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Just got my supressor, what should I do with my paperwork?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Soapy5, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Soapy5

    Soapy5 New Member

    So I finally got my SWR octane 9, and man was it worth the 6 month wait! I do have one question: what is the best way to deal with the paperwork? I have read some suggestions a while back that I should make lots of copies of the original, laminate the original, and carry a copy with the suppressor, or something to that extent.

    Anyone have any input to that? Are you allowed to laminate the original form, and are copies valid for any on the spot checks? Can you have a half-sized copy to go along with the suppressor?
  2. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Active Member

    I've heard some people recommend scanning it into a PDF (so you can print as many copies as you need) and putting the original in a safety deposit box at the bank. Copies should be sufficient for general police encounters of "hey, is that legal?" but if the ATF ever takes serious interest in your can, you'll probably need the actual F4 with the stamp. I wouldn't recommend laminating the original, but it might not hurt to laminate a copy.

    I'm about a month out from getting my first can back, but I would personally keep my stamps with other important documents in a safe and have copies just about everywhere, including the PDF files on my iPhone. It is definitely a good idea to keep your form 4 with the can while you are out shooting it (or at least in the car while at the range). I even have a friend who folded up a copy of a Form 4 for a M16 and put it in the storage compartment of the pistol grip!
  3. juan916

    juan916 New Member

    I recommend making copies (several) and putting one in every car that you would drive when u go shoot it, place the original in one of those binder picture sleeves( DO NOT LAMINATE ) and put it somewhere safe like a safe or safe deposit box
  4. lcambre

    lcambre New Member

    I scan mine and then print a copy to bring to the range. The original goes into the safe. Never considered laminating the original, since I wouldn't need to handle it again.
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Active Member

    I make 1/4 sized copies and laminate them keep a full set in the range bag and a few other bags that always go with me.
  6. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    scan to a file you can access by smartphone if neccessary
  7. Nasty

    Nasty New Member

    Laminated copies with each item, originals in document protectors in the safe deposit box at the bank.

    ATF will be satisfied with this and they are the only ones that can demand to see the paperwork in hand.

    I once had a Base Commander once try to tell me that he was going to take custody of an item and I told him that he was more than welcome to do so as long as he understood that the ATF would be there to arrest him immediately after.

    lol...*That* was a hoot of a day!
  8. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Active Member

    I just picked up my first tax stamp yesterday. With a double sided printer and some messing around with Acrobat settings, you can print double sided 1/4 and 1/2 copies. I am going to get a few of them laminated and put one in my wallet, and one in my suppressors pouch. I'm also going to put full sized copies in both cars.

    Just out of curiosity, why do yall say not to laminate the original? I was kind of planning on laminating the original and then leaving it in the safe, but maybe the lamination isn't such a hot idea?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Active Member

    I'll add this, my 1/4 and 1/2 scale copies are color. If you make a full scale copy, in color, you break federal law.

    You cannot copy a federal stamp to scale in color.
  10. kimbershot

    kimbershot New Member

    scan it, email pdf to yourself and put it in a folder on your email account (in addition to photo copies).

    you can access your email from any computer and print out as needed. i do same with my concealed permits and drivers license.:D
  11. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Active Member


    What law are you breaking if you copy your form 4 in color? I know that it is illegal to make photocopies of government ID badges, but I haven't found anything on the BATFE FAQ about that. This is the only question I could find that was related:

    Q: Does the owner of a registered NFA firearm have to have any evidence to show it is registered lawfully to him or her?
    Yes. The approved application received from ATF serves as evidence of registration of the NFA firearm in the owner’s name. This document must be kept available for inspection by ATF officers. It is suggested that a photocopy of the approved application be carried by the owner when the weapon is being transported.
  12. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Active Member

    I wouldn't because I don't plan on handling the original at all besides the first day when I make copies/scans, and if I ever do end up needing to show the original (say, court proceeding) I want it to be in the exact same condition that it was in when the ATF sent it to me. That's not to say that it looses any legal legitimacy by being laminated, its just that I would rather not change an original in any way. I probably would laminate at least one or two copies of the form for durability's sake, but just not the original.
  13. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA New Member

    My approach as well.
  14. Landric

    Landric New Member


    If the ATF ever needs to validate your paperwork (like they loose their copy), they cannot determine whether or not the stamp is authentic if it is laminated. That means you cannot prove the form is legitimate no matter how many copies you have.

    I keep several hard copies, I have PDF scans saved on my computer, and I keep my originals in my safe deposit box.
  15. Seems to me that having copies Notarized would be a prudent action to take.
  16. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

    That doesn't make any sense to me.

    Notaries verify your signature on a document is your signature. What you're really wanting is "certified" copies, but only the ATF could provide that.

    Just put the original in a safe place and keep some copies around. Don't get too paranoid about it.

  17. Captains1911

    Captains1911 New Member

    I make a few photocopies, and scan. I carry photocopies with the cans, and store the originals in my safe. If something ever happens to the copies or originals, I still have the electronic scans.
  18. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA New Member

    Like most of the posters, I copy and scan my forms before storing them. I have one 9mm can that I use on a couple of pistols and an AR; a copy goes into each pistol case and one in the grip of the AR. Just being prudent.
  19. Donut Destroyer

    Donut Destroyer New Member

    Base Commander? Military bases have their own restrictions for possessing firearms on base. The base commander and/or his designee (OSI, SFS) would certainly be within their legal right to seize any firearm/weapons not properly registered on base. Don't forget too, that many states have NFA requirements of their own and any local officer can certainly ask for that as well.
  20. Donut Destroyer

    Donut Destroyer New Member

    Best answer? A copy is sufficient as long as it is legible. Don't laminate the original, keep it in a safe place. The copy MUST accompany the NFA item wherever it goes. Don't cross state lines with an NFA item without prior ATF approval.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

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