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Tell us all how does one legally go about purchasing a supressor,short rifle or full auto. Is the process/paperwork the same for all three mentioned above? is the application process the same nationwide or does it vary state by state?
 

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Unlike conventional firearms, each change of possession or ownership of a Title 2 weapon (silencer, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, pengun, etc.) must be approved in advance by BATF. This includes not only the sale of such a weapon, but also the act of giving or loaning it to another person. Failure to comply can result in a $250,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both. Although the weapon can be moved by its registered owner within the owner's state or residence, transportation across state lines requires prior BATF approval. These requirements were instituted by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and were incorporated into the Gun Control Act of 1968.

To the best of our knowledge, silencers are legal for private ownership in the following states: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY. Additionally, they maybe owned by Class 3 dealers and Class 2 manufacturers (but not individuals) in: CA, IA, KS, MA, MO, and MI. Territorial law prohibits possession in the Territories and Possessions of the United States. There are no known restrictions on governmental ownership. If your state is not listed, check with your local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms or your state's Attorney General. If they are not legal in your state of residence, we cannot sell to you. Please do not ask us to violate state or federal law.

As with any firearm, an individual owner must take possession through a licensed dealer in his state of residence. In the case of Title 2 weapons (silencers, machine guns, etc.), the dealer must be what is known as a class 3 dealer, meaning that he has paid an annual special occupational tax in conjunction with his firearms license to permit him to deal in Title 2 weapons without paying the individual $200 transfer tax on each weapon.

The $200 transfer tax is assessed each time a Title 2 weapon changes hands. The exceptions are to (or from) a governmental agency or a class 3 dealer. Interestingly, many class 3 dealers do not have a storefront and deal in these weapons as a sideline..

Each time a Title 2 weapon changes hands, the transfer must be approved in advance by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. It normally takes 4-5 weeks for BATF to approve the transfer between dealers or to law enforcement agencies, and the transfer to individuals requires 3-4 months.

The procedure for obtaining one of our suppressors is to order (and pay for) the unit. The weapon should be ordered through your class 3 dealer. Although you may order direct, it must be delivered through your dealer. We then transfer the weapon to your class 3 dealer. Your dealer will then assist you in completing the necessary paperwork to transfer the weapon to you. This will include your submitting fingerprints and two passport size photos on your application. In addition, your local chief law enforcement officer (sheriff or chief of police) will need to sign the application. Along with your $200 transfer tax, the application is sent to BATF. When the application is approved (and not before), your dealer turns over possession to you.

Your dealer will charge a fee for handling of the weapon. We are not in the business of being a sales tax collector for states other than Idaho, but we do not encourage your avoidance of sales or use taxes.

If you are eligible to own any conventional firearm, you are also eligible to own a Title 2 weapon provided that there are no state laws prohibiting such ownership. This means basically that you must be free of all felony convictions and be over 21 years of age.

Your dealer can usually help you find a suitable law enforcement signature in the rare instance where your sheriff is personally anti-gun and refuses to sign your application. Your other option is to form a corporation, which does not require a law enforcement signature.

Federal law prohibits exportation of silencers except to governmental agencies with an End User Certificate.

Reprinted with permission from Gemtech Inc. Thanks to Dr. Phil Dater and Kelly at Gemtech

I hope this helps explain the NFA purchase process.

John McCaw
FFL/SOT2
 
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