A lot of people
have no idea that you can legally own a select-fire
machine gun in the Untied States that was produced &
registered before 1986 without any special permits
or a Federal Firearms License of some type.
The process is more difficult than purchasing
a Title 1 firearm (regular rifle or pistol) but with
the help of a local “Class III” dealer it's
not too much of a hassle.
To purchase a “transferable” (nickname
given to pre-1986 registered Title II (NFA) guns civilians
can own) you must meet the following requirements:
1. Live in a state
that allows NFA possession -- most states do, some do
not (such as California)
2. Be 21 years of age
3. You must be free of
If you meet these requirements then the usual
procedure is as follows:
1. Find the gun
you would like to purchase. It must be a legal “transferable” weapon.
For it to be a “transferable” it must have
been produced and registered into the ATF NFA database on
or before 1986. Domestic production of new civilian Title
II guns was banned in 1986, so the pool of firearms that
civilians can own is fixed in size. “Transferables”
for sale are usually described as being on a “Form
4” or a Form 3, and these are the ones you want. Guns labeled
as “post samples” or “pre-May samples”
require additional permits and licensing as a Firearms Dealer. A good place
to look for “transferable” guns for sale
is on the NFA market board at www.subguns.com,
other similar websites,
or visit a local “Class III” dealer to see
if they have any in stock you can look at and handle.
2. Once you have found
a gun you would like purchase, it is a good idea to find
a “Class III” dealer to assist you with
the transfer if you have not already. At this point
you will need to complete some paperwork.
A . You must fill out two
copies of a “Application for Tax Paid Transfer
And Registration Of Firearm” aka “Form 4”
and get them signed by the Chief Law Enforcement Office
(CLEO) of your area if you are registering as an individual (not required if registering the
gun to a corporation or Trust).
B . You must be printed
on two fingerprint cards if you are registering the gun as an individual. This must be done by a place
that is certified. Most people have this done at the
police / sheriff office while waiting for the CLEO signature.
C . You must have two passport
sized photos taken
3. Once you have
done all this you must then submit the 2 copies of the
“Form 4”, 2 finger print cards, & 2
passport photos along with a $200 check to the ATF.
The address to submit this stuff to can be found on
the “Form 4”. Remember a decent “Class
III” dealer should have helped you do this.
4. Now you wait several
months while the transfer is processed and the FBI
does a extensive background check.
5. Once your dealer receives
the paperwork back with the approved tax stamp (yes
its an actual stamp!) you can then take possession of