National Firearms Act Division

ATF’s National Firearms Act (NFA) Division is the only federal authority permitted to regulate firearms covered by the National Firearms Act. The NFA Division processes all applications to make, export, transport and register NFA firearms and destructive devices. The division also responds to requests from individuals to temporarily or permanently move destructive devices between states. Within the division, there are two branches that support the work and mission of the NFA; the Government Support Branch (GSB) and the Industry Processing Branch (IPB). Although each branch has individual primary mandates, they both work to support the overall mission of the NFA Division.

Processing times for NFA applications 

February X, 2022: Important Updates to SOT Renewal Process

Government Support Branch

an assault rifleThe Government Support Branch processes all NFA applications from local, state, and federal law enforcement and government organizations. They share information about ATF’s federal firearms licensee (FFL) and federal explosives licensee/permittee (FEL/FEP) compliance programs. The GSB staff often work with special agents and investigators on criminal cases and testify as expert witnesses in court. The GSB also maintains the records of Special Occupation Tax (SOT) payers. All importers, manufacturers and dealers of NFA weapons must pay the SOT (also known as the stamp tax) unless they fall under specific exceptions.

Industry Processing Branch

The Industry Processing Branch processes all non-government applications to make, export, transfer and register NFA firearms. The IPB also maintains the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR), the central registry for all items regulated under the NFA. More than 3 million items are currently registered in the NFRTR, which dates back to the enactment of the NFA in 1934. 

2012 to 2023 Applications Received vs. Processed Chart

Contact Information

General Questions, Directory Services, Status Inquiries - (304) 616-4500

Government and Law Enforcement Specific Questions -

Specific Form Processing Questions -

All Special Occupational Tax related questions -

Expedite Requests, VOIDS and Withdrawals, General Questions -

Additional Resources

Last Reviewed April 23, 2024