NFRTR Problems

Dave Hardy details the problems with the NFA registry in all its horrid detail.

OIG asked how often there was a discrepancy between the inventory and what the NFRTR said the inventory should be: 46% of inspectors said either “always” or “most of the time.” (Only 5% reported “never”).

I’ve heard this from ATF people who have spoken at the National Firearms Law Seminar too. The database is a mess, and there’s been a quiet effort to clean it up going on for years. Dave also notes:

Mind you, felony prosecutions are undertaken relying on the NFRTR to establish that a gun is not registered, and with evidence consisting of an affidavit from the custodian of records for the NFRTR certifying that no record of registration could be found.

But don’t go thinking you’ll evade prosecution if you convert your AR because the NFRTR is flawed. Most machine gun prosecutions there days proceed under 18 USC 922(o), where all they have to do is prove the machine gun was manufactured after May 19th, 1986, and that you possessed it. But if grandpa kicks the bucket, and you find the M1 Thompson he managed to smuggle back from Europe, be sure your lawyer knows the history of the NFRTR.

6 thoughts on “NFRTR Problems”

  1. Need to correct the typo in your first line. Should say “NFA Registry”

  2. That’s been a known problem for at least 15-20 years. When I had a Class III/SOT 7 license, in all three times that our books were inspected at the business all the errors found turned out to be in the batfe end. In fact a couple of times the inspector asked us to change our entry to match the one they had – that was in fact incorrect.

  3. This reminds me – does anyone know what happened to the machine gun that Sargent York captured in WWI? The one that was rediscovered in the attic of the Nahant (Massachusetts) Library a few years ago.

    1. Happy ending. Though it was not without some legal trickery. It’s essentially the property of a police department in Tennessee, on loan to a museum.

      What makes it interesting is that Blackwater got busted for having machine guns that were technically the property of the local sheriff and were on loan.

      So I question whether it’s really legal, but my guess is they found an arrangement where ATF was wiling to look the other way.

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