Rules and Regulations Library

Title Description Category Document Type
National-Apr2011-Open Letter-Submitting ATF Form 4 or Form 5 (94 KB)
The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance to any person submitting ATF Form 4, Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of a Firearm, or with ATF Form 5, Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of a Firearm.
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
1974-8 - NFA Firearms for Official Use Only (68 KB) When NFA firearms are registered on Form 10 by governmental entities, subsequent transfers of such firearms shall be made only to other governmental entities. Firearms Ruling
1968-28-Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War (2230 KB)

This circular announces the transfer of the Arms Import Control Program from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Firearms Industry Circular
1976-22 - Qualifying Tax Free Transfers (85 KB) Mere possession of a license and a special tax stamp as a dealer in firearms does not qualify a person to receive firearms transfer-tax-free. Rev. Rul. 58-432 superseded. Firearms Ruling
Iowa-Jun2011-Open Letter-Transferring a Firearm to an Unlicensed Person Using an Iowa Permit Alternative (109 KB)
The open letter provides guidance to all Iowa Federal firearms licensees when transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person using an Iowa issued permit as an alternative to a NICS background check. 
Firearms Open Letter
2002-5 - Transfer and Possession Machineguns (12 KB) Applications to transfer two (2) machineguns of a particular model to a Federal firearms licensee as sales samples will be approved if documentation shows necessity for demonstration to government agencies. Firearms Ruling
All FFLs-Jan2006-Open Letter-Certain Firearms Transfers Affected by the Change to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (36 KB)
The purpose of this Open Letter is to advise all Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) of a recent change to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as it relates to the transfer of certain types of firearms.
Firearms Open Letter
New Jersey-Dec1998-Open Letter-Correction Notice-Change to New Jersey Background Check Procedure (659 KB)
The correction notice corrects an error found in the ATF open letter, dated November 10, 1998, regarding the point of contact for background checks firearm transfers. 
Firearms Open Letter
Minnesota-Oct2019-NICS_background_Check_Prior_to_Firearm_Transfer_to_Non-Licensee_with_Valid_Minnesota_Permit_to_Carry.pdf (436 KB)

All Minnesota Federal Firearms Licensees are required to conduct a NICS background check prior to the transfer of a firearm to a non-licensee even if that person presents a valid Minnesota Permit to Carry.

Firearms Open Letter
National-May 2016-Open Letter-All Chief Law Enforcement Officers of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (80 KB)
On January 15, 2016, ATF published in the Federal Register a final rule entitled “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.”  This final rule is effective on July 13, 2016, and amends the regulations governing the making and transfer of firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act. 
Firearms Open Letter
2014-1 - Manufacturing/Inventory of Machineguns for LE and Military (49 KB)
A manufacturer licensed and qualified under the GCA and NFA may manufacture and maintain an inventory of machineguns for future sale to Federal, State, or local government agencies without a specific government contract or official request; provided, the machineguns 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 machineguns it has manufactured to another qualified manufacturer for any manufacturing process; provided, the first manufacturer maintains continuous dominion or control over the machineguns. A manufacturer may transfer machineguns 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.
Firearms Ruling
AG 3608-2016: Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm (4940 KB)

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.

Firearms Ruling
All FFLs-Jan2013-Open Letter-Facilitating Transfers of Firearms Between Private Individuals (242 KB) The purpose of this open letter is to remind all Federal firearms licenses (FFL) of their ready ability to enhance public safety and assist law enforcement by encouraging and facilitating transfers of firearms between private individuals thorough their businesses. Firearms Open Letter
Kansas-May2011-Firearms-National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Requirement Exception. (110 KB)
The purpose of this open letter is to advise you of an important change to the procedure you may follow to comply with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act when transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. This open letter supersedes the document by the same title, posted on April 8, 2010.
Firearms Open Letter
All FFLs-May2011-Open Letter-Complying with Recordkeeping Requirements When the Initial NICS Response is Changed (102 KB) The purpose of this open letter is to provide guidance to Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) on how to comply with recordkeeping requirements when there is a change to the response initially received by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) during a background check for a firearm transfer. Firearms Open Letter
North Dakota-Apr2000-Open Letter-Correction Notice-Qualifying Permit Alternatives to NICS Check (103 KB)
The provisions of North Dakota law regarding the issuance of concealed weapons permits were recently amended.  Based on these changes, concealed weapons permits issued on or after December 1, 1999, will now qualify as alternatives to a NICS check at the time of transfer.
Firearms Open Letter
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
1967-347 - Transfer Tax Liability (319 KB)

Transfer tax liability is not incurred where a shotgun or rifle coming within the purview of the National Firearms Act(NFA) is returned to the manufacturer for conversion into a weapon not coming within the provisions of the NFA.

Firearms Ruling
2010-1 - Temporary Assignment of a Firearm by an FFL to an Unlicensed Employee (20 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.
Firearms Ruling
All FFLs-Apr2006-Open Letter-Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 (32 KB)
This open letter serves to notify Federal firearms licensees that the Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 makes it generally unlawful for “any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer any handgun to any person, other than another licensee, unless the transferee (buyer) is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device for that handgun.”
Firearms Open Letter
Pennsylvania-Dec2005-Open Letter-Private Transfers of Firearms and Using NICS or the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) (37 KB)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received questions from firearms dealers in Pennsylvania concerning the use of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)/Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) to do background checks of people who are acquiring firearms from other nonlicensees in what are commonly called “private transfers.”
Firearms Open Letter
Kentucky-May2015-Open Letter-Guidance on Alternative Permit Porcedures that Comply with the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (63 KB)
The purpose of this letter is to provide clarification and guidance on alternative permit procedures that comply with the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (Brady law) for firearms transfers to unlicensed persons in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  This open letter supersedes the 2006 Open Letter to All Kentucky Federal Firearms Licensees with respect to alternatives to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check.
Firearms Open Letter
2016-5 – Marking Variance for Government Defense Contractors (67 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.
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
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