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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Firearms Technology

The Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) provides expert technical support to ATF, other Federal agencies, State and local law enforcement, the firearms industry, Congress, and the general public. FTB is responsible for rendering opinions regarding the classification of suspected illegal firearms and newly designed firearms. FTB maintains an extensive firearms reference collection, as well as technical firearms reference files and library and firearms databases. This Branch is also responsible for the technical determination concerning types of firearms approved for importation into the United States. Further, FTB provides the U.S. Department of Justice, State prosecutors’ offices, district attorneys’ offices, and military courts with expert firearms testimony. This testimony includes the identification and origin of firearms and other matters relating to firearms and the firearms industry.


The mission of the Firearms Technology Branch is to serve as ATF’s technical authority relating to firearms and their classification under Federal laws, to respond to law enforcement agencies requests to test, evaluate, and provide expert testimony on firearms and ammunition, and to provide technical services to the firearms industry and other members of the public.

FTB support to the firearms industry and general public includes the following areas:

  • Responses to technical inquiries.
  • Testing and classification of products submitted.
  • Curios or Relics (C&R) determinations (see C&R page prior to submitting a C&R inquiry).
  • Import evaluations.
Contact Information

    Firearms Technology Branch

    244 Needy Road Martinsburg, West Virginia 25405 USA

    Voice: (304) 616-4300


    E-mail address:


    Fax number: (304) 616-4301