Firearms 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.

2022-1 - Electronic Storage of Forms 4473.pdf (226.59 KB)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure from the provisions of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 478.121, 478.124, 478.129, and 27 CFR 479.131 that require Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to retain the ATF Firearms Transaction Record, Form 4473 (5300.9) (Form 4473), in a paper format. Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to retain an electronic version of each ATF Form 4473 created pursuant to ATF Ruling 2016-2 (or subsequent ruling), instead of the paper format, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met. Additionally, ATF authorizes digital scanning and electronic retention of certain paper ATF Form 4473, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.

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.
2016-2 – 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.
2013-2 - 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.
2012-3 - 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. 
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).
2010-9 - Supporting Documentation for Import Permit Applications (34.79 KB)

Persons holding a valid Federal firearms license and/or who are registered as importers of articles on the U.S. Munitions Import List importing surplus military defense articles importable as curios or relics, may submit photocopies of the original supporting statements and documents with ATF Form 6, if they certify, under penalties provided by law, that the supporting documentation is true, correct, and complete. Such persons who are authorized under ATF Ruling 2003-6 to file eForm 6, may submit digitally scanned copies of the original supporting statements and documents with eForm 6, if they certify, under penalties provided by law, that the supporting documentation is true, correct, and complete.

2010-6 - State of Residence (97.66 KB)
For the purpose of acquiring firearms under the GCA, a U.S. citizen who temporarily resides in a foreign country, but also demonstrates the intention of making a home in a particular State, is a resident of the State during the time period he or she actually resides in that State. The intention must be demonstrated to a Federal firearms licensee by presenting valid identification documents.
2010-3 - Identification of Maxim Side-Plate Receivers (181.89 KB)
The right side-plate of a Vickers/Maxim-type firearm, manufactured with its camming lobe affixed in the proper location, and without an ATF approved block that prevents installation of machinegun fire control components, is a machinegun receiver, and therefore, a machinegun as defined by the GCA and NFA. Provided it has not been disassembled into its component parts, a complete Vickers/Maxim-type machinegun that is currently registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record with its serial number located on a component part of the receiver box other than the right side-plate has been lawfully registered under the NFA and may be lawfully possessed by the registrant under 18 U.S.C. 922(o).
2010-1 - Temporary Assignment of a Firearm by an FFL to an Unlicensed Employee (19.5 KB)
Requirements for temporary assignment of a firearm by an FFL to its unlicensed employees for bona fide business purposes, where the actual custody of the firearm is transferred for a limited period of time, and where title and control of the firearm remain with the FFL; and by an FFL to its unlicensed agents, contractors, volunteers, or any other person who is not an employee of the FFL, even for bona fide business purposes. Supersedes Revenue Ruling 69-248 and modifies ATF Ruling 73-19. Industry Circular 72-23 is no longer in effect.
2009-2 - Installation of Drop In Replacement Parts (14.71 KB)
Licensing requirements under the GCA for any person who installs “drop in” replacement parts in or on existing, fully assembled firearms. A “drop in” replacement part is one that can be installed in or on an existing, fully assembled firearm without drilling, cutting, or machining. A replacement part, whether factory original or otherwise, has the same design, function, substantially the same dimensions, and does not otherwise affect the manner in which the weapon expels a projectile by the action of an explosive.
2008-1 - Fabrique Nationale Herstal SA (FN) FNC Rifle (11.32 KB)
The upper assembly of the Fabrique Nationale Herstal SA (FN) FNC rifle is classified as the receiver of the firearm for purposes of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, and the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53.
2006-2 - Classification of Devices Exclusively Designed to Increase the Rate of Fire of a Semiautomatic Firearm (67.72 KB)
The NFA and GCA definition of machinegun includes a part or parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun. This language includes a device that, when activated by a single pull of the trigger, initiates an automatic firing cycle that continues until the finger is released or the ammunition supply is exhausted.
2005-4 - A Ported Device Attached to the Barrel of a Paintball Gun (13.4 KB)
Certain integral devices intended to diminish the report of paintball guns are not “firearm silencers” or “firearm mufflers” under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or the National Firearms Act.
2004-5 - Minigun Ruling (940.1 KB)
The 7.62mm Aircraft Machine Gun, identified in the U.S. military inventory as the "M-134" (Army), "GAU-2B/A" (Air Force), and "GAU-17/A" (Navy), is a machinegun as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(b). Rev. Rul. 55-528 modified.
2004-2 - Temporary Importation of Firearms Subject to the NFA (350.21 KB) Approved alternate method or procedure for importers to use when temporarily importing firearms subject to the NFA, the GCA and the Arms Export Control Act for inspection, testing, calibration, repair, or incorporation into another defense article.
2003-4 - Importation of Sten Type Receivers for Unrestricted Commercial Sale.pdf (193.52 KB)

An ATF-approved method of destruction for the Sten type machinegun will result in the severed portions of the receiver being importable for unrestricted commercial sale.

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