Special Message from ATF: State Laws and Published Ordinances

I am pleased to provide you with the 35th Edition of State Laws and Published Ordinances - Firearms (ATF P 5300.5). These electronic publications will help you comply with federal and state firearms laws and, specifically, with the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The GCA prohibits licensees from selling or delivering a firearm to anyone whose receipt or possession of the firearm would violate state or local laws applicable at the place of sale or delivery. In addition, this book will help you make lawful over-the-counter sales of rifles and shotguns to out-of-state residents, transactions that must meet the legal requirements of both the federal firearms licensee's (FFL's) and the purchaser's states of residence.

As an FFL, you play a critical role in safeguarding the public by ensuring that only lawful persons can acquire firearms from you. When deciding whether to make a sale, you should first consult the full text of the state requirements and, if appropriate, contact state and local authorities before making a decision.

If you have any questions concerning major issues affecting the daily conduct of your business, you may call the numbers referenced below:

  1. Interpretation of a state or local law or ordinance: Contact your state police, local law enforcement authority, or your State Attorney General's office (www.naag.org).
  2. Federal firearms laws or regulations: You can find the ATF Industry Operations field office nearest you at www.atf.gov/contact/local-atf-offices.
  3. Stolen or lost firearms, including National Firearms Act weapons: Contact 1-888-930-9275 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).
  4. If you have knowledge of any unlawful activities concerning firearms: Contact 1-800-ATF­GUNS.
  5. Questions regarding NICS checks: Contact the FBI NICS Operations Center at forms.fbi.gov/assistance-with-nics-processing-issues.
  6. Your federal firearms license or renewal application: Contact our Federal Firearms Licensing Center at 1-866-662-2750.


Steven Dettelbach

Last Reviewed August 30, 2023