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
Explosives Industry Newsletter June 2011 (2200 KB)
What’s in this issue: New Web Pages and Publication; Display Fireworks Materials Exemption for Federally Recognized Indian Tribes; Fireworks and Black Powder; ATF Ruling 2011-2 Storage in Type 5 Bins and Silos; Mortise Locks and Cylindrical Dead Bolt Locks; Recordkeeping Exception at 27 CFR 555.123(d); Pressure Gas Systems; Indoor Magazines Stored Inside Containers and Trailers; Educational Institution Exemptions and Students; Prohibited Person Reminder; A Reminder about Special Explosive Device Exemptions; Acting Director Expresses ATF Gratitude; Explosives Thefts from 2006 through 2010
Explosives Newsletter
Explosives Industry Newsletter- December 2011.pdf (2137 KB)
What’s In This Issue: New Acting Director of ATF; New Publications; Open Letter—Definition of Display Fireworks; ATF Ruling 2011-3, Alternate Locks Authorized for Explosives Magazines; Non-sparking Metals; Attended “Day Box” Reminders; Smokeless Powder Exemption; Binary Exploding Targets; Binary Explosives Security; Certain Pest Control Devices Exempted as “Articles Pyrotechnic”; Hobby Pyrotechnics in a Regulated Environment; Explosives Licensing and Transfers; Reporting RPs and Eps; U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Yearbook
Explosives Newsletter
Explosives Industry Newsletter-June 2012 .pdf (1440 KB)
What’s In This Issue: ATF Celebrates 40 Years of Public Service; New Publications; ATF Ruling 2012-2, Uncovered Firework Bins; Storage of EPCDs Aboard Fishing Vessels; ATF Regulation of 1.4 Materials; Recording in the Daily Summary of Magazine Transactions; Aluminum Type 2 and Type 3 Magazines; Advertised as “ATF Approved”; ATF to Host Explosives Regulatory Conference; Questions and Answers; Explosives Thefts Reported During 2011
Explosives Newsletter
Explosives Industry Newsletter December 2012 (2782 KB)
What’s In This Issue: New Explosives Industry Programs Branch Chief; ATF Explosives Industry Meeting in Washington; ATF Ruling 2012-5 Type 4 Wood Floors; Signage and Placarding at Regulated Mining Sites; Explosives Violations; Applying Tables of Distances at 555.218 and 555.220; Type 19 Licensed Activities; Recording Packaged Displays in the DSMT; Questions and Answers; EIPB at the AFSL Display Fireworks Seminar in China
Explosives Newsletter
Gun Shows: Brady Checks and Crime Gun Traces (1/99) (220 KB)
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) provides crucial information about firearms buyers to Federal firearms licensees (FFLs), but does not help nonlicensees to identify prohibited purchasers. Under the Brady Act, FFLs contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that a purchaser is not a felon or otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms. Until the Brady Act was passed, the only way an FFL could determine whether a purchaser was a felon or other person prohibited from possessing firearms was on the basis of the customer's self-certification.
Resource Center Guide
Police Officer’s Guide to Recovered Firearms (ATF P 3312.12) (1967 KB)
This guide provides basic information for law enforcement officers who recover firearms in the performance of their duties.
Firearms Guide
ATF P 5300.21: Best Practices: Transfers of Firearms by Private Sellers (165 KB)
This publication provides best practices in regards to transfers of firearms by private sellers.
Firearms Guide
Gun Free School Zone Notice (ATF P 5310.1) (934 KB)
This notice provides information about the laws and public responsibility regarding firearms near to or in school zones. 
Firearms Guide
Publication on Safety and Security Information for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees (ATF P 5400.15) (1779 KB)
This document provides all members of the explosives industry with the importance of employing security safeguards over explosives materials.
 
Explosives Guide
Publication on Voluntary Steps to Prepare for a Pending Natural Disaster (ATF P 5400.16) (921 KB)
Voluntary Steps for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees to prepare for and recover from natural disasters.
Explosives Guide
Publication on Explosives Magazine Construction Requirements (ATF P 5400.17) (476 KB)
This publication provides information on magazine explosives classes and storage requirements.
Explosives Guide
Recordkeeping Requirements for Explosive Material Manufacturers (ATF P 5400.19) (4772 KB)
This publication identifies what licensed manufacturers must do for compliance, as per the Federal explosives regulations at 27 CFR, Part 555.
 
 
Explosives Guide
Recordkeeping Requirements for Explosive Material Importers (ATF P 5400.21) (3763 KB)
This publication defines what each federally licensed importer must do for compliance, as per the Federal explosives regulations at 27 CFR, Part 555.
Explosives Guide
Recordkeeping Requirements for Dealers of Explosive Materials (ATF P 5400.22) (4851 KB)
This publication defines what federally licensed explosives dealers must do for compliance, as per the Federal explosives regulations at 27 CFR, Part 555.
Explosives Guide
Protection Orders and Federal Firearms Prohibitions (ATF I 3310.2) (143 KB)
A qualifying court order may be issued by a criminal court or civil court, such as divorce court, family court, magistrate or general jurisdiction court.  The following list enumerates the elements that define a qualifying protection order under the Federal firearms prohibition.
Resource Center Guide
Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence and Federal Firearms Prohibitions (ATF I 3310.3) (113 KB)
A qualifying court order may be issued by a criminal court or civil court, such as divorce court, family court, magistrate or general jurisdiction court.  The following list enumerates the elements that define a qualifying protection order under the Federal firearms prohibition.
Resource Center Guide
ATF I 3310.4 — Federal Firearms Prohibitions Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4) – Persons Adjudicated as a Mental Defective or Committed to a Mental Institution (100 KB)
Any person who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to a mental institution" is prohibited under Federal law from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing any firearm or ammunition. Violation of this Federal offense is punishable by a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to ten years.
Resource Center Guide
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
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