An Old Man Selling His Toys
History and The Law
- What are Class III Weapons?
Class III weapons are a result of the National Firearms Act of 1934. They are also referred to as NFA weapons. The Act of 1934 classified fully automatic weapons,those that fire more than once for each trigger pull (Machine Guns), and sawed off shotguns as Class III. These weapons were a favorite of Bonnie & Clyde, Dillinger, Al Capone, and Baby Face Nelson thus the federal government wanted to get rid of them along with all concealable firearms. Franklin D Roosevelt trying to get around the Second Amendment to the Constitution came up with a plan to tax weapons out of existence. The NFA of 1934 established a tax of $200 and a registry of all full auto weapons and sawed off shotguns. His plan limited the number of fully automatic weapons in civilian hands and resulted in the great investment they are today.
- What other laws affect ownership of Class III Machine Guns?
In May of 1986 The Gun Control Act was passed that prevented any civilian ownership of newly manufactured machine guns. The law grandfathered all legally registered weapons. Weapons legally registered prior to the law date can be transferred to other individuals via ATF Form 4. The transferee fills out Form 4, attaches a passport type photo, a finger print card, and a statement from local law enforcement that they know of no reason that you should be denied ownership. The transferee then has the transferor to send Form 4 along with a $200 tax to the BATF for approval. Approval usually takes about 3 months and which time ownership tax papers are sent back to the transferor. The weapon then must be transferred to the new owner. This procedure can be used in Virginia without getting a class III dealer involved. Transfer to an owner in a another state must involve a dealer and that is why I would like to sell only to a fellow Virginian.
- Where can I research the regulations for ownership and weapons transfer?
The paragraphs above are my interpretation of the laws concerning owning and transferring Class III weapons; however, you can do your own research at the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms web site. I have posted links below. One could also ask to speak to the Industry Operation Investigator at a local ATF Site.