The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosivesí National Firearms
Registration and Transfer Record

Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2007-006
June 2007
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix I
NFA Application Forms and Transaction Processes

This appendix outlines all the application forms and processes needed by manufacturers, makers, dealers, importers, and individuals for registering and transferring NFA weapons.

Table 4: NFA Weapon Application Forms

Form Use Fee Requirements Applicant

Form 5320.20

Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain NFA Firearms




Form 1

Application to Make and Register a Firearm


  • Applicant Photograph
  • Fingerprint Cards
  • Signed Certification


Form 2

Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported

$200 or $5


Dealer, Manufacturer, Importer

Form 3

Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearm and Registration to Special (Occupational) Taxpayer

Tax Exempt


Dealer, Manufacturer, Importer

Form 4

Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of a Firearm

$200 or $5

  • Applicant Photograph
  • Fingerprint Cards
  • Signed Certification


Form 5

Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer and Registration of a Firearm

Tax Exempt



Dealer, Manufacturer, Importer

Form 9

Application and Permit for Permanent Exportation of a Firearm

None if proof of exportation is provided

Proof of exportation provided to ATF within 6 months

Individual, Dealer, Manufacturer, Importer

Form 10

Application for Registration of Firearms Acquired by Certain Government Entities



Federal, Local, or State Department or Agency


Individuals may apply to make and register an NFA weapon using Form 1. An individual applicant must pay a $200 “making” tax and submit a photograph, two fingerprint cards, and a certification by the applicant’s local Chief of Police stating that the applicant is in compliance with state and local law. Individual applicants undergo a background check before the application is approved. Licensed manufacturers may register a new NFA weapon using Form 2. Manufacturers, dealers, and importers must have a background check to obtain their licenses and do not need to repeat a background check for each application. A newly made NFA weapon must be registered within 24 hours of its manufacture.


Individual weapons owners may apply to transfer an NFA weapon using Form 4. A licensed manufacturer may apply to transfer an NFA weapon using Form 3 or Form 5. Licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers use Form 3 to transfer weapons to other manufacturers in a tax-exempt transaction. Form 5 can be used for several reasons: to transfer a registered NFA weapon to a government agency, to transfer an unserviceable NFA weapon, to temporarily transfer an NFA weapon for repair, and to distribute an NFA weapon to a lawful heir as part of an estate. A weapon transfer to an individual requires additional information to be submitted: a local law enforcement certification, a current photograph of the applicant, and two fingerprint cards. All transferred NFA weapons are subject to a transfer tax of $200 except for those classified as “any other weapon,” which are subject to a $5 transfer tax. Once the transfer application has been submitted, approved, and returned to the transferor by the NFA Branch, the weapon must be transferred immediately to the transferee.

Sales Samples

The sale or transfer of machine guns is restricted by the NFA and Section 922 (o) of the GCA. Machine guns that were lawfully registered before 1986 (known as pre-86 guns) are transferable to any person in compliance with NFA regulations. Machine guns that were manufactured after May 19, 1986, or were not registered prior to this date, are known as post-86 guns and may only be manufactured and registered for official use within law enforcement agencies or as sales samples by dealers.


NFA weapons may be imported for use by the U.S. government or any state law enforcement agency. They also may be imported for scientific or research purposes, or for testing or use as a model by manufacturers, importers, or dealers who are qualified to possess these weapons. Post-86 machine guns are subject to Section 922 (o) of the GCA and cannot be imported for scientific, research, testing or model purposes.

Weapons imported by a manufacturer, dealer, or importer are released from Customs using Form 6 and must be registered on Form 2 no later than 15 days after the weapons are released. Weapons imported by the U.S. government for official use are registered on Form 10.

Exported weapons must be filed on Form 9. Their NFRTR records are updated to reflect their exported status. The transferor must provide the NFA Branch with documentation that the firearm has been exported within 6 months of exportation. Examples of this documentation include a certificate of exportation or mailing, or a certificate of landing signed by a Customs official of the country to which the firearm has been sent. The exportation of an NFA weapon is tax-exempt unless the exporter fails to provide proof of exportation to the NFA Branch.

Registration by Law Enforcement Agency

State and local law enforcement offices may register NFA weapons on Form 10 for official use by an entity of the U.S. government. These agencies may register previously unregistered weapons obtained by seizure, forfeiture, or abandonment. Once they are registered on Form 10, they may only be transferred between U.S. government agencies.

Temporary Transport

Individual weapons owners may apply to transport an NFA weapon in interstate or foreign commerce using a Form 5320.20. This form must be approved by the NFA Branch before the weapon is transported and may be approved for continual transport of the same weapon to the same location for up to one year.

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