Turnaround time on 5320.20?


September 6, 2011, 02:39 PM
Anyone done a .20 lately (move NFA item across state lines)?

What's the turn around been like?

Thanks for any info.

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September 6, 2011, 04:54 PM
Ya know... I always thought that form was more of a 'notification', rather than a 'request for approval'. I didn't realize you had to wait for a turn around, I thought you just fax it off to them and hit the road. Ooops.

September 6, 2011, 05:08 PM
Yeah you have to have the approved and signed copy with you before you can move the item to be in strict compliance. They won't accept fax either, has to be signed in ink.

d. The original of ATF Form 5320.20 will be returned to the registered owner. Approval authorizes the registered owner to transport the designated firearm(s) only during the time period specified in item 3.

Such a useful process....

It's been a couple of years since I took anything out of state, just trying to get an idea how long they lag now.

September 6, 2011, 05:42 PM
My understanding is these aren't required for suppressors, but are for everything else.....Any truth to this? If so link?

September 6, 2011, 06:59 PM
Right, suppressors don't require this.

A written request and prior authorization from ATF to transport interstate or in foreign commerce any destructive device, machinegun, short-barreled rifle, or short-barreled shotgun is required under the provisions of Section 922 (a)(4), Title 18, U.S.C., and Section 478.28, Title 27, CFR, a letter of request, in duplicate, containing all information required on this form, may be submitted in lieu of the form.

September 7, 2011, 08:31 AM
Well I sent the form in yesterday afternoon so I guess I'll answer my own post here in a few days/weeks/months.... :)

September 7, 2011, 08:59 AM
You answered my question so I figure I would try to help you out...I did some googleing and come up with average 3-4 weeks. One in as little as 4 days the oher as long as 6 months. Again this is just my google-fu, not personal experience.

I wonder if anything has changed with the moving around the inspectors by state. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, I will ask my NFA dealer this afternoon when I see him, maybe he can shed some light on it for ya.

September 7, 2011, 11:32 AM
I wonder if anything has changed with the moving around the inspectors by state.

That was my reason for asking really. I have done them in the past but not since they rearranged the examiners.

Thanks for looking anyway, I guess we'll all find out once I get mine back.

I won't be holding my breath for the 4 day turnaround though lol.

September 8, 2011, 12:45 PM
He said last one was 5 weeks, one before 6 weeks. But as with the ATF.... dont hold yer breath.

September 8, 2011, 06:05 PM
On a side note...some folks that routinely need to cross state lines with MGs, SBRs, SBSs, and/or DDs will submit a 5320.20 for a year at a time. If you live close to the border and your range is in the next state, that can be handy.

September 8, 2011, 06:07 PM
On a side note...some folks that routinely need to cross state lines with MGs, SBRs, SBSs, and/or DDs will submit a 5320.20 for a year at a time.

The last time I tried that it came back rejected with a note stating I had to give a more precise timeframe.

September 8, 2011, 06:09 PM
Really? Hmmm...have to try a new one on my own.

September 19, 2011, 05:03 PM
Well if anyone was curious I got the approved .20 back today so that's 13 calendar days. It was stamped approved on the 14th.

September 20, 2011, 09:01 AM
13 days? Really.....I just moved (within the same state) and submitted a pair of 5320.20's for the move and I STILL don't have them back yet. It's bee 3 weeks, at least.

September 20, 2011, 09:14 AM
Wonder if a permanent move requires more time since the database gets updated maybe? Weird.

September 22, 2011, 12:55 PM
I just called. It was approved on 2 Sept 11, but I have yet to receive them. Wierd. I called my examiner to find out what my next step is. Left a message. I'll let you know what I find out.

Edit: My examiner will send a copy of the 5320.20. She said I'm okay to move the gear at this point.

October 17, 2011, 06:11 PM
Revised - 2/23/06

Who We Are

The National Firearms Act (NFA) Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) maintains the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) and processes applications and notices associated with the manufacture, registration, transfer, and transportation of NFA firearms. The NFA Branch assists registrants of NFA firearms and members of the firearms industry in complying with Federal law and regulations regarding the possession, movement, and transfer of NFA firearms; reports of loss or theft of an NFA firearm or registration document; and other issues regarding changes concerning NFA firearms registration. This brochure provides information frequently requested from the NFA Branch.

Information relating to the NFA and other firearms laws is available at the ATF Internet website at http://www.atf.gov/. Certain NFA forms are also available at the ATF Internet website for downloading.

Acquiring NFA Firearms

All NFA firearms that are not in possession or control of the United States government must be registered. Possession of an unregistered NFA firearm is a violation of Federal law and subjects the possessor to possible criminal prosecution and the seizure and forfeiture of the firearm.

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

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;
An individual may apply to ATF for approval to make and register an NFA firearm (except for a machine-gun); or
An individual may inherit a lawfully registered NFA firearm.

NFA Firearms in Estates

The executor of an estate that includes registered NFA firearms is responsible for maintaining custody and control of registered NFA firearms and for arranging for transfers of the firearms. The executor should take this action as soon as possible, generally by the close of probate. However, ATF will allow the executor reasonable time to arrange for the transfer of the registered firearms in a decedent’s estate.

Firearms may not be transferred to another party, such as a Federal firearms licensee, for consignment or safekeeping. This is a transfer, which is subject to the requirements of the NFA and must be approved by ATF; however, a licensee may assist the executor by identifying purchasers and by acting as a broker.

If the registered firearms are to be transferred to a lawful heir (beneficiary), the transfer from the estate is made on a tax-exempt basis. A lawful heir is anyone named in the decedent’s will or, in the absence of a will, anyone entitled to inherit under the laws of the State in which the decedent last resided. The executor would apply on ATF Form 5, Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of a Firearm for the transfer to a lawful heir. The executor signs the application as the transferor, representing the estate. An NFA firearm may be transferred directly interstate to a beneficiary of the estate. When an NFA firearm is being transferred to an individual heir, his or her fingerprints on FBI Forms FD-58 must accompany the transfer application. If any Federal, State or local law prohibits the heir from receiving or possessing the firearm, ATF will not approve the application.

If the registered firearms will not be transferred to a beneficiary, with certain exceptions, the transfer from the estate is subject to the transfer tax. ATF Form 4 is used to apply for the tax-paid transfer of a serviceable NFA firearm to a person outside the estate. ATF Form 5 is used to apply for the tax-exempt transfer of an unserviceable NFA firearm to a person outside the estate or for the transfer of a serviceable NFA firearm to a government agency. As noted above, all requirements, such as the fingerprint cards for transfers to individuals and compliance with State or local law, must be met before an application may be approved.

If an NFA firearm in the estate was imported for use as a “sales sample,” this restriction on its possession remains. An NFA firearm with this type of restriction can only be transferred to a government agency or a Federal firearms licensee who has paid the special (occupational) tax to deal in NFA firearms.

If there are unregistered NFA firearms in the estate, the firearms are contraband and cannot be registered by the estate. The executor of the state should contact the local ATF office to arrange for the abandonment of the unregistered firearms.

Moving Registered NFA Firearms Interstate

Individuals other than qualified Federal firearms licensees must obtain permission from ATF prior to temporarily or permanently moving a machine-gun, short-barreled shotgun, short-barreled rifle, or destructive device interstate. To obtain permission to move these firearms, please submit to ATF either a letter requesting permission to move them or an ATF Form 5320.20, Application to Transport Interstate or Temporarily Export Certain NFA Firearms. This form is available at the ATF Internet website or may be obtained by contacting the NFA Branch. If you are submitting the request by letter, please include the:

• Name of registrant;
• The firearm(s);
• The current location of the firearm(s);
• The location to which the firearm(s) will be transported;
• The date(s) and means of transportation (car, plane, boat, etc.); and
• The reason the firearm is being moved.

Please also indicate in the letter whether: (1) the move is temporary or permanent; (2) the move will involve a transfer of the title; and (3) whether the possession of the firearm will violate local or State law at the destination. The ATF Form 5320.20 includes these requirements. Requests for interstate transportation will be denied by ATF if possession of the firearm at the destination will violate State or local law.

Registrants do not have to obtain permission from ATF to move a silencer or “any other weapon” interstate. However, if a registrant’s address for these types of firearms changes after registration with ATF, please notify the NFA Branch in writing of the new address, so the NFRTR can reflect the registrant’s correct address.

Moving Registered NFA Firearms Intrastate

Registrants are not required to obtain permission from ATF to move NFA firearms within their State of residence. However, if a registrant’s address changes after the NFA firearms are registered with ATF, please notify the NFA Branch in writing of the change so the NFRTR can reflect the registrant’s correct address.

Storage of NFA Firearms

To avoid unauthorized transfers, registrants must store NFA firearms so that no one else has access to them. Firearms may be stored at locations other than the address on the firearm registration form, such as a safe deposit box. However, unless the registrant is a Federal firearms licensee who has paid the special (occupational) tax to import, manufacture, or deal in NFA firearms, the NFA Branch should be notified in writing of the new storage location.

Lost or Stolen NFA Firearms

Upon discovering that a registered NFA firearm has been stolen or lost, the registrant is required to immediately notify the NFA Branch of the theft or loss and provide the following information:

The name and address of the person to whom the firearm is registered;
The lost or stolen firearm, including the model, manufacturer, caliber or gauge, and serial number; and
The date and place of the theft or loss, including details of the situation.
Federal firearms licensees must report the loss of theft of their firearms inventory to both ATF and local law enforcement authorities within 48 hours of the discovery of the incident. Please contact ATF at our 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, toll-free hotline number, 1-800-800-3855. Within the 48-hour period, the licensee must complete and file with ATF an ATF Form 3310.11 (Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/ Loss Report). Licensees should provide their license number and the ATF representative will, in turn, issue an incident report number that must be documented in the licensee’s records. This form is available on the ATF Internet website.

Lost or Stolen Registration Documents

Upon discovering that a registration document has been stolen, lost, or destroyed, the registrant is required to immediately report the theft, loss, or destruction in writing to the NFA Branch. The report must contain the details of the situation. ATF will issue a duplicate copy of the registration document as circumstances warrant.

Changes to the Description of a Registered Firearm

When there is a change in the configuration of or a modification to a registered firearm, the registrant should notify the NFA Branch in writing so that the NFRTR can reflect the accurate description of the firearm.

Status Inquiries

Any inquiry relating to the status of an application to make or transfer an NFA firearm should be directed to the NFA Branch. Be aware that NFA registration information is classified as tax return information and any release by ATF is severely restricted. In general, only the applicant is entitled to the information.

How to Contact Us:

You may contact us at:

244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, WV 25405

Phone: 304 616-4500
Fax: 304 616-4501

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays)

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