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The questions of " how to" come up a lot on the forums. This one will be about how to go about getting a Suppressor or a Short Barreled rifle or what is known as a "sawed off shotgun". They are legal to own in many states, the first thing to do is to figure out if you are in a state where it is legal to own one. If not, there is nothing you can do other than to move.

Included here are machine guns, along with other cool things to shoot, which have been regulated since the NFA (National Firearms Act) of 1934. That act made it illegal to own or manufacture certain types of things without first getting approval from the Federal Government, in this case the ATF is the regulating arm that controls,enforces and issues what is known as "Tax Stamps". You must have a Tax Stamp to be legal. As of this writing, the tax stamp is a one time fee of 200 dollars, this is good for the life of the weapon and is tied to that specific weapon. You can own as many as you can afford.

The process is a long drawn out affair that is actually designed to discourage the casual user from applying, but it reality, its not as big of a deal as it used to be. You just have to care enough to jump through the hoops and be patient, because the Federal Government doesn't get in a rush to do anything except to cash your check.

Now that we have that out of the way, lets start the process.

The first thing to do is to get the Forms. You can go to ATF FORMS, on the Internet and simply be clicking the boxes of the ones you need and by supplying them with an address, they will send them to you free of charge. Be sure to get several of everything, in case you screw them up, you wont have to wait 2-3 weeks for them to send you some more.

You want the Form 4, a citizenship form and two sets of fingerprint cards for each gun or silencer.

If you buy an NFA item from a dealer, he may provide them for you. Some do, some don't. I do, it just streamlines the process and makes it easier for the customer.

So, you are looking at a suppressor for a .22 because you heard they were a lot of fun. You go to a dealer that sells them and he takes you outside to shoot it. You are amazed and you realize you will never be the same again. You pay your money up front, and if the dealer has one in stock, you fill out the paperwork, with the serial number, manufacturer and model of the suppressor. The dealer fills out what he needs you and hands it back to you. You aren't done yet, there are a few things you must do. The first thing is the get the local LEO to sign it off. If you live in city limits that would be the local police chief, if you live out in the uincorporated areas then it will be the local Sheriff. If these guys are anti-gun bloodsucking leaches that refuse to sign, there is a way to do it without their signature, by creating a Trust. Since the procedures are different for each state, we wont get into that here. If they will sign, get two sets of fingerprints while you are there. Then, you must provide a 2x2 picture of yourself to stick on the back of the Form 4. The Form 4 is actually in duplicate, so everything must be done twice. The pictures can be taken with a digital camera and printed out, then scotch taped to the Form or you can use passport photos if you have them. Now that we've that done, be sure to fill out the citizenship form that says you are a U.S. citizen. Now, you send a check or a money order to the address listed in the top right corner, payable to the ATF.

Then you wait and wait and wait some more. One of the Form 4's comes back to your dealer. That is your tax stamp. When you get it, you will notice that is has a nice shiny 2x2 stamp in the upper right corner with the serial number of you NFA item written across it. Current time for the wait is from 5-6 months, so there is no need to worry about it.

Thats it. You are now legal. If you are like most folks, you'll break the speed limit to get home and you'll put the suppressor on what ever it was that you had threaded in the 5-6 months you were waiting. You'll shoot the heck out of it and you'll call your buddies to come play and they will love it and ask you how you did it. You will tell them and then they will go out and buy some.

Be warned...no body stops at just one. After you get one for the .22, you'll want one for the pistol next and then the deer rifle. Its OK though, no one has just one suppressor, or short barreled rifle or sawed off shotgun. These things have a tendency to multiply and contrary to popular belief they are legal to own. Here in my home state of Arkansas, they are even legal to hunt with. Squirrel hunting with a suppressed rifle adds an entirely different dimension to hunting that you have to experience to believe. You'll shoot more squirrels and see more game then you ever have before.

NFA items are becoming more and more popular. The 200 tax stamp isnt the hurdle it used to be and it's about the only tax left that the Feds havent raised. Do itwhile you can.
 
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