Are you concerned about your privacy and what the government knows about you?
Gun registration is not required by any South Carolina or federal law. The “legally registered guns” you see discussed in some TV shows are required in some states where legally owned guns and the legal gun owners are registered with the government.
Exceptions to the paragraph above are NFA items that fall under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and generally include fully automatic firearms such as machine guns and “real” assault rifles that have a “full auto” mode of operation, short barrel or sawed off shotguns (less than 18 inch barrel), short barrel rifles (less than 16 inches), and silencers or suppressors.
These are generally referred to as NFA or “Class 3” weapons. The special class of FFL Dealers authorized to handle them have a “Class 3” Federal Firearms License. Many of these NFA items may be legally owned by residents of South Carolina – but the item and the owner must have a Federal registration with the BATF, a fee of $200 paid, and then a special tax stamp will be issued for the specific item. When one of the NFA items is carried or used, the special tax stamp must be present with the item. Most firearms are not subject to the NFA and include handguns, rifles, and shotguns that do not have a fully automatic firing capability and are a minimum length. RT2BR Arms is not and does not plan to become a Class 3 FFL Dealer.
How are firearms transfers done?
On all transfers handled by federally licensed firearms dealers, the transferee and the dealer must complete their respective parts of ATF Form 4473. On the form the transferee attests to his or her eligibility to purchase a firearm and provides basic personal information in Section A.
The FFL dealer lists the method used to verify the buyer’s eligibility and identifies the firearm(s) involved in the transaction in Sections B and D. Typically, eligibility is instantly verified by a check with the National Instant Criminal Records Background Check System (NICS). managed by the FBI. If the transferee has a South Carolina Concealed Weapons permit (CWP), the NICS check is not required and the CWP information is recorded instead.
The record of a satisfactory NICS check is NOT retained by the FBI NICS system and must be destroyed by the next operational day. The NICS is concerned only with the eligibility of the individual to receive firearms, and no information on the firearm is provided to NICS.
Multiple firearms may be purchased at the same time and use one ATF Form 4473 and one NICS check. The completed copies of Form 4473 are retained by the dealer for a period of 20 years. If the dealer goes out of business the records are delivered to BATF as part of closing the business and retiring the FFL license.
Should there be a need for law enforcement to trace a firearm, the record of transfers, beginning with the manufacturer or importer, will lead to an FFL dealer at the end of the path. Each FFL Dealer in the path must keep a record of each firearm received and to whom it was transferred. Finally the BATF will identify the last dealer in the chain who will search his files and share the Form 4473 information as to whom the firearm was transferred.
Private transfers of firearms between individuals in South Carolina are not regulated in any manner. The seller or person providing the firearm has a duty to ensure the recipient is able to lawfully own a firearm.
Who May Own Firearms?
Rather than identify who may own a firearm, federal law states who may not. Some states impose additional requirements – South Carolina does not. The following classes of people are ineligible to possess, receive, ship, or transport firearms:
· Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors
punishable by two years or less.
· Fugitives from justice.
· Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.
· Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.
· Illegal aliens.
· Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.
· Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
· Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.
· Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.
· Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an
· Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
How Are Multiple Purchases of Pistols or Revolvers Handled?
When multiple handguns are purchased by the same individual within a 5 day period, that fact must be reported to the BATF. Information is reported on the individual as well as detailed information on the firearms involved. The FFL Dealer is required to report using ATF Form 3310.4. The 5 day period is five consecutive business days or essentially one week.