TW 022 - NFA Definitions

TW022 - NFA definitions

National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA)

 Legislation started after attempted assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933

Attempt to reduce prohibition-era gang violence



Requires registration and taxation of certain firearms


Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS)

Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)

Machine Guns

Any Other Weapons (AOW)

Destructive Devices



Any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm

INCLUDES - Any parts designed and intended for use in making a silencer


Short Barreled Shotgun

Any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18” or an overall length less than 26”


Short Barreled Rifle

Any rifle with a barrel length less than 16” or an overall length less than 26”


Machine Gun

A firearm which is designed to shoot more than one shot with a single function of the trigger

INCLUDES - any part which is designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun


Any Other Weapon

A firearm, other than a handgun with a rifled barrel, capable of being concealed (26” overall length or less)

A handgun with a smooth bore designed to fire a shotgun shell

Improvised and disguised firearms


Destructive Device

Any explosive or projectile with more than a ¼ ounce charge

A firearm with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter

Exceptions - shotguns and shotgun shells recognized by ATF for sporting purposes


NFA Taxes

Manufacturing and/or transferring NFA firearms require the payment of a tax

Silencer, SBS, SBR, Machine Gun, DD: $200 (since 1934)

$3,000 in today’s money

AOW: $5


Special Occupational Taxpayers can pay a tax once per year for all NFA firearms

$1,000 or $500 depending on size and type of business

Classes of SOT:

Class 1 - Importer of NFA firearms

Requires Type 8 or 11 FFL

Class 2 - Manufacturer of NFA firearms

Requires Type 7 or 10 FFL

Class 3 - Dealer in NFA Firearms

Requires Type 1 or 2 FFL

 18 USC 921

 26 USC 5845

Get an FFL/Become an SOT

Firearms as Gifts

TW 021 - The 3D Firearms Prohibition Act H.R. 7115


H.R. 7115 – The 3D Firearms Prohibition Act


Do you know what the H.R. 7115 bill is proposing?  If not, tune in for an in-depth explanation of the proposed house bill which Ryan believes prohibits too much and is overbroad.  He provides you with a breakdown of the 3 major changes it proposes to current gun laws:   

-       Do-It yourself assault weapon ban

-       Prohibition of advertising do-it yourself assault weapons

-       Requirements for homemade firearms to have serial numbers

Join in to hear why Ryan believes this is a big deal.  If you want to keep educating yourself, read his article about the HR 7115 3D Firearms Prohibition Act on RocketFFL. 

Interested in Ryan teaching you how to build a homemade firearm?  Click the link to check out his article on 

TW 020 - How to Own a Machinegun


They’re actually legal for most Americans to own!  Listen in as Ryan explains all the details of how it’s legal, what is legal and all the steps to take in order to ensure you’re in compliance with the laws.  He also goes into detail for you on Title 26 of the U.S. code regarding machineguns and breaks down the uniqueness of machineguns in comparison to other NFA firearms.  Ryan will walk you through which FFL can be most helpful and how you can can use his RocketFFL course to make that a reality.  Do you know what the term Pre-’86 means?  If not, you will after this podcast as Ryan give you an in-depth explanation of what it means and what it can mean for you.


-       Manufacturer’s FFL

-       NFA Firearms

-       Forms 4 & 9

-       SOT’s 

-       Pre-’86 Machineguns

-       1981 ATF Ruling (ATF RULING 84-1 DROP IN AUTO SEARS)

-       Title 26 of the U.S. code: (b)Machinegun.  The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

-       Auto sears

-       Firearms Protection Act


TW 019 - Traveling with Firearms


-       2 episodes ago (17) was about shipping firearms

o   My recommended method because it’s easier than traveling or flying with your firearms

o   If you get your FFL (easy to do with RocketFFL) you can ship them easily


o   Peaceable Journey Law

§  Part of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act

§  Allows you to travel interstate, on an occasional trip, with your firearm in your vehicle without being forced to worry about rules and laws in the states you pass through.

§  Still required to respect the laws of the state or city where you’re at.

§  Only applicable to you if the firearm, and your possession of it, it legal in your starting and destination states.

§  In between, you must keep the firearm locked in a container separate from the passenger compartment.  Either in the trunk or locked away from you and separate from the ammunition in SUV’s.

§  Doesn’t guarantee you won’t be hassled by local law enforcement.

§  Most important: Applies to the firearm being in your vehicle, the trip being an occasional one and you must be passing through the states.

§  Not applicable if you make the trip regularly, you’re stopping to sight-see or visit businesses or if you’re staying at a hotel.  Must be passing through.

§  Stopping for restroom breaks, gasoline or a drive-through is acceptable.


o   Permissible but rules must be followed.

1)   Make sure you’re going to be at an airport in a place where it’s legal to have firearms.  Always be sure of your departure and destination state laws.

2)   When checking your bags, you must declare you have a firearm but that you are not going to carry it on you or have it in your carry-on bag. It must be in your checked baggage.

3)   Fill out the tag or form they will provide you, which you’re signing to confirm the firearm is unloaded.  Often, they’ll ask you to verify this fact. 

4)   Place the form or tag in with the gun.

o   Despite these rules, the interactions you have with each gate agent, airline or TSA person can be different. 

o   Best advice: go with the flow.  Do not argue, just follow their instructions.

§  Goal is not to be right, it’s to stay out of trouble & get to your destination.

o   Recommendation: Print out the TSA’s rules (click here to open their website)

§  If you encounter someone who says you can’t travel with a firearm, show them.

o   Firearm must be locked in your baggage (*Please note that I said carry-on baggage during the show by mistake.  I meant to say checked-bagged.*)

§  Locked in a hard-sided container which includes plastic, just not soft.

·      Handguns: Best in the case it originally came in.

·      Rifles: A hard case such as a Pelican (click here to check out options)

§  How it needs to be locked depends on the airline and/or airport.

·      Typically, one padlock in the factory plastic box is sufficient.

·      Sometimes, they test to see if it can be pried open on any side.

·      Be very careful to get a nice hard-sided case that cannot be pried open.

·      Make sure you have padlocks in every hole available for them on your case

§  Do not use TSA locks.

·      Cases must be locked so only you have access to the firearm.

·      Be prepared to argue this in some instances. 

o   This is a situation where the TSA rules handout comes in handy.

·      TSA approved locks compromise the security of your firearm.

·      Using a TSA lock allows access by someone other than you to the firearm which is against federal law.

·      They’ll have you sign a declaration that it’s empty; make sure it is.

·      You may be brought to a separate screening area:

o   They’ll swab the case down.

o   If they ask you to open it, do so, but maintain possession of the key.

o   Never give them your keys to walk away with.


o   The rules just say ammunition can’t be loose.

o   They prefer it be in the original cardboard box, not in a high-security case.

o   It may also be in the magazine.

§  You can have an unloaded handgun locked in a case with a loaded magazine.

o   Despite the rule, you may occasionally be asked by an agent to separate the ammunition from the firearm.

§  Always comply with their request and place the ammunition box loose in your bag.



o   Keep in mind you’ll have different experiences every time.

o   Use your judgement and follow the rules as best you can.

o   Research ahead of time and ensure you know the state laws.

Please check out my latest project, Mayday Safety.  We’re hoping it helps keep kids and schools safer.  The mobile app is out and free so please download it!  RocketFFL course sign-ups have been very high which is great!  Please know that the course isn’t just about the application process, that’s just one chapter.  It goes through all the background information and considerations you need to know to apply correctly and get set up the right way the first time.

Great news on the ATF compliance course, Jackie & I made a lot of progress on it last week so it’s coming soon!


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TW 018 - 3D-Gun Printing Controversy

-       Referred to in the industry as additive manufacturing

-       Coolest design in my opinion will be silencers

o   Currently limited on silencer baffle design based on what can be machined because you can only get so many angles or curves with a drill bit.  With 3D we’ll get amazing structures, baffles and chambers.

-       ITAR (discussed in depth in episode 9) = International Traffic in Arms Regulations

o   Regulations are methods made to help carry out laws

o   ITAR are state regulations to carry out AECA (Arms Export Control Act)

o   Includes rifles, handguns, non-sporting shotguns, their parts & ammunition

§  This includes short-barreled shotguns

o   Other firearms (non-significant military types) regulated by the Department of Commerce

§  This includes shotguns with barrel lengths over 18”

o   3D pistol is a handgun, therefore regulated by ITAR and can’t be exported without a license. 

o   Export:  ITAR definition has nothing to do with leaving the country but rather the arrival of the item.

§  Considered an export if it arrives in the hands of a foreign person, regardless if on U.S. soil.

o   ITAR also covers technical data and defense services

§  Any info necessary for the use or manufacture of the items such as blueprints or tips & tricks.

§  Exemption = if it’s publicly available (ie: found on the internet)

·      Can’t share what’s yours to make it publicly available

§  3D printing files considered technical data

o   State departments issue: Plans published on the internet = available to foreign persons = deemed export

o   Defensive argument = 2nd amendment freedom of speech rights

-       Overall issue isn’t that people can get the 3D plans online and make their own guns, it’s only the deemed export of it to foreign persons. 

-       State department backed off and agreed to a settlement. 

o   Possible reasons:

§  Can’t protect the freedom of speech and block this.

§  Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR), courtesy of Obama, should be approved soon to include moving rifles, handguns, tech data, defense services, non-sporting shotguns, parts & ammunition away from ITAR (state) and under the regulation of the Department of Commerce

·      Trump working to get it approved but major shooting incidents are delaying the process

o   Individual states still coming out against it however.  


-       Refresher: Federal law allows (except by prohibited persons) the making of your own firearms

o   Without serial numbers or markings is acceptable

o   Only if it’s made with no intention to sell it (although you can decide to sell it AFTER the fact)

o   Intending to sell = FFL needed (RocketFFL can walk you through the process)

-       Thank you for your patience with me while launching Mayday Safety.  I’m grateful to hopefully make a big impact in helping schools, businesses and families around the world protect themselves in emergency situations and save lives.

-       Please check out my new childrens safety book!  Originally titled Firearm Safety is No Accident but renamed this week to There’s Only One You.  Teaches kids an important message about most accidents being recoverable but not so with firearm accidents.


TW 017 - Shipping Firearms

Shipping Firearms

-        Why ship rather than fly

-        Intrastate – not a “transfer” needing an FFL

-        Interstate – to yourself or FFL only

o   To you, c/o the other person (not a transfer if unopened)

o   Shipping to someone else - change in control

-        Keep box un-taped for possible inspection.

-        Insert FFL

-        DECLARE firearm

-        Handguns – non-FFL use UPS or FedEx only

-       Ammo – Use UPS or FedEx only – GROUND.

o   Must be marked ORM-D/diamond

-       No law that I know of about ammo and firearm in same box (rules only)

-       USPS – US Mail

o   Long-guns only for non-FFL

o   Best for price/insurance

o   No ammo

o   Include a “Return Service Requested” endorsement.

o   Ship using Priority Mail Express.

o   Signature is required and must be used at delivery

-       UPS – FFLs only (their rules)

o   Should not identify firearm (label/box)

o   Handguns overnight

o   Ammo ground-only marked 66lb max

-       FedEx

o   No markings (must not)

o   Ammo in separate package

o   Store/Center dependent

o   Have copy of FFL


-       Use/Get FFL


TW 016 - Justiciability and Levels of Scrutiny

Ryan doubles back and dives into a topic from last episode: how a court looks at constitutional law cases to include standards of review for different types of cases and when a court has the authority to hear a case.

TW 015 - AWB 2018 and Dicks Lawsuit

Ryan discusses the newly proposed Assault Weapons Ban and the lawsuit against Dick's and Walmart for banning long-gun sales to those under 21 years old.

TW 014 - NFA Trusts

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Ryan explores what NFA trusts are and whether you should use one.

TW 013 - Armor Piercing Ammunition

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Based on the recent news of an ammunition vendor being arrested and charged in connection with the Las Vegas shooting, Ryan discusses the federal laws on Armor Piercing Ammunition.


TW 012 - Franklin Armory's Reformation

If you've been wondering how you're going to apply all of this new firearms legal information from this podcast to the real world....this episode is for you!

Franklin Armory broke the firearm-related internet last week with the announcement of their Reformation firearm.

They claim that it isn't a rifle, shotgun, nor NFA firearm. However, the picture looks just like a short barreled rifle.

Ryan's contacts in the ATF say that the Reformation has NOT bee approved but that a prior request from Franklin Armory has been approved. The company's press release says that the ATF has approved it as a "non-rifle" but implementing the technology the way they have MAY be an issue. We're paying close attention to see what happens at SHOT.

TW 011 - CA Ammo Law, Foreign persons, Background Checks

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Ryan talks about California's brand new ammunition law which bans internet ammo sales and requires all ammunition transactions to occur "face-to-face." It also requires most sellers of ammunition to obtain a special ammunition seller's permit. Gun dealers (FFLs) in California are exempt from this. For more, see:

Ryan also adds some information to the last episode on export controls and talks about considerations for foreign persons and how we all need to be careful!

The episode is answering a listener's question about background checks and what to do when you are "delayed."

TW 010 - Machine Guns and Bump-Fire Stocks

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Ryan explores the federal definition of machine guns and how the ATF is seeking to include bump-fire stocks within the definition.

Ryan's newest project: Mayday Safety, a program for family, business, and church safety.


TW 008 - Judicial Review, Marbury v. Madison

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You wanted Ryan to dive a little deeper into the Constitutional law weeds and you got it!  Ryan gives a tiny sample of a lecture that he normally gives his college students about how the Supreme Court made a creative power-grab.

We hope that you enjoy this brief history lesson in American politics - we bet you'll learn something!

Get Your FFL

Get Qualified Online for a CCW


TW 007 - Infringing on Rights and NICS Checks

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Ryan reviews the last episode's topic of Constitutional rights and explains how the government can, and does, infringe upon our rights. As a recent example, Ryan discusses a recent Florida case that the Supreme Court decided not to hear - and what that might mean.

Ryan also explains what NICS checks are and how they can be used to measure relative firearm sales statistics. These stats show that we are currently experiencing record sales within the firearms industry.

Florida/Supreme Court:…/breaking-u-s-supreme-court-…/

NICS Checks:

Record Firearms Sales:

TW 006 - Bill of Rights

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Ryan dives back into the basics of firearms law by explaining our Bill of Rights.

Most important, he explains how the Constitution does NOT give us any rights. Instead, we already have our rights and our Constitution protects our rights from government intrusion.

The various branches of the federal government are discussed. Ryan also talks about the Supreme Court to include their role, power, and how they hear cases.

He also talks about a new product from RocketCCW, the ability to give a CCW that works in over half the country as a gift:

Follow along with the live broadcast of the show on FaceBook at


TW 005 - Firearms as Gifts

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It's the time of year where people start wanting firearms as gifts and, hopefully, people start thinking about giving firearms as gifts.

Contrary to what some believe, it is perfectly legal to purchase a firearm from a gun store/FFL as a gift for someone else.

But, there are a couple of important nuances to buying a firearm as a gift for someone else:

  1. You must actually be the one buying the firearm as a true gift. This means it is your money and you are not buying it to be reimbursed with money, services, or an item in exchange.
  2. You must not have any reason to believe that the recipient of the gift is a prohibited person and they are otherwise allowed to possess that firearm (age restrictions and state laws apply). To learn more about prohibited persons, check out episode #4.

The Form 4473 (the form you fill out to purchase a firearm from an FFL) asks if you are the actual purchaser. If the purchase is a bona fide gift, then you select "yes."

Once you've purchased the firearm, you can now gift it is you would any other firearm you already own.

If the person is a resident of your state, and your state doesn't have any laws about personal transfers, then you can just give the firearm to the recipient (you can even mail it in your own state).

If the person is a resident of another state, you MUST ship the item to an FFL in the recipient's state - the recipient then must go to the FFL and have the firearm transferred to them. If you know that this is your plan, you can just purchase the firearm from the FFL and have them ship it to the other FFL - there's no need to fill out the 4473 and transfer it to yourself if you don;t need to take possession of the firearm.

To learn more about this, check out this article: Firearms as Gifts

TW 004 - Prohibited Persons

Continuing with the basics of firearms laws, we dive into the definition of Prohibited Persons - those who can't possess firearms nor ammunition.

Ryan goes through the definition, explains some of the nuances of certain parts (it can get tricky) and uses it as an example to show how multiple parts of federal firearms laws were broken (in addition to murder) by the Texas church shooter and it did not stop him - therefore, more laws won't work.

Ryan introduces an important concept - there's a law that make is illegal for Prohibited Persons to possess firearms and ammunition and there's a separate law that makes it illegal for the average gun owner/non-Prohibited Persons to allow a Prohibited Person to possess firearms or ammunition.

Yes, the Prohibited Person will get in trouble if caught with a firearm or ammunition, but you can get into serious trouble too by allowing them access!

Here's an excerpt from RocketFFL's article on who may not legally possess firearms:

A “prohibited person” is anyone who [1]:

  • is a felon,
  • has been convicted of any crime punishable by more than a year in prison (whether or not they were ever sentenced to or served a day in prison),
  • is under indictment for any crime punishable by more than year in prison,
  • is a fugitive,
  • is an unlawful user of any controlled substance,
  • has been adjudicated as a mental defective,
  • has been committed to a mental institution,
  • is an illegal alien,
  • has a dishonorable discharge from the military,
  • has renounced their U.S. citizenship,
  • is the subject of a restraining order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner, or
  • who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Complete show notes here!

TW 003 - Good Motivation Bad Judgment

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We start with a review of the basic legal definitions from the last episode then we apply them to real world scenarios. First, a primer on the definition of silencers (yes, silencers and not suppressors) and then we explore how products like the SilencerCo Maxim50 and the Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 Pistol were created with good motivation (creative practical application of firearm compliance/legal knowledge) but bad judgment (focusing only on federal law and marketing language that doesn't jive with the legal intent).

Live broadcast of this show are available on the the Trigger Words FaceBook Page
This episode brought to you by RocketFFL, your best source for getting an FFL and becoming a gun dealer and RocketCCW, the best way to get qualified for a CCW online!


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  • Review of the basic firearm definitions
    • Title I vs Title II firearms
    • No such thing as "Class 3 Firearm"
  • 18 U.S. Code § 921(a)(24) The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
    • ALL parts of a silencer are a silencer themselves!
  • SilencerCo Maxim50
    • Not a firearm nor a silencer under federal law
    • Still a firearm under some state laws!
  • Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 Pistol
    • Handgun definition requires intent to be fired with one hand
      • Intent (not use) of second hand makes it an NFA firearm! (AOW)
    • Advertised with intent to be used with two hands. Oops.