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Sean Cody


Q: Who is responsible for notifying the NFA Branch when I transfer the GCA firearm to a FFL or another individual? 
A: There is no requirement that the transferor or transferee of a GCA firearm notify the NFA branch of a transfer or that either party determine whether the firearm was previously registered under the NFA. There is no also no requirement for the registrant or possessor of a NFA firearm to notify ATF of the removal of features that caused the firearm to be subject to the NFA; however, ATF recommends the owner notify the NFA Branch in writing if a firearm is permanently removed from the NFA.

Q: May I transfer the receiver of a short-barrel rifle or shotgun to an FFL or to an individual as I would any GCA firearm? 
A: Yes. A weapon that does not meet the definition of a NFA firearm is not subject to the NFA and a possessor or transferor needn't comply with NFA requirements. The firearm is considered a GCA firearm and may be transferred under the provisions of that law. 

Q: What is the registered part of a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS)? 
A: While a receiver alone may be classified as a firearm under the Gun Control Act (GCA), SBRs and SBSs are classified in totality under the National Firearms Act (NFA). A firearm that meets the definition of a SBR consists of a rifle that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. A SBS consists of a shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches in length. The serialized receiver is recorded for registration in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). 

Q: I possess a properly registered SBR or SBS. I intend to strip the receiver and remove the barrel prior to selling the receiver. Is the bare receiver still subject to regulation under the NFA as a SBR or SBS? 
A: A stripped receiver without a barrel does not meet the definition of a SBR or SBS under the NFA. Although the previously registered firearm would remain registered unless the possessor notified the NFA Branch of the change, there is no provision in statute or regulation requiring registration of a firearm without a barrel because its physical characteristics would make it only a GCA firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3)(B). If the subsequent owner buys the receiver as a GCA firearm and installs a barrel less than 16 inches in length (SBR) or 18 inches in length (SBS), the firearm would be subject to a $200 making tax and registration under the NFA by the manufacturer or maker of the SBR or SBS. Because registration depends upon the stated intent of the applicant, there is no provision to allow registration of a NFA firearm by anyone other than the maker or manufacturer. 

Q: If I remove the short barrel from the registered SBR or SBS, is the receiver still subject to NFA transfer and possession regulations? 
A: If the possessor retains control over the barrel or other parts required to assemble the SBR or SBS, the firearm would still be subject to NFA transfer and possession regulations. ATF recommends contacting State law enforcement officials to ensure compliance with state and local law. 

Q: Does the installation of a barrel over 16 inches in length (SBR) or 18 inches in length (SBS) remove the firearm from the purview of the NFA? If so, is this considered a permanent change? 
A: Installation of a barrel greater than 16 inches in length (SBR) or 18 inches in length (SBS) will remove the firearm from the purview of the NFA provided the registrant does not maintain control over the parts necessary to reconfigure the firearm as a SBR or SBS.

​These graphics were created by Mike Cramer aka 19Charlie_84, owner of 19Charlie Tactical Kydex from Kempner, TX and he was kind enough to give me permission to use them.  www.19charlietactical.com

Contact Information

If you are interested in a NFA Trust and how you can legally purchase NFA regulated items, call me or email me and i will be happy to tailor a trust for your specific needs.

Telephone:  281.451.4175
FAX:  713.513.5918
Postal address:  801 Congress, Suite 350, Houston, TX  77002
Electronic mail
General Information: TexasTrustLawyer@TexasNFATrust.com
Consult with Attorney Sean Cody for NFA trust: SeanCody@HoustonAttorney.org 

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  May the short barrel on an SBR or SBS be replaced with a long barrel for hunting or other purposes, with the intent of replacing the short barrel?

Yes, and you will not be required to again register the firearm before replacing the short barrel. ATF recommends written notification to the NFA Branch when a firearm’s configuration is permanently changed or removed from the purview of the NFA.


​Although the form 1 has a section for overall length, barrel length and caliber, These may be changed at will.


​Temporary changes do not need to be reported to the BATFE.


​Permanent changes do not need to be reported to the BATFE.



AR-15 SBR Overall Lengths

10.5" barrel = 29.00” Extended (28.9”)

11.5" barrel = 30.00” Extended

14.5" barrel = 33.00" Extended

16.0" barrel = 34.60” & 35.00

Standard difference between stock collapsed and extended was +3.25”


5.00" barrel = 23.50” Extended

7.00" barrel = 25.50” Extended

9.25" barrel = 27.75” Extended

​​BigWaylon summed this up:


1. It's no longer an SBR without a short barrel
2. Nobody is required to notify them to have it removed
3. New owner must file an F1 and pay the $200

Engraving for Form 1 SBR:


ATF 5300.4 in 27 CFR 479.102 (page 92) describes what is necessary to engrave on a SBR or SBS when one is manufacturing. This is not necessary if you purchase one that is already manufactured as it will have been done for you.

1) On the Frame or Receiver the Serial number;

2) on the frame, receiver, or barrel the following additional information;

   A)The model;

   B)The caliber or gage;

   C)Your name or name of the Trust in the case of a Trust (no abbreviations are permitted for the Trust name);

   D)The city and state (you can abbreviate the state with the official 2 digit state code)

The above mentioned information must be engraved, casted, stamped (impressing) or otherwise conspicuously placed or caused to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size of the Serial number shall be no smaller than 1/16 inch.

Texas NFA Gun Trust in Houston and Across the State of Texas!!

Short-barreled rifle (SBR) is legally defined as a:   


(7)  The term “rifle” means a weapon

       a.  designed or redesigned, made or remade, and

       b.  intended to be fired from the shoulder and

       c.  designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

(8)    The term “short-barreled rifle” means

      a.  a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length and

      b.  any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

I.E.  

1.  a shoulder-fired, rifled firearm with

2.  a barrel length of less than 16 in (41 cm) or

3.  overall length of less than 26 in (66 cm). In the United States, an SBR is an item regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) as a Title II weapon.


In the absence of local laws prohibiting ownership, Citizens and Permanent Residents may own an SBR provided it is properly registered on hte BATFE's National Firearms Act Registry.  


A $200.00 tax is paid upon the registration.


Short Barreled Rifles may be transfered on a form 4 or made via a Form 1.  


Overall length is measured

1.  between the extreme ends of the gun,

2.  along a centerline which passes through the middle of the barrel.


For rifles fitted with folding or telescoping stocks (such as FN SCAR 16/17, AKMs) or Collapsible stocks (AR-15 style rifles), ATF Guidelines state that the measurement is performed with the stock unfolded or extended.


Exception is made for rifles with easily detachable shoulder stocks, which shall be measured with the shoulder stock detached. Some states — such as California and Michigan — measure overall length with the stock folded.


Barrel length is measured from the end of the muzzle to the front of the bolt-face or breech-face.  A measuring rod is typically inserted into the barrel.


NOTE:  Removable flash hiders or muzzle brakes or other muzzle devices must be removed and are not included in the measurement. 


Permanently mounted/attached muzzle devices (flash hiders or muzzle brakes or other muzzle devices) are included in the calculation of barrel length.