Rules and Regulations Library

Titlesort descending Description Category Document Type
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 2023-2 Commercial Records (540 KB)

This ruling authorizes licensed explosives importers, manufacturers and dealers to maintain commercial records instead of a separate record as a permanent record of acquisitions, distributions/dispositions, and use of explosive materials. 

Explosives 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
Authorization to Seize Property Involved in Drug Offenses for Administrative Forfeiture (2012R-9P) Feb. 25, 2015 (62 KB)

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.

Rules and Regulations Rulemaking
California-Apr2013-Open Letter-Completing ATF Forms 4473 While Complying with CA DOJ Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) Transaction Procedures (43 KB)
The purpose of this letter is to provide procedures for completing Firearms Transaction Records, ATF Form 4473, while complying with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) transaction procedures.
Firearms Open Letter
California-May2015-Open Letter-Guidance for Completing ATF Forms 4473 while Complying with California DOJ DROS DES Transaction Procedures. (175 KB)
The ATF has received inquiries from California Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) concerning the correct procedure for completing Firearms Transaction Records, ATF Forms 4473, while complying with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) Entry System (DES) transaction procedures. 
Firearms Open Letter
California-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (38 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in California of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
California-Oct2004-California Entertainment Firearms Permit (35 KB)
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that, on September 20, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger approved a change in California law that establishes an Entertainment Firearms Permit, and to further advise you of the affect this new permit may have on firearms transactions conducted under your Federal firearms license.
Firearms Open Letter
Colorado Open Letter - HB1298.pdf (221 KB)

Colorado House Bill 1298 (HB1298) establishes a state requirement for an FFL in Colorado to obtain approval, in the form of a “proceed” response, from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) prior to any firearm transfers. HB1298 prohibits the CBI from approving a firearm transfer until the CBI determines that its background investigation is complete and that the transfer would not violate federal prohibitions on firearms possession or result in a violation of state law. 

Firearms Open Letter
Colorado-July1999-Open Letter-Correction Notice-State of Colorado Point of Contact for Background Checks (95 KB)
The Colorado Department of Public Safety recently notified ATF that the State of Colorado will again act as the point of contact for NICS checks for all firearms transactions. Therefore, beginning August 1, 1999, in order to request a NICS check for any firearm transaction, you must contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Firearms Open Letter
Colorado-Mar1999-Open Letter-Correction Notice-Colorado Bureau of Investigation Ceases Operations as NICS Point of Contact (96 KB)

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation will cease its operations as the NICS point of contact on March 31, 1999. Therefore, beginning April 1, 1999, in order to initiate a NICS check for any firearm, Colorado licensees must contact the FBI’s NICS Operations Center.

Firearms Open Letter
Commerce in Explosives (107 KB)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking, in part, pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) which requires an agency to review within ten years of publication, rules for which an agency prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis addressing the impact of the rule on small businesses or other small entities. Based on comments we have received in response to the RFA analysis, this document proposes amendments to the explosives regulations relating to fireworks.

Explosives Rulemaking
Commerce in Explosives - Amended Definition of "Propellant Actuated Device" (110 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (‘‘ATF’’) to clarify that the term ‘‘propellant actuated device’’ does not include hobby rocket motors or rocket-motor reload kits consisting of or containing ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (‘‘APCP’’), black powder, or other similar low explosives.

Explosives Rulemaking
Commerce in Explosives - Amended Definition of "Propellant Actuated Device" (2004R-3P) Aug. 11, 2006 (66 KB)

The Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that the term ‘‘propellant actuated device’’ does not include hobby rocket motors or rocket-motor reload kits consisting of or containing ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP), black powder, or other similar low explosives.

Explosives Rulemaking
Commerce in Explosives - Hobby Rocket Motors (2004R-7P) (153 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that the requirements of part 555 do not apply to model rocket motors consisting of ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, black powder, or other similar low explosives, containing no more than 62.5 grams of total propellant weight, and designed as single-use motors or as reload kits capable of reloading no more than 62.5 grams of propellant into a reusable motor casing.

Explosives Rulemaking
Commerce in Explosives - Storage of Shock Tube with Detonators (2005R-3P) (66 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) by allowing shock tube to be stored with detonators because these materials when stored together do not pose a mass detonation hazard. Shock tube is a small diameter plastic laminate tube coated with a very thin layer of explosive material. When initiated, it transmits a low energy wave from one point to another. The outer surface of the tube remains intact during and after functioning.

Explosives Rulemaking
Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition-Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit (2007R-9P) (269 KB) 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.  Firearms Rulemaking
Connecticut-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (821 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in Connecticut of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
December 2018 - Bump-Stock-Type-Devices - 2018R–22F (426 KB)
The Department of Justice is amending the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulations to clarify that “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics (“bump-stock-type devices”) are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.
Rules and Regulations Rulemaking
Decision-Making Authority Regarding the Denial, Suspension, or Revocation of a Federal Firearms License, or Imposition of a Civil Fine (68 KB)

The Department of Justice has adopted as final, without change, an interim rule that amended the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF’) to delegate to the Director of ATF the authority to serve as the deciding official regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation of federal firearms licenses, or the imposition of a civil fine.

Firearms Rulemaking
Decision-Making Authority Regarding the Denial, Suspension, or Revocation of a Federal Firearms License, or Imposition of a Civil Fine (2008R-10P) Jan. 14, 2009 (61 KB)

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (‘‘ATF’’) to delegate to the Director of ATF the authority to serve as the deciding official regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation of federal firearms licenses, or the imposition of a civil fine. The Director will have the flexibility to delegate to another ATF official the authority to decide a revocation or denial matter, or may exercise that authority himself.

Firearms Rulemaking
Delaware-Oct1998-Open Letter-Permanent Provisions of the Brady Law (45 KB) The purpose of this letter is to advise Federal firearms licensees in Delaware of their responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Firearms Open Letter
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