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. Compliance inspections target licensees likely to divert firearms from legitimate trade to criminal use and dealers with a history of poor compliance.

Federal Firearms Licensees

The Tools and Services for Licensee pages contain information regarding the firearms industry and its members, classifications of firearms and the interpretation of the regulations codified under 27 CFR, Parts 447, 478 and 479.

Notice to all registered eForms Users:

This latest edition of ATF’s eForms News (Volume 2, Issue 1) identifies and answers frequently asked questions (FAQ) such as recurring NFA errors and how to avoid them.   Other items include news regarding the enhanced eForms system; and the “State of eForms,” which updates NFA forms processing timelines, addresses improved pending application numbers, and provides a current eForms status update. Please send questions or comments to .


If you need assistance regarding firearms enforcement related issues please contact your local ATF Office.

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What's New

Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: National Tracing Center Trace Request

New Guidance:  ATF issues guidance to help the public understand when those who buy and sell firearms must have a federal firearms license (FFL)

  • The guidance sets forth the statutory framework for FFL issuance, which is triggered when an individual is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, and explains the factors that the courts have used to determine when a person’s activities require an FFL. The guidance is designed to help ensure that persons who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms are aware they must obtain an FFL and comply with applicable laws and regulations

Final Rule: Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm

Final Rule: Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition-Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit (2007R-9P)