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One question I’ve been asked is whether you have to give your NFA item a unique serial number for your NFA items when registering on a Form 1.

First, a little background…you could go to an NFA dealer to purchase an already assembled NFA item such as a short barreled rifle. In this purchase, your NFA registration will be conducted on a what is called a form 4. A form 4 is usually for pre-made or existing NFA items. You could purchase your NFA item as an individual, a corporation or using one of our Utah NFA gun trusts.

Another means of acquiring an NFA weapon, is to manufacture the item yourself for your own purpose (i.e. you cannot make it for profit). Manufacturing the NFA item for yourself requires using a form 1. The form 1 is used for registering your short barreled rifle or shotgun or suppressor. You cannot manufacture machine guns using the form 1. So, getting to the main point of this post, do you have to engrave a serial number on an NFA item that you manufacture?

The answer is, it depends. If you purchased a lower receiver and decided to build a short barreled rifle, and you wanted to register that receiver as an NFA item, you are not required to engrave a serial number onto the lower receiver as the lower receiver is already serialized. That lower receiver becomes the NFA item as a SBR. So, you could put multiple upper receivers on that same lower receiver.

As for suppressors, you would, however, be required to put a serial number on the suppressor when registering. Where that suppressor does not already possess a serial number, you would have to imprint one according to ATF standards.

Here is what the ATF has to say on the matter:

All NFA firearms must be identified by a serial number and other specified markings. If an existing firearm is being used in the making of the NFA weapon, and that firearm is serialized, the existing serial number should be used (unless it duplicates a serial number already used by the maker on Form 1) and entered in Block 4(g). If the weapon is of new manufacture, the applicant must assign a unique serial number and enter it in Block 4(g). For example, a unique serial number could be composed of at least 4 digits preceded by the initials of the maker. NOTE: alpha characters, e.g., a name, will not be accepted as a serial number. If a name is to be used, there must be at least one numeric character in addition to the alpha characters.

Questions? Want to talk to me about creating an NFA gun trust? Give me a call at 801-505-9202. I look forward to helping you with all of your gun law needs.

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