Firearms Law
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Evacuation with Title II Weapons

If you own a Title II (NFA) weapon, such as a short barreled rifle or machine gun (Suppressors and Any Other Weapons (AOW) are exempt), and live in Southern Louisiana, you should have an evacuation plan that takes your weapons into account. If your evacuation plan is to stay in Louisiana and simply drive north of I-12, then there is no additional action needed. However, if you evacuate to another state, you need to notify and receive permission from the ATF before you leave Louisiana with your NFA weapons.

The process is very simple, but requires that you plan ahead since there is about a two month delay in receiving permission to transport. The owner must fill out ATF Form 5320.20 (available at and send two originals of it to the ATF. You will need to specify the location to where you are travelling. If you prepare for evacuations like my family, you may make reservations at multiple locations. That is not a problem. Simply fill out two Forms for each location – The Form is not a guaranty that your device will be at that location; it is merely an authorization from the AFT to transport your weapon to that location if you choose to.

As for the dates that the firearm is to be at the other location (number 3 on the Form) – it is recommended that you put the broadest date range that is reasonable. For Hurricane season that would probably be May 1 to October 1.

Finally, here is what makes this so easy: First of all, it’s free! Second, you can fill out the Forms on the first day of every year, and receive your authorization by March, and have one less thing to worry about when a hurricane enters the Gulf.

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