Recently in Form 20 - 5320.20 Transportation Category

May 3, 2012

Can I Ship a SBR or SBS by US Mail?

Short answer - Individuals or Trustees cannot, Dealers can.
The reason you can ship a riffle or shotgun by the United States Postal Service but not a Short-Barreled Rifle or Short-Barreled Shotgun is because of how Pistols are defined by the USPS.

The USPS defines a SBR or SBS as a Pistol and not a Riffle and as such does not permit them to be shipped by individuals or Trustees of Gun Trusts. See below

431.2 Handgun

Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (for example, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles) are defined as handguns. The following definitions apply:


  1. Pistol or Revolver. A pistol or revolver is a handgun designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.

  2. Short-Barreled Rifle. A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches long is defined as a short-barreled rifle. This includes any weapon made from a rifle (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.

  3. Short-Barreled Shotgun. A shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches long is defined as a short-barreled shotgun. This includes any weapon made from a shotgun (by alteration or modification) resulting in an overall length of less than 26 inches.

For more details on this see the Mailability page of the USPS website.

May 3, 2012

How Do I Ship NFA FIrearms to An Out of State Trustee

Recently one of our Gun Trust Lawyer® Clients asked us:

What are the shipping requirements for items in my NFA trust for Trustees in different states? The items are legal in both states and the personnel involved can legally possess the items. I also understand the commercial carrier and USPS shipping restrictions (at least think I do). As there is no transfer of ownership, must the items be transported with a FFL?

Our Trust allows one Trustee to ship to another Co-Trustee who is located in a different state a NFA Firearm that is an asset of the Gun Trust with the advanced approval from the ATF by using an ATF Form 5320.20. There is no requirement to use a FFL as the owner is not changing. The Gun Trust will be the owner of the firearm prior to and after the shipment.

May 2, 2012

Top 10 Questions & Answers from ATF

ATF receives numerous telephone and electronic inquiries on a daily basis. In an effort to provide individuals with the most up-to-date information, ATF has compiled a list of the top 10 most frequently asked questions and provided answers to those questions. Several of the questions deal with the manufacture, sale, use, and transfer of firearms subject to the NFA.

  1. Can a person prohibited by law from possessing a firearm acquire and use a black powder muzzle-loading firearm?
  2. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a friend who resides in a different State?
  3. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a resident of the same State in which I reside?
  4. How do I register my firearm or remove my name from a firearms registration?
  5. Does ATF issue a Concealed Carry Permit (CCP) that authorizes a person to carry a firearm throughout the United States?
  6. May I lawfully ship a firearm to myself in a different State?
  7. May I lawfully ship a firearm directly to an out-of-State licensee, or must I have a licensee in my State ship it to him? May the licensee return the firearm to me, even if the shipment is across State lines?
  8. I have been convicted of a felony. How do I reinstate my rights to possess a firearm?
  9. May I lawfully make a firearm for my own personal use, provided it is not being made for resale?
  10. I was the subject of a NICS check when I attempted to purchase a firearm from a FFL, and I received a delayed response or a denial. Please tell me why I did not receive a "proceed" response.

Please Download this document to review the answers to the Top 10 ATF questions Top 10 Frequently Asked Firearms Questions and Answers

NOTE: THE DOCUMENT BELOW ONLY DEALS WITH FEDERAL LAW AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT YOUR STATE LAW TO SEE IF THERE ARE ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS- For example some states do not permit permit prohibited person to possess antique firearms even though it is permitted under Federal law

November 9, 2011

Can I take Title II Firearms back and forth between Texas and Colorado?

Texas Gun Trust Lawyer and Travel to ColoradoWe are often asked about traveling to another state with NFA firearms. If you own property in multiple states like Texas and Colorado or regularly travel between Texas and Colorado with NFA Firearms, you can do so, but should and in some cases must obtain prior authorization from the ATF to take these firearms over state lines.

Note:Texas and Colorado are just used as an example of two places that you may regularly travel to and from. A Texas Gun Trust prepared by a Texas Gun Trust Lawyer® would be valid in Colorado and a Colorado Gun Trust prepared by a Colorado Gun Trust Lawyer® would be valid in Texas

There is no charge to obtain the authorization for interstate travel from the ATF. Your Gun Trust should have specific instructions on how to do this and if it does not you may want to have your gun trust reviewed by an attorney to see if it is a gun trust or just a generic revocable trust. Many so-called "Gun Trusts" and those provided by gun stores, found in the internet, created by software, or even some from lawyers, actually provide instructions to break the law. If you gun trust mentions stocks, property, homes, or other non-firearms related items, it may be a clue that you have a generic trust.

It is possible to amend and restate a generic trust with a Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer® so that your family and friends can understand what their duties and responsibilities are in the event of your death or incapacity. If you would like your trust reviewed under the NFA for these types of issues, please Contact Us.

June 27, 2011

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF NFA APPLICATIONS FOR PROCESSING BY ATF

The ATF National Firearms Act (NFA) Branch is pleased to announce that as of July 2011, ATF Forms 1, 2, 10 and ATF Form 5320.20 will be assigned to a legal instruments examiner for processing according to the State of the applicant's address. The NFA Branch also will begin assigning ATF Forms 3, ATF Form 4 and 9 applications to examiners by the State of the transferor's address. Applications already pending at the time of the change will continue to be processed by the examiner to whom they were previously assigned. Historically, applications in the NFA Branch have been assigned to legal instruments examiners alphabetically based on the name of the transferor or applicant. A chart showing the new assignment distribution is below.

The ATF expects this change in the assignment of applications to better enable NFA examiners to develop State law expertise and more knowledgeably and effectively respond to our customers during an era of unprecedented and ever increasing application volume. Please contact the NFA Branch at 304-616-4500 with any questions about this change.

NFA Examiner Assignment Distribution (effective July 2011)

  • Nicole Dudash -- IL, IN, OH, PA
  • Chris Farris -- AK, CT, MA, ME, MI, NH, RI, VT
  • Ann Feltner -- AZ, CA, NM, NV
  • Jason Frushour -- CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WI, WY
  • Sara Jones -- LA, TX
  • Albert Lamberger -- AL, FL, TN
  • Dana Pickles -- DE, KY, MD, NC, NJ, NY, VA, WV
  • Suzanne Santamaria -- GA, SC
  • William Shipman -- AR, HI, IA, KS, MN, MO, MS, NE, OK
  • Sandra Snook --ID, OR, WA
Applications from the District Of Columbia and US Territories Will be Assigned to the Supervisory Legal Instruments Examiner
April 12, 2011

What Happens With My Gun Trust When I Move to Another State.

Besides dealing with the issues of physically moving the firearms across state lines, which is covered in our Memorandum that comes with the trust in the section entitled What is necessary if I want to take the firearms across state lines or change the location where they are stored?, we are often asked about the effect of moving states on the Gun Trust itself.

Generally moving from one state to another will not require any changes to the trust with the exception of the state of Maine (only if you want to make additional Title II purchases). A validly created Trust in one state, is valid in another state if you move. Depending on the language in the trust, the rules that it references may change or not. Generally our trusts will still reference the original state's laws once you move. This can be changed if you desire but is typically not necessary.

More importantly the ATF looks at the minimum requirements for a valid trust in the state in which it is being used. Our trusts meet the minimum requirements of any state where the items are legal.

The ATF does not understand the concept of a trust being created in one state and used in another state. If you only had a settlors signature and then moved to a state like Florida where two witnesses were required, the ATF would not recognize your trust as valid. Our Copyrighted Gun Trust will be recognized as valid for purchases of additional NFA Firearms in any state where the purchase of those firearms is legal except Maine, which has a strange gun law which requires that a trust be formed in that state to be an eligible purchaser of firearms.

So unless you move to Maine, there is nothing that needs to be done with a trust prepared by a Gun Trust Lawyer® to be used in another state. If the laws of a state change and you need an amendment for some reason or just would like to change your trust to be under the laws of your the new state you live in, we do offer very reasonably priced amendments to change the jurisdiction and language in the trust.

An exception to the above might involve a custom amendment that is created to allow for the minimum requirements under your state laws. This is typically done for dealers who want to rent Title II firearms and easily add and remove trustees on a daily basis.

August 3, 2010

Is it legal to take my NFA Firearms on an Airplane (Class 3, Title II)?

Yes it is legal in most instances to travel with your NFA firearms (those sold by a class 3 dealer and often referred to as TItle II firearms). You will have the same restrictions as traveling with a normal firearm but also need to comply with the regulations for interstate travel with a NFA firearm. For more information on transporting NFA firearms across state lines see our ATF Form 5320.20 page.

Remember that they need to be legal in your destination state.

January 22, 2009

Form 20 Application to Transport NFA Firearms.

We have created a reference page for questions related to Form 20 and transportation.  Please visit  http://www.GunTrustLawyer.com/form20.html  for more information and to download a pdf version of the ATF Form 20 - f532020-20.
May 4, 2008

National Firearms Act - 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53

THE NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT
TITLE 26, UNITED STATES CODE, CHAPTER 53 INTERNAL REVENUE CODE

The National Firearms Act (NFA) is part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. All administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, with the exception of the NFA, is by the Secretary of the Treasury. The ATF administration and enforcement was transferred to the Department of Justice under the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Teh Attorney General is now in charge of all administration and enforcement of the NFA, were transferred to the Attorney General. The definition in Section 7801(a)(2), Title 26, V.S.C., we changed to provide that references to the term "Secretary" or "Secretary of the Treasury" in the NFA shall mean the Attorney General.

Chapter 53 - Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain other Firearms is broken in to several sections
sub-chapter A Taxes
Part I Special Occupational Taxes

§ 5801 Imposition of Tax
§ 5802 Registration of importers, manufactures, Dealers
Part II - Tax on transferring firearms
§ 5811 Transfer Tax
§ 5812 Transfers
Part III - Tax on making firearms
§ 5821 Making Tax
§ 5822 Making
sub-chapter B General Provisons and Exemptions
Part I - General Provisions
§ 5841 Registration of firearms.
§ 5842 Identification of firearms.
§ 5843 Records and returns.
§ 5844 Importation.
§ 5845 Definitions.
§ 5846 Other laws applicable.
§ 5847 Effect on other laws..
§ 5848 Restrictive use of information.
§ 5849 Citation of chapter.
Part II - Exemptions.
§ 5851 Special (occupational) taxes.
§ 5852 General transfer and making tax exemption.
§ 5853 Transfer and making tax exemption available to certain governmental entities.
§ 5854 Exportation of firearms exempt from transfer tax.
sub-chapter C - Prohibited Acts
§ 5861 Prohibited acts.
sub-chapter D- Penalties and Forfeitures
§ 5871 Penalties.
§ 5872 Forfeitures.
Download The National Firearms Act in PDF