When a person decides that they want to legally purchase a transferable curio relic machine gun for ownership in MN, the first task is to find a dealer that has the machine gun for sale that you wish to purchase. Since there is a limited supply of transferable curio relic machine guns in the US, simply finding the model machine gun you want, at a price that you can afford, in an acceptable condition may take a long time. There are a number of places online where transferable machine guns are advertised for sale. Both Gunbroker and GunsAmerica have Class III categories where dealers list NFA weapons for sale, and is a good place to start. You will also need to find a local FFL SOT2/3 that can do an FFL NFA transfer to get the machine gun into the state of MN prior to transferring it to you. Gun Smith Arms is a FFL SOT 3 III dealer in NFA firearms. If you are a MN resident, we can help you with a Form 3 and Form 4 transfer in the State of MN. We also keep a large variety of Silencers SBR's & Suppressors in stock and ready to put on a form 4 transfer for you.

 The process for legally purchasing a machine gun is to first pay for the weapon from the dealer that is selling it. If the dealer is located in a different state, then a dealer-to-dealer transfer will need to be performed to get the firearm into MN. This is not unlike a normal FFL transfer, except that the transfer must be approved by the BATFE and registry updated prior to the transfer taking place. This is accomplished on BATFE Form 3. This process typically takes several weeks to complete. Once the transfer has been approved and the firearm is transferred to you in-state dealer, they will assist you with completing the BATFE Form 4 required to transfer the firearm to you.  There are 3 types of entities that constitute a “person” for the purposes of transferring an NFA item – an individual, a corporation, or a trust.

Individuals are required to submit FBI fingerprint cards (available at your local law enforcement office), a passport sized photograph, and have their form 4 application signed by their Chief Law Enforcement officer (CLEO) stating that he has no reason to believe that the transfer and possession of the machine gun is unlawful. Unfortunately, many CLEOs will not sign off on BATFE form 4 applications, as there is no obligation to do so. For many, this is seen as a significant obstacle to ownership of NFA weapons, but in reality it isn’t.

Corporations are also able to own NFA firearms, and are not required to provide fingerprint cards, photographs or have the CLEO section of the form 4 signed. If a person currently owns a corporation, having the corporation own the NFA firearms is a viable alternative. Another benefit of going the “corporation” route is that any officer of the corporation is legally allowed to be in possession of the NFA firearms it owns. The downside is that corporations can be sold, they can be sued, they can go bankrupt, etc. Also, if a person doesn’t already own a corporation, setting one up specifically to own NFA firearms is quite a bit of work, and there is annual paperwork and taxes involved with going the corporation route,

Trusts are also able to own NFA firearms, and are not required to provide fingerprint cards, photographs or have the CLEO section of the form 4 signed. Additionally, any person listed as a trustee of the trust is allowed to be in possession for the NFA firearms it contains. However, unlike a corporation, trusts are typically changed very rarely after they are setup, and there are no recurring annual paperwork, fees or taxes involved in maintaining a trust. Trusts, much like a will, are also established for how you wish your property to be disbursed at the time of your death. There are a number of advantages to going the “trust route”, and in general it is the preferred way to acquire NFA firearms. There are special consideration to owning NFA firearms, so having an “NFA Trust” created specifically to deal with the complex legalities of owning NFA weapons is advised.

Once you have your form 4s completed (in duplicate), you send them off to BATFE along with the $200 transfer tax (and your corporation or trust paperwork), the waiting begins. A form 4 transfer can take anywhere from 3-12 months to complete, during which time you are not able to take possession of your machine gun. Only after your form 4 comes back approved with the transfer stamp affixed to it are you allowed to take possession of the machine gun.

As soon as you receive your approved form 4 and take possession of your machine gun, you should make several copies of it. Your approved and stamped form 4 is the only document proving that you legally own the machine gun. Keep the original with all of your other important documents, but keep copies of it in your gun safe, in your gun case, in your car, etc. You never want to find yourself in a situation where are in possession of your machine gun, but don’t have a copy of your form 4 readily available should you be questioned by law enforcement.

The other thing that you should do immediately is to complete and submit a report of the possession of the machine gun to the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as required in 609.67 Subd. 4(a). You have 10 days from the date of transfer to submit this report. Within a week or two you will receive an approved copy of your report back, keep the original with your other original documents, and keep a copy with all of your other copies so you can demonstrate that you are in compliance with 609.67 Subd. 4(a) if questioned.

Most shooting ranges, especially indoor ranges are going to want to be told prior to shooting that you are going to be shooting a machine gun. They will likely want to see a copy of your paperwork to ensure you’re legally in possession of the firearm. If you are shooting it outdoors, there is the possibility that you might be approached by law enforcement. Be calm and polite, and provide your approved form 4 application and approved curio relic report.


There are a number of places online that provide additional information of the process, current BATFE processing times, the going rate for certain popular machine guns, etc. Make a point to familiarize yourself with the laws, processes and procedures involved. Your dealer is going to be familiar with the process and legalities, and will help you through the process, but the more you research and understand, the better off you’ll feel.

Most people get very anxious purchasing their first machine gun. Many are simply intimidated by the process, and don’t want the legal liability of doing something wrong. The truth is that owning a machine gun really isn’t that big of a deal compared to other process intensive activities such as buying a house. You just need to research what’s involved, and work with a dealer that’s familiar with the process.


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