The National Firearms Act (NFA)[1] is the federal law that regulates and requires registration of so-called “Class 3” assets, such as suppressors, silencers, short-barrel rifles (SBRs), short-barrel shotguns (SBSs), certain fully automatic machine guns, destructive devices, and various other firearms and items (such as smooth-bore pistols, cane guns, and pen guns).  Failure to adhere to the NFA engages felony-level violations of federal and state law[2], forfeiture of all weapons, and a lifetime ban from owning, possessing, using, receiving, or transporting firearms, ammunition, and related items.  Thus, the NFA is a law worthy of careful and thorough understanding if you’re going to own, possess, use, receive, or transport, Class 3 assets.



By utilizing a Crownover Law Firm | NFA Gun Trust System® in the purchase of NFA assets, you can avoid the criminal law pitfalls associated with NFA-regulated assets and establish the ability to share your suppressors, short-barrel firearms, and fully automatic weapons with your family and friends, among other advantages.  In fact, in my professional legal opinion, the NFA Gun Trust is the best structure for the private arms owner to own, possess, use, and transport NFA-regulated firearms, items, and assets.



The NFA is an old law.  The NFA was originally enacted on June 26, 1934,[3] although it has been amended several times since 1934, most notably in 1968 and 1986.  In 1986, the so-called “Hughes Amendment” (discussed below), banned private ownership by individuals of fully automatic machine guns that were manufactured on and after May 19, 1986.  Executive Order 12988, signed on August 29, 2013, becomes effective on July 13, 2016, and it also marginally impacts the NFA in that it will require fingerprints and photographs as part of the NFA registration process for NFA assets registered after July 13.



The NFA imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of Class 3 assets, and mandates the registration of all Class 3 assets.[4]  The NFA is also referred to as “Title II” of the Federal firearms laws.[5]



[1] 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53. See the handout “Why You Need & Must Have an NFA Gun Trust” on my Gun Show table for more information.

[2] See Texas Penal Code, § 46.05; Oklahoma Statutes, § 1289.18 (short-barrel firearms).

[3] 72nd Congress, Sess. 2, Ch. 757, 48 Stat. 1236, enacted June 26, 1934 (currently codified, as amended, at 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53).

[4] Broadly speaking, the NFA of 1968 defines a number categories of NFA firearms, including: (1) Machine guns; (2) Short-barreled rifles (SBRs); (3) Short-barreled shotguns (SBSs); (4) Suppressors; (5) Destructive devices; (6) “Any other weapons” (typically hand-held shotguns, smooth-bore pistols, pen guns, cane guns, etc.).

[5] The Gun Control Act of 1968 (“GCA”) is “Title I”, and regulates “Class 2” firearms.