What Is the National Firearm Act?
The National Firearms Act, enacted by Congress on June 25, 1934, is the primary law regulating firearms in the United States. The National Firearms Association was the sole voice and leader of the fledgling National Firearms Association prior to its incorporation into the United States House of Representatives and Senate in 17gas. The original intent behind the National Firearms Act was to curb illegal gun trading, regulate the manufacture and sale of firearms, and provide the states with the resources to enforce the law. The act is the first comprehensive law regulating firearms in over half a century. The primary sections of the National Firearms Act are divided into two Parts.
Part 1 regulates firearms dealers and manufacturers. This includes rules regarding background investigations and records, the filing of applications and test certificates, and the storage and licensing of dealers. Exceptions are made for memberships in gun clubs, collectors’ associations, or the firing range, when proof of qualification is displayed on their premises. An unlicensed dealer is required to obtain a certificate of special equipment or NFA registered before being able to sell firearms to customers.
Part 2 of what is the national firearm act concerns the classification, manufacture, transfer, and possession of firearms and ammunition. This includes definitions of classifications (including trade and business), as well as restrictions and requirements for buyers, sellers, and firearms dealers. The provisions of the classification include a ban on manufacturing handguns in the home, a ban on manufacturing ammunition, and regulations for the transfusion of blood. Although there are some inherent problems with the definition of “manufacture,” which may lead to absurd results, such as the possible end of handgun sales because a bullet that did not end up in the hands of a crime victim could have been used in the commission of a crime.
Part 3 of what is the national firearm act deals with the definition of “arms” themselves. It clarifies that firearms are not “made” by any given company, but rather that they are “carried or worn” by people, and are therefore subject to all the same laws as other items of personal property. The regulation on who can make a firearm is also included in the act, making it illegal for anyone to import, export, or possess any sort of firearm, except for licensed dealers and those who use the government’s licensed firearms dealers list to keep firearms that are registered with the government.
The fourth and final part of what is the national firearm act deals with the classification of firearms. Although it is called the National Firearms Act (NFA) it actually only deals with the regulation of the distribution of firearms within the United States. The ten different categories of firearms include: antique firearms, shotguns, rifles, handguns, machine guns, weapons defined through congress (including devices used in committing crimes as well as fireworks and other things regulated by the National Firearms Association), and other categories specifically prohibited from manufacturing. Although they are required to get an NFA permit, no one is able to actually buy any of these firearms except from an approved dealer.
The fifth and final part of what is the national firearm act deals with the regulation of the importing, exporting, and possessing of firearms. The law defines that anyone can legally transport, sell, or transfer any firearm to another person, except if the person is violating any of the provisions that govern their importation, export, or possession. Exceptions are for people who must have immediate family members that are US citizens and people who are law enforcement agents. These are also some of the only classes that are permitted to own more than one firearm at any given time.