How to Get a Class 3 Gun License in Texas

by Cliff Wiese ; Updated September 26, 2017

Many types of weapons are covered by a Class III license.

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A “Class III” weapons permit, also referred to as a National Firearms Act (NFA) license, gives you the ability to buy and sell weapons that are illegal for most Americans to own without a special permit. Class III weapons include machine guns, suppressors (silencers,) short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and a broad category of weapons the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) refers to as "any other weapon," or AOW.

    Machine guns are Class III weapons.
  1. Order a Form 5310.12(Form 7) from the BATF by calling 707-455-7801 or going to http://www.atf.gov/forms/dcof/ to order one online. You will receive the application you need for your license. There is no additional paperwork for the State of Texas.

  2. Military-style weapons are covered by a Class III license.
  3. Fill out the application. You will need two passport-style photos of yourself. The packet will provide two fingerprint cards.

  4. Short-barrel shotguns are covered by the National Firearms Act.
  5. Go to the local police department and have them fingerprint you. It will likely involve a small fee. Ask the police chief to sign the document from the BATF that states he approves of you having an NFA license. Get a copy of your criminal background check, which the local police department can provide.

  6. Send in the appropriate amount of money with your application by certified check. There are varying amounts of money needed, which will be listed in the application, depending on exactly what you need your license to cover. The “any other weapons” clause is broad and the amount of money to send would be different if you wanted to sell grenades versus some type of specialty ammunition.

  7. Secure a place to do business, and get a gun safe and devices to individually secure each weapon.

  8. Notify the head of the local law enforcement agency of your business location. When your application is approved, you have a Class III firearm license in Texas. The license is valid for three years.

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About the Author


Cliff Wiese is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a sports performance coach. His work has been published in "Women of Diet & Fitness," "Better Fitness & Health," "Good2Health," and "SENIORity Magazine." He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Schreiner University and attended graduate school at the University of Oklahoma.