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Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 10/30/2008 3:00:03 PM
[Last Edit: 5/13/2013 9:18:33 AM by Stan_TheGunNut]
Revised 10/17/09 to provide hot links.

I have seen a lot of posts about how to "Form 1" a SBR or silencer. This is how you do it....at least this is my quick and dirty method, which has worked for me. I had originally written this using an old form and not the current revision (revision dated September 2007 on the bottom of the form), so if anyone notices errors or something that is outright wrong, please let me know so I can fix it. I did do a quick edit so it should be up to date for the current revision. I have edited the original version of this post to include some additional information based on questions asked in this thread. If you're registering your first Form 1 NFA item, reading the entire thread will likely be of help and should answer most of the common questions.

Feedback to improve this writeup is appreciated.

Disclaimer: I am not an authority on this subject. If you have questions, I suggest you contact an attorney or the ATF directly with your questions. Here is the website of a lawyer who apparently specializes is NFA trusts...I have no affiliation, but thought I'd point it out. There are also some examples of how to complete the paperwork:

http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/form1.html

Before we get started, here are a couple of "definitions" and a short Q&A:

"Form 1" refers to the ATF application to make and register a firearm, specifically one that requires registration per the National Firearms Act. This is the form you would fill out and submit to the ATF if you are "making" an NFA item. In many cases, all you're really doing is registering a receiver made by a firearms manufacturer with the ATF and not really 'making' anything at all, but rather assembling. This thread is written assuming you're registering an AR15 lower receiver as a SBR. Other guns or silencers would follow the process though.

"Form 4" is the ATF form used when a registered item is transferred, such as a silencer, SBR, machine gun, etc. from an individual or dealer to an individual. This is the form used when you buy a NFA item from someone else, as opposed to making and registering something. A Form 4 transfer does not require any engraving since the item has already been engraved with the manufacturers information.

Both of the above forms require a $200 tax to be paid.

Q1: If I get a class 3 license, can the ATF come to my house anytime?
A1: First off, you're not getting a "Class 3 License". You're registering a rifle or silencer, paying a tax and receiving your tax stamp, and can therefore legally have it in your possession. The $200 tax is required for EACH NFA item that you have. Finally, simply owning NFA toys does not give the ATF carte blanche to come into your home unannounced. To do so, they must have probable cause that you're breaking the law and have a warrant....just like the regular cops. Some people must be getting confused in that the ATF does periodically audit licensed dealers and manufacturers during normal business hours. There is a difference in that and them coming to the home of a private citizen.

Q2: What is a Trust?
A2: For those who do not know what a trust is, it’s simply a legal entity that is able to own property, kinda like a corporation, and is used for estate planning. Quicken Willmaker, available from amazon.com for about $35 is an easy way to set one up. You may also desire to consult an attorney, which will cost you more but may provide you more peace of mind. Most folks suggest having one trust dedicated to NFA items, and another trust for other property that you might want to be owned by a trust. A trust may be the only way for some to obtain NFA toys since some Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEO’s) refuse to sign the application. With a trust, the CLEO signature, fingerprint cards, and pictures are not required. These last items are required if you register the NFA item as an individual. I suggest that if your CLEO will sign your paperwork, to register the NFA item that way. While initially, more is involved in obtaining NFA as an individual, in the long run it may be simpler.

How to Form 1 a SBR (note that a silencer would follow a similar process):

1) Determine what method you're going to use to Form 1 your SBR or silencer, ie. Individual, Corporation, or Trust. This will determine to a certain degree what is engraved on your NFA item. A phone call or visit to your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) to make sure he'll sign the Form 1 is advisable. My CLEO found this to be an unusual request, but after sitting down with me for 5 minutes and talking a bit, did sign it. Your Sheriff, Chief of Police, District Attorney, and possibly others normally qualify as the CLEO. If he refuses to sign, you're most likely going the trust route if you're set on obtaining NFA stuff. I suggest going the Individual route if your CLEO will sign your paperwork. If you decide to use the trust method, now is the time to find a lawyer or purchase Quicken Willmaker and set up your trust. This should be the first step because it will determine what will be engraved on your NFA item. If you set up a trust, I would use a short name since the ATF is now requiring the entire trust name be engraved.

2) Obtain lower receiver and send it off to have it engraved. Any number of places can do the engraving, but it must meet certain requirements. Someone suggested to me that it's better to do the engraving first in case the lower is damaged or lost in the mail. This way you are not out your $200 tax stamp on a damaged/lost receiver. Often the engraving is done on the front or side of the magwell, but the barrel and other locations may also be acceptable. Orion Arms has some examples of engraving on their website:

Orion Arms

Engraving of the NFA item with your name and location as maker is required if registering the item via a Form 1 since it makes you the original manufactuer. It's my understanding that the ATF now requires the entire name as it appears on the Form 1 to be engraved. So it might benefit you to have a short Trust or Corporate name if you go that route. For example, your engraving could look something like one of the following examples:

Mickey Mouse, Disney World, FL (as an individual)
Mickey Mouse Trust, Disney World, FL (if using a trust)
M. Mouse, Disney World, FL
M. Mouse Trust, Disney World, FL

Someone pointed out to me that RLT (Revocable Living Trust) is not an abbreviation that is accepted by the ATF, and that the word "Trust" should be used in lieu of RLT. For example:
M. Mouse Trust and not M. Mouse RLT. I have seen the RLT used, so I'm unsure what to say here. If in doubt, you can always call the ATF and ask. Again, what is engraved on the NFA item should match what you name your trust, so if you use an initial in your trust name, that's how your NFA item should be engraved. I seem to recall someone saying that they named their trust "In God We" and had "In God We Trust" engraved. I wasn't that original, but I like the idea.

One common question people have is that if they move, do they need to have the item re-engraved. The answer is no. The engraving only needs to be done once, and that's when the NFA item is 'made'. Should you move, you'll need to notify the ATF, but you will not need to have your NFA items engravings changed. The place of manufacture is your city and state when the item was originally made and registered with the ATF....it only has to be engraved once.

3) Once you have the lower receiver back in your possession with the proper engravings, complete the Form 1 Application. Note that you will need the receiver in hand prior to filling out the paperwork since you need to know the serial number on the receiver to complete the paperwork. This is not true if you are physically making a silencer for example, as opposed to merely assembling a SBR. In the case where you actually manufacture a silencer, you would assign a unique serial number, model number, etc. Form 1 applications are available from the ATF here:

http://www.atf.gov/forms/5000.htm#general

and the Form 1 in a format that you can type in your information and print it out from the above website:

http://www.atf.gov/forms/pdfs/f53201.pdf
ATF Form 1 in fillable PDF: Form 1

Fill out the form as completely as you can and make sure everything is accurate. Some of it is obvious and I won’t go into great detail about each box. Here is how I filled mine out:

a. Item 1, check the tax paid box.

b. Item 2, if registering the item via a trust or a corporation, check the "Corporation or Other Business Entity" box. Otherwise, you’re most likely an individual.

c. I left 3a blank (this box would be used for a corporation).
In box 3b, put your name and address, or the name of your trust and the address. It should look something like:
Mickey Mouse Trust
123 Magic Kingdom Rd.
Walt Disney World, FL 12345

3c, 3d, and 3e are self explanatory.

d. Section 4:

Box 4a, the name & location as inscribed on the gun of the original manufacturer of the gun, such as Colt, LMT, Bushmaster….whomever. My latest one was: Anvil Arms, Lakeland, FL.

4b, describe what your making…in this example, it’s a short barreled rifle. I abbreviated and stated “Short Bbl Rifle”.

4c: Caliber…what is the primary caliber. You must pick something....I put 5.56 mm. In the past, people have been able to put "Multi" or something to that effect, and if you tried it now, you still might get approved. My understanding is the ATF is now requiring you to be more specific. Should you decide to permanently change the caliber at a later time, you may do so by notifying the ATF in writing. You may temporarily alter the caliber provided you can restore it to the original configuration (meaning you can put a 22 conversion on your 5.56 SBR for a cheap range trip), but you should still keep the 5.56 upper.

4d: I have used AR-15 as the model and been approved. If you have an LMT, "Defender 2000" might also be acceptable. With the "fillalbe pdf" available on the ATF website, the range is long enough to put something like "Defender 2000; AR-15" To me, this would be the most correct way of completing this box since it does provide the specific model and the general type of rifle. Edit: Do NOT put "Defender 2000; AR-15" because the ATF will return the Form 1 to you to correct. Only ONE model should be specified.

4e: State the barrel length in inches. Again, choose your barrel length and complete the form. It can also be temporarily changed provided you can restore the original configuration. Should you desire to permanently change the barrel length, you can notify the ATF in writing of the change.

4f: State the overall length in inches. Obviously this will depend on barrel length and the type of stock you have. The measurement is made with the collapsible stock fully extended.

4g: State the serial number of the weapon. You will not have a new serial number if you SBR an existing gun…you simply use what’s already on it. If you are truely manufacturing something, such as a silencer, then you will need to assign a unique serial number. This can be as simple as Mickey Mouse, Model A, Serial Number 1.

4h: I have always left this one blank, but you can put whatever you had inscribed onto your lower here as an additional description. You may also wish to list other calibers and barrel lengths that you plan on using with the SBR. As an alternative to listing each barrel length and caliber in this box, attaching a letter to the form to notify the ATF of your intentions would also be okay. That said, you are not required to notify the ATF of temporary changes of this nature.

4i: I stated, “To enhance collection and all lawful purposes.” I have read stories of people putting humorous reasons, such as "To fight off the zombie hordes", and being approved. Again, I'm not that original nor would I recommend this.

4j: is likely No.

Items 5 and 6, I left blank. I’m neither an FFL nor a business owner. If you are obtaining your NFA item as an individual and you have a C&R FFL, I'd probably go ahead and provide my FFL number. Who knows, it may speed up the process? If you're using the trust route, do not provide your C&R FFL number. To my knowledge, the ATF does not issue FFL's to trusts, so this would be like having two entities trying to register the NFA item, and it would likely be kicked back.

Items 7 and 8, sign your complete name in line 7 (I suggest waiting to sign until you make sure the form is accurate, and to wait until after you’ve made some blank copies). If using a trust, print “grantor” after your signature. Type your name in box 8 and again, if using a trust, type "grantor" after your name.

Item 9, put in the date.

Items 10 and 11, Check No in each box (but answer honestly).

4) If you went the trust route, you’re pretty much done with this form. Otherwise you’ll need to complete items 12 and 13. This includes having your picture made (you'll need two passport type photos) and getting the CLEO signature. The CLEO can be the Chief of Police, Sheriff, DA, etc. While you’re at the police dept, go ahead and get your fingerprints taken. Again, you’ll need two complete sets. My experience is that there are certain days the police like to do fingerprints, so find out what day that is. Also, it’s usually good to at least call ahead and make sure your CLEO will sign the form. If you live in the city limits and the Chief of Police won’t sign the form, you might be able to get the County Sheriff to sign it, or vice/versa.
That's pretty much it for completing the Form 1, but you're not quite done yet.

5). The ATF requires that double sided paperwork be submitted. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to print one page, then when the ink dries, turn the paper over and let your printer print on the other side. You could also do what I did and take the forms to work, put them on the photocopier, and let it copy them and print them front and back. To me, this was the easier option. Also, any copy shop should be able to make double sided copies. Note that all forms should have original signatures, so after you print out your Form 1, make multiple copies, then obtain signatures.

6) You will also be required to fill out a Certification of Compliance (ATF Form 5330.20), available at the same website provided earlier. Both the Form 1 and the Form 5330.20 will need to be completed in duplicate for each firearm you are submitting paperwork for. If you are using a trust, you will also need to include a certified true copy of the declaration of trust and Schedule A. In the past you could get by with just a “certification of trust” but it’s my understanding that a complete copy of the declaration of trust is now required. Be sure to send a “Certified True Copy” of the trust, which is a notarized COPY. Do NOT send the original trust document since it will not be returned to you. You should keep the original in a safe location, such as gun safe or safe deposit box. My SBR to be was already owned by my trust before I sent in the Form 1 paperwork. If it’s not owned by the trust when you send it in, be certain to show ownership of the item in the trust after you get the ATF approval.

7) Once you have all of this stuff done, write a check in the amount of $200 payable to the Department of Justice, and attach your form 1’s, form 5330.20’s, fingerprint cards, pictures, and copies of your trust as applicable. The government will also accept Post Office Money Orders, but I prefer to write a check. You can tell when they cash it (be sure to write the SN of the NFA item on the check), which at least lets you know they received your application. I personally have experienced one transfer where the check was cashed, but the form 4 had to be submitted three times due to the ATF losing the application. I typically include a cover letter with my applications, asking that the ATF examiner contact me if they have any questions or need additional information. Be sure to include your phone number(s).

8) Now mail the required documents to:

NFA Branch
Suite 1250
244 Needy Rd.
Martinsburg, WV 25405-9431

I called the ATF on 10/16/09 to confirm this was the correct address for Form 1’s. The address is also printed on the top of the Form 1.

9) Begin waiting….patience is a virtue with NFA items. A three month wait is typical, though it can be faster or take longer. You can call the ATF to check on the status of your application. Before calling, make sure the check you sent has cleared the bank. Your NFA item will not be in the system prior to your check clearing. There is also no need to call every day, it will not speed up the process. Once your check has cleared the bank, I suggest waiting one month, and then call once every couple of weeks to verify that your NFA item is in the system, and to find out the status of the item. There are generally three stages of getting an item approved. The first is the ATF doesn't have anything in their system, and they won't till well after your check is cashed. The second stage is "Pending", which means the item is in the system and has been assigned to an examiner. The final stage is "Approved" which is what you're waiting for.

The phone number to the ATF NFA branch is 304-616-4500. When you call, they'll ask you for the serial number of the item you're inquiring about, so have it available.

10) Hurrah!!! You’ve been approved, have the Form 1 and stamp in your possession, and can now assemble your SBR or silencer.


Lastly, you can click here for all the forms you'll ever need for NFA stuff that are available in a pdf format that you can fill in and print. This includes the paperwork to take a SBR out of state. The link is to the ATF website so all the forms should be current. The Form 1, Form 4, and others are near the middle of the page.
ATF Forms


LonghornAR
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Posted: 10/30/2008 10:12:46 PM
Great guide! My only suggestion is to mention you have to decide which route you want to go before sending it off for engraving. Hard to have the lower engraved when you don't know what to engrave on it.
wdlsguy
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Posted: 10/31/2008 11:21:26 AM
I would alter the order slightly:
- fill out paperwork
- obtain CLEO signatures
- engrave receiver
- send paperwork to BATFE
FiftyCalAl
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Posted: 10/31/2008 12:59:15 PM
what do you suggest for caliber if you plan on usingg different ones?

What about different barrell lengths? should you just put 6 inches down and then you can alwaays go longer?
Thanks
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Err0r
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Posted: 10/31/2008 4:18:25 PM
Originally Posted By Stan_TheGunNut:
n. Items 5 and 6, I left blank. I’m not an FFL nor a business owner.
o. Items 7 and 8, sign your complete name here (I suggest waiting to sign until you make sure the form is accurate, and to wait until after you’ve made some blank copies). If using a trust, print “grantor” at the end.

p. Item 9, put in the date.
q. Items 10 and 11, Check No in each box.


I think you got 5 and 6 correct but 7 and 8 is asking yes or no questions, 9,10, and 11 is wrong to.

9 is Signature of Applicant, 10 is Name and Title of Corp., and 11 is the date
tony_k
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Posted: 10/31/2008 4:34:55 PM
[Last Edit: 10/31/2008 4:37:01 PM by tony_k]
I also would recommend that you not engrave it with "RLT" if you are using a trust.

"RLT" is not a generally recognized abbreviation, and thus does not meet BATFE criteria.

Instead, just engrave it as the "M. Mouse Trust".

There is no need to engrave the words "revokable" or "living," as they are unneccessary qualifers, just as an individual does not need to engrave his/her sex, age or race.
This is Tony K, and I approved this message.
Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 11/1/2008 7:58:10 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll tweak the original post to fix.
Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 11/1/2008 8:01:06 PM
Originally Posted By Err0r:
Originally Posted By Stan_TheGunNut:
n. Items 5 and 6, I left blank. I’m not an FFL nor a business owner.
o. Items 7 and 8, sign your complete name here (I suggest waiting to sign until you make sure the form is accurate, and to wait until after you’ve made some blank copies). If using a trust, print “grantor” at the end.

p. Item 9, put in the date.
q. Items 10 and 11, Check No in each box.


I think you got 5 and 6 correct but 7 and 8 is asking yes or no questions, 9,10, and 11 is wrong to.

9 is Signature of Applicant, 10 is Name and Title of Corp., and 11 is the date



This depends on which forms you're looking at. The writeup I did reflects the Form 1 revision Sept 2007, and is correct for that version. Other versions, well, they've changed the sequence somewhat. Most of this part is pretty self explanatory anyway. Typically, peoples questions are similar, such as, "What box do I check if I'm using a trust?"
Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 11/1/2008 8:06:54 PM
Originally Posted By wdlsguy:
I would alter the order slightly:
- fill out paperwork
- obtain CLEO signatures
- engrave receiver
- send paperwork to BATFE



You can certainly do this. The reason I chose to send the reciever off first prior to getting the CLEO signoff was to make sure the reciever was not lost and the item not damaged. It certainly makes sense to make sure the CLEO will sign off on your paperwork prior to getting the NFA item engraved. This can likely be done with a simple phone call.
Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 11/1/2008 8:17:54 PM
Originally Posted By FiftyCalAl:
what do you suggest for caliber if you plan on usingg different ones?

What about different barrell lengths? should you just put 6 inches down and then you can alwaays go longer?
Thanks


My understanding is that whatever barrel length and caliber that you place on your Form 1, you should be able to maintain that configuration. For example, if you state that you have a 10.5 inch barrel in 5.56 mm, make sure that you can restore the SBR to that configuration by keeping a 10.5 in barrel in 5.56 mm in your safe. You can change calibers and barrel length as long as you can restore it to its configuration as identified on the Form 1.

I have also heard that the ATF appreciates it if you attach a separate sheet stating that you also intend on using the SBR with the following calibers and barrel lengths when you send the paperwork off. However, I have never extended them this courtesy.
Hayseed_40
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Posted: 12/5/2008 10:26:04 PM
Originally Posted By Stan_TheGunNut:
Originally Posted By FiftyCalAl:
what do you suggest for caliber if you plan on usingg different ones?

What about different barrell lengths? should you just put 6 inches down and then you can alwaays go longer?
Thanks


My understanding is that whatever barrel length and caliber that you place on your Form 1, you should be able to maintain that configuration. For example, if you state that you have a 10.5 inch barrel in 5.56 mm, make sure that you can restore the SBR to that configuration by keeping a 10.5 in barrel in 5.56 mm in your safe. You can change calibers and barrel length as long as you can restore it to its configuration as identified on the Form 1.

I have also heard that the ATF appreciates it if you attach a separate sheet stating that you also intend on using the SBR with the following calibers and barrel lengths when you send the paperwork off. However, I have never extended them this courtesy.


So, if I put 10.5 and that is what I am using now, can I later put a 7.5 barrel on it as long as I still own the 10.5 barrel? Can I own both uppers?

Err0r
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Posted: 12/6/2008 1:07:12 PM
Yes you can put any size barrel on it as long as you can return it to the original 10.5 upper. If you plan on selling the 10.5 upper you would need to mail the ATF a letter stating your new barrel length
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bruh44
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Posted: 12/7/2008 12:29:44 PM
[Last Edit: 12/7/2008 12:33:00 PM by bruh44]
nevermind, I found what I needed.
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NoVaGator
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Posted: 12/31/2008 12:39:55 PM
[Last Edit: 12/31/2008 12:43:02 PM by NoVaGator]
No rush on the engraving.

Might as well wait until you get your stamp back, IMO.

Also, when creating your trust, you might as well name it something short so you don't need 3 inches to have it engraved.

Mine is five letters.
I admit that I didnt put a lot of thought into my post.
tpe
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Posted: 1/1/2009 2:36:55 PM
can you put <16 for barrel length and <35 for overall length? Meaning less than 16 and less than 35.
Err0r
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Posted: 1/2/2009 1:09:16 PM
Originally Posted By tpe:
can you put <16 for barrel length and <35 for overall length? Meaning less than 16 and less than 35.


No don't do that, I aint positive that it wont get approved but from what I have read you should be specific on what you put down.

Put the barrel length of the first barrel you are going to buy

And for OAL go to a website that sells the type weapon you have and read the specs on it then subtract however many inches the new barrel is from 16 away from the original OAL and then you will have the OAL of the weapon in SBR form.
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tpe
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Posted: 1/5/2009 6:08:39 PM
do you need to include two copies of the Declaration of Trust?

I didn't see if you posted that or not.
tpe
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Posted: 1/5/2009 6:12:28 PM
Also the Certificate of Compliance on www.titleii.com is not working. does anyone have somewhere else to get it?
ftldrben
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Posted: 1/6/2009 1:25:39 AM
Do I still need to get the weapon engraved if I'm simply changing the 'status' of it.

I have a Sig 556 Pistol that I'm sending in the paperwork to have it become an SBR.

I don't have to do any modifications, as the weapon already has a 10" barrel (I will add the folding stock and a FUG). What's the deal with 'pistol to SBR'?
NoVaGator
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Posted: 1/6/2009 9:35:06 AM
yes, you're still making a SBR
I admit that I didnt put a lot of thought into my post.
xile
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Posted: 1/6/2009 11:25:22 PM
[Last Edit: 1/6/2009 11:26:10 PM by xile]
Originally Posted By tpe:
Also the Certificate of Compliance on www.titleii.com is not working. does anyone have somewhere else to get it?



Try this one:
http://www.atf.gov/forms/pdfs/f533020.pdf
Molon-Labe
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Posted: 1/7/2009 2:37:03 PM
Do C&R licensees have to check yes to the FFL question?
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Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 1/10/2009 8:05:59 PM
Originally Posted By Molon-Labe:
Do C&R licensees have to check yes to the FFL question?



My guess is, it depends:

If using a trust, I'd not provide your C&R FFL number. This is because the ATF does not issue a FFL to a trust (at least not to my knowledge).

If you're going the individual route and have an FFL, I'd go ahead and list it. I have read on internet forums (yeah, I know) that some states require an FFL to purchase NFA items. Providing the C&R FFL number may make the examiners job easier and help speed the process.
Stan_TheGunNut
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Posted: 1/10/2009 8:10:42 PM
Originally Posted By tpe:
do you need to include two copies of the Declaration of Trust?

I didn't see if you posted that or not.


I always include two copies of everything. Photocopies are cheap. I have heard of some people just sending in one copy of the Declaration of Trust and getting approved, but I have not tried that, so I can't speak to this question with first hand knowledge.

Sharpshooter27
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Posted: 1/12/2009 9:51:03 PM
Can I make an SBR if I am under the age of 21?

Thanks!
bruh44
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Posted: 1/13/2009 9:51:44 AM
Originally Posted By Sharpshooter27:
Can I make an SBR if I am under the age of 21?

Thanks!



No
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