davester

What if you can’t produce copy of Form 4 when LE asks?

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I always tell customers they are required by law to always have a copy of their approved Form 4 with them in case LE asks to see it.  It’s the law of course.  A client recently asked what would happen if he did not have it when asked.  What are the consequences? I can’t seem to find anything definitive on it. Thanks in advance

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Posted (edited)

I would think it would depend on the LEO attitude and the state law.  If they thought you have a illegal NFA item, they can confiscate it and you have to take some time to get it back. (I don't know the process of this).  So far I've never been asked to show my Form 4 or Form 3s. One time when I had a LEO on the same range, (Note I'm in a state where MG are not legal to own), he didn't even come over to check to check out  my paperwork.

Some ranges you sign a contract to show the ATF Form 4  if you use a NFA item on the premises or you will be escorted off the premises.

However it is by law you present your form to a ATF agent or investigator.  A LEO coming over is not considered a investigator, hence he doesn't have the right to look at the paperwork.  Likely the ATF agent would show up at the door rather than at the range.. so technically your giving your customer wrong information if you say it is by law you need to carry it.  I just tell them it is recommended to carry it. I always carry mine.. it just reduces chances of misunderstandings.

Edited by Ryo

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, davester said:

I always tell customers they are required by law to always have a copy of their approved Form 4 with them in case LE asks to see it.  It’s the law of course.  A client recently asked what would happen if he did not have it when asked.  What are the consequences? I can’t seem to find anything definitive on it. Thanks in advance

It's not "the law of course" to always have your paperwork with you. Ryo explained it pretty well, the way the law is written in many states NFA items are illegal UNLESS properly registered with the federal government so, as he said, keeping proof (I'd suggest a picture of your stamps in a folder on your phone) with you would be a good way to diffuse any over-zealous LEO from confiscating them.  I don't carry anything with me and I've also never been asked to show any paperwork, not even when I was back in MN where most of what I was shooting was only legal for licensees.  I have had many LEOs come up and start talking about how cool the guns I'm shooting are and I usually encourage them empty a mag. Everyone has a good time and parts friends.

Edited by b_san

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I appreciate the info. Thanks Gents!

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b_san brought up a good point.. Keep a electronic copy on your phone in case you accidentally forget the paperwork.

On the phone because not all places you'll have cell reception to pull it from a online folder, etc. Note of course this is assuming you have a smart phone to view your paperwork.

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True story: I am an FFL/SOT here in Oregon and was up in the Tillamook forest shooting (M.G's are not allowed at ranges here, so we go to the hills) I was all alone and had my MP5 out at the time a Sheriff's Deputy came by. We spoke for a moment, he was heading past me on a one lane logging road, so I knew he would come back by.

When he did swing back by, I asked him straight up, "why did you not ask me for any paperwork on my M.G's"?

He simply said, "if I would have suspected anything, I would have asked" however you look totally legit. He also mentioned, "I can usually tell when someone is up to no good".

We had a laugh and off he went, and I had my answer. I have never been asked for paperwork in over 18 years, But I still carry my F3's (Just in case).

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