How Can I Take My SBR Out-of-State Legally?

It is illegal for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport any destructive device, machinegun, short-barreled rifle, or short-barreled shotgun across state lines without getting permission from the ATF. 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(4); 27 CFR 478.28. So if you are planning a trip out-of-state and want to take your short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, and/or fully automatic weapon with you, you need to get approval from the ATF first using ATF Form 5320.20.

Below are a few tips for completing ATF Form 5320.20:

Box 1: Your gun trust name goes here, as well as your mailing address, since the approved form will be mailed to the address in this box.

Box 2: Check “Yes,” unless you plan to leave the firearm at your destination.

Box 3: These are the dates when you expect to be transporting the SBR. You cannot transport the firearms outside of these dates. If Box 2 is checked “Yes,” and the firearm(s) is not returned to the original location by the specified date, you must submit and new ATF Form 5320.20 for the new travel dates and wait for approval before continuing to transport them. As a result, it is probably better to err on the side of caution and give yourself more time than you expect to be traveling, as long as the travel dates do not exceed one (1) year.

If you travel regularly from your home in one state to a specific place, such as a shooting range, vacation home, or ranch, in another state, you can complete the ATF Form 5320.20 and provide a one year range of travel dates. About a month before your permission terminates, you can file another ATF Form 5320.20 to cover the next year. However, the ATF will only allow a maximum travel time of one year. For example, if you live in one state and travel regularly to another state with your short-barreled rifles, you could complete the ATF Form 5320.20.

In the link below, you can see what a completed ATF Form 5320.20 might look like to travel with three SBRs from Texas to visit your in-laws in Minnesota in one-year intervals.

Form 5320 Example – Requesting Permission to Travel from Texas to Minnesota in One-Year Time Intervals

Box 4: This is the firearm information printed in Boxes 4 (a-g) on your ATF Form 4 or ATF Form 1 tax stamp.

Box 5: You need to enter a valid reason for traveling interstate with your SBRs, such as sport shooting, training, hunting, any lawful purpose, or permanent change of address.

Box 6: This is the physical address where the SBR is stored.

Box 7: This is the physical address, such as a house, hotel, shooting range, or ranch, to which you are traveling. If you plan to visit several locations in the general area, such as the hotel near the shooting range, you do not need to complete another form. However, if another destination is not within the general area, such as 100 miles away from the direct path to the destination, you should file a separate ATF Form 5320.20 for the other destination.

Box 8: If you are traveling by automobile, enter “Private Vehicle.”

Boxes 9-11: Leave these boxes blank, unless you are traveling outside of the U.S.

Box 12: You should use your normal signature followed by “, Trustee” to sign in your capacity as a trustee of your gun trust.  Also, your signature must be in ink.

Box 13: Enter the date that you are signing the ATF Form 5320.20.

Finally, the signed ATF ATF Form 5320.20 must be submitted to the ATF in duplicate. This can be by mail, fax, or email. The proper mailing address, fax number, or email address is listed on the ATF Form 5320.20 Instructions in paragraph b. After the ATF Form 5320.20 is approved, the ATF will mail the approved form to you at the address shown in Box 1.

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