Buying a Machine Gun with a C&R License

I am often asked how a C&R license (Curio & Relic, also called a Type 03 Federal Firearms License; not to be confused with “Class 3”) affects the purchase of a machine gun. So, I put the question to John Keene, NFA specialist for the Morphy Auction Company. The short version is that a C&R license does not allow you to skip the NFA transfer process. You still must submit fingerprints and photographs, and wait 6-9 months for your tax stamp to be processed. Once it is approved, however, a C&R eligible machine gun can be shipped interstate to you, without having to go through an NFA dealer in your state.

For the record, the ATF has a document which lists C&R eligible firearms ( In addition, any firearms 50 years old or older is also considered a Curio & Relic…which now includes every gun registered in the 1968 amnesty.


  1. Good video but one question I cannot get a clear answer on.
    How do you/or the ATF know if the machine gun is C&R?
    If it were rewatted?

  2. It frankly seems silly to have such strict controls on them.

    Who’s going to rob a bank with a Chauchat?

    • Let’s not forget that most people aren’t tactical geniuses or historical archivists. When someone says “machine gun” in the modern sense of the word, the usual image that pops into people’s heads is that of some action hero (or villain) dual-wielding M60’s. So, even if you tell the average Joe that it’s an antique machine gun or automatic rifle like the Chauchat, Joe will still think of Rambo. Heck, I’ve seen idiots my age COWERING at the sight of a French Chauchat Gunner’s photo, as though the Poilu were about to magically jump out of the picture and massacre everyone.

    • At least in 1965, some local guys robbed a NY bank with Lahti 20mm.
      They also used a massive suppressor.

        • Duh
          Look it up.
          87″ long
          Hardly needs wheels, as it was designed to be man portable for sniping armored vehicles.

        • They actually parked it in the basement and chewed a hole through the side wall of a bank vault. So in this case it was used more as literally “destructive device” than what is usually thought about as “firearm”

  3. At the time they passed the 1986 act, the prices were a lot lower. But by limiting the supply by saying no new guns could be fully transferable, they made them instant collectors.

    Nobody (nobody sane that is) is going to use an automatic weapon in a robbery as it’s worth more than the Haul! At least it would be nowadays. An M3 grease gun was made for $15 and can run $30K at auction.

    Most automatics are the gun equals of hanger queens. People rarely us them, they are worth too much. Once a year at the range and back in the safe.

  4. Looking to acquire a fully automatic firearm listed on the C&R list. Can you point me in the right direction

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