ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATFSealBlue

 

 

U.S. Department of Justice

 

Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives

 

Office of the Director

 

 

 

Washington, DC 
20226

 

 

 

 

18 U.S.C. 923(g)(1)(A):  RECORDS REQUIRED

27 CFR 478.22:  ALTERNATE METHODS OR
PROCEDURES

27 CFR 478.121:  RECORDS REQUIRED

27 CFR 478.123:  RECORDS MAINTAINED BY
MANUFACTURERS

27 CFR 478.125:  RECORDS OF FIREARMS RECEIPT AND
DISPOSITION

27 CFR 478.129:  RECORD RETENTION

 

          ATF
authorizes an alternate method or procedure from the firearms acquisition and
disposition recordkeeping requirements of 27 CFR 478.123.  Specifically,
ATF authorizes licensed manufacturers to consolidate their records of
manufacture or other acquisition of firearms and their separate firearms
disposition records, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are
met.

 

ATF Rul. 2010-8

 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
has received requests from licensed manufacturers for permission to consolidate
their records of firearms manufacture or other acquisition and their separate
records of firearms disposition.

 

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), at Title 18, United States
Code, section 923(g)(1)(A), provides, in part, that each licensed manufacturer
must maintain records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or
other disposition of firearms at his place of business for such period, and in
such form, as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.  Federal
regulations at Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 478.123(a),
require licensed manufacturers to record the type, model, caliber or gauge, and
serial number of each complete firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired, and
the date such manufacture or other acquisition was made, not later than the
seventh day following the date such manufacture or other acquisition was
made.  The records of manufacture or other acquisition must be retained by
the manufacturer on the licensed premises permanently, pursuant to 27 CFR
478.121(a) and 478.129(d). 

 

Federal regulations at 27 CFR 478.123(b) require licensed
manufacturers to record the disposition of firearms to other licensees showing
the quantity, type, model, manufacturer, caliber, size or gauge, serial number
of the firearms transferred, the name and license number of the licensee to whom
the firearms were transferred, and the date of the transaction.  This
information must be entered in the proper record book not later than the seventh
day following the date of the transaction, and such information must be recorded
under the format prescribed by 27 CFR 478.122, except that the name of the
manufacturer need not be recorded if the firearm is of the manufacturer’s own
manufacture.  Under 27 CFR 478.129(d), the manufacturer’s records of the
sale or other disposition of firearms to licensees must be retained by the
manufacturer for 20 years. 

 

In addition, under 27 CFR 478.123(d) licensed manufacturers
must maintain separate records of the sales or other dispositions of firearms
made to nonlicensees.  These records must be maintained in the form and
manner prescribed by regulations at 27 CFR 478.124, 478.125(e), and 478.125(i),
with regard to firearms transaction records and records of firearms
disposition.  Under 27 CFR 478.129(d), the manufacturer’s records of the
sale or other disposition of firearms to nonlicensees must be retained for 20
years. 

 

Licensed manufacturers may seek approval from ATF to use an
alternate method or procedure to record the acquisition and disposition of
firearms.  Federal regulations at 27 CFR 478.123(c) provide that ATF may
authorize alternate records of the disposal of firearms when it is shown by the
licensed manufacturer that the alternate records will accurately and readily
disclose the information required to be maintained.  Additionally, under 27
CFR 478.22, the Director may approve an alternate method or procedure in lieu of
a method or procedure specifically prescribed in the regulations when he finds
that:  (1) good cause is shown for the use of the alternate method or
procedure; (2) the alternate method or procedure is within the purpose of, and
consistent with the effect intended by, the specifically prescribed method or
procedure and that the alternate method or procedure is substantially equivalent
to that specifically prescribed method or procedure; and (3) the alternate
method or procedure will not be contrary to any provision of law and will not
result in an increase in cost to the Government or hinder the effective
administration of 27 CFR Part 478.

 

ATF recognizes that, provided certain conditions are met, the
consolidation of records of manufacture or other acquisition of firearms by a
licensed manufacturer with corresponding firearms disposition records will
accurately and readily disclose the information required to be maintained. 
It will also make it easier for manufacturers and ATF to account for and trace a
manufacturer’s firearms inventory.  ATF therefore finds that there is good
cause to authorize a variance to the separate acquisition and disposition
records requirements of the Federal firearms regulations.  Further, this
alternate method is not contrary to any provision of law, will not increase
costs to ATF, and will not hinder the effective administration of the Federal
regulations. 

 

Licensed firearms manufacturers are authorized to consolidate
their records of manufacture or other acquisition of firearms and their separate
firearms disposition records provided the following conditions are met:

 

1.  Within seven (7) days of
the date of manufacture or other acquisition, the licensed manufacturer records
the following information for each firearm: 

 

a.  Date
of manufacture or other acquisition;

b. 
Name of the person from whom the firearm was acquired;

c. 
Address of the person from whom the firearm was acquired if the transferor is a
nonlicensee, or the complete 15-digit license number of the licensed
manufacturer or other licensee from whom the firearm was acquired;

d. 
Name of the manufacturer (to include the licensed manufacturer) and licensed
importer (if applicable);

e. 
Model;

f. 
Serial number;

g. 
Type; and

h. 
Caliber, size or gauge.

 

2.  Within seven (7) days of
the date of sale or other disposition, beside the corresponding line item record
of manufacture or other acquisition, the licensed manufacturer records the
following information for each firearm: 

 

a.  Date
of sale or other disposition;

b. 
Name of the person to whom the firearm was transferred (to include the licensed
manufacturer); and

c. 
Address of the person to whom the firearm was transferred if the transferee is a
nonlicensee, or the ATF Form 4473 serial number if the Forms 4473 are filed
numerically, or if transferred to a licensee, the transferee’s complete 15-digit
license number.

 

3.  A manufacturer intending
to make any change to the model, type, caliber, size or gauge of a frame,
receiver, or assembled firearm must log the firearm out of the acquisition and
disposition record as a disposition to the licensee.  Once the change has
been made, the firearm must be recorded as a new firearm manufactured on a
separate line of the acquisition and disposition record.  As the
manufacturer, the licensee should record his or her name and license number.

 

4.  For firearms dispositions
to a licensee, the commercial record of the transaction shall be retained
separately from other commercial documents maintained by the licensed
manufacturer until the transaction is recorded, and be readily available for
inspection on the licensed premises.

 

5.  For firearms dispositions
to a nonlicensee, the Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473, shall be
retained separately from the licensee’s Form 4473 file, and be readily available
for inspection on the licensed premises until the transaction is recorded. 
After that time, the Form 4473 shall be retained alphabetically (by name of
purchaser), chronologically (by date of sale or other disposition), or
numerically (by transaction serial number) as part of the licensed
manufacturer’s required records.

 

6.  By using this variance, a
line item will be recorded for each firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired
and sold or otherwise disposed of by a licensed manufacturer.  The quantity
of firearms manufactured or otherwise acquired of the same type, model, and
caliber or gauge must be able to be readily determined by adding all associated
line items. 

 

7.  All consolidated firearms
acquisition and disposition records must be maintained permanently by the
licensed manufacturer.  Additionally, as provided by 27 CFR 478.127, upon
discontinuance of business all required records must be forwarded to the ATF
Out-of-Business Records Center.

 

Licensees are reminded of their responsibility to ensure the
accuracy and completeness of all required records, and to maintain such records
on their licensed premises available for inspection.  Additionally, this
approval does not relieve licensees of any requirements of State, local, or
other Federal government agencies.  If acquisition and disposition records
are maintained in electronic form, licensees must comply with ATF Ruling 2008-2
(approved August 25, 2008).

 

         
Held, pursuant to 27 CFR 478.22 and 478.123(c), ATF authorizes an
alternate method or procedure from the firearms acquisition and disposition
recordkeeping requirements of 27 CFR 478.123.  Specifically, ATF authorizes
licensed manufacturers to consolidate their records of manufacture or other
acquisition of firearms and their separate firearms disposition records,
provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met.

 

         
Held further, if ATF finds that a licensee has failed to abide by the
conditions of this ruling, or uses any procedure that hinders the effective
administration of the Federal firearms laws or regulations, ATF may notify the
licensee that the licensee is no longer authorized to consolidate his
acquisition and disposition records under this ruling.

 

 

Date approved:  December 6, 2010

 

 

Kenneth E. Melson

Acting Director