The Alphas, Bravos, & Charlies Of Federal Firearms Regulation
FFL & SOT Combinations, Title I, Title II, NFA & GCA

FFL (Federal Firearms License) Classes
Type 1 FFL is a Title 1 dealer or gunsmith. Can deal in NFA Title II firearms with a Class 3 SOT.
Type 2 FFL is a Title 1 dealer doing business as a pawnbroker.
Type 3 FFL is a licensed collector of Curio & Relic (C&R) firearms.
Type 6 FFL is a licensed maker of ammunition and reloading components other than armor-piercing ammunition.
Type 7 FFL is a Title 1 manufacturer of firearms, who can also act as dealer (excluding Destructive Devices) for ammunition and ammunition components (excluding Armor-Piercing ammunition). Can also manufacture & deal in Title II NFA firearms with Class 2 tax stamp.
Type 8 FFL is an importer of Title 1 firearms and ammunition.
Type 9 FFL is a dealer in Title 1 firearms including NFA destructive devices, but no other NFA.
Type 10 FFL is a manufacturer of Title 1 firearms, ammunition and ammunition components, including NFA Destructive Devices but no other NFA, and not including armor-piercing ammunition.
Type 11 FFL is an importer of Title 1 firearms, ammunition and NFA Destructive Devices, but no other NFA.
Note – in general, one can have as many different FFL’s as one wishes.

SOT (Special Occupational Tax) Classes – Very Basic
A Class 1 SOT is an importer of NFA firearms
A Class 2 SOT is a manufacturer of NFA firearms
A Class 3 SOT is a dealer of NFA firearms
Note – the fee for the SOT assigned is paid annually before 1, July of each year.

Combinations Allowed
Type 1 FFL’s can only get Class 3 SOT
Type 7 FFL’s can get Class 2 SOT
Type 8 FFL’s & Type 11 FFL’s can get Class 1 SOT
To obtain a Class 3 SOT you need a dealer or manufacturer FFL which includes Type 1 FFL, Type 2 FFL, Type 7 FFL, Type 8 FFL, Type 9 FFL, Type 10 FFL and Type 11 FFL.
To obtain a Class 2 SOT you need a manufacturer FFL, which includes Type 7 FFL and 10 FFL.
To obtain a Class 1 SOT you need an importer FFL, which includes Type 8 FFL and Type 11 FFL.

ITAR/D-Trade is applicable only for FFL types 9, 10, and 11 and requires registration with the U.S. Department of State.

Fees & Terms For FFL’s & SOT Classifications
Type 1 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $90.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 2 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $90.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 3 FFL $30.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $30.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 7 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $150.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 8 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $150.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 9 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $150.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 10 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $150.00 every three (03) years afterwards.
Type 11 FFL $150.00 for first application & license that covers three (03) years. The renewal fee is $150.00 every three (03) years afterwards.

Class 1 SOT (specifically for Type 8 FFL and/or Type 11 FFL) at a cost of $1,000.00 annually ($500.00 annually if gross annual sales are less than $500,000.00) paid before 1, July of each year.
Class 2 SOT (specifically for Type 7 and/or Type 10 FFL) at a cost of $1,000.00 annually ($500.00 annually if gross annual sales are less than $500,000.00) paid before 1, July of each year.
Class 3 SOT (specifically for Type 1 FFL & Type 2 FFL, but also applicable for Type 7 FFL, Type 8 FFL, Type 9 FFL, Type 10 FFL, and Type 11 FFL) at a cost of $1,000.00 annually ($500.00 annually if gross annual sales are less than $500,000.00) paid before 1, July of each year.

Title I Firearms are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 as modified by the Gun Control Act of 1968 and are generally long guns (rifles and shotguns), handguns, firearm frames and/or receivers. Note – most NFA weapons are also Title I firearms.

Title II Firearms are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 as modified by the Gun Control Act of 1968 and are generally machine guns, silencers (suppressors), short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled rifles, and the Any Other Weapon (AOW) category. Note – any firearm configured for a two-round or a three-round burst is considered a machine gun! Also, a firearm that is worn to the end that it fires automatically – even if unintentional – is defined as a machine gun.

NFA (National Firearms Act of 1934) Controlled Firearms Include:
Short-barreled rifles (less than 16” from muzzle to closed breech) or with an overall length that is less than 26”, or both.
Short-barreled shotguns (less than 18” from muzzle to closed breech) or with an overall length that is less than 26”, or both.
Machine Guns – including fully-automatic, as well as two-round and three-round burst applications.
The AOW category covers several other shoulder-fired weapon with a barrel length between 12″-18″ of either smooth or rifled bore. It also covers smooth-bore pistols, cane guns, and pen guns. Note – the Broomhandle Mauser is nowadays not considered to be AOW as it falls into the Curio & Relic (C&R) classification.

Normal definition of a rifle that is not a NFA-controlled firearm:
The bore is rifled and the barrel has a minimum length of 16” measured from the muzzle to the closed breech. Also, it must be at least 26” long from muzzle to end of buttstock. Note – a rifle with a folding stock can be shorter than 26” provided it is at least 26” long when the stock is unfolded. The intent of such a rifle is for sporting purposes and it can be single-shot, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, side-by-side or over-and-under configuration.

Normal definition of a shotgun that is not a NFA-controlled firearm:
The bore is rifled or smooth and the barrel has a minimum length of 18” measured from the muzzle to the closed breech. Also, it must be at least 26” long from muzzle to end of buttstock. Note – a shotgun with a folding stock can be shorter than 26” provided it is at least 26” long when the stock is unfolded. The intent of such a shotgun is for sporting purposes and it can be single-shot, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, side-by-side or over-and-under configuration.

Normal definition of Any Other Weapon (AOW) that is a NFA-controlled firearm category:
The firearms classified as AOW’s are typically:
Any NFA firearm that is not already classified as a short-barreled shotgun, short-barreled rifle, modern shoulder-stocked pistol, machine gun, suppressor (silencer) or destructive device.
Any “pen” guns, cane guns, wallet guns, belt buckle guns, etc. that are not obviously firearms and can be fired while holstered. \
Modern pistols that are designed to be shoulder-fired – with the exception of the Broomhandle Mauser.
Pistols with a smooth or rifled bore of more than 18″ from muzzle to closed breech, and equipped with a second hand grip.
Pistols with a smooth bore of less than 18″ from muzzle to closed breech and intended to fire shot shells only.
Shotgun receivers that left the manufacturer new and never had a barrel mounted. These receivers can be fitted with a barrel that is any length less than 18″ from muzzle to closed breech and have a pistol grip – but no buttstock – affixed. Note – equipping such a shotgun with a buttstock causes it to become a short-barreled shotgun!.
Any combination rifle/shotgun with barrels that are more than 12″ but less than 18″ from muzzle to closed breech, and are single-shot and can only be manually reloaded.

Transfer Taxes (Tax Stamps)
The Transfer Tax for NFA Title 2 (often incorrectly referred to as Class III) firearms requires application to the B.A.T.F.E. for a one-time tax stamp of $200.00, two (2) photographs of the applicant, fingerprints of the applicant, and finally approval of the applicant by the local chief law enforcement officer – generally the County Sheriff. Firearms that fall into the AOW (Any Other Weapon) category requires application to the B.A.T.F.E. for a one-time tax stamp of $5.00, two (2) photographs of the applicant, fingerprints of the applicant, and finally approval of the applicant by the local chief law enforcement officer – generally the County Sherriff. There are many more guidelines that regulate the ownership and transport of NFA weapons, but I will not cover these here.

GCA (Gun Control Act of 1968) Specifics:
Specifically – it prohibits interstate commerce regarding the sale and transfer of certain firearms between residents who reside in different States. It covers everything – rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Forget what your cousin’s friend’s brother (who just retired as a cop) told your sister’s second husband while they were together at the shooting range – the transfer (purchase or sale) of any modern firearm across State lines by anyone (other than FFL’s) is illegal unless the transfer is part of an inheritance. This covers handguns, long guns, and shotguns. There has to be at least one (01) FFL involved in the State where the sale or trade is made for long guns and shotguns, and a FFL in both the seller’s State and buyer’s State must be involved for the purchase or transfer of a pistol. In some States there is no distinction made between gun types and these States require such transactions to be only made between a FFL in the seller’s State and a FFL in the buyer’s State.
It also prohibited the sale of so-called Saturday Night Specials – essentially short-barreled cheap pistols of small caliber.
Finally, it prohibited certain persons from owning a firearm of any type. Usually this is because of a felony conviction, adjudication as a mental defective, or being less than the legal age of 21 (for pistols and NFA firearms) or 18 for sporting rifles and shotguns. Note – a shotgun with a pistol grip cannot be legally purchased from a FFL by someone who is less than 21 years of age.

Antique Firearms Specifics:
The normal classification of an antique firearm is that it is a pistol, rifle, or shotgun and it was manufactured before 1899. These firearms are exempt from all Federal firearms laws. This exemption also applies to exact and recent replicas made from these pre-1899 firearms.
The single important issue is that these replicas as well as the original firearms, must use a cartridge size/type that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade. In other words – this is a cartridge size that you cannot obtain through a firearms supply firm.
Many revolvers built in the years preceding 1899 are the “cap & ball” type of muzzleloader, and these, and their replicas, are exempt from all Federal firearms laws.
Many rifles built in the years preceding 1899 are the “cap & ball” type of muzzleloader, and these, and their replicas, are exempt from all Federal firearms laws.
But know this – short-barreled shotguns are still classified as short-barreled shotguns regardless of when they were made, and machine guns are still classified as machine guns regardless of when they were made.

I mention this because of the legacy of this particular rifle. Be aware that a pre-1899 example of the Mauser K-98 rifle is not exempt as cartridges for it are readily available.

Shipping Firearms
Certain types of firearms can be shipped through the United States Postal Service, and of course there are restrictions. Handguns can only be shipped through the United States Postal Service from FFL to FFL. Long guns and shotguns can be shipped by a private party to another private party as long as both parties reside in the same State; are both at least the minimum legal age for ownership; and neither are prevented from legally owning a firearm. Long guns and shotguns shipped from one’s home State to another State must be shipped to a FFL. In all cases, an adult signature is required and shipping affidavits must be completed. Ammunition – including spent cartridges – cannot be shipped with the firearm – no exceptions. Also, the firearm must be rendered temporarily inoperable by removing the firing pin, bolt, etc.

Private freight carriers such as United Parcel Service and Federal Express will ship all types of firearms, including handguns, but fall under the same Federal guidelines as the United States Postal Service. They do restrict firearms shipping to their large full-service centers, and may have other stipulations as well. Just as with the United States Postal Service, an adult signature is required in all cases. There are special restrictions on handguns as they may be shipped by a private party only to a FFL such as a manufacturer or licensed repair shop regardless of the private party’s State of residence and the FFL’s State of residence – even if both reside in the same State. Also, the firearm must be rendered temporarily inoperable by removing the firing pin, bolt, etc.

There are some exceptions, of course. Firearms (rifles & pistols) with smooth bores that are designed for black powder muzzle-loading (muzzleloaders) only can be shipped through the United States Postal Service to a recipient in the same State or to a different State provided that neither the person shipping the firearm nor the person receiving the firearm are prohibited from owning a firearm. There are some exceptions, however. First – if a muzzle-loading firearm is designed to also accept a rifled barrel configured for a center fire cartridge then it must be treated as normal pistol or rifle and all NFA rules apply. Second – there are a few States who do not allow muzzleloaders to be shipped and/or received by anyone other than a FFL. Finally, the firearm must be rendered temporarily inoperable by removing its means to fire a load.

Gunsmith and Factory Repair Exception Per Firearms Owners’ Protection Act Of 1986
Although 1968 Gun Control Act prohibits the direct mail-ordering of firearms; a person may ship a gun via contract carrier to a gunsmith – who has a Type 1 FFL or to the gunmaker – who has a Type 07 FFL for repairs or modification. After the repair work is done, the gunsmith or the factory can ship the weapon directly back to the customer.

Closing Remarks
Disclaimer – I am not an attorney, and I am not an employee of any law-enforcement agency. The information you read on this page is material I have gleaned from other sources and should not be considered as a legal benchmark of any type. The information is taken from the Federal Firearms Laws – not those of individual States who can apply much stricter regulation of what is allowed. I am fortunate to live in Tennessee where the Federal Firearms Laws are not trumped by State law. Know the Federal, State, and Local laws well – don’t be stupid!