We often get asked what a “Class 3 dealer” is or what is a Class 3 license and what can be done with it. The first thing we should do though is establish some basic terminology. A “Class 3 license” is really a nonsensical term with no official industry meaning. However, like some inaccurate gun slang like clips for magazines and bullets for complete rounds of ammunition, the term Class 3 dealer is likely here to stay for better or worse.
A Class 3 dealer is properly a Class 3 SOT. SOT stands for Special Occupational Taxpayer. We’ve written a handy guide about SOT’s which you can read here, but the topic bears some additional discussion in this article as well, so keep reading!
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Why Do People Use the Term Class 3 Dealer?
We’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that the erroneous term “Class 3 dealer” isn’t going away ever. It’s somewhat understandable given the confusion that exists around ownership of NFA devices. It probably was easier at some point to convert “Class 3 SOT” to “Class 3 dealer.” However, this spawned equally inaccurate and meaningless terms like “Class 3 license” or the idea that some sort of “Class 3 permit” was needed to simply own an NFA item.
Some of the confusion may stem from the fact that while there are various FFL “types” SOT’s are ranked by “classes.” A Class 03 SOT when paired with a type 01 or 02 FFL allows general retail sales of NFA items. This gave rise to the notion of being a “Class 3 dealer” but since there is no such thing as “Class 3 weapons” then the idea of being a “Class 3 dealer” is somewhat silly. But the term is so embedded in popular culture as to make it impossible to avoid.
What Can You Do With an 03 SOT?
Because a Class 03 SOT pairs with a Type 01 or Type 02 FFL, you can use your Class 3 SOT to engage in commercial sales of NFA devices. Note that your SOT has to match up with your FFL.
If you want to manufacture NFA devices to sell you need a manufacturing FFL like a Type 07 to go with your SOT. Naturally SOT classes change with your FFL type. That’s why 07 FFL’s get a Class 02 SOT.
Anyway, government confusion aside, your 03 SOT lets you enter the fascinating and lucrative world of NFA sales.
With an 01 FFL and an 03 SOT, you can sell any NFA item that is legal in your state, along with pursuing law enforcement and other government sales. However, with silencers legal in 42 states, and most all states allowing ownership of some sort of NFA item like short barrel rifles or shotguns, or Any Other Weapons, odds are good you can find a profitable NFA market where you live.
So for most FFL holders, simply applying for their Class 03 SOT is the simplest path to getting into the NFA game. And since most people don’t want to engage in manufacturing, the Class 03 SOT is really the way to go.
How To Get a Class 03 SOT
To get your “Class 3 license” you’ll first have to have an 01 or 02 FFL. Then you’ll need to fill out out and submit with the proper tax, the ATF Form 5630.7, also known as Special Tax Registration and Return – National Firearms Act.
After you do that, you’ll have to wait for the ATF to get around to approving your application. The good news is, as a general rule as long as you have a valid FFL, your SOT approval is usually automatic.
If you do not have your FFL yet, you’ll need to get your FFL first, and then apply for the SOT. Getting the FFL can be time consuming and difficult – quite the opposite of getting your SOT really. But not to worry, we have a solution for that too.
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For nearly 20 years, FFL123 has been the leading online FFL guide to get your FFL and SOT. We have helped tens of thousands of Americans just like you get the FFL and SOT they want and deserve. Our Class 3 license guide is the most successful of its kind in the nation, and widely mimicked by our competition.
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In uncertain times, Americans buy more guns and ammo than usual, and along the way also buy up as many NFA devices as they can. The market for silencers is larger now than it has ever been since the passage of the National Firearms Act, and other NFA devices are wildly popular. Don’t hesitate to get your FFL and SOT, each day lost is a day of potential profits and business growth you won’t experience.
Right now, our wildly popular FFL and SOT guide combo can be had at a deep discount. Take advantage of this special offer and the insatiable appetite for guns and NFA devices that doesn’t seem to be going away. Let’s get you started right now on the path to your very own FFL and SOT!