You might have heard that you need to fill out a special ATF Form before you can transport NFA Firearms across state lines.
If you have and you’re looking to learn more about interstate transport of NFA Firearms and the ATF 5320.20 form (also called the “Form 20”), then you’re in the right spot.
In this ATF 5320.20 form guide, we’re going to cover:
Restrictions on Interstate NFA Firearm Transportation
Before we cover the rules for traveling with NFA Firearms across state lines, let’s first discuss NFA Firearms.
Firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) have special registration requirements.
NFA Firearms Generally
NFA Firearms are:
- Suppressors (silencers)
- Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs)
- Short Barreled Shotguns (SBSs)
- Machine Guns
- Destructive Devices (DDs)
- Any Other Weapons (AOWs)
These NFA Firearms require a tax for each transfer and permission from the ATF on an ATF Form 4 for regular purchases. The tax for regular customers for NFA Firearms is $200 for each, except for AOWs which only carry a $5 tax. The waiting period for an approved ATF Form 4 is 10 months or more.
Those taxes and wait are times only apply to non-FFLs. If you get yourself an FFL, even an FFL from your house, you only need to wait a couple of days and pay a tax once a year, to become an SOT and get as many NFA Firearms as you want (even machine guns).
NFA Interstate Movement Rules
Most NFA Firearms are NOT allowed to be moved across state lines without approval from the ATF beforehand. Silencers and Any Other Weapons (AOWs) are exempt from this, but all other NFA Firearms (SBRs, SBSs, Machine Guns, and Destructive) must not cross state lines without approval.
Yep, it’s true. It’s also something that many (most?) gun owners are unaware of.
There is one exception to this rule:
- If you have your FFL, this doesn’t apply!
The actual language from the ATF for this form reads: “This form is used to obtain permission to temporarily or permanently move your registered National Firearms Act (NFA) machine gun, short barreled rifle or shotgun, or destructive device interstate. Persons other than qualified federal firearms licensees (FFLs) or government agencies are required to obtain this permission.“
That’s just one more awesome part about being an FFL. 🙂
Prior to moving a non-suppressor and non-AOW NFA Firearm across state lines, the registered owner MUST complete and submit an ATF Form 5320.20 for approval. This is true EVERY time the NFA Firearm crosses state lines.
ATF’s Form 5320.20 Requirements
Before a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS), Machine Gun, or Destructive Device (DD) can be moved across state lines, an ATF Form 5320.20 Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms must be submitted to the ATF.
It is important to note that this form must be submitted well in advance of whenever you intend to move any of the covered NFA Firearms because you aren’t allowed to move them until the form comes back from the ATF approved.
Two copies of the Form 5320.20 must be submitted to the ATF and, if approved, one of them will be returned will approval.
How to Fill Out the ATF 5320.20 Form
Two copies of the 5320.20 must be submitted to the ATF with either the information printed or handwritten in blue or black ink.
If you’re comfortable with a computer, we recommend using the electronic pdf version of the form and filling it out on your computer and then printing two copies. This will ensure that it is legible and by printing two identical copies, there’ll be less room for error from typos.
We’re including step-by-step instructions here for you to use when applying to move an NFA Firearm covered by the form.
Again, if you have an FFL, you do not need to use this form nor get permission from the ATF in advance to move the item.
If you’d like to learn about getting an FFL, check out our course here: Get Your FFL course
- Name and Address of Registered Owner: Insert your name and address here for where the NFA Firearm is registered to you. Select whether it is registered to you as an Company, Trust, or as an individual. Also enter your telephone number and email in 1a and 1b.
- Firearm to be returned to original location: If the movement is temporary (you’ll be returning home), then select “yes.” However, if you are moving out of state to a new location, select “No.”
- Dates firearm(s) will be away from original location: If it’s a temporary trip, enter those dates here. If you are moving, enter the dates you’ll be in-transit.
- Firearm(s) to be transported: You can enter up to three NFA Firearms on this form. You will need to complete additional forms for more firearms.
- Mailing Address of Returned Form: If you want the approved 5320.20 to be send somewhere other than the address in #1, you can enter that here. If not, enter “n/a”
- Reason for Transportation of Firearm(s): Include a simple explanation here: for example, “hunting trip,” “shooting event,” or “permanent change of address”
- Transporting from: Enter the address of where the firearms are leaving from.
- Transporting to: Enter the address to where the firearms are going
- Mode of transportation: If being shipped, enter the name and address of the carrier (e.g UPS, FedEx). “personal vehicle” or “air-travel” are suitable here too.
- State Department License Number: Ignore this unless you’re exporting the firearm(s) out of the country.
- Port of Exit: Ignore this unless you’re exporting the firearm(s) out of the country.
- Port of Reentry: Ignore this unless you’re exporting the firearm(s) out of the country.
- Signature of Owner: After printing both copies of the form, sign it here.
- Date: Enter the date you’re filling out this form here.
Once you’ve fully completed (and signed) both copies of the form, you can either mail them, fax them, or email it.
Note, if you are scanning and emailing the form, you can just email one copy.
By mail: Send both forms to “Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405 (Attention: NFA Division).
By Fax: You can fax the forms to this number: (304) 616-4501
By email: You can scan (you have to print it out to sign it) and email the form here: NFAFax@atf.gov