Basic Mechanics of NFA Transfers

 Form 3 versus Form 4

Transfers of NFA items such as suppressors, machine guns and short-barreled rifles must be documented by the appropriate ATF forms. Dealer to dealer transfers are documented by ATF Form 3′s. These may be telefaxed to ATF and do not require a $200.00 transfer tax. Individual to dealer, dealer to individual or individual to individual transfers must be documented by ATF Form 4′s. A form 1 is used to register a short barreled rifle by an individual or an entity (such as a trust or a corporation). Transfers involving individuals require the $200.00 transfer tax to be paid. The exception involves transfers of NFA items to a decedent’s heirs. This type of transfer is tax free.

Timing of Transfers – Be Prepared to Wait

In 2010, depending on who your examiner may be, Form 4 transfers run approximately 4 months from date of submission. During this period the buyer may not take possession of the NFA item purchased until the Form 4 is actually received by the seller (transferor).

Out of State Purchases – Double the Tax – Double the Wait

If you are not an NFA dealer and you purchase an NFA item from out of state, be it from an individual or a dealer, the NFA item must be shipped to a dealer in your state. Once your in-state dealer receives the executed Form 3 or Form 4 he can then fill out a Form 4 from he to you and the waiting period begins again. Where you purchase an NFA item from an individual out of state, the $200.00 transfer tax must be paid even if the transfer is to your in-state dealer. A second $200.00 transfer tax must be paid on the transfer from your in-state dealer to you. This is “double tax” issue which arises from interstate transfers.

This process applies even if you pay a manufacturer directly and ask it to ship the NFA item to your dealer. For example, you select a Gemtech suppressor, pay by check or credit card and ask doc Dater to ship it to your in-state Class 3 dealer on a Form 3 after providing his SOT (Class 3) information. Gemtech must issue a Form 3 and transmit it to ATF for approval before it can ship the suppressor to your dealer. Once your dealer receives the approved Form 3, only then can it fill out a Form 4 transferring the same suppressor to you. You still must bear the wait of two transfer periods which could be up to 8 months! Remember you cannot take possession of the suppressor until the second transfer (from your dealer to you) has been received.

 

Gun Trust Lawyer, The Law Offices of Martin Seidler, 11107 Wurzbach, One Elm Place, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78230

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