Explosives Rulings

Title Description
AG 3608-2016: Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm (4.82 MB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act (NFA). This final rule defines the term "responsible person," as used in reference to a trust, partnership, association, company, or corporation; requires responsible persons of such trusts or legal entities to complete a specified form and to submit photographs and fingerprints when the trust or legal entity files an application to make an NFA firearm or is listed as the transferee on an application to transfer an NFA firearm; requires that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the specified form for responsible persons, as applicable, be forwarded to the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of the locality in which the applicant/transferee or responsible person is located; and eliminates the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO. These provisions provide a public safety benefit as they ensure that responsible persons undergo background checks.

AG Order No. 3607-2016 - Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition - Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit (699.67 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) concerning the statutory reporting requirement for firearms that have been stolen or lost. The final rule specifies that when a federal firearms licensee (FFL) discovers a firearm it shipped was stolen or lost in transit, the transferor/sender FFL must report the theft or loss to ATP and to the appropriate local authorities within 48 hours of discovery.

AG Order 2650-2003: Federal Register Vol. 68, No. 21 (59.05 KB)

The Department of Justice, Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), is exempting a Privacy Act system of records entitled ‘‘Executive Clemency Case Files/Executive Clemency Tracking System (JUSTICE/OPA–001)’’ from subsections (c)(3), (c)(4), (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), and (e)(5) of the Privacy Act. Information in this system relates to the investigation and evaluation of applicants for executive clemency and case-related correspondence regarding such applicants and the clemency process.

ATF Proc. 2020-2 – Recordkeeping and Background Check Procedure for Facilitation of Private Party Firearms Transfers (259.33 KB)

This procedure supercedes ATF Procedure 2017-1. The purpose of this ATF procedure is to set forth the recordkeeping and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) procedures for Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) who facilitate the transfer of firearms between private unlicensed individuals. This procedure does not apply to pawn transactions, consignment sales, or repairs.

ATF Proc. 2020-1 – Recordkeeping procedure for non-over-the-counter firearm sales by licensees to unlicensed in-state residents that are NICS exempt (168.88 KB)

This procedure supersedes 2013-2. This ATF procedure gives guidance to licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers (licensees) on how to complete the Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473 (Form 4473), as revised effective May 2020, and record the sale of a firearm, when selling to an unlicensed person who (a) Has a valid alternate permit or otherwise is exempt from National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) requirements; (b) Resides in the same State as the licensee; and (c) Does not appear in person at the licensee's business premises.

atf-ruling-2018-1.pdf (89.27 KB)
ATF is revoking several guidance documents; specifically 7 rulings, 1 procedure, and 59 open letters.  The following documents listed, in the order in which they were issued:  Revenue Ruling 69-114; ATF Ruling 75-30; ATF Ruling 7-13; ATF Ruling 77-25; ATF Ruling 77-26; ATF Ruling 80-22; ATF Ruling 80-23; ATF Procedure 80-7; 53 Open letters dated February 1994; Open Letter to all federally licensed importers and manufacturers dated August 22, 2001; Open Letter to All Federal firearms and explosives licensees dated November 20, 2001; Open Letter to all Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees dated February 12, 2003; Open Letter to all FFLs dated August 31, 2006; Open Letter to all FFLs dated November 4, 2008; and Open Letter to Washington FFL's dated August 12, 2011.
2017-1-Revoking Certain Guidance Documents (282.88 KB)
ATF is revoking several guidance documents; specifically three rulings, one procedure, and two industry circulars.  ATF Procedure 75-4: Procedure incorporated into the Application for Explosives License or Permit, ATF Form 5400.13/16.; Industry Circular 75-10: Industry Circular incorporated into the Application for Explosives License or Permit, ATF Form 5400.13/16.; ATF Ruling 85-3: Ruling made obsolete by amendments to 18 U.S.C. 922(b)(3).; Industry Circular 85-3: Industry circular made obsolete by amendments to 18 U.S.C. 922(b)(3).; ATF Ruling 2001-1: Ruling made unnecessary and obsolete as the registration period ended May 1, 2001.: ATF Ruling 2004-1: Ruling made obsolete by amendments to 27 CFR 478.11 (definition of "State of residence").
ATF Procedure 2017-1 - Facilitating Non-FFL Transfers of Firearms (73.22 KB)
The purpose of this Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) procedure is to set forth the recordkeeping and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) procedures for a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) who facilitates the transfer of firearms between private unlicensed individuals. This procedure does not apply to pawn transactions, consignment sales, or repairs. Supersedes 2013-1 Procedure.
2016-5 – Marking Variance for Government Defense Contractors (66.05 KB)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure to the firearms marking requirements contained in title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), sections 478.92 and 479.102. Specifically, ATF authorizes licensed manufacturers of certain destructive device munitions that are manufactured for and transferred to the U.S. Government (USG) to mark these destructive device munitions with sequential lot numbers, provided conditions set forth in this ruling are met.
2016-4 – Electronic Transmission of Form 6A Information to CBP (55.07 KB)
ATF Ruling 2016-4 - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure in lieu of the method or procedure prescribed in the regulations that currently require an importer to submit to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) an original, paper copy of ATF Form 6A, Release and Receipt of Imported Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War (Form 6A), to import firearms, ammunition, and other defense articles.
2016-3 – Consolidation of Records Required for Manufacturers (142.74 KB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for licensed firearms manufacturers to consolidate their records of manufacture or other acquisition of firearms with their separate firearms disposition records, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met.  Supersedes Ruling 2010-8.
2016-2 – Electronic ATF Form 4473 (159.83 KB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for FFLs to use an electronic version of Form 4473, instead of the paper format, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.  Supersedes ATF Rul. 2008-3.
2016-1- Requirements to Keep Firearms Records Electronically (156.2 KB) Approved alternate method or procedure for licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors to maintain their firearms acquisition and disposition records electronically instead of in paper format provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.  Supersedes ATF Ruling 2013-5.
2015-1 - Manufacturing and Gunsmithing (69.18 KB)
Any person (including any corporation or other legal entity) engaged in the business of performing machining, molding, casting, forging, printing (additive manufacturing) or other manufacturing process to create a firearm frame or receiver, or to make a frame or receiver suitable for use as part of a "weapon … which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive," i.e., a "firearm," must be licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA; identify (mark) any such firearm; and maintain required manufacturer’s records. A business (including an association or society) may not avoid the manufacturing license, marking, and recordkeeping requirements of the GCA by allowing persons to perform manufacturing processes on firearms (including frames or receivers) using machinery or equipment under its dominion and control where that business controls access to, and use of, such machinery or equipment. ATF Ruling 2010-10 is clarified.
2014-1 - Manufacturing/Inventory of Machineguns for LE and Military (48.71 KB)
A manufacturer licensed and qualified under the GCA and NFA may manufacture and maintain an inventory of machine guns for future sale to federal, state, or local government agencies without a specific government contract or official request; provided, the machine guns are properly registered, and their subsequent transfer is conditioned upon and restricted to the sale or distribution of such weapons for the official use of federal, state, or local government agencies. A manufacturer may deliver machine guns it has manufactured to another qualified manufacturer for any manufacturing process; provided, the first manufacturer maintains continuous dominion or control over the machine guns. A manufacturer may transfer machine guns it has manufactured for present or future sale to a federal, state, or local government agency to another qualified manufacturer for any manufacturing processes or storage; provided, the manufacturer has a specific government contract or official written request documenting that it is an agent of the government agency requesting and authorizing such transfer. ATF Ruling 2004-2 is clarified.
2013-3 - Adopting Identification of Firearms (51.33 KB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for licensed manufacturers and importers of firearms, and makers of NFA firearms, to adopt the serial number, caliber/gauge, and/or model already identified on a firearm without seeking a marking variance, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met. Licensed manufacturers seeking to adopt all of the required markings, including the original manufacturer’s name and place of origin, must receive an approved variance from ATF.  Supersedes ATF Ruling 75-28, and clarifies ATF Industry Circular 77-20.
2013-2 - NFA Electronic Forms (582.32 KB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for FFLs, legal entities, and government agencies to file ATF Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 using ATF eForms, provided all of the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.   
2013-1 - Electronic Form 6 and 6A (2.27 MB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for individuals, Federal firearms licensees, and registered importers of articles enumerated on the U.S. Munitions Import List (USMIL) to file ATF Form 6 - Part I and Form 6A electronically using ATF eForms, provided all of the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.  Supersedes ATF Rulings 2003-6 and 2010-9.
2012-5 - Type 4 Magazine Construction (68.58 KB)
ATF authorizes alternate storage for explosives licensees and permittees to store explosive materials in outdoor type 4 magazines with wood-only floors, provided all of the requirements stated in this ruling are met.
2012-3 - AFMER Electronic Form (1.41 MB)
Approved alternate method or procedure for licensed manufacturers to submit the Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER), ATF Form 5300.11, electronically using ATF eForms, provided all of the conditions set forth in this ruling are met. 
2012-2 - Storage of Display Fireworks in Picking Bins (73.14 KB)
ATF authorizes alternate storage of display fireworks in fixed, unmarked, and uncovered bins inside explosives storage magazines provided all of the requirements of this ruling are met
2012-1 - Time Period for Marking Firearms Manufactured (127.51 KB)
Marking and recordkeeping requirements for firearm frames and receivers.
2011-4 - Pistols Configured from Rifles; Rifles Configured from Pistols (82.73 KB)
Unassembled parts and configurations of parts of pistols, rifles, handguns or other weapons that result in a  firearm as defined under the NFA, 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3); 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3) and (a)(4); 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3) and (a)(4); and 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4).
2011-3 - Alternate Locks Authorized for Explosives Magazines (97.6 KB)
ATF authorizes alternate use of hidden-shackle "hockey puck" locks, recessed padlocks, and padlocks with boron alloy shackles to secure explosives magazines, provided all of the requirements stated of this ruling have been met.
2011-2 - Locking Requirements for Outdoor Type 5 Bin and Silo Magazines (84.19 KB)
ATF authorizes alternate storage for explosives licensees and permittees to store bulk blasting agents in outdoor type 5 bin or silo magazines without the specified locks provided all of the requirements stated in this ruling have been met.
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