WHAT IS THE NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT (NFA)?
The National Firearms Act (NFA) is a Congressional act enacted in 1934 imposing an excise tax (and national registry) for certain weapons. Those who buy, sell or create these regulated items must apply for and pay tax on the sale of the item, otherwise known as a “tax stamp”. The application procedure must be completed through the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
Information sourced from atf.gov
NFA REGULATED ITEMS
The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates various weapons by imposing registration requirements and a special tax on those items. However, most legal gun owners in the United States can absolutely own these items, as long as the individual state laws and application procedures are properly followed.
Learn about what type of items are included under the National Firearms Act regulations, and what specifically defines those items. Click “LEARN MORE” for more detailed information.
The National Firearms Act defines a silencer to include any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
Short Barrel Rifle
The National Firearms Act defines a short barrel rifle to include any rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length OR a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
Short Barrel Shotgun
The National Firearms Act defines a short barrel shotgun to include any shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length OR a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b), defines a machine gun to include any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. This is also known as “fully automatic”.
The National Firearms Act defines a destructive device to include explosive devices (any explosive, incendiary or poison gas bomb, grenade, mine or similar device), large caliber weapons great than 50 caliber, and projectiles with more than 1/4 ounce of explosive and/or propellant charge of more than four ounces.
Any Other Weapon
The National Firearms Act defines any other weapon to include pistols and revolvers having smooth bore barrels designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, addition of a vertical handgrip to a pistol or revolver, and specifically described weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more but less than 18 inches in length from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading.
Statistics via atf.gov annual firearms commerce report
National Firearms Act Data and Statistics
512,315 NFA Applications Processed in 2020
Common NFA forms sourced from atf.gov
ATF / NFA Forms Library
Whether you are looking to purchase / transfer a silencer (or build your own), make or transfer a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) / Short Barrel Shotgun (SBS), or anything else NFA related, the first step is to determine the correct form to use.
Visit our “ATF / NFA Forms Library” for the complete list including the three most popular NFA forms:
- Form 1: Application to Make and Register a Firearm
- Form 3: Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearms and Registration to Special (Occupational) Taxpayer (National Firearms Act)
- Form 4: Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm