Class 3 Info
Buying a Class 3 item as an individual from a local dealer
Buying a Class 3 item is not difficult. You will need to fill out a form 4 and send the forms to the ATF with a check for $200. Then simply wait for the forms to be approved. That's it.
The local dealer will help the buyer fill out the transfer form. The dealer will also help the buyer fill out another form called the Citizenship form.
This form identifies the buyer either as a United States citizen or a legal resident alien. The dealer will then give the buyer some fingerprint cards. The buyer must take the fingerprint cards to a local police department and be fingerprinted. Fees for this service are usually only a few dollars. The next step for the buyer is to get two passport size photos and attach them to the Form 4. The final step is to take the Form 4 to the local (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) for the county in which the buyer lives.
When the forms are approved they are sent back to the selling dealer. The dealer then calls the buyer to come pickup the silencer.
Buying a Class 3 item as an individual from an out of state dealer
Buying a silencer from an out of state dealer is just as easy as buying one from a local dealer. You pay the out of state dealer for the silencer and select your local Class 3 dealer. The out of state dealer will then transfer the silencer to your local Class 3 dealer on a Form 3 (tax free) upon approval with BATFE, aprox. 6 weeks. So, you still need to use a local dealer. The local dealer will handle your transfer on the Form 4 ($200 tax).
What is a Form 3?
The Form 3 is the transfer form typically used to transfer an NFA item tax-free (meaning no $200 tax to BATFE) between manufacturers and dealers or from dealer to dealer. This is how dealers transfer items to other dealers in another state. The approval process for a Form 3 is usually very fast. Form 3s sent to BATFE are taking about 6-8 weeks for approval.
What is a Form 4?
The Form 4 is the transfer form used to transfer an NFA item from a seller to a buyer. The form contains information about the NFA item (such as a description of the item, serial number, manufacturer, etc.), information about the seller and information about the buyer. On the back of the form are some questions very similar to the questions found on a 4473 form used to transfer a firearm to a buyer.
The Form 4 is used for $200 transfers between buyers and sellers. Transfers between dealers are typically done on a Form 3.
Form 4 approvals can take between 8-10 months. Also, note that transfers to Trusts and corporations usually take about the same amount of time as transfers to individuals.
Make copies of the Form 4
The Form 4 is a tax document. As such, the silencer owner is not compelled by any law to disclose information on the form. However, it is strongly advised that the owner keep a copy of the Form 4 with the NFA item at all times. This copy could be used to educate any law enforcement officer who questions the legality of the silencer. Let's face it, many people don't know silencers are legal. If showing a copy of my Form 4 to a police officer keeps me from spending a night in the local jail, I'll gladly whip that form out. Keep the original copy of your Form 4 in a safe place.