Firearms

Image of a handgun with bullets on a wooden table
Image of a handgun with bullets on a wooden table

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.

Federal Firearms Licensees

The Tools and Services for Licensees section contains information for the firearms industry and its members, classifications of firearms and the interpretation of the regulations codified under 27 CFR, Parts 447, 478 and 479.

Cover of the 2021 FFL Newsletter2021 FFL Newsletter

This issue's articles cover topics such as what is a straw purchase, silencer marking and registration requirements, changes to ATF Form 4473, state of residence and identification and much more.

ATF publishes these newsletters on a semiannual to annual basis in order to update federal firearms licensees (FFLs) on developments regarding the federal firearms laws and regulations. You can view previous editions of FFL newsletters or browse articles by topic using our FFL Newsletter Index.

Download the latest FFL newsletter

If you need assistance regarding firearms enforcement-related issues, please contact your local ATF office.

What's New

NEW October 21, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) Out of Business Records Request (ATF F 5300.3A with watermark) - Comment period: October 21, 2021 - November 22, 2021

September 30, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review:  Records of Acquisition and Disposition, Registered Importers of Arms, Ammunition and Defense Articles on the U.S. Munitions Import List - Comment period: September 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021

September 30, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review:  Report of Firearms Transactions - Demand 2 (Form 5300.5) - Comment period: September 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021

September 30, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review:  Firearms Disabilities for Nonimmigrant Aliens - Comment period: September 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021

September 30, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review:  Federal Explosives License/Permit (FEL) Renewal Application (Form 5400.14/5400.15, Part III) - Comment period: September 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021

September 30, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review:  Licensed Firearms Manufacturers Records of Production, Disposition, and Supporting Data - Comment period: September 30 - November 1, 2021

September 20, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:  30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers - ATF Form 3310.4Comment period: September 20 - October 20, 2021

August 23, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: National Firearms Act Division and Firearms and Explosives Services Division Customer Service Survey - Comment period: August 23 - October 25, 2021

August 18, 2021: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Identification Markings Placed on Firearms - Comment period: August 18 - October 18, 2021

June 17, 2021: File and Pay the Special Occupational Tax Securely Online!

March 15, 2021: FAQs on Industry Replacement of Tommy Built Tactical Model T36 Receiver

Current Processing Times for ATF Applications (Paper and eForms) 

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