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Machine guns, destructive devices, silencers, all other weapons are legal to own in South Carolina.
Just for you own edification, if you own a mortar or grenade launcher each mortar and grenade must be registered separately (for each Destructive Device) must be paid.

Misinformation about Class III Ownership in South Carolina
Folks I have been hearing the most incredulous stories from my customers that they are being told by individuals and OTHER GUN DEALERS:
1. this weaponry is not legal for South Carolinians
2. You must take a class for $2500.00 to qualify to own this weaponry
3. it costs over $6,000.00 to get the permits for this weaponry
4. only pimps and drug dealers have this kind of weaponry not civilians
5. only gang bangers use machine guns
6. they quote from the ATF greenbook and don't know what they are talking about
7. you have to register with SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division)
and it goes on and on

Any information you need on Class III weaponry can be verified on our site

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NFA (Class III) Transfers
The government charges either $200.00 or $5.00 for the federal tax stamp, one time fee, and applicable state taxes.

If your state allows Class III weapons then you as a private citizen can obtain and own this type of weaponry. Securing NFA weaponry is different than Title I weaponry (long guns and handguns). Civilians can only own machine guns produced before May of 1986. Here is a brief list as to what is available and being produced today for the civilian market. I will reiterate the following is a list of what YOU can buy TODAY for Class III weaponry: silencers (for long guns, semi-auto handguns, and machine guns, and SBRs), short barreled rifles (SBRs) and shotguns (SBSs-i.e. 6 1/2" barreled 12 gauge), and destructive devices (more recently: the Striker or Spas 12 shotguns-mortar and grenade launchers). Just for you own edification if you own a mortar or grenade launcher each mortar and grenade must be registered separately and a $200 fee (for each Destructive Device) must be paid.

Steps for buying NFA (Class III) Weaponry

Including but not limited to: machine guns, silencers, Destructive Devices, All Other Weapons (AOW: cane guns, pen guns, etc.), short-barreled rifles (SBR), short-barrel shotguns (SBS).

1. You must be at least 21 old and be legal buy a handgun (meaning no felonies, violent misdemeanors, dishonorable discharges, etc.).

2. Call your local CLEO (sheriff, police chief, etc.) and ask what his procedure is for signing a Form 4 (federal applications for NFA transfer and ownership-the dealers supplies). SEE STEP 5*

Make sure that he will sign for you BEFORE you buy the firearm. If he won't sign, you can't get it. Make sure you can own it BEFORE you buy it, as payment must be made in full before the weapon is ordered. (You have to have the serial number before any paperwork can be processed to begin the transfer.)

3. Get two 2" X 2" passport photographs. Attach one to the reverse side of each of the two copies of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) Form 4, dealer supplied. These photos typically cost $5 to $10.

4. Complete a small section on the reverse side of the BATF Form 4 that declares why you wish to possess the item. Most folks say "Collector of firearms".

5. Take the two copies of the Form 4, with pictures attached and your section completed, to your local law enforcement agency. Also take the two FBI FD-258 fingerprint cards an ask an agency to officially take your fingerprints. This will usually cost $10 to $15.

You have to get a local to sign off and complete the section of the reverse side of the Form 4. This merely attests that you are not wanted locally and that the official knows of no law which will be broken if you are approved by the government. The official signing should be made aware that they are not held liable if you do something stupid or break the law.

*Locals that can be asked to sign off are:
police chiefs or local law enforcement officers of the same rank, sheriffs, city or town police chiefs, state police commanders, district attorneys, state attorney generals, and judges of state courts that preside over felony trials.

If you own a corporation, LLC, or Trust: you can transfer the NFA firearm to the entity without the need for fingerprints or your CLEO's signature. Complete the Form 4 with the Corp info in the Transferee box, DO NOT put your name there. On the back in section 15, put your name & corp title there. Attach a copy of your articles on incorporation. Fill out the 5330.20 with the Corp on the first line, your name on the second line, sign & date.

6. Bring the two copies of the Form 4 and both completed fingerprint cards with a money order or certified check made out to the BATF ($5.00 for an "AOW" or $200.00 for silencer, machine-gun, destructive device, SBR, SBS). This is a one time fee for life!!

7. You also have to send in a form (dealer supplied) to the Department of the Treasury. This form is called the Certification of Compliance, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B), ATF Form 5330.20, which simply states that you are a United States citizen.

8. The BATF will first remove the money order and examine the paperwork for completeness. It will be assigned to an agent, who will have a nationwide FBI background check performed on you. Once you pass this (all legal folks over 21 pass it), the BATF will mailback one certified copy of of the Form 4. On this copy will be a stamp that looks like a postage stamp. This is a Federal tax stamp indicating the transfer tax is paid and the item is officially yours.

9. When the dealers receives this Form 4 back with the stamp on it you have to complete a BATF Form 4473 (which the dealers supplies) and give you the product along with the Form 4.

You should immediately make several copies of the Form 4 and carry one with you at all times when you have the product with you. Be sure to put the original in a safe place.

Come on, keep making my day!
Come on keep making my day!

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Legal Terms of NFA (Class III) Weaponry Ownership

Once you have legal possession of the Class III item you may not take the item across state lines unless you notify the BATF in writing before doing so. These forms are available on the Internet, or we can make a copy for you. You are not asking for their approval but, instead, merely letting them know you are taking a Class III item across state lines and when you will depart and return.

You may not loan this Class III item to anyone.

You may not store this item at a friend's home who has access to it.

This is a restricted distribution item. To possess it requires (at the very least) an extensive background check. You are obligated by law (and common sense) to prevent unqualified people from gaining access to it. You may let others use the item if they remain in your physical presence.

If you decide to sell the item you must bring the item to a Class III dealer and the buyer to legally effect the transfer. The buyer then has to go through all the steps described above and pay the required transfer tax.

Tennessee's answer to sign-off obstructions by locals
SLED Fax Page 1 SLED Fax Page 2 SLED Fax Page 3
Horry County Sheriff's answer to sign-offs
Federal Forms Info Page
NFA in South Carolina
Back to NFA Home Page Home  
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