Another Day, Another NFA Annoyance


While I’ve been out of town visiting family, TTAG’s Chris has been taking care of my very large and intimidating dogs. Which are definitely not actually a pair of 22-pound cats who sleep an hour per pound per day. Anyway . . .

Yesterday Chris needed something that I had stuffed in my safe prior to leaving. I wanted him to get in there and take it (as shamefully, ridiculously messy as the inside of my safe is) and was about to call him with the combination. Then we realized that just wouldn’t do.

You see, inside my safe are all manner of NFA-regulated and -registered items. Under the laws of our benevolent federal legislators, merely giving Chris the combination to the safe would put him in legal possession of everything therein.

Forget borrowing any of those items, let alone so much as touching them. Just having the opportunity to access the safe outside of my direct presence would have put Chris in illegal possession of an NFA item. Well, items.

That, as you may know, is a 10-year federal prison sentence sort of a felony. For him? For me? For both of us? One thing I know for sure is that neither of us are interested in that kind of BS.

So he remains without the combo. And without the item he needed as part of a TTAG review. But remains free. So much freedom.


  1. avatar Yepnope says:

    If you dont tell anyone it didn’t happen

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      Tell us what? I didn’t hear anything. I wasn’t there. Chris who? What is this website again?

    2. avatar arc says:

      If they come for the guns, or the owner, perhaps its time the 2A was put to its intended use.

      1. avatar MLee says:

        Oh heavens no!! I will invite them in, give them everything I own and make them coffee!

        1. avatar Angry Az says:

          while i explain that the reason i quit fishing was the numerous boat accidents i had in the last few years…

  2. avatar Cloud says:

    So does this stupid rule also apply to spouses?

    1. avatar MeRp says:

      Indeed it does.

    2. avatar An says:

      This is why a Trust is a good thing, with both spouses as Trustee.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Yep. A trust is the answer.

        Other scenarios would include leaving your range bag w/ NFA item in your trunk and your wife taking the car somewhere. Lots of reasons to have at least your spouse on the NFA item(s) trust beyond that person having access to your safe.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Technically speaking stopping at a gas station or other store, running in to get something and leaving your gear and your wife or friend in the car could easily be construed as them having possession without your presence.

          Some might call that a stretch but it’s technically correct which, as we all know thanks to Number 1.0, is the best kind of correct according to government employees.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Both spouses, and both sons! But hey, if I buy a new NFA toy, do I have to modify my trust? I heard fingerprints may be required. Or does a preexisting trust suffice, since we haven’t murdered anyone silently yet.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          The trust doesn’t have to be modified or have any amendments as it is the trust that’s “buying” the item. Technically speaking you never own the NFA item. The trust does and the trust allows you legal access to the item.

          These days for a new NFA item to be added to your trust each person who has control, or could potentially control, the trust has to submit everything as if it was a sale to them as an individual. That’s fingerprints, photo etc for each person on the trust who could control it at some point in time.

          Unless it’s written in a way that specifically excludes someone from ever having control their info has to go to the BATFE for the transfer to be approved.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      “So does this stupid rule also apply to spouses?”

      Yes, accessing a spouse outside of the direct presence of the other spouse can prove fatal.

      1. avatar Rick the Bear says:


        “Yes, accessing a spouse outside of the direct presence of the other spouse can prove fatal.”

        Or at least broken legs (in case case).

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Unless you’re into that sort of thing…

  3. avatar binder says:

    Simple fix, run a cable threw the triggers of the SBRs and put the suppressors in a locked box. Also, if you manage to get threw a week without committing at least one felony, you are likely not breathing.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      What makes you think that simply assuming ambient temperature would prevent you from committing a felony?

      1. avatar Rubber Toe says:

        It certainly doesn’t keep you from voting…

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘It certainly doesn’t keep you from voting…’


      2. avatar Flying Fish says:

        “De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.” At least you won’t be prosecuted.

      3. avatar -Peter says:

        “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.
        One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      That might be ok for the NFA items but in some states those non NFA firearms not so secured might present the very real possibilities of prosecution.

    3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That’s not really that simple. There’s nothing inside the safe to lock those items to, and there would be a lot of organizing to get the SBRs and things next to each other then removing mounted suppressors from those and other guns and collecting them in a safe-within-the-safe. It all sounds very cumbersome. Would be easier to add certain people to my NFA trusts.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Or have a second safe entirely.

        1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:


        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          you could name a second vault your “forbidden closet of mystery.”

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, shit! A totally new reason to inform the bride that you need another (bigger) safe! And I thought we were running out!

      2. avatar Huntmaster says:

        Yeah you could just add people to a trust. Or just add a place to secure a cable in your safe. Or do both. Not really a big deal. That’s what guys do. And for that matter, so do most women with guns.

      3. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Wait, now, if you have a trust and some NFA items on it, how do you go about adding names? That seems like it would be a real pain. Wouldn’t you have to reclear the items you already own, possibly with another tax stamp?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Nope. Trustees can be added or removed as needed. At this point due to current laws, I actually recommend a fresh trust for each individual NFA item rather than adding new items to an existing trust. At least if you have multiple people on it. Silencer Shop has their “One Shot” trusts available for this exact purpose.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Binder, among all the comedians, that was a great suggestion, unfortunately they’d have to find some interesting methodology to get that done while he’s not home.

  4. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Well, well, another reason to always employ the “7 Ps”…

    And TTAG will probably make it if we have to wait for his review.

  5. avatar Alex Waits says:

    L o L.

  6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Is that where you also keep your swimming pool filled with gold coins?

  7. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

    Good thing, or else the secret police would have listened to your phone and sent you to G-bay

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Haven’t we already head congressional testimony that all telephone conversations, email, text and snail mail address information is already collected and recorded? So are Hillary’s emails really deleted? Oh yeah…

  8. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    This is why I have no desire to possess anything NFA. I don’t have the ammo budget (let alone the hardware budget) for anything full auto, I’m content to leave the buttstock off of anything with a barrel shorter than 16″ and I almost never have the range to myself anyway so suppressors aren’t much use. (Although it would be nice if that last one was removed from the NFA list.)

    Forget the wait times and the $200 stamp, I just don’t need any federal bureaucracies having even a partial list of my firearms. Which was the purpose of the NFA in the first place, to discourage people from owning such things.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      “Forget the wait times and the $200 stamp, I just don’t need any federal bureaucracies having even a partial list of my firearms”

      Amen to that. TTAG and many other internet gun people seem to think that it’s the price that keeps people away, but I bet far more are avoiding having the feds in their business.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        80 years ago that $200 was a huge deterrent but they never bother to raise it. One of the down sides (for government) to printing up money.

        I’d say the same thing about getting an FFL. I’d like to run a little gun dealer side business but it’s not worth dealing with the ATF.

        1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          “they never bother to raise it”

          They literally didn’t understand that inflation existed, so the $200 was written into the law with no adjustment allowed.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Well, for the most part inflation *didn’t* exist. The value of money was pegged to gold and had been extremely stable basically since the dollar was first created. For instance: We deviated from the gold standard right when the NFA laws were written but really went completely off it in 1971.

        3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Exactly. It was there but they discounted its effect.

        4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Kind of hard to believe they didn’t understand inflation when 5 months before they passed the National Firearms Act the same congress passed the Gold Reserve Act raising the price of gold from $20.67/oz to $35, thereby decreasing the value of the dollar by over 40%.

      2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        We’re very well aware that registration is a blocker for many people from even considering NFA item ownership. Articles related to the purchasing process or other aspects of ownership obviously assume the reader is interested in owning them in the first place.

        1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          “Articles related to the purchasing process or other aspects of ownership obviously assume the reader is interested in owning them in the first place”

          That’s a good point that I probably wasn’t considering.

    2. avatar Craig in IA says:

      And I totally agree. Why open one’s self up to more government intrusion, scrutiny, and red tape than we already have in our lives???

      And, if the S really did HTF, who would care any longer if you wanted to convert your own already-possessed weapon(s) into “something else”? Can’t you already figure out how to do it? It’s not like you’re making atomic weapons.

      And would Class III actually be better for most of us rather than choosing our targets and using some already acquired marksmanship and strategy? If you don’t already possess these things, you’re not even pissing into the wind yet.

      Do you already have the means to keep the things fed in a crisis as well?

      Beyond the obvious fun factor and being able to say you have something not everyone else has, what’s the real issue? It’s not like you’re going to defeat the Chinese Army, ISIS or even a US or NATO (ick) force on your own with your little weapon… Spend your money and time as you wish, I, for one, feel I’m pretty well off with the arsenal I already possess without having to go the next step.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        “Do you already have the means to keep the things fed in a crisis as well?”

        The funny thing about guns and bullets is that if they are properly employed they provide you with an ample supply of many things. That includes more guns and more gun food.

        1. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Against the general population- yes. Against some sort of full-fledged government assault on you, and that always seems to be the concern here by most, the results will probably be much different. You won’t be able to move without someone noticing and it’s likely you’ll end up with a drone missle up your butt or a tank or two running over your little hovel, even if you can scratch together a little group of misfits.

      2. avatar Anymouse says:

        Even in the military, full auto is most useful for suppressing enemy fire while the other half of the rifle team flanks their position. A solo gunman with a machine gun isn’t very useful, despite what Arnie and Sly depict. With good trigger control, marksmanship can be applied to short bursts.

      3. avatar MarkPA says:

        I agree that complying with the NFA is a reason to avoid NFA arms.

        However, there is another side of that coin.

        Silencers were not much of an issue in 1934. Few, if anyone, realized the problem of hearing damage. Well, gradually, in the late 20’th century, we realized that hearing loss due to gunshot reports was a serious issue. And, some people did something about it. They paid their $200 for stamps and bought expensive silencers. Gradually, the number of silencers in the registry grew; and, they became still more popular.

        Ever hear of the notion that a right not exercised is a right vulnerable to loss?

        Today, it’s hard to imagine a move to ban silencers succeeding. True, they are banned in some states; but these laws are very vulnerable to a Federal 2A challenge. Moreover, they are vulnerable to a challenge on multiple grounds. Can a state really ban outright a health-safety device? If a silencer is NOT-an-“arm” then it must be a health-safety device. If it IS-an-“arm” then it’s entitled to 2A deference. How will the states defend their positions?

        We really ought to think long-and-hard about subcomming to the pressure to forego our rights. Owners of machine-guns should defend their rights to keep them and transfer them lawfully. We should all consider buying a SBS or SBR. Those of us who can should consider buying/making a DD. And tinkerers should continue to invent and make AOWs. Why? To keep a stake-in-the-ground that these are rights that we ARE exercising – as widely as we can reasonably sustain their exercise.

        First they came for the DD; but I did not protest because I had no DD.
        Next they came for the AOWs; but I did not protest because I had no AOW.
        Next they came for the SBS; . . .

        1. avatar OldRogue says:

          …all that came before
          ” If a silencer is NOT-an-“arm” then it must be a health-safety device. If it IS-an-“arm” then it’s entitled to 2A deference. How will the states defend their positions?
          And all that came after…

          WELL SAID, THAT MAN!

      4. avatar frank speak says:

        the biggest deterrent these days is cost…wasn’t always the case but it’s the current reality…and unlikely to change…

    3. avatar Broke_It says:

      It’s sad to see the system work as designed and turn off people from NFA items. I did the dance and jumped through the hoops and now have a bit of buyers remorse. I want more, but I quickly realized even for being soooo “generously” low the $200 asshole tax on top of the overinflated price for a tube in a tube means I should be happy I could afford what I got. So now I’ve got the bare minimum suppressor collection and a couple rifles that can’t leave the state without a permission slip. I’m on yet another list and my state wont even allow sbs so my itch for a chopped down side by side will perpetually go unscratched. I don’t know about the rest of yall, but I feel safer already!

      1. avatar Tom In Oregon says:

        You can travel state to state without a permission slip.
        It’s only giggle switch guns that require a permission slip.
        Quiet guns don’t.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Only suppressors and AOWs don’t require written approval. Every other NFA item does, from SBS to SBR to machine guns and destructive devices. See:

        2. avatar NoData says:

          SBRs and SBS also require permission slips, which is why my PS90 is likely going to get replaced by a Rattler.

        3. avatar Broke_It says:

          The slip would be for my 10/22 charger I paid to put a stock on. Such a fierce weapon of war can never be trusted to leave the state it’s known to reside in without kind uncle Sam being in the loop.

    4. avatar Enuf says:

      The $200 is not insignificant to most people but is still not the deterrent it was back in the 1930’s. Not even close.

      The heavy hand of Federal watchfulness over a lawful activity is a big deal to many. Certainly is to me. That’s major to me.

      Even so, were the NFA 1934 and later laws to be repealed and see prices crash, there are guns I’d love to own. But would likely stop after buying only suppressors. Because them fast shoot’n guns that look like so much fun would empty my ammo budget faster than the smile would leave my face.

      Between the cost of feeding them and the intrusiveness of a government agency over something that is legal, well heck each of those is too big for me.

    5. avatar LarryinTX says:

      It was the tax which was supposed to discourage citizens from exercising their rights, because in 1934 *EVERYONE* understood that banning anything firearm was totally unconstitutional. Now, people do not even understand that *machine guns* are not banned, only taxed upon transfer. The law banning new production, or whatever it “banned”, is clearly unconstitutional, maybe we’ll get to that someday. I mean, production continues, but citizens are unable to purchase due to restrictions on manufacturers? Boy, that is really slick, isn’t it? Who would guess it might be an “infringement”?

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        Govt. has always been selective about who can own these things…the (relatively) small group that can and do possess are basically a token group that serve as an “assurance” that they have not really banned anything…….

    6. avatar George from Alaska says:

      I’m sure that the $200 tax imposed in the 1930’s was a lot more money than it is today and that the only people who could afford such items were millionaires or gangsters. They definitely kept our right to own such things via the registry, but illegally attached such a high tax that no normal person could.

  9. avatar Enuf says:

    You need a second safe.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I do. For multiple reasons haha. I hadn’t foreseen this one though.

    2. avatar mike hill says:

      To Enuf: Your’s is the best point of this entire thread!

  10. avatar possum the red nose pit bull says:

    Well that’s certainly abiding by the law, had it been me I would have given Chris the combo.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yeah, I suspect I would have forgotten about the NFA items.

  11. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    It’s almost like they will make it harder to stay a legal gun owner until there are none left.

  12. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Can you *prove* you didn’t give him the combination?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Thankfully I don’t have to. For all anyone knows none of this even happened and this whole thing is just a parable.

      But…sure…there’s our text message thread.

      1. avatar Jason(Possessor of 2.5 TTAG points) says:

        Post those screenshots up.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Counterpoint!… No.

      2. avatar Geoff "Jingle *this*..." PR says:

        “But…sure…there’s our text message thread.”

        And telcom data and metadata (date and time of the call, number connected to, GPS location, length-of-call and what data was communicated) can be subpoenaed and *cheerfully* used against you in court…

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    If you are going to go to prison for Chris having your combination, or your wife, you might as well just keep your illegal full auto machine guns in there too, and don’t worry about it.

    “…when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, ‘it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.’ “ – John Adams

    Such as with gun control. It doesn’t matter your intent. You are the bad guy. They have made you the bad guy.

    “War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.” – Sherman

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      The wife, at least, is on the relevant trusts.

  14. avatar possum the paranoid says:

    Install a camera on your gun safe that transmits a signal over the air. Now “they” can watch Mr.X open your gun safe. Ahh- technology, welcome in Big Brother. ….. I’d bet the Feds got my Addie just by me using email. Phones GPS or something. This cell phone might go swimming. Write letters left handed wearing rubber gloves I guess and not lick the envelope, and send it from a different town while wearing a Bigfoot costume( not in Montana) .

    1. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

      Dress up to look like Hillary Clinton and then you’ll get away with most anything!

      1. avatar Bob999 says:

        But that is good until Hilary is no longer useful to the Democrat Party. Their reputation is to turn on their own if it better supports their end goal. You can already see it happening a little bit, and if/when there is a real investigation of Hitlery, her “friends” will turn on her claiming she was really a Republican operative, an evil capitalist, or something outlandish like that.

  15. avatar Dave G. says:

    OK, I hate abbreviations. Will somebody please define AOW, SBS and SBR?

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      Is what you would be told elsewhere, but we welcome noobs.
      AOW-Any other weapon
      SBS-SHORT barrel shotgun
      SBR-SHORT barrel rifle

      1. Thanks bill-bob. I didn’t know either.

      2. avatar Dave G. says:

        Thanks Billy-Bob. Though I’m not a noob, sometimes the abbreviations and acronyms people throw around get the best of me. Now, what does RTFM mean?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Read The F’ing Manual 😉

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Dave, to expand on that a trifle, these are definitions pertaining to BATF, I think they are from NFA 1934 but if not they are just made up by ATF. The definitions of each are arbitrary nonsense, like you go to jail if the rifle barrel is 15″ long, but 16″ is all good. Says who, and why? As why does a shotgun barrel have to be 18″ instead of 16″? And after many years I still don’t really understand what an “any other weapon” is.

  16. avatar Alan says:

    On the infamous National Firearms Act of 1934, aka NFA’34, consider this.

    1. Another of FDR’s FUBAR’S.
    2. Ditto for the then sitting Congress, House of Representatives and U.S.Senate.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      gangsters were regarded as the terrorists of their day…thus the attempt was made to disarm them…didn’t really matter, though…they’re criminals, after all…and, much like clyde barrow…would just break into govt. armories to steal even more lethal forms of weaponry

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        …..just think how much revenue the govt. could accrue if every one of those guns used to whack Sonny had a tax stamp!

      2. avatar Mad Max says:

        It seems to me that every time there is a failed prohibition, gun owners get screwed.

        Alcohol Prohibition – NFA 1934
        Segregation – GCA 1968
        War on Drugs – Hughes Amendment & Assult Weapons Ban
        Gun Free School Zones – Red Flag Laws

        We gotta stop letting them take our rights because they screwed up.

  17. avatar james says:

    Just put a lock on the range bag or case that contains any NFA items.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Having things in bags or cases is so not how I manage to fit so much in my safe hahaha 😉

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        save my safe for registered receivers..or serialized components…prefer to hide the rest in various locations….save a lot of space that way…

  18. avatar BRUCE CLARK says:

    I only keep stuff in the safe that I can afford to lose in an emergency. Everything else somebody is going to play hell finding. The only SHTF definition I would consider plausible would be one perpetrated by the government against the people. Anything else is kids play. I don’t now nor will I ever get a FFL or class 3 license for automatic weapons. Why would anyone in their right mind do it? The federal government already knows enough about me, they don’t need anymore information.

    1. avatar Bob999 says:

      And the lesson here is the FP-45 Liberator and the reason it was conceived. Tyranny only works with a disarmed people, for no government has the resources to be everywhere at all times in sufficient quantity to defend against a well-organized populace with the determination to fight for their freedom. If things devolve to a point where We The People in mass need to retake the country by force, upgrading to the next level of lethality is actually rather simple and quite inevitable. Tyrannical governments tend to leave those kinds of things around the battlefield after skirmishes and ambushes. Let’s just hope it never gets that bad. Frankly, I might mention that we are a long from it getting that bad especially now that more and more constitutionalist are being seated in the federal courts.

  19. avatar Sora says:

    IF he was not aware that NFA items were in there, and IF you were not aware that some random numbers were your safe numbers, and IF your last names were Clinton or Abdin, you’d get away with it.
    “I thought NFA meant Not Far Away” – Hitlery Killington.

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