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sawing off my 20 ga coach gun to 12 or 14 inches

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Dr_2_B, Jun 5, 2011.

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  1. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    So forgive me if my questions are pedantic, but you guys are usually more concise and easier to read than BATFE sites.

    I'm considering shortening my coach gun to the length at which I'd need BATFE approval / licensing. I understand it costs about $200 or so. I have a few questions if you don't mind helping me.
    1. I gather the paperwork from BATFE to apply for what I believe is an AOW tag. Am I right about this?
    2. I believe this is actually a license for that particular gun and not the owner - but it's not transferable if I were ever to sell the gun. Is this correct?
    3. This means I would have to do another application and another $200 if I were to get a second AOW firearm. Correct?
    4. Is there a cost-effective way to get one permit that would allow me to license ME, the owner, rather than have to pay to license each firearm separately?

    FYI I am a C&R license holder so I've already been cleared once by the feds.

    Thanks for any help setting me straight on this stuff.
     
  2. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Here's my understanding of the answers.

    1. You would need a Form 1 from ATF to make and register a Short Barrel Shotgun.

    If you saw off a coach gun barrel below 18" or overall below 26" it is a Short Barrel Shotgun SBS, a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder, but reduced to concealable size. It is a $200 making and registering tax, and a $200 transfer of registration if sold.

    An Any Other Weapon AOW shotgun is a concealable shotgun that was not designed or made to be fired from the shoulder but is concealable size: barrel under 18" or overall under 26". It is a $200 making and registering tax, and a $5 transfer of registration if sold.

    It is not a license: it is a registration. Compare it to a car title, not to a drivers license. You need a car title for every car registered and tax paid. You need a Form 1 for each NFA firearm made and registered or a Form 4 for each registration transfered to a new owner. An individual driver needs a drivers license. An individual needs a license to be a FFL or C&R FFL.

    If you make a SBS from a shotgun or an AOW from a virgin receiver, you file a Form 1 and pay the $200 tax to make and register. If you buy a SBS or AOW, you file a Form 4 and pay a tax of $200 on an SBS but only $5 for an AOW.

    No. It is not a license of the owner. It is a registration of the gun.
     
  3. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    Wow Carl, are you a teacher by trade? Your analogies are perfect... very well communicated and very well explained - thank you.

    Follow up question: Then if I buy a NEW AOW(say a Serbu Super Shorty), I have to pay a $200 registration to batfe. But if I buy a USED one, I'd only be paying them a $5 fee?
     
  4. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    If you make a new AOW, the initial registration is $200.

    If you buy (transfer registration), it is $5 on the Form 4 whether it is transfer of registration from the manufactirer, from a Class 03 FFL dealer licensed to deal in NFA firearms, or from a registered owner.



    The lower tax on AOW was (a) to control unconventional concealable weapons (not revolvers or pistols) but (b) to allow for niche sporting items like the Marbles Game Getter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble_Game_Getter). Apparently concealable guns made by the factory were seen as less likely to be "gangster" than guns sawed-off by the user. By the time the tax was lowered, though, the niche market for "trapper's specials" like the Game Getter had been destroyed by four years (1934-1938) of requiring a $200 tax on a gun that retailed for may be $20.

    I am not an expert. I only pretend to be an interested amatuer on the internet. I have been hanging out with friends and relatives who are private collectors or military personnel with an interest in NFA or "Title II" firearms for over thirty years. I sometimes go with them to the local Class 03 FFL dealer who operates a "cop shop" police equipment supply and also caters to the legit collectors. The Class 03 dealer not only keeps up with federal rules and regs and can explain them better than I, but also keeps up with local laws. Basicly in Tennessee if you are OK with the ATF on your Title II firaerms, you are OK with the state.

    Well, if I come across as a teacher, it is because I was/am a learner with a lot of questions myself. By trade, I am a retired computer typesetter, and come to think of it, handling the Journal of Economic Literature bibliographic database 1974-2003 and working (long distance) with the editors at U Pittsburgh may have disciplined me along those lines.
     
  5. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Member

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    Carl,

    All modesty aside I have not seen as well thought out an explanation like yours anywhere else. I would add only one thing. In the case of the shotgun AOW, the AOW can only be made by ANYONE if the gun has never had a stock on it. Remington did not make factory original pistol grip guns for a long time and that is why the Serbus (and Rogues, for us older guys) were made from Mossberg 'Cruisers' that were built with only a pistol grip. My impression is that once Remington realized that they were missing a piece of market share, they began making the "non-stocked" guns and receivers more available.

    If you remove a stock from a SBS it does not become an AOW; conversely, if you ADD a stock to an AOW (wtihout submitting and getting back an approved Form 1) you have built an illegal SBS.

    Given that making either costs $200, the only reason to make the AOW (unless it is the only thing legal in your state) is to make it more attractive to a buyer when you sell it. That is why dealers selling AOWs can jack the price up a bit higher on them than SBSs because the tax is so much lower.
     
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