Equipment/Firearms FAQ

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Firearms FAQ

Equipment By Type

What happens when I buy a gun from the gun store?

  • Federal law requires that the seller do a background check in all firearm transactions if the seller has a federal firearms license (e.g. gun dealer) or if the customer is from another state. This takes about 10 minutes during business hours.
  • The dealer calls the FBI's Criminal Justice information Services Division and gives the buyer's name and social security number. If it's clean, the transaction has the federal government's blessing. If you are prohibited from buying a gun for one of the reasons listed on Armory p191, you cannot purchase the gun.

Well, what about buying from another person?

  • No background check is required as long as the seller and buyer live in the same state.
  • Even in states (like Maine) that require no record keeping, the seller is liable if he sells a firearm to someone prohibited from possessing one.
  • If a private citizen sells a gun registered to him and the weapon is later used in a crime, the police will trace the registered owner... not the actual owner.

What's up with serial numbers?

  • Every single firearm is manufactured with a unique serial number. It's printed on every major part of the gun, and at the least it is on every receiver.
  • The serial number is how a gun is tracked when changing owners or when being purchased from a dealer.
  • Removing or obscuring a serial number is a felony offense.
  • If a gun is used in the commission of a crime, the police will scan that serial number and the ballistics of the weapon to see if it has been used in other crimes.

I want something bigger. Give me a machine gun!

  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issues federal firearms licesnes (FFL). This permit allows a person to purchase a firearm across state lines and to operate a retail business in firearms. It also helps you get dealer prices.
  • To get a FFL, you have to apply to the ATF. This takes 6 weeks minimum and requires an application fee (Cost •). Then you have to pass a background check, an in person interview with ATF investigators, and you have to have a legitimate site to run your business from.
  • The ATF loves to audit people. You will not get a warning.
  • FFL holders must report any loss or theft to the ATF within 48 hours or loose their license. (Just like the TV show Sons of Guns, sports racers).
  • There's a sub-type of FFL that only applies to curios and relics. C&R FFL lets you purchase a gun across state lines or on the collectable list as long as the weapon is older than 1946. These are pricy items because their number only decreases over time.

What if I just want a suppressor or a sawed-off shotgun and I don't want to be a dealer?

  • All those restricted firearms and equipment are considered Class 3 firearms (often referred to as NFA Firearms). If you want one, you have to:
  1. purchase it from a dealer in your state
  2. pay $200 for a transfer fee
  3. submit a form to the ATF that includes fingerprints, photograph, and a signed statement from the local head of law enforcement (police chief or sheriff usually). The head of law enforcement must attest that you live in their jurisdiction and he has no info that you're going to be nefarious with it.
  • If you own a Class 3 firearm, you are legally responsible for it in every way. Part of the documentation you sign when purchasing one is giving the ATF the right to search your home, vehicle, and property at any time and without a search warrant, to make sure you have all the Class 3 firearms in your possession.
  • If you ever transfer a Class 3 weapon illegally, it will be seized. And if you transport it across state lines, you need ATF permission first.
  • If you violate any rule related to Class 3 weapons, you're subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per incident. Using a suppressor in a crime will automatically add 30 years to your sentence. There has only been one recorded instance, ever, of a FFL owner committing a crime with an NFA weapon. The federal government aggressively investigates and prosecutes.

I want to make a big boom. How do I get explosives?

  • Getting a Federal Explosives Permit (FEP) is even harder than getting a FFL. This extends even to low grade explosives like fireworks.
  • You're not the only one investigated. So is anyone who may potentially have access to that material. Failure of one is failure of all. The application takes 1 to 3 months to complete and includes another face to face interview and application fee (Cost ••).
  • You have to prove that you have a secure and blast resistant facility to store the materials (Cost ••••, or Cost ••• if using a haven, sanctum, or other secured facility paid for by XP.)
  • You give up your 4th Amendment rights concerning the explosives, just like with a FFL.

So... how do I get these licenses?

  • There is a custom Status merit for that, see the House Rules section below.

What happens if I get caught doing illegal things with these?

  • In practical terms, you lose your character. You go to jail. You are locked away for beyond the scope of this game. In character, your restricted property is seized, you are sentenced to prison, and you are fined massive amounts of money. You want to reconsider doing crazy things with Class 3 weapons and explosives.