ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Gunsmiths

  1. Is a license needed to engage in the business of engraving, customizing, refinishing or repairing firearms?
  2. Does a gunsmith need to enter in a permanent “bound book” record every firearm received for adjustment or repair?
  3. Is an ATF Form 4473 required when a gunsmith returns a repaired firearm?
  4. May a gunsmith make immediate repairs at locations other than his or her place of business?
  5. May a licensed gunsmith receive an NFA firearm for purposes of repair?
  6. Is a licensed gunsmith required to comply with the requirements to give written notification to handgun transferees and post signs on juvenile handgun possession?
  7. Is a licensed gunsmith’s return of repaired or customized firearms to their owners subject to the Brady law, including the provision for making background checks on transferees?


Q: Is a license needed to engage in the business of engraving, customizing, refinishing or repairing firearms?

Yes. A person conducting such activities as a business is considered to be a gunsmith within the definition of a dealer.

[27 CFR 478.11]


Q: Does a gunsmith need to enter in a permanent “bound book” record every firearm received for adjustment or repair?

If a firearm is brought in for repairs and the owner waits while it is being repaired or if the gunsmith is able to return the firearm to the owner during the same business day, it is not necessary to list the firearm in the “bound book” as an “acquisition.” If the gunsmith has possession of the firearm from one business day to another or longer, the firearm must be recorded as an “acquisition” and a “disposition” in the permanent "bound book" record.


Q: Is an ATF Form 4473 required when a gunsmith returns a repaired firearm?

No, provided the firearm is returned to the person from whom it was received.

[27 CFR 478.124(a)]


Q: May a gunsmith make immediate repairs at locations other than his or her place of business?

Yes.


Q: May a licensed gunsmith receive an NFA firearm for purposes of repair?

Yes, for the sole purpose of repair and subsequent return to its owner. It is suggested that the owner obtain permission from ATF for the transfer by completing and mailing ATF Form 5 (5320.5) to the NFA Branch and receive approval prior to the delivery. The gunsmith should do the same prior to returning the firearm.

Only the face of the form needs to be completed in each instance. ATF Forms 5 may be obtained from the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch. ATF Form 5 is also available on the internet at www.atf.gov


Q: Is a licensed gunsmith required to comply with the requirements to give written notification to handgun transferees and post signs on juvenile handgun possession?

The requirement that written notification on juvenile handgun possession be given to a non-licensee to whom a handgun is delivered applies to all Federal firearms licensees. It applies to the return of handguns to their owners, as well as to their sale. Thus, a gunsmith who repairs or customizes a non-licensee’s handgun must provide the notification to the non-licensee when the handgun is returned. The sign posting requirement also applies to gunsmiths, unless the gunsmith only disposes of handguns to non-licensees who do not appear at the gunsmith’s licensed premises, for example, when repaired handguns are shipped to non-licensees.

[18 U.S.C. 922(x), 27 CFR 478.103]


Q: Is a licensed gunsmith’s return of repaired or customized firearms to their owners subject to the Brady law, including the provision for making background checks on transferees?

No, but it is unlawful to transfer a firearm to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is a felon or is within any other category of person prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms. (See also question “A firearm is delivered to a licensee by an unlicensed individual for the purpose of repair. Is the return of the repaired firearm subject to the requirements of the Brady law? Would the transfer of a replacement firearm from the licensee to the owner of the damaged firearm be subject to the requirements of the Brady law?”)

[18 U.S.C. 922(d), 27 CFR 478.32(d)]