Firearms

Image of a handgun with bullets on a wooden table
Image of a handgun with bullets on a wooden table

The Bureau and Law Enforcement 

ATF recognizes the role that firearms play in violent crimes and pursues an integrated regulatory and enforcement strategy. Investigative priorities focus on armed violent offenders and career criminals, narcotics traffickers, narco-terrorists, violent gangs, and domestic and international arms traffickers. Sections 924(c) and (e) of Title 18 of the United States Code provide mandatory and enhanced sentencing guidelines for armed career criminals and narcotics traffickers as well as other dangerous armed criminals.

ATF uses these statutes to target, investigate and recommend prosecution of these offenders to reduce the level of violent crime and to enhance public safety. ATF also strives to increase State and local awareness of available Federal prosecution under these statutes. To curb the illegal use of firearms and enforce the Federal firearms laws, ATF issues firearms licenses and conducts firearms licensee qualification and compliance inspections. In addition to aiding the enforcement of Federal requirements for gun purchases, compliance inspections of existing licensees focus on assisting law enforcement to identify and apprehend criminals who illegally purchase firearms.

The inspections also help improve the likelihood that crime gun traces will be successful, since inspectors educate licensees in proper record keeping and business practices.

 

Federal Firearms Licensees

The Tools and Services for Licensees section contains information for the firearms industry and its members, classifications of firearms and the interpretation of the regulations codified under 27 CFR, Parts 447, 478 and 479.

If you need assistance regarding firearms enforcement-related issues, please contact your local ATF office.

 

Cover of the National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA): Firearms in Commerce - Volume OneNational Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA): Firearms in Commerce - Volume One

The National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment is a comprehensive report on firearms commerce and trafficking. This volume presents and analyzes data collected by ATF and other federal agencies related to the manufacture, exportation, and importation of firearms.

Download the NFCTA - Volume One

 

What's New

New September 27, 2022: Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) - Impact of Final Rule 2021-05F on Partially Complete AR-15/M-16 Type Receivers

New August 31, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Defense Articles — ATF Form 6—Part II (5330.3B) - Comment period: August 31, 2022 - September 30, 2022

August 31, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm; Extension With Change of a Currently Approved Collection — ATF Form 5 (5320.5) - Comment period: August 31, 2022 - September 30, 2022

New August 31, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm — ATF Form 4 (5320.4) - Comment period: August 31, 2022 - September 30, 2022

New August 31, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application to Make and Register a Firearm  — ATF Form 1 (5320.1) - Comment period: August 31, 2022 - September 30, 2022

August 25, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: Extension without Change of a Currently Approved Collection: National Firearms Act (NFA) Responsible Person Questionnaire — ATF Form 5320.23 - Comment period: August 25, 2022 - September 26, 2022

August 23, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application To Transport Interstate or Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms — ATF Form 5320.20 - Comment period: August 23, 2022 - October 24, 2022

August 22, 2022: Rulemaking Notice: Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms; Corrections - Effective Date: August 24, 2022

New August 17, 2022: ATF Ruling 2022-01: Electronic Storage of Forms 4473

May 9, 2022: Overview of Final Rule 2021R-05F Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms

May 9, 2022: Training Aid for Final Rule 2021R-05F Definition of "Frame or Receiver" and Identification of Firearms

April 26, 2022: Final Rule - Definition of ‘‘Frame or Receiver’’ and Identification of Firearms 

March 24, 2022: Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) - Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs)

January 4, 2022: Final Rule  Secure Gun Storage and Definition of ‘‘Antique Firearm’’

Current Processing Times for ATF Applications (Paper and eForms) 

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