How do I send in a firearm or ammunition to FATD for classification?

Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) classifications determine whether or not a firearm is regulated under the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act (NFA). FATD also evaluates firearms (and other defense articles) for suitability to be imported and conducts examinations of ammunition.

Please be aware that FATD does not make determinations based on drawings, photographs, written descriptions, or diagrams. In order to render an appropriate classification, please ship the physical item and any supporting information to the following address:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Firearms & Ammunition Technology Division
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, WV  25405

Please ship your item to FATD with a prepaid return shipping label with tracking for the return of your item. Providing a shipping account number instead of a trackable prepaid shipping label will not be accepted.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms.

You cannot ship a handgun or ammunition through the U.S. Postal Service.  A commercial carrier must be used to ship a handgun. Please check with the specific carrier before shipping to ensure your package meets all of legal requirements.

Do not use packing peanuts or similar types of packing material that may become lodged into moving parts of the item or device and cause safety issues. Small parts and pieces must be placed into a sealed zip-lock type clear plastic bag to prevent loss.

FATD may be unable to return the sample if the item is classified as an unregistered NFA weapon (machinegun, silencer, short barreled rifle, short barreled shotgun, etc.), or any other legally prohibited item.


Last Reviewed May 26, 2020