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#1 bosco

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 09:34 PM

This is a great site for info related to the Thompson SMG. And now I need some help from the guys in the know. Here goes.....

Being the old fart I am and not knowlegable about the laws these days, I thought I might pose a few questions as to full auto gun ownership (specifically in the state of Texas).

About 5 years ago I ask a friend about what is required in this state to obtain and own a full auto. He stated that it required a class III license. At that time he pocessed a Mac 10 and said that this particular license was required. Being ingnorant, I left it at that ... because I didn't want the hassle it took to obtain the class III (and I have nothing to hide). I just didn't like the idea of the the feds or locals being able to inspect my weapon (or weapons) any time they they were bored.

I don't want a Mac 10, I want a Thompson. And from what I understand, Texas does not have specific laws about SMG ownership. The Fed laws are to be followed for purchase and ownership.

The Thompson I am actually interested in is listed under the ATF Section IV (Curios and Relics) Chapter 44.

So, my question to own a full auto Thompson in the state of Texas are as follows:

Is the class III really required?

Does it only take an ATF Form 4?

Do I have to file the ATF form 7CR (Curios and Relics)?

What does it actually take to own one of these historical pieces?

I have called the local law enforcement officier (really small town), and they are clueless.

Sorry, but my interest in the Thompsons are not new. Back in the late 60's, I had the opportunity of firing one from my uncle (WWII vet) in his backyard (laws were so different then).

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Bosco
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#2 John Jr

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 10:56 PM

I will pitch in but Bill in Va will be your best bet for all of this.

QUOTE
Is the class III really required?


No, you are not REQUIRED to have any type of license to own a transferable MG or SMG.

QUOTE
Does it only take an ATF Form 4?


Not exactly, it could come on a form 3.

QUOTE
Do I have to file the ATF form 7CR (Curios and Relics)?


You dont' HAVE to, but it will make the transfer eaiser in a few circumstances. If the gun you will purchase is in TX, you don't need a dealer and there will be one tax to pay. ($200 one time only). If the gun is out of state and you DON'T have a C&R license you will have an extended wait and possibly an extra tax to pay. If the gun is out of state and you DO have a C&R license, then you will be able to have it shipped to your address without the use of a dealer.

QUOTE
What does it actually take to own one of these historical pieces?


A lot of money (between $7,000 and $20,000 in cash), the wait for approval. As I have always said, money mostly.


QUOTE
I have called the local law enforcement officier (really small town), and they are clueless.


Thats probably a good thing, the small town part. If you know the sheriff, you will need him to sign the form 4 and fingerprint you in duplicate. If he refuses, you will be forced to incept a corporation to recieve your gun. Corporate officers can possess the guns owned by the corporation. Corporations can get C&R ffls, too.


The FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO is buy "The Machine Gun Buyers Guide"

Click here: http://www.machinegu...s.com/next.html

This is what the book looks like:

user posted image

Just a free word of advice. It took me a year to decide to really buy a Thompson. In that year the price went up $2,000 on the kind I decided on. Don't fool around and start looking. I suggest you buy this book as well:

user posted image


Its the best thing you will ever do for yourself.

I am sure some other guys on here can post more information for you.

Welcome to the board!

John Jr
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#3 Gunner

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 11:06 PM

I live in Denton County, Texas, and have recently completed a transfer of my first full auto weapon, a Thompson, and I have another Thompson transfer that is pending. You do not have to have a Class III license, nor a C&R. You do have to complete an ATF form. In my case, since I'm an individual, they were Form 4's. There may be other situations in which a different form is required, but I'll defer to those on this board who are far more knowledgable than I.

As I understand it, the most common form of transfer is as an individual, which requires the approval of your local sheriff or chief of police. You will need to get a couple of passport photos, and the cops will fingerprint you. You can also establish a corporation, which will own the gun, but I didn't go that route and can't help you there. However, if you form a corporation, the transfer does not require the approval of a LEO. In any case, the feds will still perform a background check that takes 2- 3 months.

If you chose to make the transfer as an individual, the willingness of the chief LEO to approve seems to vary a lot. The sheriff in Denton County is happy to approve a Form 4 after he checks you out a little, but I'm told the sheriff in neighboring Collin County never does.

My hunch is that if you live in a small town in rural Texas, the local constabulary probably knows you. If you can help educate them on the federal statutes, they'll probably be happy to sign off -- but you'll have to let them fire your Thompson when it comes in. :-)

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#4 Bill in VA

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 11:56 PM

John covered it pretty well. Take his advice and buy the MG Buyer's Guide. Just to clarify a few things though (our guns are pretty confusing...a real mess, even more so when you mix in state laws.) Assuming Texas' laws regarding machineguns are concurrent with federal law, no license is needed. Instead, an approved BATF Form 4 (Application for Tax-Paid Transfer) is what is needed to confer possession of a machinegun. And yes, that's all it takes under federal law. Expect a single transfer to take approximately 90 days. If your gun is coming from outside your home state, there will be two transfers needed (unless you already have a C&R FFL, then it can come directly to you on one transfer.)

How it works: Find your gun and make your deal with the seller. Once that's done you'll need to fill out, in duplicate, a copy of ATF Form 4. (Unless you're an FFL/SOT you cannot use a Form 3.) You can get this form from the BATF or you can download and print it off from www.titleii.com as a .pdf file. Attach (to each copy) a recent 2"x2" photograph of yourself. Your Form 4s will need your Chief Law Enforcement Officer's signature. (Basically, all this is is his attesting to the fact that he has no knowledge which would lead him to believe that either A) you will unlawfully misuse the gun, and/or B) that possession of the gun would not place you in violation of state or local law.

In addition to your Form 4s (filled out with all the pertinent info), you'll need two sets of fingerprints, done on an FBI fingerprint card. These can also be obtained from the BATF, but generally, most law enforcement agencies have them as well. Be advised though, the ORI box MUST contain the following information, and nothing else: " DCATF0100 AT&F, Firearms and Explo Div, Wash DC." Anything else and your fingerprints will be sent to the wrong agency and delay your transfer (or worse, kick it back.)

The last two things you'll need to send off to the BATF are a BATF Form 5330.20 ("Certificate of Compliance," where you certify yourself, saying that you are a US citizen) and a check for $200.

In short, you'll need a total of 6 documents: ATF Form 4 in duplicate, FBI fingerprint cards in duplicate, ATF Form 5330.20, check for $200. Nothing else, federally, is required other than a good deal of patience. Once your Form 4 is approved, the seller will receive it from the BATF. After that, he is supposed to notify you in a reasonable amount of time that the transfer has been approved and you are to come and get your gun as he is no longer entitled to possess it.

As to your question about a C&R FFL, I won't go into it too deep as that's a whole other topic and my fingers grow weary, but personally, I think it's about the best $30 I ever spent. It will allow you to receive C&R guns from any source anywhere in the US, with no Form 4473s, NICS, or 01 FFL involvement; you can buy C&R guns from the distributors at wholesale prices; get "dealer" discounts from a number of outfits (like Brownell's, as John said); you can take your C&R NFA out of state without having to file with the BATF; and if the media ever decides to single you out in one of their feeding frenzies as having an "arsenal" you're granted at least some modicum of respectibility since you're a "federally licensed collector" instead of the run-of-the-mill "gun nut."

As a C&R FFL you only have to obey the laws (the BATF will send you copies of all state and federal gun laws that pertain to the NFA '34 and GCA '68) and keep a log of all C&R transfers (both acquisitions and dispositions.) Also, don't listen to all the bull$hit that know-nothing know-it-alls tell you about "you're opening your home to the JBTs." You aren't. Owning NFA or having a C&R FFL does not mean you forfeit your 4th Amendment rights.
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#5 Bill in VA

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 11:59 PM

I forgot to add, it wouldn't hurt to read James Bardwell's FAQ on NFA ownership. (James Bardwell is one of America's premier firearms lawyers, right up there with Stephen Halbrook and Jim Jefferies.) You can find his NFA FAQ at:
http://www-2.cs.cmu....ist/nfa_faq.txt

HTH
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#6 Tman

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 12:38 PM

CLEO signature could be from a number of individuals. Start small and work your way out from where you live. Start with the Chief of Police. Then the Sheriff of your county. If you get no where with them, try the constable for the precinct that you reside. You can also hit up the District Attorney, County Attorney, or District Judge for your area.

Let me know if you need any other suggestions. I'm an ATF agent in TX.
Greg
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#7 bosco

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:12 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys, I really do appreciate the help. Ya'll have provided me with a great deal of info and it's great to have such a knowledgeable forum of folks (ie ya'll). Ya'll have definitely made my quest for a Thompson much easier.

The books suggested by John Jr sound like a good investment. I will purchase them ... but, maybe I should ask the wife for an extra Christmas present ... LOL.

I would like to pose an additional question to Tman. That being ... would owning a "concealed handgun permit" make the process go any faster...?

Thanks again all, and Happy and Safe Holidays.

bosco
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#8 Tman

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:21 PM

CCH does not help with the speed of the approval. It might help with getting the F4 signed, though.
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#9 bosco

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:34 PM

Thanks Tman.

I do have the CCH permit, and thought it may help somewhere in the process.

Say, if you ever get to the Freeport area let me know. I can save you a spot on the boat, that is if you like fishing for red snapper or ling or dolfin or grouper.




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