Rules and Regulations Library

Titlesort descending Description Category Document Type
All FFLs-Nov2001-Open Letter-Supporting Documentation for the Importation of Surplus Military Curio or Relic Firearms (90 KB) In response to the recent number of inquiries from licensed importers concerning the importation of surplus military curio or relic firearms and the submission of supporting documentation, ATF has published ATF Ruling 2001-3. Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Nov2003-Open Letter-Procedual Guidance Regarding the Handling of ATF Form 4473 After a Firearms Transaction (1121 KB)
This letter serves to provide Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) with procedural guidance regarding the handling of ATF From 4473, Firearms Transaction Record, after a firearm transaction has occurred. 
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Nov2005-Open Letter-Lawful Importation of Certain Firearm Barrels into the United States for Commercial Purposes (35 KB)
The purpose of this open letter is to update licensed and registered importers of firearms, ammunition and other regulated commodities on the lawful importation of certain firearm barrels into the United States for commercial purposes.
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Nov2011-Open Letter-Recent Changes to Florida State Law (63 KB)
The purpose of this open letter is to provide guidance on the recent changes to Florida State law and to assist Federal firearms licensees in complying with Federal firearms laws and regulations and how they may affect Florida county ordinances that require sellers to wait five days before delivering a firearms.
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Oct1998-Open Letter-Pawnbroker Transactions (30 KB)
The Omnibus Appropriations Act for 1999 provides that a pawnbroker may complete a NICS check when a firearm is offered as collateral for a loan, at the option of the dealer.  ATF will be publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting forth the procedures pawnbrokers must follow if they wish to complete the optional NICS check at the time a firearm is offered for pawn.
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Oct2007-Open Letter-Availability of the Personal Firearms Record, ATF Form 3312.8 (86 KB)
The purpose of this open letter is to make you aware of the availability of ATF Publication 3312.8, Personal Firearms Record.  This record is to help firearms owners adequately identify their firearms in case of a theft or loss. 
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Sep2012-Open Letter-Building Positive Working Relationships with Industry Members (161 KB) This open letter was sent from ATF's Deputy Director to all Federal firearms licensees and all Federal explosives licensees/permittees discussing how ATF continues to work towards maintaining and building positive working relationships industry members, trade associations, law enforcement, and the general public. Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Sept2004-Open Letter-Expiration of the Ban on the Importation of SAWs and LCAFDs (45 KB)
This open letter is to advise the import community of the provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that no longer apply to the manufacture, transfer and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons (SAWs) and to transfer and possess large capacity ammunition feeding devices (LCAFDs).
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-Sept2011-Open Letter-Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes (57 KB)
The purpose of this open letter is to provide guidance on the issue of marijuana for madicinal purposes and its applicability to Federal firearms laws.
Firearms Open Letter
All States' Attorney General-May2007-Open Letter-Adjudicated as a Mental Defective (108 KB)
This open letter is to all States' Attorney General and focuses on working with each State in taking steps to identfy person who are prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of their mental health history.
Firearms Open Letter
Amended Definition of Adjudicated as a Mental Defective and Committed to a Mental Institution (2010R-21P) (65 KB)

The Department of Justice proposes amending Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations to clarify definitions of two categories of persons who are prohibited from receiving, possessing, shipping, or transporting firearms under the Gun Control Act of 1968. The proposed rule would clarify that the statutory term ‘‘adjudicated as a mental defective’’ includes persons who are found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, lack of mental responsibility, or insanity, and that the term includes persons found guilty but mentally ill.

Firearms Rulemaking
American Samoa-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (705 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in American Samoa of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
Arizona-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (659 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in Arizona of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
Arkansas-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (893 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in Arkansas of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
Armor Piercing Ammunition (98 KB)

To protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers from the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest when fired from a handgun, the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended, prohibits the import, manufacture, and distribution of "armor piercing ammunition" as defined by the statute. Interpreting the meaning of this statutory language, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has developed a framework that will apply to requests seeking a determination that certain projectiles qualify for this "sporting purpose" exemption.

Firearms General Notice
ATF 20P (221 KB) Importation of Defense Articles and Defense Services-U.S. Munitions Import Lists (2011R-20P) - The Department of Justice is amending Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations to remove the cross reference to the regulatory United States Munitions List (USML) of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that appears at 27 CFR 447.21; to clarify that the Attorney General exercises delegated authority pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and Executive Order 13637 to designate defense articles and defense services as part of the statutory  SML for purposes of permanent import controls, regardless of whether the Secretary of State controls such defense articles or defense services for purposes of export and temporary import; and to clarify that defense articles and defense services controlled pursuant to the Attorney General’s delegated AECA authority are part of the statutory USML (along with those that are controlled for export and temporary import by the Secretary of State), but that the list of defense articles and defense services controlled by the Attorney General is labeled the USMIL to distinguish it from the list of defense articles and defense services in the ITAR that are controlled by the Secretary of State.
 
Rules and Regulations Rulemaking
ATF Form 5320.20 (769 KB) Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms Firearms Information Collection
ATF Proc 2017-1 - Private Firearms Transfers Through FFLs (74 KB)
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.
Firearms Ruling
ATF Proc. 2013-2: Recordkeeping procedure for non-over-the-counter-firearm sales by licensees to unlicensed in-state residents that are NICS exempt (55 KB)

This ATF procedure gives guidance to licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers (licensees) on how to record the sale of a firearm to an unlicensed person who:

  1. Has a valid alternate permit or otherwise is exempt from National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) requirements;
  2. Resides in the same state as the licensee; and
  3. Does not appear in person at the licensee's business premises.
Firearms Ruling
ATF Proc. 75-3: Recordkeeping for drop shipments (249 KB)
This ATF Procedure sets forth the recordkeeping procedures for "drop shipments" of firearms (other than National Firearms Act firearms as defined in section 5845(a) of Chapter 53, Title 26, U.S.C.) and ammunition between federally licensed firearms dealers, importers, and manufacturers.
Firearms Ruling
ATF Proc. 90-1 - Identification Number for Special Occupational Taxpayer (296 KB)
The purpose of this ATF procedure is to inform federal firearms licensees who have paid the special (occupational) tax to import, manufacture, or deal in National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms of the discontinuance of the use of the ATF Identification Number and the replacement with the use of the Employer Identification Number (EIN) on all NFA transaction forms.
Firearms Ruling
ATF Procedure 2017-1 - Facilitating Non-FFL Transfers of Firearms (74 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.
Firearms Ruling
atf-ruling-2018-1.pdf (90 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.
Resource Center Ruling
Authorization to Seize Property Involved in Drug Offenses for Administrative Forfeiture (2012R-9P) Aug. 27, 2012 (55 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending its regulations to allow the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to exercise, for a one-year period following the effective date of this rule, the authority to seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance offenses. Many years of experience have demonstrated that forfeiting the assets of criminals is an essential tool in combating criminal activity and provides law enforcement with the capacity to dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function after the conviction and incarceration of individual offenders. Moreover, administrative forfeiture permits the expedient and effective use of this crucial law enforcement tool. This rule is effective February 25, 2013.

Resource Center Rulemaking
Authorization to Seize Property Involved in Drug Offenses for Administrative Forfeiture (2012R-9P) Feb. 25, 2014 (62 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending its regulations to extend the trial period during which the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) may exercise, for an additional one-year period following the effective date of this rule, the authority under the United States Code to seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance offenses. The Attorney General has determined that the trial period that ends on February 25, 2014, should be extended for another year to give ATF more time to refine its processes, fully hire and train all necessary staff, and further demonstrate the effectiveness of the delegation in the investigation of violent crimes involving firearms. This rule is effective March 4, 2014.

Resource Center Rulemaking
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