National Firearms Act Handbook

Please be aware that the NFA Handbook is not available in a printed version. Our goal is to ensure the regular update and availability of this document without going through the time intensive and costly process of printing. This will result in the continuous availability of a more current and accurate guidebook.

Please do not contact ATF's NFA Branch or Distribution Center for a printed version. The NFA Handbook is not available from the Department of Justice or the Government Printing Office.

Chief, NFA Branch


This handbook is primarily for the use of persons in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in firearms defined by the National Firearms Act (NFA) or persons intending to go into an NFA firearms business. It should also be helpful to collectors of NFA firearms and other persons having questions about the application of the NFA.

This publication is not a law book. Rather, it is intended as a "user friendly" reference book enabling the user to quickly find answers to questions concerning the NFA. Nevertheless, it should also be useful to attorneys seeking basic information about the NFA and how the law has been interpreted by ATF. The book's Table of Contents will be helpful to the user in locating needed information.

Although the principal focus of the handbook is the NFA, the book necessarily covers provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Arms Export Control Act impacting NFA firearms businesses and collectors.

The book is the product of a joint effort between ATF and the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association. ATF takes this opportunity to express its appreciation to the Association for its assistance in writing and making this publication possible.

Last Reviewed July 9, 2019