What is an NFA Item? A Beginner’s Guide for Firearm Enthusiasts

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If you’re just now diving into the world of firearms, or you’re already a gun junky, you’ve probably heard the term “NFA item” thrown around. Maybe you’re wondering what it actually means and whether it’s something you should care about. Well, you’re in the right place! Let’s break it down and take you through the steps to get one of these intriguing items.

What is an NFA Item?

So, NFA stands for the National Firearms Act, a law from way back in 1934 that put some serious regulations on certain types of firearms and accessories. Why? Mostly to curb their potential misuse. Here’s the scoop on what counts as an NFA item:

  • Short-Barreled Rifles (SBRs): Think rifles with a barrel length under 16 inches.
  • Short-Barreled Shotguns (SBSs): Shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches.
  • Suppressors/Silencers: You know, the “movie silencers,” but real and way cooler.
  • Machine Guns: Fully automatic weapons. Yup, the big boys.
  • Destructive Devices: Stuff like grenades and bombs. Not your everyday purchase.
  • Any Other Weapons (AOWs): A catch-all for quirky things like cane guns or pen guns.

Common Misconceptions About NFA Items

Do NFA items include fully automatic weapons, and can you actually get one?

Yes, they do! But here’s the catch: thanks to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, civilians can’t buy machine guns made after that year. However, if you’ve got the cash and patience, pre-1986 machine guns are up for grabs—though they come with a hefty price tag and a ton of paperwork.

How long will it take to get a suppressor or short-barreled rifle?

Patience is key here. Recent changes in the NFA e-forms processing time mean it’s faster than it used to be, but you’re still looking at several months. Not exactly Amazon Prime speed, but hey, good things come to those who wait, right?

What’s the cost behind purchasing these items?

Brace yourself: the cost can vary. Suppressors can range from $200 to $2,000, while machine guns can hit the tens of thousands. Plus, there’s that pesky $200 tax stamp for each NFA item you buy. It’s an investment, no doubt about it.

Can I carry an NFA item for self-defense?

Some folks might think that owning an NFA item automatically grants them the right to carry it for self-defense. However, the rules around carrying NFA items, especially concealed, vary by state and often require additional permits or licenses.

Can I modify my NFA item after purchase?

There’s a misconception that once you own an NFA item, you’re free to modify it however you please. However, any modifications to NFA items must comply with strict regulations and often require approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Are these items transferrable?

Transferring NFA items involves a detailed process, including background checks and paperwork, to ensure compliance with federal regulations.


Steps to Ownership

Alright, let’s say you’re ready to take the plunge. Here’s a step-by-step guide focused on two popular NFA items: short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and suppressors.

  1. Checkout on Our Website
    • First things first, make your purchase. Browse our selection, pick your dream NFA item, and during checkout, enter the info for your local dealer (gun store) that will handle the transfer. Just make sure they have a Special Occupational Tax (SOT) and a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
  2. Transfer to Your Dealer
    • We handle the paperwork and submit a Form 3 to transfer the item to your dealer. This usually takes about a week. Once it’s approved, we ship the item to your dealer. Easy peasy!
  3. Complete Form 4 and Pay Your Tax Stamp
    • Your dealer will notify you when the item arrives. Head over to their store to complete Form 4, officially registering the item in your name. Don’t forget that $200 tax stamp fee!
  4. Wait for Approval
    • Now, we play the waiting game. After submitting Form 4 and paying the tax stamp, you wait for approval. The e-forms system has been signifcantly sped up with Form 4 approvals as quick as 2 days. Check out our post on the latest ATF E-form updates!
  5. Take Your Item Home
    • Approval comes through, and it’s like Christmas morning! You can finally take your NFA item home. Congrats, you’ve made it through the process!

Navigating the world of NFA items might seem daunting, but with the right info, it’s totally doable. From snagging a suppressor to owning a short-barreled rifle, this guide covers the basics to get you started.

Ready to take the first step toward owning an NFA item? Check out our website and see what catches your eye. Contact us if you have any further questions or need assistance purchasing. We’re here to help every step of the way.

Happy shooting!

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