Publications Library

ATF occasionally issues publications to inform the industries it regulates and the general public about the laws and regulations administered and enforced by ATF. These include guidebooks, newsletters, brochures, studies, and reports.

Title Description Category Document Type
ATF I 5300.2 — Youth Handgun Safety Act Notice (97 KB)
Federal law prohibits, except in certain limited circumstances, anyone under 18 years of age from knowingly possessing a handgun, or any person from selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person under 18. A knowing violation of the prohibition against selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person under the age of 18 is, under certain circumstances, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Firearms Guide
Compliance Guidelines for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees (ATF P 5400.23) (5083 KB)
This publication outlines and defines the compliance guidelines for federal explosive licensees and permittees, per the Federal explosives regulations at 27 CFR, Part 555.
Explosives Guide
Curios or Relics List - Update January 2009 through June 2010 (223 KB)
Firearms automatically attain curio or relic (C&R) status when they are 50 years old. Any firearm that is at least 50 years old, and in its original configuration, would qualify as a C&R firearm. It is not necessary for such firearms to be listed in ATF’s C&R list.
Firearms Guide
Explosives Industry Newsletter - August 2015 (406 KB)
What’s in this Issue:  New Acting Director; New Assistant Director, Enforcement; Programs and Services; New Chief of EIPB; Magazine Identification Program; Less Lethal Devices; Fireworks Reminders; NPRM to Remove Reference Note; Marking and Recording Bulk Explosives; Internal Transfers of Explosives; Plywood, Hardwood and ATF Ruling 76-18; Using Commercial Records Explosives Thefts—2013 thru 2014
Explosives Newsletter
ATF P 5310.2 - Do I need a license to buy or sell firearms? (1401 KB)
ATF guidance to help the public understand when those who buy and sell firearms must have a federal firearms license.
Firearms Guide
How ATF Traces Firearms (297 KB)

A firearm is recovered by law enforcement. ATF receives recovery information in e-Trace. Trace reveals origin of firearm manufacturer or importer. Trace leads to the original Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) * FFL manually looks through firearm transaction records to find the first purchaser. ** The first purchaser is identified and the investigative process is initiated. ** 364,000+ trace requests in FY14.

* Not all traces may lead to original FFL; sales sometimes lead beyond that to a subsequent FFL.

** First purchaser is not always identified, sometimes traces lead to a more recent purchaser or an unlicensed purchaser.

News Guide
Curios or Relics List - Update January 2008 through June 2014.pdf (69 KB)
Firearms automatically attain curio or relic (C&R) status when they are 50 years old. Any firearm that is at least 50 years old, and in its original configuration, would qualify as a C&R firearm. It is not necessary for such firearms to be listed in ATF’s C&R list.
Firearms Guide
How to Conduct a Firearms Inventory, ATF P 5380.2 (207 KB)
This publication provides guidelines on how to conduct a firearms inventory.
Firearms Guide
Explosive Industry Newsletter-June 2016 Addendum (73 KB)
ATF’s June 2016 Explosives Industry Newsletter included a brief discussion of Nitrocellulose, and attempted to clarify the circumstances under which wetted Nitrocellulose is considered a high explosive under 27 CFR, Part 555.  As with all explosives, ATF’s focus is on the potential public safety risks associated with materials that can be misused or diverted to unlawful purposes.  Subsequent contact from industry members who import, transport, store or employ wetted Nitrocellulose in the production of ammunition, however, has brought to our attention issues that were not fully addressed in the Newsletter and require further consultation and consideration with the industry.  Accordingly, ATF has and will conduct further industry outreach concerning wetted Nitrocellulose.  In the interim, previously authorized industry practices concerning wetted Nitrocellulose will not be affected.
Explosives Newsletter
Loss Prevention for Firearms Retailers (441 KB)
Loss prevention for firearms retailers. As a firearms retailer you have a risk of burglary, theft, and loss. This guide will help you evaluate the security of your premises and help you develop a strategy for preventing losses.
Firearms Guide
Federal Firearms Newsletter - July 2017 (1106 KB)

What's in this issue: Announcement - ATF stands up the National Firearms Act (NFA) Division; Firearm Thefts & Burglaries; Burglary and Robbery Statistics; ATF Ruling 2016-1; ATF Ruling 2016-2; ATF Ruling 2016-3; ATF Ruling 2016-5; Revised ATF form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record); Rental of Firearms On-Premises; Rental of Firearms Off-Premises; FFLs are Responsible for Retrieving Status when Using E-Check; Tips from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section; Gun Shows

Firearms Newsletter
Federal Firearms Licensees Newsletter - July 2017.pdf (1106 KB)
What’s In This Issue:  Announcement – ATF stands up the National Firearms Act (NFA) Division; Firearm Thefts & Burglaries; Burglary and Robbery Statistics; ATF Ruling 2016-1: Electronic A&D Records; ATF Ruling 2016-2; ATF Ruling 2016-3; ATF Ruling 2016-5; Revised ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record); Rental of Firearms On-Premises; Rental of Firearms Off-Premises; FFLs are Responsible for Retrieving Status when Using E-Check; Tips from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section; Gun Shows.
Firearms Newsletter
Department of Defense Contractor Inspections: ATF Inspection Process (Explosives) (64 KB)
This document provides information on ATF’s compliance inspection process and is intended to help Federal firearms or explosives licensees who are DOD contractors prepare for and participate in an ATF compliance inspection.
Explosives Guide
Department of Defense Contractor Inspections: ATF Inspection Process (Firearms) (74 KB)
This document provides information on ATF’s compliance inspection process and is intended to help Federal firearms or explosives licensees who are DOD contractors prepare for and participate in an ATF compliance inspection.
Firearms Guide
Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Newsletter - June 2021 (943 KB)

What's in this issue: What is a Straw Purchase; Silencer Markings and Registration Requirements; Changes to ATF Form 4473; State of Residence and Identification; NICS Alternative Permits and Age Restrictions;  Medical Marijuana and CBD Products; Private Party Sales; Internet Sales; Firearm Raffles; Firearm Registry; Variance Requests and the Approval Process; Special Occupational Tax Requirement – Business Locations; Reminders – Renewals / RPs / FFLC Address / AFMER ; and NFA Forms Processing Times

Firearms Newsletter
Tommy Built T36 FAQs 2021-03-15 (117 KB)

FAQs Regarding the Industry Replacement of the Tommy Built Tactical Model T36 Receiver

Resource Center Guide
2021R-05 - Preliminary Regulatory Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (426 KB) Rules and Regulations Report
ATF Industry Circular 1985-2: Importation of National Firearms Act Curio and Relic Firearms (691 KB)

This circular provides information concerning the importation of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms for use as a sample for sales to law enforcement agencies when such firearms have been determined to be curios or relics.

Firearms Industry Circular
ATF Industry Circular 2003-1: Establishment of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (52 KB)

The purpose of this industry circular is to advise members of the alcohol and tobacco industries that, effective January 24, 2003, a new Treasury agency, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), will be responsible for administering the alcohol and tobacco laws noted below and implementing regulations currently administered by ATF.

Alcohol & Tobacco Industry Circular
ATF Industry Circular 2003-2: Establishing the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (54 KB)

The purpose of this industry circular is to advise firearms and ammunition excise taxpayers that effective January 24, 2003, a new Treasury agency, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, will be responsible for administering the firearms and ammunition excise tax laws and regulations currently administered by ATF.

Firearms Industry Circular
ATF Industry Circular 1999-2: Unlawful Transportation, Shipment or Sale of Cigarettes (249 KB)

This circular reminds all persons of the federal law (and penalties) applying to the shipments, sale or possession of cigarettes and to the domestic sales of cigarettes marked for export. Additionally, this circular addresses the sale of cigarettes on Native American tribal reservations.

Alcohol & Tobacco Industry Circular
1975-1-Penguns Classified as Firearms (902 KB)

This circular announces the reclassification of small caliber weapons (such as penguns) ostensibly designed to expel only tear gas, similar substances or pyrotechnic signals, which may be converted to expel a projectile by means of an explosive, as firearms.

Firearms Industry Circular
ATF Industry Circular 89-6: Facsimile Transmitted Copies (1365 KB)

The purpose of this circular is to advise industry members that an ATF ruling will be published in a future issue of the ATF Quarterly Bulletin. The ruling will read substantially as follows: The ATF has been asked whether certain forms and other documents could optionally be transmitted to the Bureau by means of facsimile machines.

Resource Center Industry Circular
Congressional Budget Submission 2017 (819 KB) About ATF Report
Congressional Budget Submission 2018 (686 KB) About ATF Report
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