What is the National Firearms Act of 1934?
For nearly 90 years, the National Firearms Act of 1934 has regulated what firearms are available to American citizens, and how those firearms are obtained. Not following the NFA can lead to some serious penalties, like felony charges and loss of civil rights.
We’re dedicated to educating the public about all things firearms at Frontier Justice, and that includes NFA regulation. We want everyone to safely, effectively, and lawfully own and operate their firearms.
With that goal in mind, we’ve put together this glimpse at the NFA and how it affects firearm regulation.
What is the NFA?
The National Firearms Act was enacted in 1934 to limit access to silencers, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, “any other weapons” (AOW), and machine guns.
The NFA requires the registration of all NFA firearms and other items with the Secretary of the Treasury. For example: to purchase and register a manufactured silencer, ATF Form 4 must be submitted, along with two sets of fingerprints, two photographs, and $200.
Typically, this is done physically, with the mailing of the paperwork and all of the companion materials, then on average, there is a 250-370 day wait for NFA approval.
If this act seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, that’s because it is. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the NFA was structured to discourage public use of NFA firearms.
What are NFA firearms?
While the act passed in 1934, it still very much impacts some of the most popular classes of firearms and accessories on the market today.
Here is a quick list of common firearms and items:
- Short barreled shotguns
- Short barreled rifles
- Machine guns
- Destructive devices
- Any other weapon (weapons or devices capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive)
After going through all of the red tape of getting an NFA firearm or item, you’re in the clear to own and use that item just like any other firearm or accessory. The problem is, if you want to take your family or friends shooting with you, or you need someone to store the NFA firearm for a time, that firearm or item in the other person’s hands becomes a felony.
If you’re set up with a gun trust, however, any of your trustees or beneficiaries are legally allowed to operate and possess any of your NFA firearms or items.
Gun trusts also protect your NFA firearms or items from government seizure after your death. Without a gun trust, the government will seize all NFA items when the owner of said items passes away. But with a gun trust, the legal beneficiaries only need to submit an ATF Form 5 to inherit the items. At Frontier Justice, we are proud partners of MoKan Gun Trusts and Silencer Shop, both of which offer easy to set up trusts at whatever level you need.
Visit Frontier Justice for all of your NFA firearm needs
Still curious about NFA regulation or interested in purchasing an NFA item? Come to Frontier Justice and speak directly with one of our firearms experts! We are dedicated to teaching everyone in our community about their Second Amendment rights, and educating people about the NFA and opening up access to NFA firearms and items for more American citizens is part of that dedication.
Learn more about what makes Frontier Justice different by reaching out to us, signing up for our membership club, or scheduling a class. You can also always simply stop by to check out our store, boutique, and range for yourself!