DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, DC 20226
NOV 12 1996 E:CE:FT:GKD
This refers to your letter of September 17, 1996, in which you
request information on the classification of two firearms under the
provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). The two firearms
are the Colt Model 1927 Thompson semiautomatic rifle as
manufactured by Colt and capable of semiautomatic fire only and the
FN FAL "G" series semiautomatic rifles as imported without the
safety sear installed.
With reference to the Colt manufactured Thompson Model 1927
semiautomatic rifle, this firearm, having a machinegun frame or
receiver, is classified as a machinegun and is subject to the
provisions of the NFA. It is listed in the Firearms Curios or
Relics List, Section IV, Page 53 and is a National Firearms Act
weapon that has been determined to be a curio or relic as defined
in 27 CFR section 178.11. Licensed collectors may acquire, hold,
or dispose of it as a curio or relic subject to the provisions of
18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 178. It is still a "firearm"
as defined in the NFA and 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
With reference to the FN FAL "G" series rifles, from September 5,
1959, to January 10, 1963, the Browning Arms Company, St. Louis,
Missouri, imported 1836 FAL rifles in caliber 7.62 from Fabrique
Nationale, Herstal, Belgium. Subsequent to January 10, 1963, the
Bureau classified this rifle as a machinegun. However, it was
determined that the 1836 rifles imported by Browning Arms Company
would be exempt from the provisions of the NFA. The serial numbers
of the affected rifles are those numbers listed in the Firearms
Curios or Relics List, ATF Publication P 5300.11 (10-95), Page 20.
Further, twelve FN FAL rifles were imported through an
administrative error in 1974. These twelve rifles are exempt from
the provisions of the NFA, but are not classified as curios or
relics. The serial numbers of these twelve rifles are 889768,
889772 through 889777, 889800 through 889801, 889803, 889805,
If any of the 1836 FN FAL G and GL series rifles list in the
Firearms Curios or Relics List or any of the twelve additional FN
FAL rifles listed in the preceding paragraph has been converted to
file full automatic, it would be classified as a machinegun and
would be subject to all the provisions of the NFA.
We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we
can be of further assistance, please contact us.
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch