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
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
Federal Firearm Licensees Newsletter - September 1995 (245 KB)
What's in this issue: Streamlined Application Process; New Publications; New Faces; Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act Temporary Regulations; Firearms Theft; Restraining Orders; Law Enforcement Sales; Before You Move; Final Brady Regulations; Multiple Sales Reports; No Import Permits to Armscor; Licensing Telephone; Restoration of Federal Firearms Privileges; Industry Meetings; SHOT Show
Firearms Newsletter
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
Safety and Security for Firearm Owners (ATF P 5300.22) (391 KB)
The purpose of firearm safety is to eliminate or minimize the risks of unintentional damage, injury or death caused by improper possession, storage, or handling of a firearm. Firearm owners should handle the firearm safely and protect themselves and the public from the theft, loss or misuse of their firearm.
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
FFL Newsletter - September 2016 (168 KB)
In this issue: FFL Advisory - Attempted Thefts of Firearms, NFA Trust "41 F", Theft/Loss in Transit Ruling, and much more!
Firearms 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
Advisory Opinion on Licensing for Certain Gun Show Sellers (778 KB)
This letter provides additional guidance on licensing for persons engaged in selling firearms at in-state gun shows.
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
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