state which means the Sheriff or Chief MUST sign approval for your transfer unless there is something in your NCIC background check that would otherwise prevent it.  No other state does this.  Some 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.

6) An interesting and widely unknown fact..... since the NFA went into effect in 1934, there has only been 1..... 1 single felony committed in the whole United States since 1934 that involved a legally registered NFA firearm. And it was committed ironically by a crooked police officer who went to a drug house and shot someone on the premise. He used his legally acquired UZI submachinegun to commit the crim. You hear all the time of machinegun  and sawed off shotgun in the news but these have all been by individuals possessing an illegal, non registered weapon.  There are millions of records of legally owned entries on the NFA registry too so it's not like we're talking just a few hundred or thousand potential individuals. 

The (6) distinct types of NFA weapons are ...

1) Machineguns - Often referred to as full-autos, automatics, etc... any firearm which fires more than 1 bullet for each individual pull of the trigger.  Law Enforcement Sales can convert current semi-auto patrol rifles into... or manufacture new post sample machineguns for departmental and/or officer use. 

2) Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) - Rifles with barrels less than 16".  LES can convert your existing firearm to SBR specifications or create a build from the ground up using a Spikes/LES lower assembly. 

3) Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS) - Shotguns with barrels less than 18".  LES primarily uses the Remington 870 platform but can perform the modifications on basically any other series.

4) Silencers (Suppressors).  Silencers/Suppressors are never hardly portrayed accurately in the movies.  If the bullet speed breaks the sound barrier, you WILL hear a pop.  Suppressors are meant to mostly alter the signature of a weapon so that it sounds like something else and/or the sound heard doesn't mark the shooter's position as easily as a non-suppressed weapon.  22 caliber firearms can be suppressed very well though. You can get them so quiet that the action cycling produces more sound than the fired bullet does.  With other calibers, sub sonic ammo can be used to lessen the signature as the bullet leaves the barrel.  Best analogy I can give is a normal suppressed 5.56/223 AR15 will sound more like a 22 rifle being fired. LES has begun manufacturing its own series of suppressors.  As products become available, they will be posted on the site.  Current versions are considered in developmental stages and are being evaluated for both their performance and mostly safety/durability.

5) Any Other Weapon (AOW) - these are usually things that don't meet the other criteria above.  Put a foregrip on a pistol, guess what?  You JUST made an AOW weapon and if the proper paperwork and approval were not obtained prior, you have violated NFA regulations and possess a contraband weapon that carries severe fines and penalties.  Other common AOW classifications are these wallet holsters you see that are meant to be/could be fired while the weapon is still in the holster. Pen guns are another example. AOWs are a little special in that the transfer tax for them is only $5.00.  Ironically, the "maker" of the AOW still has to pay a $200 maker Form 1 fee just like he/she would to make a SBR, SBS or Silencer.

6) Destructive Devices (DDs) - these are prettly much self explanatory other than ATF has classified several classes of shotguns now as destructive devices.  The infamous Street Sweeper shotgun is considered a DD by the ATF falls into the title 2/NFA realm.

The ATF forms we usually use in dealing with these weapons are ...

1) ATF Form 1 - Maker Form - used by non manufactures to make NFA weapons - for civilians, only Short Barrel Rifles, Short Barreled Shotguns, Silencers and AOWs can still be made (after May 1986).  The one time tax stamp for this form is $200.  Maker will received an approved form back from ATF and he/she can then make the item in question. Once made, if transfer of ownership is ever needed, this would be facilitated on a Form 4 below.

2) ATF Form 2 - Manufacturer Registration Form - we use this form to notify the AFT of any NFA item we create in course of our manufacturing business.  This form is not used by individuals.

3) ATF Form 3 - Dealer to Dealer tax-free form.  Any SOT can transfer to any other SOT tax free NFA weapons he/she has in their possession/ownership.  This is usually done when someone buys an item and it is transferred from a dealer in one state to a dealer in the buyer's state to facilitate the approval/filing process.

4) ATF Form 4 - Tax paid to/from individual form - used when a NFA item is transferred TO or FROM an individual.  Even if the individual transfers the said item to a SOT holder/dealer, there still is a $200 transfer tax.  Once the SOT has it, they can transfer it back out to another SOT holder tax free (Form 3) or directly to another individual in their state on a tax paid (Form 4).

5) ATF Form 5 - Used to transfer NFA items to police departments for official use - tax fee transfer. 

There are other forms and classes - exporters, destructive devices, ammunitions, etc.. I won't get into that.  NFA items cannot be transported even by the owner interstate (not intrastate/same state) without prior permission from the ATF.  This is done on a ATF 5320 form and takes a couple of weeks for approval.  NFA weapons must remain in the possession of the registered owner so short of just a few exceptions, you may not permit anyone to have possession of your weapon without you being in immediate presence.

Feel free to look up and do some reading... grab a cup of coffee and be prepared to read, read and read.

Hope this has been helpful.  Call or email me and I'll be happy to try to explain any of this in greater detail.  I am glad to help explain even if you are not buying from me.  It's in all of our best interest that our community gets educated on these laws and regulations.  I don't want to see anyone get into a mess for doing something stupid and trust me, when the ATF is concerned, ignorance or misunderstanding of the rules is no defense.  They WANT you, EXPECT you and will DEMAND that you follow the rules or face the consequences.  This is nothing to play around with or take halfheartedly.

​(865) 272-3779