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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

September 23, 2010

2010 ATF Importer’s Conference
Question & Answer Summary

The 9th Annual ATF Importer’s Conference was held at National Harbor, Maryland on August 9–10, 2010, and covered a variety of regulatory policy issues and topics. Many of the questions asked of ATF during the conference have been compiled here for the benefit of those who may not have been in attendance but have an interest in the issues. You may contact ATF’s Firearms & Explosives Imports Branch at 304-616-4550 with further questions about the topics covered in this document.

Q: How should the country of manufacture be recorded on an import permit application and marked on an imported firearm when manufacture occurred in a country that no longer exists (e.g., Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, etc.)?

27 CFR 478.112(b)(1)(iv)(A) requires an import permit applicant to identify the name and address of the manufacturer of a firearm sought for import. 27 CFR 478.112(c)(2)(iii) requires an imported firearm’s country of manufacture to be identified on ATF Form 6A, Release and Receipt of Imported Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War. 27 CFR 478.92(a)(1)(ii)(E) requires the country in which an imported firearm was manufactured to be marked on the firearm. For the purposes of these sections of Gun Control Act regulations, country of manufacture is the name of the country where manufactured as that country existed at the time the gun was manufactured, even if that country no longer exists.

For example, the manufacturer’s address for a firearm made in Yugoslavia should include Yugoslavia in the appropriate block of the import permit application. The country of manufacture recorded on ATF Form 6A and the country of manufacture marked on the firearm would also be Yugoslavia, even though that country no longer exists.

Please note that the country of export, foreign seller address, and foreign shipper address, which are also reported to ATF as part of the import process, should reference the current name of the applicable country (e.g., Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, etc.).

Q: What options does an importer have for obtaining machineguns from overseas in fulfillment of a Federal Government contract to provide training to U.S. military personnel?

18 U.S.C. 922(o) and 27 CFR 479.105(c) restrict the importation of machineguns after May 19, 1986. Since that date machineguns may only be imported for sale or distribution to a department or agency of the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof, or for use by dealers as a sales sample for such government entities. There is no provision to permanently import a machinegun for training purposes. Importers may contact the Department of State to determine if they may temporarily import a machinegun for training purposes on a DSP-61 (temporary import license). The importer must also abide by the requirements of ATF Rul. 2004-2 for any temporary importation of NFA firearms. Machineguns imported temporarily pursuant to Department of State authority still must be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record with ATF and are subject to the NFA’s transfer requirements.

Q: Does the fact that two licensed manufacturers are wholly-owned by the same parent corporation allow them to transfer post-1986 machineguns between the corporations without either having a Government contract or law enforcement sales demonstration request?

Because the licensed manufacturers are separate legal entities, any NFA firearm would have to be transferred between the entities subject to an ATF-approved application. However, under 27 CFR 479.105(d), a machinegun made or imported on or after May 19, 1986, may only be transferred to the U.S. Government (USG) or a law enforcement agency, or to a Federal firearms licensee for use as a USG or law enforcement sales sample. The transfer of a post-1986 machinegun between licensed manufacturers solely for the performance of a manufacturing sub-process in furtherance of finishing the product, without meeting the requirements of 27 CFR 479.105(d), is not permissible.

To accomplish the sub-process without conducting a transfer of the firearm, an employee of the entity to which the machinegun is registered must accompany the machinegun to the secondary manufacturer’s premises and remain with it, maintaining dominion and control, while the sub-process is being performed. If the sub-process requires more than one day to complete, the registrant may store the firearm overnight at the secondary manufacturer’s premises in a locked container to which only the registrant’s employee has access. In this scenario, no transfer between the primary and secondary manufacturer takes place, and both parties would comply with 18 U.S.C. 922(o).

Q: I am a Special (Occupational) Taxpayer and would like to obtain a copy of the NFA firearms inventory registered to me as recorded in ATF’s National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). How do I obtain a copy of my NFRTR inventory list?

To request an NFRTR listing of your NFA firearms, submit a dated and signed, written request to the Chief, NFA Branch. If you are a sole proprietor, provide the following identifying information when making your request: your name, trade name (if any), premises address, date of birth, Federal firearms license number(s), and Employer Identification number. If you are requesting on behalf of a corporate entity, provide the corporate name, trade name (if any), premises address, Federal firearms license number(s), Employer Identification number, your name, and your title with the corporation. Also include your contact information, such as a telephone number at which you can be contacted, and your email address if you can receive the inventory electronically in a spreadsheet.

Q: When filing an ATF Form 4, Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of a Firearm, or ATF Form 5, Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of a Firearm, the applicant must also submit ATF Form 5330.20, Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B). Must both the transfer application and certification form be filed in duplicate?

No, only the transfer application must be submitted in duplicate, as required by the National Firearms Act. Neither the regulations in 27 CFR Parts 478 or 479, nor the instructions for Form 4, Form 5, or Form 5330.20 state that Form 5330.20 must be submitted in duplicate. Accordingly, ATF needs only one copy of Form 5330.20 to be submitted with a Form 4 or Form 5 transfer application. See July 29, 2010, Open Letter posted on the ATF website at:

Q: Why are licensed importers not exempt from NFA registration requirements (ATF Form 2 and Form 5) when transferring firearms to the U.S. Government? Licensed manufacturers may obtain ATF permission to make firearms for and sell them to the U.S. Government without having to file ATF Forms 2 or 5?

NFA regulations in 27 CFR 479.33 provide a special exemption for manufacturers. This section provides for relief from the payment of Special (Occupational) Tax for persons conducting business exclusively with or on behalf of the United States Government (USG). This section also relieves any person manufacturing NFA firearms solely for or on behalf of the USG from the requirement to file ATF Forms 2 and 5. The special exemption does not extend to importers.

Q: When a firearm is imported from a country other than that in which it was manufactured, what country must be marked on the firearm by the importer, the country of origin or the country of export?

27 CFR 478.92(a)(1)(ii)(E) requires an imported firearm to be marked with the name of the country in which it was manufactured, among other information. 27 CFR 478.112(b)(1)(ii) requires the country of export to be identified on the import permit application, but this information should not be marked on the firearm.

Q: What is the excise tax and duty on an imported firearm?

ATF is no longer the Federal agency responsible for collecting excise tax on imported firearms and ammunition. Please contact the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for excise tax information and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for import duty information.

Q: When is a firearm considered imported for purposes of calculating the 15-day period within which an imported firearm must be marked and reported to ATF on Form 6A?

A firearm (as well as ammunition and other defense articles) is imported on the day it is released from the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and brought into the United States, which may be different from the day it is physically received by the importer. The date of import is based on the Gun Control Act’s regulatory definition of importation in 27 CFR 478.11. The permissible period of time within which importers must comply with applicable marking and recordkeeping requirements is calculated using the date of importation as the starting point. See related August 27, 2010, Open Letter posted on the ATF website at:

Please note that these questions and answers have also been added to our Firearms Importing & Exporting FAQ