.50 cal class III?


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modifiedbrowning
March 30, 2003, 05:54 PM
I just had a coworker who is looking at buying a .50 cal tell me that according to his father you need a Class III license to purchase. Another co worker who is rather knowledgeable on firearms told him the same thing. Is this true? I see no mention of this at the Barrett or Armalite websites, and I have never heard this from any one else before. So, do you need Class III license to purchase a .50 cal rifle?

Thanks, modified.

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Hkmp5sd
March 30, 2003, 06:07 PM
The .50 BMG rifle is not classified a NFA firearm. Unless there are local restrictions, it is treated the same as any other firearm.


BTW, you don't need a "Class III License" to own NFA items. You pay a one-time transfer tax for each weapon when buying them.

CleverNickname
March 30, 2003, 06:21 PM
Short answer: no.

Long answer: Firearms with bores greater than .50 caliber that are deemed by the ATF to have "no sporting purpose" are controlled under the 1968 GCA as "destructive devices." That's greater than, not greater than or equal to. There have been attempts in several state legislatures (and I think Congress, too), to raise the restriction and place certain .50 caliber weapons under more restrictive laws, or to ban them altogether, but AFAIK none of them have been successful yet.

Note that this is one law with the "sporting purpose" clause. For example, most shotguns other than .410s would be under the GCA, were it not for the fact the ATF has said that they have a "sporting purpose". That's why certain shotguns such as the Street Sweeper are restricted, because they've been deemed to have no sporting purpose.

Also to be pedantic, it's not a license, it's a tax. I own a full-auto Uzi, but have no special license. I did have to pay the ATF a $200 tax to have the dealer legally transfer the gun to me. Now to deal in class 3 items, an FFL has to have a license or Special Occupational Tax, which allows them to transfer class 3 items tax free from other SOTs, but that's another situation altogether.

Chipperman
March 31, 2003, 02:14 PM
Some states require a Class III license to own Class III firearms. That's in addition to the Fed Regs and Tax Stamps.

CleverNickname
March 31, 2003, 05:43 PM
But he's in Montana, and they don't....

Jim K
March 31, 2003, 10:52 PM
Hi, Chipperman,

The only Class III "license" is a dealer's license, as has been pointed out, and the term "Class III" is only applicable to Federal law. Some states do prohibit or require licenses or registration of some National Firearms Act weapons (machineguns, silencers, etc.), but they use different terms.

I know of no state where the .50 rifle is illegal, but I believe Los Angeles, CA, has banned them; this will certainly eliminate the menace of Mexican drug gangs concealing these deadly weapons in their droopy pants.

Part of the confusion is that the cartridge is always (and correctly) known as the .50 machinegun cartridge, leading some people to assume the rifles are machineguns.

Jim

Chipperman
March 31, 2003, 11:12 PM
I should have worded my response better. You are right, they do not call it a Class III license, but you need one to own Class III weapons. In Mass they just call it a "Machine Gun license". It has nothing to do with .50 caliber rifles.

modifiedbrowning
April 1, 2003, 06:37 PM
Thanks, guys. I know it's not a "Class III license" but that is how most people refer to to it, so I just wanted to keep it simple. Thanks again.

ShaiVong
April 1, 2003, 08:55 PM
Now I'm completely confused.

Also to be pedantic, it's not a license, it's a tax. I own a full-auto Uzi, but have no special license. I did have to pay the ATF a $200 tax to have the dealer legally transfer the gun to me.

The only Class III "license" is a dealer's license, as has been pointed out, and the term "Class III" is only applicable to Federal law. Some states do prohibit or require licenses or registration of some National Firearms Act weapons (machineguns, silencers, etc.), but they use different terms.

You are right, they do not call it a Class III license, but you need one to own Class III weapons.

So unless my state (Maine) says otherwise, I CAN own a MG/Silencer IF I pay the TAX on it?

DMK
April 1, 2003, 09:52 PM
The only Class III "license" is a dealer's license Huh? :confused: Um, not dealer and that's not going to help you with an NFA weapon anyway.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nlc/ffl/ffl_types.htm

BTW: take note of the type 01 description:Type 01 -
DEALER in firearms other than destructive devices.
(includes: rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, gunsmith activities, and National Firearms Act (NFA) weapons.)

Acquiring NFA Firearms:
Individuals not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law may lawfully acquire an NFA firearm in one of three ways:


1. A registered owner of an NFA firearm may apply to ATF for approval to transfer the firearm to another person residing in the same State or to a Federal firearms licensee in another State;
2. An individual may apply to ATF for approval to make and register an NFA firearm (except for a machine-gun); or
3. An individual may inherit a lawfully registered NFA firearm.

http://www.atf.gov/pub/nfab/index.htm

CleverNickname
April 1, 2003, 10:48 PM
So unless my state (Maine) says otherwise, I CAN own a MG/Silencer IF I pay the TAX on it?

Yes. Maine has no state-level restrictions in addition to the federal ones.

For a more in-depth explanation, take a look here. (http://www.titleii.com/Bardwell/nfa_faq.txt)

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