Process for Transporting an NFA Item Across State LinesFrom the desk of eSilencers CEO, John Rich

Have you ever wondered whether you could take an NFA item with you out of state? Or maybe you did know the answer but did not know what you had to do to be able to legally do so. Or maybe you were moving to another NFA friendly state but did not know the process to properly relocate your NFA items. 

In this blog we go over the process and some tips on how to legally transport an NFA item across state lines.

First off, know the laws regarding NFA items in the state you will be going to. There are a few states out there where certain or all NFA items are not legal. You will first need to Google “NFA laws by state” to see whether it’s lawful to possess or own NFA items.

Note: Just because it might be legal to own a certain NFA item in a state does not necessarily mean you can own or possess every NFA item.

The process:

First off, as long as its legal to own or possess a Suppressor in the state you are traveling to, then you will NOT have to get permission from the ATF to transport your Suppressors to that state.

The following NFA items are the ones you will have to get permission first:

  1. SBR’s (Short Barrel Rifles)
  2. SBS’s (Short Barrel Shotguns)
  3. MachineGuns
  4. 4.Destructive Devices
  5. AOW’s

There are two different ways to get permission to transport an NFA item across state lines:

First way- You can type up a letter requesting permission. The letter must include all necessary info which includes:

  • Make, Model, Serial Number, length, caliber, and type of NFA item.
  • Name of Trust or individual including address and the phone number the NFA Item belongs to.
  • Date you will be transporting NFA item, and the date you will be returning to the original address.
  • The address you are transporting from and to.
  • Reason for transporting NFA item.
  • The way of transporting i.e.: by car, plane, etc. And info on the carrier.

Note: If you are permanently moving the NFA item to the new location, you will need to state “this is permanent”, and include dates that the NFA item will be in transit.

Second way- The ATF has a Form(5320.20). Which is ‘Application to transport interstate or to temporarily export certain NFA firearms. This is the easiest way to request permission from the ATF. This form is set up in a very easy to follow format, and ask the same info that you need if your typing a letter. You will need to fill out numbers 1 thru 8, and 12-13 on the form. You will need two copies of this form sent to the ATF.

Note: If you submit a request stating that the new address will be temporarily, but decide to permanently keep the NFA item, or keep the NFA item passed the return date at the new location, you will need to submit a new form/letter to the ATF.

Note: Google is the easiest way to get access to this form. In the search engine, type ‘ATF form 5320.20 PDF. This will bring up this form. You should mail, email, or fax two copies of either the official forms or letter.

Note: You will need to keep a copy of the approved form/letter in the carrier that you are transporting the NFA item in. It’s also wise to paper clip a copy of the approved form/letter with your Form 4.

Mailing address: Attention: NFA Branch, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405

Fax number: 304-616-4501


If you have any further questions about this process, feel free to contact us at!

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