Rulemaking

Image of a dictionary opened to the page with law

June 2016

Title:
Recordkeeping Regulations - Technical Amendment to 27 CFR 478.125
Action:
Final Rule
Purpose:
This final rule makes technical amendments to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations in title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) pertaining to certain firearms recordkeeping requirements in 27 CFR 478.125 and 478.125a to provide clarity and enhance uniformity. The technical changes are being made in the wording of three tables to reflect the same wording in the body of the regulations associated with the tables regarding the required description of firearms for recordkeeping purposes.
Release Date:
06/13/2016
Effective Date:
06/13/2016
Comment Period:
N/A

May 2016

Title:
Implementation of Public Law 105-277 Relating to Secure Gun Storage, Amended Definition of “Antique Firearm,” and Miscellaneous Amendments (99R 125P)
Action:
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Purpose:
The Department of Justice proposes amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), to codify into regulation certain provisions of Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999. The proposed rule would amend ATF’s regulations to account for the existing statutory requirement for applicants for firearms dealer licenses to certify that secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensed individuals, and amend definitions of certain terms, including an amended definition of “antique firearm,” to include certain muzzle loading firearms.
Release Date:
05/26/2016
Effective Date:
N/A
Comment Period:
05/26/2016 to 08/24/2016

Title:
Federal Firearms License Proceedings – Hearings
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding administrative hearings held as part of firearms license proceedings. This rule clarifies that persons requesting a hearing will be afforded the opportunity to submit facts and arguments for review and consideration during the hearing, and may make offers of settlement before and after the hearing. The regulations are intended to ensure that federal firearms licensees and persons applying for a federal firearms license are familiar with the hearing process relative to the denial, suspension, or revocation of a firearms license, or imposition of a civil fine.
Release Date:
05/23/2016
Effective Date:
07/22/2016
Comment Period:
N/A

Title:
Identification Markings Placed on Firearm Silencers and Firearm Mufflers
Action:
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Purpose:
The Department of Justice is considering amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to require licensed manufacturers, licensed importers, and nonlicensed makers to place identification markings on the outer tube of firearm silencers and firearm mufflers. The Department wishes to gather information and comments from the public and industry concerning whether or not the regulations should be amended.
Release Date:
05/04/2016
Effective Date:
05/04/2016
Comment Period:
05/04/2016 to 08/02/2016

January 2016

Title:
Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
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. This final rule standardizes the requirements by ensuring that responsible persons for a trust or legal entity are subject to the same identification and background check requirements as individuals. To lessen potential compliance burdens for the public and law enforcement, this final rule eliminates the requirement for a certification signed by the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) and instead requires CLEO notification. The final rule also clarifies the definition “responsible person” for a trust or legal entity to address concerns about the definition’s scope while maintaining the important objective of ensuring background checks for relevant parties associated with a trust or legal entity.
Release Date:
01/15/2016
Effective Date:
07/13/2016
Comment Period:
N/A

Title:
Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition-Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit (2007R-9P)
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
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 ATF and to the appropriate local authorities within 48 hours of discovery. The rule also reduces an FFL’s reporting burden when a theft or loss involves a firearm registered under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and ensures consistent reporting to ATF’s NFA Branch. In addition, the rule specifies that transferor/sender FFLs must reflect the theft or loss of a firearm as a disposition entry in their required records not later than 7 days following discovery of the theft or loss; moreover, if an FFL reported the theft or loss of a firearm and later discovers its whereabouts, the FFL must advise ATF that the firearm has been located and must re-enter the firearm into its required records as an acquisition or disposition entry as appropriate.
Release Date:
01/12/2016
Effective Date:
02/11/2016
Comment Period:
N/A

October 2015

Title:
Technical Amendments to Regulations; Correction (2013R-9F)
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
This final rule corrects the definition of “Customs Officer” in 27 CFR 555.11 of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations. The Federal Register inadvertently inserted the old definition of the term when edits were made to the Technical Amendments final rule (79 FR 46690).
Release Date:
10/02/2015
Effective Date:
10/02/2015
Comment Period:
N/A

May 2015

Title:
Importation of Arms, Ammunition and Defense Articles--Removal of Certain Defense Articles Currently on the U.S. Munitions Import List That No Longer Warrant Import Control Under the Arms Export Control Act (2011R-25P)
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
The Department of Justice is finalizing without change an amendment to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations to remove those defense articles currently on the U.S. Munitions Import List that ATF, by delegation, has determined no longer warrant import control under the Arms Export Control Act.
Release Date:
05/29/2015
Effective Date:
06/29/2015
Comment Period:
N/A

Title:
Separation Distances of Ammonium Nitrate and Blasting Agents from Explosives or Blasting Agents (2002R-226P)
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking
Purpose:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is proposing to amend its regulations to clarify that all ammonium nitrate is subject to the separation distances requirements in 27 CFR 555.206(c)(2) and 555.220.
Release Date:
05/29/2015
Effective Date:
N/A
Comment Period:
05/29/2015 to 08/27/2015

February 2015

Title:
Authorization To Seize Property Involved in Drug Offenses for Administrative Forfeiture (2012R-9P)
Action:
Final Rule
Purpose:
The Department of Justice is amending its regulations to delegate to the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) authority to seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance offenses. This rule amends the regulations in 28 CFR part 0 to delegate to the Director of ATF the authority to seize, forfeit, and remit or mitigate the forfeiture of property in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 881. Forfeiting the assets of criminals is an essential tool in combating criminal activity and provides law enforcement with the capacity to dismantle criminal organizations, deprive wrongdoers of the proceeds of their illegal activities, and deter crime.
Release Date:
02/25/2015
Effective Date:
02/25/2015
Comment Period:
N/A

October 2014

Title:
Rules of Practice in Explosives License and Permit Proceedings (2007R-5P); Revisions reflecting changes consistent with the Homeland Security Act of 2002
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking
Purpose:
The Department of Justice proposes to codify existing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) procedures and practices in connection with the disapproval of initial applications, denials of renewal, and revocations of explosives licenses or permits under 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40. Existing practice on these issues was developed when ATF was a part of the Treasury Department, and at that time ATF relied on existing Treasury regulations (27 CFR Part 71, applicable to alcohol permits and licenses) to guide the procedures and practices for explosives licenses and permits. This rule will place the relevant regulations within the Department of Justice framework, and will explicitly address administrative actions and licensing processes for explosives matters. The Department proposes relying heavily on the Treasury regulations on which its current practices are based, with minor non-substantive revisions, for example, removal of all references to statutes, regulations, positions or other such nomenclature that is applicable only to Treasury.
Release Date:
10/07/2014
Effective Date:
N/A
Comment Period:
10/07/2014 to 01/05/2015

August 2014

Title:
Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition - Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking (Comments Requested)
Purpose:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is seeking public comments on a proposal to amend its regulations to ensure that firearms lost or stolen in transit are timely and properly reported as required by law. In addition, ATF is proposing to streamline the reporting requirements when the lost/stolen firearm is registered under the National Firearms Act (NFA), reducing the number of reports required of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). From FY 2008 through FY 2012, in an average of 1,525 crime gun traces per year, FFLs claimed to have never received the firearm allegedly shipped to it and no one reported the theft or loss to ATF. The Gun Control Act (GCA) requires FFLs to report lost or stolen firearms to ATF and to the appropriate local authorities within 48 hours; however, when the loss or theft occurs in transit between FFLs or non-licensees, the GCA does not specify who should report such loss or theft. This proposal seeks to ensure that such losses and thefts do not continue to go unreported by clarifying that it is the sender or transferor that is the appropriate reporting party, because it is the sender that is in the best position to know when and how the firearms were shipped and to follow-up with the shipping service provider to determine what may have occurred. Understanding that sender/transferor FFLs will not always have timely information regarding firearms that have not shown up at their destination, the rule proposes that the reporting requirement be triggered when the sender learns that the firearm did not arrive. The proposal would require the FFL that was the transferor/sender to reflect the theft or loss of a firearm as a disposition entry in its records no later than 7 days following discovery of the theft or loss. FFLs reporting a theft or loss of a firearm that later discover the whereabouts of the firearm(s) must notify ATF that the firearm has been located and adjust their records by re-entering the firearm as an acquisition or disposition entry as appropriate. ATF also proposes to reduce the reporting burden on FFLs when the theft or a loss of a firearm is registered under the NFA. The Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report (ATF Form 3310.11) will allow for simultaneous reporting of the information to the National Tracing Center and the NFA Branch, eliminating the current practice of requiring separate, written reports.
Release Date:
08/11/2014
Effective Date:
N/A
Comment Period:
08/12/2014 to 11/10/2014

Title:
Technical Amendments to Regulations in Title 27, Chapter II
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
This final rule makes technical amendments and corrects typographical errors in parts 447, 478, 479, 555, and 646 of title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These amendments do not change ATF's existing authorities or responsibilities. Many of the technical changes are being made to reflect changes in terminology that resulted from the transfer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to the Department of Justice from the Department of the Treasury pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The changes are designed to provide clarity and enhance uniformity throughout these regulations.
Release Date:
08/08/2014
Effective Date:
08/11/2014
Comment Period:
N/A

Title:
Elimination of Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473 (Low Volume) (2008R-21P)
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
The regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are being modified by this rule to eliminate the Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473 (Low Volume (LV)), Parts I and II. Federally licensed firearms dealers who transferred not more than 50 firearms per year were eligible to use this form as an alternate record for the receipt and disposition of firearms. Because licensees rarely used Form 4473 (LV), ATF sought comment from the public as to whether it should eliminate this infrequently used form as an efficiency measure. After review of public comments, ATF determined that the form was rarely used and the cost of updating and printing the form outweighed the benefits. Consequently, ATF determined that elimination of the form best serves the public interest. All Federal firearms licensees must now record acquisitions and dispositions of firearms pursuant to 27 CFR 478.125.
Release Date:
08/01/2014
Effective Date:
10/03/2014
Comment Period:
N/A

July 2014

Title:
Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of Justice (2013R-4F)
Action:
Final rule
Purpose:
The Department of Justice (DOJ), with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics, is amending its Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of Justice (Supplemental Standards) to incorporate, without substantive change, existing rules for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) employees that had initially been adopted by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) when ATF was within Treasury. These rules, which have continued to be applicable to ATF employees after the agency moved to DOJ, are being incorporated without substantive change into DOJ’s Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees. Additionally, this final rule designates ATF as a separate agency for purposes of applying provisions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct regarding gifts, teaching, speaking, and writing.
Release Date:
07/25/2014
Effective Date:
07/31/2014
Comment Period:
N/A

March 2014

Title:
Removal of Defense Articles Currently on the U.S. Munitions Import List, (2011R-25P)
Action:
Interim Final Rule with Comments Requested
Purpose:
Primarily removes those defense articles currently on the U.S. Munitions Import List that ATF, by delegation, has determined no longer warrant import control under the Arms Export Control Act.
Release Date:
03/27/2014
Effective Date:
04/28/2014
Comment Period:
03/27/2014 to 06/25/2014

Email Updates

Subscribe to receive news and update from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives