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.50 cal class III?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by modifiedbrowning, Mar 30, 2003.

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  1. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    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.
     
  2. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    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.
     
  3. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Member

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    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.
     
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Some states require a Class III license to own Class III firearms. That's in addition to the Fed Regs and Tax Stamps.
     
  5. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Member

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    But he's in Montana, and they don't....
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    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
     
  7. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    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.
     
  8. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    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.
     
  9. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    Now I'm completely confused.

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

    DMK Member

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    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:
    Acquiring NFA Firearms:
    http://www.atf.gov/pub/nfab/index.htm
     
  11. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Member

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

    For a more in-depth explanation, take a look here.
     
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