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 industry operations investigators 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.
If you need assistance regarding firearms enforcement-related issues, please contact your local ATF office.
National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA): Firearms in Commerce - Volume One
The National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment is a comprehensive report on firearms commerce and trafficking. This volume presents and analyzes data collected by ATF and other federal agencies related to the manufacture, exportation, and importation of firearms.
Download the NFCTA - Volume One
National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA): Firearms in Commerce - Volume Two
The National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment is a comprehensive report on firearms commerce and trafficking. This volume presents and analyzes data on “crime guns”, that is firearms diverted from lawful commerce and recovered by law enforcement in criminal investigations.
Download the NFCTA - Volume Two
New March 21, 2023: Public Safety Advisory to All Federal Firearms Licensees, and Firearm Parts, Components, and Accessories Manufacturers and Distributors
New March 16, 2023: Open Letter: Changes to Vermont Law 13 V.S.A. § 4019
New March 7, 2023: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection—ATF Form 4473 (Form 5300.9, Form 5300.9 - Spanish, Form 5300.9A, Form 5300.9A - Spanish) - Comment period: March 7, 2023 - May 8, 2023
New February 13, 2023: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Certification on Agency Letterhead Authorizing Purchase of Firearm for Official Duties of Law Enforcement Officer - Comment period: February 13, 2023 - March 15, 2023
New January 31, 2023: Rulemaking Notice: Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘‘Stabilizing Braces’’ - Effective Date: January 31, 2023
New January 12, 2023: Open Letter: Machinegun Dealer Sales Sample Letters
December 28, 2022: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: Certification on Agency Letterhead Authorizing Purchase of Firearm for Official Duties of Law Enforcement Officer - Comment period: December 28, 2022 - February 27, 2023
December 27, 2022: Open Letter: Impact of Final Rule 2021-05F on Partially Complete Polymer80, Lone Wolf, and Similar Semiautomatic Pistol Frames
Current Processing Times for ATF Applications (Paper and eForms)