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FAQ

This is the ATF FAQ, its got loads of great information. If you can’t find something, let us know we will attempt to find it for you elsewhere. We can always contact the FBI directly in search of answers.

Newly added FAQs:

ATF
Sources for Firearms Research Project

Foreign visitor purchase/possession of Firearms
or Ammunition


"Nonimmigrant aliens"
Obtaining a Waiver from the Attorney General
Green Card Purchase
Nonimmigrant alien previous firearms purchase
Permit for nonresident gun importation

Visitors to Canada Requirements
Firearm Transfers Between Individuals


A. GENERAL QUESTIONS PAGE

  1. Businesses
    subject to regulation
  2. Licensing
    eligibility
  3. License
    or permit to carry
  4. Antiques
  5. Ammunition
    covered by the GCA0
  6. Sale
    of firearms parts
  7. Making
    of firearms
  8. Sales
    of black powder
  9. Paintball/Airgun
    Sound Suppressers
  10. Gun
    privileges restored
  11. Alternatives
    for restoration of privileges
  12. Shooting
    Range
  13. Denial
    when purchasing a firearm
  14. Sources
    for firearms related issues
  15. Foreign
    visitor purchase/possession of Firearms or Ammunition
  16. "Nonimmigrant
    aliens
    "
  17. Obtaining
    a Waiver from the Attorney General
  18. Green
    Card Purchase
  19. Nonimmigrant
    alien previous firearms purchase
  20. Permit
    for nonresident gun importation

  21. Form for Importing Firearms and Ammunition
  22. Attachments
    to Form 6
  23. Approval
    Time for Form 6
  24. Listing
    of Items in Form 6
  25. Filing
    several Import Permit Applications
  26. Visitors
    to Canada Requirements
  27. ATF
    Sources for Firearms Research Project

B. UNLICENSED PERSONS
1. Transfers of firearms
2. Acquisition of firearms

3. Out-of-State purchases of firearms
4. Out-of-State purchases of ammunition

5. Certain persons prohibited
6. Law enforcement officers subject to restraining
orders

7. Transportation of firearms
8. Mailing firearms

9. Shipment of firearms by carriers
10. Interstate shipment of firearms for sporting
purposes

11. Interstate change of address
12. Residency–general

13. Property ownership and/ or residency
14. Purchases by foreign visitors and other aliens

15. Underage persons obtaining firearms
16. Transfer of a curio or relic

17. Firearm Transfers Between Individuals

C. LICENSING

1. Application procedure
2. Locations covered by license

3. Dual licensing
4. Operations after expiration

5. Surrender of records
6. What records are to be surrendered

7. Successor owner–need for license
8. No State right/ privilege conferred

9. Dealing at gun shows only
10. Change in location

D. FORM 4473–FIREARMS TRANSACTION RECORD

1. Form 4473 availability
2. Private sales

3. Dealer transferring to himself
4. Execution of Form 4473–seller

5. Means of identification
6. Form 4473–when executed
7. Electronic Version of Form 4473

E. RECORDS REQUIRED–LICENSEES

1. Bound book

2. Multiple bound books
3. Bound book–availability

4. Approved variations

5. Time for entries into bound book

6. Ammunition
7. Rental firearms

8. Sale of personal firearms

9. Computer records

F. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS–LICENSEES

1. Compliance with State and local laws

2. Sales to out-of-State nonlicensees

3. Out-of-State sales to law enforcement officers

4. Employees under age 21

5. Handguns–reporting multiple sales

6. Firearm purchasers–age requirements

7. Ammunition purchasers–age requirements
8. Verification–licensees’ status

9. Verification–multi-licensed entity

10. Deliveries after license expiration

11. License to sell ammunition
12. Sales at gun shows

13. Sales at out-of-State gun shows

14. Mailing firearms

15. Consignment sales
16. Reporting stolen firearms

17. Stolen firearms–records

18. Distribution of multiple sale forms

19. Responses to trace requests
20. Written notification on juvenile handgun possession


21. Posting signs on juvenile handgun possession

G. COLLECTORS

1. Collector’s license
2. Collector’s limitation

3. Collector cannot engage in business

4. Collector’s need for dealer’s license

5. Form 4473
6. Brady law

7. Notification and posting signs concerning juveniles

8. Disposition of records

H. MANUFACTURERS

1. License for each type of business

2. Firearms not covered by ammunition license


3. Ammunition covered by firearms license
4. Reloaders of ammunition

5. Excise taxes

I. GUNSMITHS

1. Activity requires license–when
2. Records

3. Form 4473

4. Immediate repairs

5. NFA weapon repair
6. Notification and posting signs concerning juveniles


7. Brady law

J. PAWNBROKERS

1. Disposition records
2. Transactions

3. Prohibited categories of persons
4. Notification and posting signs concerning juveniles


5. Brady law

K. AUCTIONEERS

1. License requirements
2. Location of sales

L. IMPORTING AND EXPORTING

1. Importation by licensees other than importers

2. Exportation
3. Does ATF regulate gas masks?

4. What must I do to import gas masks for resale?
5. Once I am a Registered Importer, are there any
other forms required to import gas masks?

6. Are there any countries that I cannot import
gas masks from?

7. Are there any types of gas masks that are not
importable?

8. Are there any exceptions to the ATF Form 6 requirements?

9. If I have any further questions, whom should
I contact?

M. FIREARMS–NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT (NFA)


1. Firearms requiring registration
2. Lawful acquisitions

3. Tax on making
4. Paying tax on making

5. Unserviceable NFA firearms
6. NFA firearms acquired by police

7. Unregistered NFA firearms
8. Penalties for unlawful possession

9. Disposal of unregistered firearm
10. Exemptions from making/ transfer tax

11. Qualified to import/ manufacture/ deal

12. Payment–special (occupational) tax

13. Special tax required for each activity–exception

14. Licensed collector–NFA firearms

15. Required transfer procedures
16. Authorization to make

17. Conversion part(s) subject to registration

18. Out-of-State transfer

19. Acceptable “law enforcement certifications”
20. Absence of duty to sign “law enforcement certification”


21. Refusal to sign “law enforcement certification”

22. Approval to transfer interstate–when required

23. Disapproved application to transfer interstate–options

24. Application to transfer prior to receipt not
allowed


25. Pistol and attachable shoulder stock
26. Evidence of registration required

27. Status–empty grenades, shells, etc.
28. Status–muzzle-loading cannons

29. Status–grenade and rocket launcher attachments

30. Definition of “conversion kit”

N. MACHINE GUNS – NFA

1. Manufacture by unlicensed person
2. Transfers by registered owners

O. SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE CAPACITY
AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES


1. Restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons

2. Definition of semiautomatic assault weapon

3. Restrictions on large capacity ammunition feeding
devices


4. Definition of large capacity ammunition feeding
devices

5. Exceptions to prohibitions

6. Semiautomatic firearms also regulated under the
NFA

7. Replacement parts

8. Sales to law enforcement officers
9. Retention by officers upon retirement

10. Assembly of semiautomatic assault weapon from
previously owned parts

11. Documentation for sales to law enforcement
officers

12. Stocking of semiautomatic assault weapons


13. Stocking of large capacity ammunition feeding
devices

14. Markings on semiautomatic assault weapons

15. Markings on large capacity ammunition feeding
devices

16. Magazines for Appendix A weapons not subject
to restrictions


17. Evidence that weapon not subject to restrictions

18. Semiautomatic assault weapons classified as
curios or relics

19. Modifying weapons for sale to the public

P. BRADY LAW

1. Waiting periods

2. Persons who must comply

3. Effective date of permanent Brady law
4. Operation of NICS

5. Agencies that perform NICS checks

6. States as points of contact for NICS checks


7. Licensees advised of points of contact
8. Charge for NICS checks

9. Enrolling with FBI for access to NICS

10. Firearms subject to NICS checks

11. Antique firearms
12. Transfers between licensees

13. Transfers of curios or relics by licensed collectors

14. Transfers by licensed dealers to licensed collectors


15. Licensees’ sales of personal firearms
16. Loan or rental of firearms

17. Sales at gun shows

18. Redemption of pawned firearms

19. Pawnbroker’s disposition of pawned firearm
when transfer “denied”


20. Repeated pawn of same firearm
21. Pawnbroker’s NICS checks prior to accepting
firearms in pawn

22. Pawnbroker’s completion of Form 4473 on optional
NICS check

23. Action of pawnbroker when NICS check results
in “denial”


24. Action of pawnbroker when NICS check results
in “approval”

25. Return of repaired firearm; transfer of replacement
firearm

26. Return of consignment firearm
27. Sales to law enforcement officers for official
use


28. Sales to law enforcement officers for personal
use

29. Exceptions to requirement to initiate NICS
check

30. Required steps on transfer
31. Identification of purchaser

32. Non-over-the-counter sales subject to NICS

33. Non-over-the-counter sales not subject to NICS

34. Brady form
35. Form 4473

36. Social security numbers on Form 4473
37. NICS responses–” proceed”, “denied”, “delayed”

38. “Business day” for purposes of Brady law

39. Transfer of firearm after “delayed” NICS response


40. Action of licensee after “denied” NICS response

41. Advice by licensee to proposed transferee denied
by NICS

42. How transferee may learn of reasons for “denied”
NICS response


43. Recording NICS responses on Form 4473
44. Action by licensee when no transaction number
is provided


45. Maintaining copy of Form 4473 when proposed
transfer not made

46. When to contact NICS

47. Period of time a NICS check is valid
48. When the period of validity of NICS check begins
to run


49. Orders for custom-made firearms

50. Multiple firearms transactions

51. When transfer may be made if NICS response
is “proceed” or “delayed”


52. State instant or point of sale checks as alternatives
to NICS

53. NICS checks after successful appeal of NICS
“denial”

54. Permit to carry concealed firearm as exception
to NICS check

55. How licensees know whether a permit is an alternative
to NICS check

56. Permits not covering type of firearm being
purchased


57. Use of concealed weapons permits outside States
where issued

58. Change in status of certain concealed weapons
permits


59. Concealed weapons permits issued more than
five years ago

60. Concealed weapons permits that have expired
under State law


61. Compliance with State instant check systems

62. Compliance with State waiting periods after
NICS “proceed” response

63. Compliance with State law where State is the
NICS point of contact

64. Transfer of firearm to licensee’s own personal
collection


65. Sale of firearm registered under the NFA

66. Sale to organization for raffling at event

Q. MISDEMEANOR CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


1. Definition of misdemeanor crime of domestic
violence

2. Effective date of disability

3. Constitutionality of disability
4. Example of conviction after effective date


5. Example of conviction before effective date

6. Applicable law to determine “conviction”


7. What state and local offenses covered
8. Convictions of local criminal ordinances


9. Offenses punishable only by fine

10. Meaning of “similarly situated to a spouse”


11. Meaning of statutory language “as an element”

12. Effect of deferred adjudication

13. Action by convicted licensees

14. Action by convicted individuals

15. Effect on law enforcement officers

Revised: 12/27/02

A. GENERAL QUESTIONS

(A1) Does the law regulate who can be in the business? [Back]

Yes. The Gun Control Act (GCA), administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms (ATF) of the Department of the Treasury, contains Federal
licensing standards for various firearms businesses (manufacturers, importers,
and dealers). An example of these standards is that the applicant must have
a
business premises. [18 U. S. C. 923( d), 27 CFR 178.47]

(A2) Who can get a license? [Back]

ATF will approve the application if the applicant:
bullet Is 21 years or more
of age;
bullet Is not prohibited
from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition;

bullet Has not willfully
violated the GCA or its regulations;
bullet Has not willfully
failed to disclose material information or willfully made false statements concerning
material facts in connection with his
application;
bullet Has premises for
conducting business or collecting; and,
bullet The applicant certifies
that–

(1) the business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by state
or local law in the place where the licensed premises is located;
(2) within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply
with the requirements of state and local law applicable to the conduct of
the business;
(3) the business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements
of state and local law applicable to the business have been met;
(4) the applicant has sent or delivered a form to the chief law enforcement
officer where the premises is located notifying the officer that the applicant
intends to apply for a license; and
(5) secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in
which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees
(” secure gun storage or safety device” is defined in 18 U. S. C. 921( a)(
34)).

Editor’s Note
The requirement to certify to the availability of gun storage or safety devices
was enacted on October 22, 1998, by Public Law 105-277. The
requirement is codified in section 923( d)( 1)( G) of the GCA and becomes effective
180 days after the date of enactment.

[18 U. S. C. 923( d)( 1), 27 CFR 178.47( b)]

(A3) Does the Federal Government issue a license or permit to carry a concealed
weapon?
[Back]

No. Neither ATF nor any other Federal agency issues such a permit or license.
Carrying permits may be issued by a state or local government.

(A4) Do antique firearms come within the purview of the GCA? [Back]
No. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 3) and (16), 27 CFR 178.11 and 178.141( d)]

(A5) What kinds of ammunition are covered by the GCA? [Back]

Ammunition includes cartridge cases, primers, bullets or propellant powder
designed for use in any firearm other than an antique firearm. Items
NOT covered include blank ammunition, tear gas ammunition, pellets and
nonmetallic shotgun hulls without primers.

Generally, no records are required for ammunition transactions. However, information
about the disposition of armor piercing ammunition is

required to be entered into a record by importers, manufacturers, and collectors.
A license is not required for dealers in ammunition only. [18 U. S. C. 921(
a)( 17) and 922( b)( 5), 27 CFR 178.11]

(A6) Does the GCA control the sale of firearms parts? [Back]

No, except that frames or receivers of firearms are “firearms” as defined in
the law and subject to the same controls as complete firearms. Silencer parts
are also firearms under the GCA, as well as under the National Firearms Act
(NFA). Certain machinegun parts, such as conversion parts or kits, are also
subject to the NFA.

The GCA generally prohibits the transfer and possession of large capacity ammunition
feeding devices manufactured after September 13, 1994. “Large capacity ammunition
feeding devices” are those that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
[18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 3), (24), and (31), 922( w), 27 CFR 178.11 and 178.40a]

(A7) Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle?
[Back]

With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a nonlicensee provided it
is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms.
However, a person is prohibited from making a semiautomatic assault weapon or
assembling a nonsporting semiautomatic rifle or nonsporting shotgun from
imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment
and approval by ATF. An application to make a machinegun will not be

approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being
made for a federal or state agency. [18 U. S. C. 922( o), (r), (v), and 923,
27 CFR 178.39, 178.40, 178.41 and 179.105]

(A8) Are black powder dealers required to be licensed as an ammunition dealer
under the GCA?
[Back]

No. However, black powder dealers are subject to the provisions of 27 CFR Part
55, Commerce in Explosives, which requires that a dealer in any quantity of
black powder must have a license as a dealer in low explosives. [18 U. S. C.
842]

(A9) Q. Are Paintball and/or Airgun Sound Suppressers legal? [Back]

A. §921(a)(24) The terms "firearm silencer" and "firearm
muffler" mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report
of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned,
and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm
muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

Numerous paintball silencers tested by the Firearms Technology Branch have
been determined to be, by nature of their design and function, firearm silencers
as defined in 18 U.S.C., Section 921(a)(24). An individual wishing to manufacturer
a firearm silencer must receive prior approval from ATF by submitting an ATF
Form 1 and paying a $200 making tax.

If I have any further questions as to this classification, who should I
contact?

Please send a written request to our Firearms Technology Branch at the following
address:

Bureau of ATF
Firearms Technology Branch
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Room 6450
Washington, DC 20226

(A10) Q. How can a person convicted of a felony apply for relief from firearms
disabilities?
[Back]

A. Under the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), convicted felons
and certain other persons are prohibited from possessing firearms. (See 18 U.S.C.
section 922(g).) The GCA provides the Secretary of the Treasury with the authority
to grant relief from this disability where the Secretary determines that the
person is not likely to act in a manner dangerous to the public safety. (See
18 U.S.C. section 925(c).) The Secretary delegated this authority to ATF.

Since October 1992, however, ATF’s annual appropriation has continuously prohibited
the expending of any funds to investigate or act upon applications for relief
from Federal firearms disabilities. This restriction is located in Pub. L. No.
107-67, 115 Stat. 514, which contains ATF appropriations for fiscal year 2002.
As long as this provision is included in current ATF appropriations, the Bureau
cannot act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities submitted
by individuals. Consequently, we cannot entertain any individual’s request for
firearms restoration while this prohibition on the processing of such applications
remains in place.

Furthermore, the restriction contained in Pub. L. No. 107-67 does not change
the status of prohibited persons. They are still prohibited from possessing,
receiving, transporting, or shipping firearms under Federal law.

(A11) Q. Are there any alternatives for relief from firearms disabilities?[Back]

A. Current alternatives as follows:

Persons convicted of a Federal offense may apply for a Presidential pardon.
Sections 1.1 through 1.10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 28, specify
the rules governing petitions for obtaining Presidential pardons. You may contact
the Pardon Attorney’s Office at the U.S. Department of Justice, 500 First Street,
NW., Washington, DC 20530, to inquire about the procedures for obtaining a Presidential
pardon.

Persons convicted of a State offense may contact the State Attorney General’s
Office within the State in which they reside for information concerning any
alternatives that may be available.

(A12) Q. Are there any Federal Regulations regarding ther
construction, location, etc., of a shooting range?
[Back]

A. http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/nlc/index.htm
FEDERAL FIREARMS REGULATIONS AND THE OPERATION OF SHOOTING RANGES

Revised: (4/08/02)

ATF concerns pertaining to indoor or outdoor firing ranges are based on the
Gun Control Act (GCA), rather than on the entire range of laws, including State
laws, that are relevant to firing range enterprises, whether indoor or outdoor.
Thus, you would need to contact State and local law enforcement authorities,
such as the State Police or the office of your State Attorney General, for general
information about shooting ranges in your State, including physical specifications
and any State regulations dealing with firearms permits or registration that
would affect a shooting range enterprise. (ATF does not register conventional
firearms or issue permits for ordinary long guns or handguns.)

With respect to the GCA, ATF jurisdiction would pertain to the acquisition
or sale of any firearms involved in this business. If sales or similar transfers
of firearms will be involved, you must obtain an application for a Federal firearms
license (FFL). Information concerning applications for FFLs is available at
the ATF National Licensing Center, Atlanta, Georgia. The full address and phone
number are as follows:

ATF National Licensing Center,
2600 Century Parkway NE, Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30345.
Telephone: 404-417-2750

Website: http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/nlc/index.htm

Since loans or rentals of firearms may be planned, you should be aware that
the GCA does allow clubs, associations, or similar organizations to authorize
persons to target shoot temporarily on association premises without the need
for an FFL and without licensee recordkeeping requirements such as completion
of 4473 firearms transaction documents. This provision is also applicable to
private firing range businesses that do not have FFLs. (See 27 Code of Federal
Regulations, Section 178.97, Loan or Rental of Firearms.)

For general information about ranges, another contact is the Web site of the
National Association of Shooting Ranges (NASR). The site address is: http://www.rangeinfo.org

Finally, you should be aware that items of public interest and numerous publications
are posted on the ATF Internet site. To check if there is anything else relevant
to your interest in a shooting range, simply access this site at http://www.atf.treas.gov.
You are free to browse, print out, or download any and all publications available.

(A13) Q. Where can I get information regarding the delay
or denial I have recently experienced when trying to purchase a firearm from
a licensee?
[Back]

A. As you may know, enforcement of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) and its
subsequent amendments is a prime ATF responsibility. The provisions of the "permanent
Brady law," which mandate use of the background check, are part of the
GCA.

ATF enforces the GCA, the overall management of the background check is handled
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is sometimes assisted by
States that are considered "points of contact" (POCs) for the National
Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

To determine whether your State is one of the POCs, double click on the following
address for a list of States acting as POCs for all transactions, certain transactions,
or no firearms transactions–

http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/bradylaw/poc_chart.htm.

A delayed transaction is a result of a name-based background check; it means
that more research is required to determine a NICS "Proceed" of "Denied"
response. A "Delayed" response to the Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL)
indicates that it would be unlawful to transfer the firearm until receipt of
a follow-up "Proceed" response from NICS or the expiration of three
business days, which occurs first.

A denied response means a firearm transfer is denied based on the NICS response
indicating one or matching records were found providing information demonstrating
that receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee would violate 18 U.S.
Code(g) or (n) or State law. Individuals who are denied the purchase of a firearm
may request that NICS provide the reason for denial through an appeal process.

If a particular State is a contact for your transaction, then you should refer
your questions and concerns to the POC that delayed or denied the transaction.
Contacts include State Police units or the Office of Attorney General for that
State. A complete listing of State Attorneys General office addresses and phone
numbers is available in the ATF publication, State Laws and Published Ordinances–Firearms
(ATF P 5300.5), pp. ix-x. To access this publication, key directly on the following
address–

http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/statelaws.htm

Under the Brady law, individuals may appeal directly to the U.S. Attorney General.

If your State allows the FBI to handle all background check activities, the
first step is to request the reason(s) for your denial by writing the FBI NICS
Operations Center. You should include the NICS transaction number (NTN), which
you can obtain from the FFL or gun dealer. The appeal information is located
at the Internet address below:

http://www.fbi.gov/programs/nics/index.htm

Individuals who are denied the purchase of a firearm as a result of a NICS
background check may request that NICS provide the reason(s) for the denial.
NICS must them provide the reason(s) to the individual in writing within five
business days after receipt of the request. Denied individuals may write to
the following address:

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NICS Operations Center
Appeal Services Unit
P.O. Box 4278
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26302-4278

(A14) Q. What sources are available from ATF for my research
project on firearms-related issues? [Back]

A. General reply:

While ATF is not a provider of reference research services for clients, the
Bureau does make a variety of publications available on the Internet for those
with research-related questions. You should explore the Bureau’s website to
view the announcements and publications that are relevant to your inquiry. The
ATF Internet address is: http://www.atf.treas.gov.

Possible sources of interest available at the ATF Internet site are such publications
as Commerce in Firearms in the United States, February 2000; Following the Gun:
Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers (2000); and Crime Gun Trace
Reports (1999): National Report. (The latter is published on behalf of ATF’s
Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative (YCGII), whose other publications may
be of use.)

You may access the above-mentioned studies by keying in on "Publications,"
and then on "Firearms and Explosives Publications ." For the YCGII
trace reports, you may also key in directly on–
http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/ycgii/1999html/ycgii/introduction.htm

You might also want to look at the site of ATF’s Gang Resistance Education
and Training (GREAT) program at–

http://www.atf.treas.gov/great/index.htm

Additionally, you should check the United States Department of Justice’s
Bureau of Justice Statistics site, located at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/.
Another possibility is the Library of Congress.

Finally, for questions that might have a local orientation, you should contact
State or metropolitan police units throughout your area about any sources for
compilations of the statistics or other information you are seeking. Another
possible contact is a State entity such as a State Department of Justice or
the office your State Attorney General.

(A15) Q. May foreign visitors and other aliens legally
in the United States purchase or possess firearms and ammunition while in the
United States? [Back]

A. Nonimmigrant aliens generally are prohibited from possessing or receiving
(purchasing) firearms and ammunition in the United States.

There are exceptions to this general prohibition. The exceptions are as follows:

  1. nonimmigrant aliens who possess a valid hunting license or permit lawfully
    issued by a State in the United States;

  2. nonimmigrant aliens entering the United States to participate in a competitive
    target shooting event or to display firearms at a sports or hunting trade
    show sponsored by a national, State, or local firearms trade organization
    devoted to the competitive use or other sporting use of firearms;

  3. certain diplomats;

  4. officials of foreign governments or distinguished foreign visitors so designated
    by the U.S. State Department;

  5. foreign law enforcement officers of friendly foreign governments entering
    the United States on official law enforcement business; and

  6. persons who have received a waiver from the prohibition from the U.S. Attorney
    General.

Significantly, even if a nonimmigrant alien falls within one of these exceptions,
the nonimmigrant alien CANNOT purchase a firearm from a Federal firearms licensee
(FFL) unless he or she (1) has an alien number or admission number from the
Immigration and Naturalization Service AND (2) can provide the FFL with documentation
showing that he or she has resided in a State within the United States for 90
days prior to the firearms transaction.

(A16) Q. Typically, who are "nonimmigrant aliens?"
[Back]

In large part, nonimmigrant aliens are persons traveling temporarily in the
United States for business or pleasure, persons studying in the United States
who maintain a foreign residence abroad, and certain foreign workers. Permanent
resident aliens are NOT nonimmigrant aliens. (Permanent resident aliens often
are referred to as people with "Green Cards").

(A17) Q. How do I obtain a waiver from the Attorney General?
[Back]

You must contact the Department of Justice for information on that procedure.
However, in order to even apply for the waiver you must have resided in the
United States continuously for at least 180 days prior to submitting your application.

(A18) Q. I have a "green card" and have lived
in Texas for several years. Am I prohibited from purchasing firearms and ammunition
in Texas?
[Back]

As long as you are not otherwise prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms
and ammunition (for example, a felon), Federal law does not prohibit you from
purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. However, you will need to put
your INS-issued alien number or admission number on the Form 4473. Moreover,
you must make sure there are no State or local restrictions on such a purchase.

(A19) Q. I am a nonimmigrant alien. I purchased a firearm
in this country in early 1998 after providing the Federal firearms dealer proof
that I was in the United States legally and had resided in the State for more
than 90 days. I was told that this transaction was legal then. Am I entitled
to keep that firearm and any ammunition I have on hand? Is there a "grandfather"
clause in the new regulations that would protect me from criminal liability?

Since October 21, 1998, when the Gun Control Act was amended to make nonimmigrant
aliens a new category of prohibited persons, nonimmigrant aliens generally have
not been able to possess firearms and ammunition in the United States. Our regulations
simply implement this statutory prohibition. The law does not allow us to create
a "grandfather clause" in our regulations. Therefore, unless you obtain
a valid State hunting license or permit (or fall within one of the other exceptions),
your possession of the firearm and ammunition is NOT legal.

(A20) Q. The notice (TD-ATF-471) states that the temporary
regulations give the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate (the ATF Director)
the authority to require nonresidents bringing firearms and ammunition into
the United States for hunting or other lawful sporting purposes to first obtain
an approved import permit. Does that mean that ATF will exercise that authority,
and that all such importations will now require an ATF-approved permit? [Back]

All nonimmigrant aliens (with a few exceptions which are listed below) must
obtain an import permit from ATF to import firearms and ammunition into the
United States. Please note this requirement applies to all nonimmigrant aliens,
not all nonresidents. The exceptions to this permit requirement is for certain
foreign military personnel, official representatives of foreign governments,
distinguished foreign visitors, and foreign law enforcement officers of friendly
foreign governments.

(A21) Q. What type of form do I, as a nonimmigrant alien,
need to file with ATF to import a firearm or ammunition? [Back]

A. You need to file ATF Form 6 Part I (Application and Permit for Importation
of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War). The Form is both the application
and, once approved, the permit you present to the U.S. Customs Service when
you enter the United States. The Form 6 can be obtained by calling ATF’s Firearms
and Explosives Imports Branch at 202-927-8320. It also can be downloaded from
ATF’s Web site.

(A22) Q. Do I need to attach any particular documentation
along with the Form 6? Do I need to show anything other than the approved Form
6 to U.S. Customs when I enter the United States? [Back]

Yes. When you file your Form 6 application, you must provide ATF with appropriate
documentation demonstrating you fall within an exception to the nonimmigrant
alien prohibition, such as a valid State hunting license/permit or an invitation
to attend a qualifying target shooting competition or sports or hunting trade
show. When you enter the United States, you must show Customs both your approved
Form 6 permit and appropriate documentation demonstrating you fall within an
exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition.

(A23) Q. How long does it usually take for ATF to approve
a Form 6? [Back]

Six to twelve weeks.

(A24) Q. Can I list more than one firearm on each Form
6? Can I also show ammunition on the same form? [Back]

You may list more than one firearm on a Form 6 and may include ammunition on
the same form.

(A25) Q. I am a Canadian citizen, live in Canada (Windsor,
Ontario), and come across the United States border to the Detroit area once
a month for competitive match shooting. Can I file several import permit applications
at the same time, get them approved, and then use them one at a time when I
enter the U.S.? [Back]

Yes.

(A26) Visitors to Canada Firearms Requirements
[Back]

On January 1, 2001, the procedures for visitors bringing firearms into Canada,
or for borrowing firearms while in Canada, changed as a result of mandatory
license requirements for all firearms owners and users in Canada.

Prior to January 1, 2001, no Canadian permit or form was required, typically
the Canadians asked to see the visitor’s U.S. Customs Form CF-4457 that registers
the weapon(s) in the United States for customs purposes and makes it easier
to demonstrate possession upon return to the U.S.

As of January 1, 2001, visitors bringing firearms into Canada, or planning
to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, will be required to declare the
firearms in writing using a "Non-Resident Firearm Declaration" form.
Multiple firearms can be declared on the same form. At the border, three copies
of the unsigned declaration must be presented to a Canadian customs officer.
The declaration will serve as a temporary license and registration certificate
for up to 60 days. The "Non-Resident Firearm Declaration" will cost
C$50. Those visitors planning only to borrow a weapon in Canada must obtain
in advance a "Temporary Firearms Borrowing license"; the cost is C$30.

Canadian authorities recommend that in order to save time, visitors fill out
the declaration form and make copies before arrival at the port-of-entry, noting
that, "requests made at the border for photocopies may be denied".
The form must be signed in front of the Customs officer at the point of entry
and the fee paid, so some delay at the border is likely.

Full details on the new policy are available at the Government of Canada’s
(GoC) "Canadian Firearms Centre" website www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca
under the heading "Visitors to Canada".

The GoC has three classes of firearms: non-restricted (most ordinary rifles
and shotguns); restricted (mainly handguns); and prohibited (full automatics,
converted automatics, handguns with a barrel length of 4 inches or less, and
.25 or .32 caliber handguns among others).

Prohibited weapons (as well as replica weapons) are not allowed in Canada.
A restricted firearm can be brought into Canada by obtaining an "Authorization
to Transport" (ATT) from a provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer
(CFO) before arrival at the point of entry into Canada, but an ATT will not
be provided for the purpose of hunting or self-protection.

(A27) What sources are available from ATF for my research
project on firearms-related issues? [Back]

A. General reply:

While ATF is not a provider of reference research services for clients, the
Bureau does make a variety of publications available on the Internet for those
with research-related questions. You should explore the Bureau’s website to
view the announcements and publications that are relevant to your inquiry. The
ATF Internet address is: http://www.atf.treas.gov.

Possible sources of interest available at the ATF Internet site are such publications
as Commerce in Firearms in the United States, February 2000; Following the
Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers (2000); and Crime Gun
Trace Reports (1999): National Report.
(The latter is published on behalf
of ATF’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative (YCGII), whose other publications
may be of use.)

You may access the above-mentioned studies by keying in on "Publications,"
and then on "Firearms and Explosives Publications ." For the YCGII
trace reports, you may also key in directly on — http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/ycgii/1999html/ycgii/introduction.htm

You might also want to look at the site of ATF’s Gang Resistance Education
and Training (GREAT) program at–

http://www.atf.treas.gov/great/index.htm

Additionally, you should check the United States Department of Justice’s
Bureau of Justice Statistics site, located at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/.
Another possibility is the Library of Congress.

Finally, for questions that might have a local orientation, you should contact
State or metropolitan police units throughout your area about any sources for
compilations of the statistics or other information you are seeking. Another
possible contact is a State entity such as a State Department of Justice or
the office of your State Attorney General.

B. UNLICENSED PERSONS

(B1) To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA? [Back]

A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his or her state,
if the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm,
or to a licensee in any state. A firearm other than a curio or relic may not
be transferred interstate to a licensed collector. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and
(5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]

(B2) From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?
[Back]

A person may only buy a firearm within the person’s own state, except that
he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in
any state, provided the sale complies with state laws applicable in the state
of sale and the state where the purchaser resides. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and
(5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]

(B3) May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-state source
if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the

purchaser’s own state?
[Back]

A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms
may purchase a firearm from an out-of-state source and obtain the firearm if
an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s state of residence
for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer. [18 U. S. C 922( a)(
3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]

(B4) May an unlicensed person obtain ammunition from an
out-of-state source?
[Back]

Yes, provided he or she is not a person prohibited from receiving firearms
and ammunition. [18 U. S. C. 922( g) and (n)]

(B5) Are there certain persons who cannot legally receive or possess firearms?
[Back]

Yes, a person who –

(1) Has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment
for a term exceeding 1 year;
(2) Is a fugitive from justice;
(3) Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
(4) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed
to a mental institution;

(5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United states or an alien
admitted to the United states under a nonimmigrant visa;
(6) Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) Having been a citizen of the United states, has renounced his or
her 8.citizenship;
(8) Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing,
stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner;
or
(9) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot
lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm. A person who is under
indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term
exceeding 1 year cannot lawfully receive a firearm. Such person may continue
to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information.
[18 U. S. C. 922( g) and (n), 27 CFR 178.32( a) and (b)]

(B6) Do law enforcement officers who are subject to restraining orders and
who receive and possess firearms for purposes of carrying out their official
duties violate the law?
[Back]

Not if the firearms are received and possessed for official use only. The law
prohibits persons subject to certain restraining orders from receiving, shipping,
transporting or possessing firearms or ammunition. To be disabling, the restraining
order must:

1. specifically restrain the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening
an “intimate partner” of the person (e. g., spouse);
2. be issued after a hearing of which notice was given to the person and at
which the person had an opportunity to participate; and

3. include a finding that the person subject to the order represents a credible
threat to the “intimate partner” or child of the “intimate partner” OR explicitly
prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force against the partner.

However, the GCA has an exception for the receipt and possession of firearms
and ammunition on behalf of a Federal or state agency. Therefore, the GCA does
not prohibit a law enforcement officer under a restraining order from receiving
or possessing firearms or ammunition for use in performing official duties.
Possession of the firearm off duty would be lawful if such possession is authorized
by the officer’s department. An officer subject to a disabling restraining order
would violate the law if the officer received or possessed a firearm or ammunition
for other than official use. (See Question Q15 on
officers’ receipt and possession of firearms and ammunition after a conviction
of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.) [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 8), 925(
a)( 1)]

(B7) May a nonlicensee transport firearms for sporting or other lawful purposes?
[Back]

Yes. Federal law provides a person, who is not prohibited by the GCA from
receiving or transporting firearms, the right to transport a firearm under certain
conditions, notwithstanding state or local law to the contrary. The firearms
must be unloaded and in a locked trunk or, in a vehicle lacking a trunk, in
a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Also, the carrying
and possession must be lawful at the place of origin and destination. [18 U.
S. C. 926A, 27 CFR 178.38] 9.

(B8) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U. S. Postal Service?
[Back]

A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own state
or to a licensee in any state. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract
carrier must be used to ship a handgun. A nonlicensee may not transfer any firearm
to a nonlicensed resident of another state. The Postal Service recommends that
longguns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would
indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing
firearms.

(B9) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by carrier? [Back]

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by carrier to a resident of his or her own
state or to a licensee in any state. A common or contract carrier must be
used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be
notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract

carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating
that it contains a firearm. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 2)( A) and 922( e), 27 CFR
178.31]

(B10) May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting
or other lawful activity?
[Back]

Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another
person in the state where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful
activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the
owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

(B11) May a person who is relocating out-of-state move firearms with other
household goods?
[Back]

Yes. A person who lawfully possesses a firearm may transport or ship the firearm
interstate when changing his or her state of residence. Certain NFA firearms
must have prior approval from the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC
20226, before they may be moved interstate. The person must notify the mover
that firearms are being transported. He or she should also check state and local
laws where relocating to ensure that movement of firearms into the new state
does not violate any state law or local ordinance. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 4),
27 CFR 178.28 and 178.31]

(B12) What constitutes residency in a state? [Back]

The state of residence is the state in which an individual is present with
the intention of making a home in that state. A member of the Armed Forces on
active duty is a resident of the state in which his or her permanent duty station
is located. If a member of the Armed Forces maintains a home in one state and
the member’s permanent duty station is in a nearby state to which he or she
commutes each day, then the member may purchase a firearm in either the state
where the duty station is located or the state where the home is maintained.
An alien who is legally in the United states is considered to be a resident
of a state only if the alien is residing in that state and has resided in that
state continuously for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of sale
of the firearm. [18 U. S. C. 921( b) and 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.11]

(B13) May a person who resides in one state and owns property in another
state purchase a handgun in either state?
[Back]

If a person maintains a home in 2 states and resides in both states for certain
periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually
resides in a particular state, purchase a handgun in that state. But simply
owning property in another state does not qualify the person to purchase a handgun
in that state.

(B14) May foreign visitors and other aliens legally in the United states
buy firearms?
[Back]

An alien legally in the United states who has been admitted into the country
under a nonimmigrant visa is generally prohibited from receiving or possessing
firearms and a licensee may not lawfully transfer firearms to such alien. In
addition, a foreign visitor is not a resident of a state and, therefore, may
not purchase and take delivery of a firearm in the United states. A foreign
visitor may purchase a firearm and have it exported by a licensee. The licensee
must obtain an export license from the State Department for this type of transaction.

In addition, an alien legally in the United states would have a state of residence
and may acquire firearms in that state only if he or she is residing
in that state and has resided in that state continuously for at least 90 days
prior to the purchase. Aliens acquiring firearms from licensees are required

to prove their identity and residency by presenting government-issued photo
identification and substantiating documentation showing that he or she has
resided in the state continuously for the 90-day period, for example, utility
bills, lease agreements, credit card statements, pay stubs or other documents

from the purchaser’s place of employment. [18 U. S. C. 921, 922( b)( 3), (d),
(g), 27 CFR 178.11, 178.99( a)]

(B15) May a parent or guardian purchase firearms or ammunition as a gift
for a juvenile (less than 18 years of age)?
[Back]

Yes. However, possession of handguns by juveniles (less than 18 years of age)
is generally unlawful. Juveniles may only receive and possess handguns with
the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes, e. g.,
employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting. [18 U. S. C. 922(
x)]

(B16) Are curio or relic firearms exempt from the provisions of the GCA?
[Back]

No. Curios or relics are still firearms subject to the provisions of the GCA;
however, curio or relic firearms may be transferred in interstate commerce to
licensed collectors or other licensees.

(B17) What recordkeeping procedures should be followed when two private
individuals want to engage in a firearms transaction?
[Back]

When a transaction takes place between private (unlicensed) persons who reside
in the same State, the Gun Control Act (GCA) does not require any record keeping.
As noted in FAQs B1 and B2, which are posted on this Web site in the "Firearms"
section, a private person may sell a firearm to another private individual in
his or her State of residence and, similarly, a private individual may buy a
firearm from another private person who resides in the same State. It is not
necessary for a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) to assist in the sale or transfer
when the buyer and seller are "same-State" residents. Of course, the
transferor/seller may not knowingly transfer a firearm to someone who falls
within any of the categories of prohibited persons contained in the GCA. See
18 U.S. C. §§ 922(g) and (n). However, as stated above, there are
no GCA-required records to be completed by either party to the transfer.

For information about any State or local regulations that may govern this type
of transaction, it is advisable to contact State Police units or the office
of your State Attorney General.

Please note that if a private person wants to obtain a gun from a private person
who resides in another State, the gun will have to be shipped to an FFL in the
buyer’s State. The FFL will be responsible for record keeping. See FAQ B3 (Firearms).

C. LICENSING

(C1) How does one get a license? [Back]

Submit ATF Form 7, Application for License, or ATF Form 7CR, Application for
License (Collector of Curios or Relics), with the appropriate fee in accordance
with the instructions on the form. These forms may be obtained 11.from the Firearms
and Explosives Licensing Center in Atlanta, Georgia or your local ATF office.
[18 U. S. C. 923, 27 CFR 178.44]

(C2) May one license cover several locations? [Back]

No. A separate license must be obtained for each location. Storage facilities
are not required to be covered by a separate license. However, the records maintained
on licensed premises must reflect all firearms held in the separate storage
facility. Firearms may be shipped directly to separate storage facilities as
long as they are properly recorded as an acquisition in the licensee’s records.
[27 CFR 178.50]

(C3) Does an importer or manufacturer of firearms also need a dealer’s license?
[Back]

No, as long as the importer or manufacturer is engaged in business at the
licensed importing or manufacturing premises in the same type of firearms
authorized by the license. [27 CFR 178.41( b)]

(C4) If a person timely files an application for renewal of a license and
the present license expires prior to receipt of the new license, may the person

continue to conduct the business covered by the expired license?
[Back]

Yes. A person who timely files an application for renewal of a license may
continue operations authorized by the expired license until the application
is finally acted upon. An application is timely filed when it is received at
the appropriate P. O. Box in Dallas, Texas with the appropriate renewal fee
prior to the expiration date of the license. If a person does not timely file
a license renewal application and the license expires, the person must file
ATF Form 7, Application for License, or an ATF Form 7CR, Application for License
(Collector of Curios or Relics), as required by 27 CFR 178.44, submit the application
fee applicable to a new business, and obtain the required license before continuing
business activity. [27 CFR 178.45]

(C5) Must a licensed importer’s, manufacturer’s, or dealer’s records be
surrendered to ATF if the licensee discontinues business?
[Back]

If the business is being discontinued completely, the licensed dealer, manufacturer
or importer is required, within 30 days, to forward the business records to
the following address:
Bureau of ATF Out-of-Business Records Center

2029 Stonewall Jackson Drive
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419

Failure to surrender your required records is a felony and could result in
the licensee being fined up to $250,000, imprisoned up to 5 years, or both.
A licensee discontinuing business must immediately notify the Licensing Center
in Atlanta, Georgia.

If someone is taking over the business, the original licensee will underline
the final entry in each bound book, note the date of transfer, and 12.forward
all records and forms to the successor (who must apply for and receive his or
her own license before lawfully engaging in business) or forward the records
and forms to the ATF Out-of-Business Records Center. If the successor licensee
receives records and forms from the original licensee, the successor licensee
may choose to forward these records and forms to the ATF Out-of-Business Record
Center. The successor licensee will begin business with a new set of records
reflecting any beginning inventory on hand. [18 U. S. C. 923( g)( 4), 27 CFR
178.127]

(C6) What records am I required to forward to ATF upon discontinuance of
my business?
[Back]

The records consist of the licensee’s bound acquisition/ disposition (A/ D)
records, ATF Forms 4473, ATF Forms 5300.35 (the Brady forms), ATF Forms 3310.4
(Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers), ATF
Forms 3310.11 (Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/ Loss Report), records of transactions
in semiautomatic assault weapons, and law enforcement certification letters.
If the licensee was granted a variance to use a computerized recordkeeping system,
the licensee is required to provide a complete print-out of the entire A/ D
records, and an ASCII text file (conforming to common industry standards) along
with a file description. [27 CFR 178.127]

(C7) May a successor owner of a business entity, other than one who is a
suc-cessor under the provisions of 27 CFR 178.56 (for example, the surviving
spouse or child, or a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy), commence a firearms
business prior to receiving a Federal firearms license in the successor’s name?
[Back]

No. Each person intending to engage in business as a firearms dealer, importer
or manufacturer or an ammunition importer or manufacturer must obtain the required
Federal Firearms License prior to commencing business. [27 CFR 178.41]

(C8) Does a Federal firearms license allow the licensee to carry a firearm
in the course of business?
[Back]

No. A Federal firearms license confers no right or privilege to carry a firearm,
concealed or otherwise. Permits to carry are issued by state or local authorities.
[27 CFR 178.58]

(C9) May a person obtain a dealer’s license to engage in
business only at gun shows?
[Back]

No. A license may only be issued for a permanent premises at which the license
applicant intends to do business. A person having such license may conduct business
at gun shows located in the state in which the licensed premises is located
and sell and deliver curio or relic firearms to other licensees at any location.
[18 U. S. C. 923(a) and (j)]

(C10) May a licensee change the location of the licensed
business or activity?
[Back]

To change your location, you must file an application for an amended license,
ATF Form 5300.38, not less than 30 days prior to the move. You must obtain the
amended license before commencing business at the new location. The application
for an amended license would include the certification of compliance with state
and local laws and notification of local law enforcement officials as outlined
in Question A2.

D. ATF FORM 4473 – FIREARMS TRANSACTION RECORD

(D1) Where can a dealer get ATF Forms 4473? [Back]

They are available free of charge from the ATF Distribution Center. The current
address is P. O. Box 5950, Springfield, VA 22150-5950. Please order a quantity
of forms estimated for 6 months use.

(D2) Is an ATF Form 4473 needed in the transfer of a firearm by a nonlicensee?
[Back]

No. ATF Form 4473 is required only for transfers by a licensee. [27 CFR 178.124]

(D3) Does a dealer have to execute ATF Form 4473 to take a weapon out of
the dealer’s inventory for his or her own use?
[Back]

No. However, the “bound book” must be properly posted to reflect the disposition
of the firearm from business inventory to personal use. [27 CFR 178.124, 178.125a]

(D4) Who signs ATF Form 4473 for the seller?

ATF Form 4473 must be signed by the person who verified the identity of the
buyer. [27 CFR 178.124( c)]

(D5) Is a Social Security card a proper means of identification? [Back]

No. A Social Security card, alien registration card, or military identification
alone does not contain sufficient information to identify a firearms purchaser.
However, a purchaser may be identified by any combination of documents which
together establish all of the required information: Name, residence address,
date of birth or age, signature, and photograph of the holder. In addition,
the documents used to establish the purchaser’s identity must have been issued
by a government agency. [27 CFR 178.124( c)]

(D6) When must the ATF Form 4473 be signed? [Back]

Part I (yellow) used for over-the-counter sales must be completed, signed and
dated by the buyer prior to delivery of the firearm. Part II (green) used for
intrastate non-over-the-counter sales must be completed, signed and dated in
duplicate by the buyer at the time of sale. [27 CFR 178.124( c), 178.124( f)]

(D7) What is ATF’s position on electronic versions of ATF Form 4473? [Back]

Licensees who find an electronic version of ATF Form 4473, "Firearms Transaction
Record," on a website should not use it in conducting their business. ATF
has not authorized anyone to display the Form 4473 over the Internet. Therefore,
there is no guarantee that a Form 4473 posted on a website is identical to the
Government-issued Form 4473. If you use such a form, you risk violating the
Gun Control Act (GCA) by failing to complete and keep required GCA records.

If you need additional copies of Form 4473, you may get them free of charge
from the ATF Distribution Center (P.O. Box 5950, Springfield, Virginia 22150-5950;
telephone no.: 703-455-7801.) In addition, if you would like to use an electronic
version of this form, you may apply to ATF for a variance pursuant to 27 CFR
§ 178.22. Please note that among other requirements needed for approval,
your request for a variance only will be granted if your computer-generated
Form 4473 is identical to the Government-printed form. Accordingly, it must
have the Important Notices, Instructions, and Definitions attached to those
portions that the buyer and seller complete.

E. RECORDS REQUIRED – LICENSEES

(E1) What is a “bound book?” [Back]

A “bound book” is a permanently bound book or an orderly arrangement of loose-leaf
pages which must be maintained on the business premises. In either event, the
format must follow that prescribed in the regulations and the pages must be
numbered consecutively. [27 CFR 178.125]

(E2) May a dealer keep more than one “bound book” at the same time? [Back]

Yes. A dealer in firearms is not limited to using only one “bound book.” A
few dealers account for different brands or types of firearms in separate “bound
books.” Many maintain a separate repair “bound book.” [27 CFR 178.125]

(E3) Does the Government sell a record book for licensees to use in recording
their receipts and dispositions of firearms?
[Back]

No. Certain trade associations have them available at nominal cost. Your supplier
should be able to tell you about this.

(E4) What is the dealer’s responsibility where a variation from normal regu-latory
practice has been authorized?
[Back]

The ATF letter authorizing the variation must be kept at the licensed premises
and available for inspection. For businesses with more than a single licensed
outlet, each outlet covered by the variation must have a copy of the letter
authorizing the change. [27 CFR 178.22, 178.125( h)]

(E5) How much time does a dealer have to record acquisitions and dispositions
of firearms in his or her “bound book”?
[Back]

If commercial records are kept containing the required information, are available
for inspection, and are separate from other commercial documents, dealers have
7 days from the time of receipt or disposition to record the receipt or disposition
in the “bound book.” Receipts not covered by these records must be entered in
the “bound book” by the close of the next business day after the acquisition
or purchase. If a disposition is made before the acquisition has been entered
in the “bound book,” the acquisition entry must be made at the same time as
the disposition entry. [27 CFR 178.125( d)-( i)]

(E6) Are the ammunition recordkeeping requirements the same as for firearms?
[Back]

No. No records are required for ammunition other than armor piercing ammunition.
Disposition records must be kept by licensed manufacturers, importers, and collectors
for transactions in armor piercing ammunition. [27 CFR 178.125]

(E7) Are rental firearms subject to recordkeeping control? [Back]

Yes, but the recordkeeping is not imposed on the loan or rental of firearms
for use only on the premises.[27 CFR 178.97]

(E8) May a licensee who has firearms in his or her private collection sell
any of these firearms without making firearms record entries?
[Back]

No. A licensee may sell a firearm from his or her personal collection, subject
only to the restrictions on firearm sales by unlicensed persons, provided the
firearm has been entered in the licensee’s bound book and transferred to the
licensee’s private collection at least 1 year prior to the sale. On selling
the personal firearm after 1 year, the sale must be recorded in a “bound book”
for disposition of personal firearms, but no ATF Form 4473 is required. [27
CFR 178.125a]

(E9) May a licensee maintain computer records in lieu of the “bound book”?
[Back]

Yes. The Regional Director (Compliance) or other designated ATF official must
approve a request for a recordkeeping variance before the licensee may use a
computer system in lieu of the “bound book” record required by the regulations.
[27 CFR 178.22 and 178.125( h)]

F. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS – LICENSEES

(F1) Does the Federal Firearms Law require licensees to comply with state
laws and local published ordinances which are relevant to the enforcement of
the GCA?
[Back]

Yes. It is unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed
dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver any firearm or ammunition to
any person if the person’s purchase or possession would be in violation of any
state law or local published ordinance applicable at the place of sale or delivery.
(See Question A2 for requirement to comply with
state and local law to qualify for a license.) [18 U. S. C. 922( b)( 2), 27
CFR 178.99( b)( 2)]

(F2) May a licensed dealer sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who is a resident
of another state?
[Back]

Generally, a firearm may not be lawfully sold by a licensed dealer to a nonlicensee
who resides in a state other than the state in which the seller’s licensed premises
is located. However, the sale may be made if the firearm is shipped to a licensed
dealer whose business is in the purchaser’s state of residence and the purchaser
takes delivery of the firearm from the dealer in his or her state of residence.
In addition, a licensee may sell a rifle or shotgun to a person who is not a
resident of the state where the licensee’s business premises is located in an
over-the-counter transaction, provided the transaction complies with state law
in the state where the licensee is located and in the state where the purchaser
resides and provided the sale complies with all applicable federal laws. [18
U. S. C. 922( b)( 3)]

(F3) May a dealer sell firearms to law enforcement agencies and individual
officers in another state?
[Back]

Yes. Sales and deliveries of firearms to out-of-state police and sheriff departments
are not prohibited by the GCA. A dealer may also sell or ship firearms, other
than NFA firearms, to an individual law enforcement officer, regardless of age,
if the dealer has a signed statement of the officer’s agency, stating that the
items are to be used in the buyer’s official duties and that the officer has
not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. ATF Form 4473
need not be executed, and the Brady Law is not applicable; however, the bound
book must be properly posted, and the signed statement included in the dealer’s
records. (For information on sales of semiautomatic assault weapons to individual
law enforcement officers, (see Question O11.) For
further information on sales of firearms to law enforcement officers, see Item
4,
“Sales of Firearms to Law Enforcement Officers”, under Items of Interest.
[27 CFR 178.141]

(F4) May an employee of a licensed dealer, such as a manager or clerk, who
is under 21 years of age, sell handguns and ammunition suitable for use in handguns
for the licensee?
[Back]

Yes, if the employee is not a prohibited person (e. g., a felon). However,
to sell handguns, a person less than 18 years of age must have the prior written
consent of a parent or guardian and the written consent must be in the person’s
possession at all times. Also, the parent or guardian giving the written consent
may not be prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. [18 U. S. C. 922( x)]

(F5) As a licensed dealer, must I advise ATF if I sell more than one handgun
to an individual?
[Back]

If you sell more than one handgun to any nonlicensee during a period of 5 consecutive
business days, the sale must be reported on ATF Form 3310.4, Report of Multiple
Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers, and forwarded to the ATF
office specified on the form no later than the close of business on the day
the second handgun was sold. A copy of the form must also be sent to the state
police or the local law enforcement agency where the sale occurred. A copy must
also be kept in the records of the dealer. [18 U. S. C. 923( g)( 3), 27 CFR
178.126a]

(F6) Does a customer have to be a certain age to buy firearms or ammunition
from a licensee?
[Back]

Yes. Longguns and longgun ammunition may be sold only to persons 18 years of
age or older. Sales of handguns and ammunition for handguns are limited to persons
21 years of age and older. Although some state and local ordinances have lower
age requirements, dealers are bound by the minimum age requirements established
by the GCA. If state law or local ordinances establish a higher minimum age,
the dealer must observe the higher age requirement. [18 U. S. C. 922( b)( 1),
27 CFR 178.99( b)]

(F7) May a licensee sell interchangeable ammunition such as .22 cal. rimfire
to a person less than 21 years old?
[Back]

Yes, provided the buyer is 18 years of age or older, and the dealer is satisfied
that it is for use in a rifle. If the ammunition is intended for use in a handgun,
the 21 year old minimum age requirement is applicable. [18 U. S. C. 922( b)(
1), 27 CFR 178.99( b)]

(F8) In transactions between licensees, how is the seller assured that a
purchaser of a firearm is a licensed dealer? [Back]

Verification must be established by the transferee furnishing to the transferor
a certified copy of the transferee’s license and by any other means the transferor
deems necessary. [27 CFR 178.94]

(F9) Must a multi-licensed business submit a certified copy of each of its
licenses when acquiring firearms?
[Back]

No. It need only provide the seller a list, certified to be true, correct and
complete, containing the name, address, and license number and expiration date
for each location. [27 CFR 178.94]

(F10) May a licensee continue to deliver to a business whose license has
expired?
[Back]

Yes, for a period of 45 days following the expiration date of the license.
After the 45-day period, the transferor is required to verify the licensed status
of the transferee with the Chief, Firearms and Explosives Licensing Center.
If the transferee’s license renewal application is still pending, the transferor
must obtain evidence from the Regional Director (Compliance) that a license
renewal application has been timely filed by the transferee and is still pending.
[27 CFR 178.94]

(F11) Is a license required to engage in the business of selling small arms
ammunition?
[Back]

No. A license is not required for a dealer in ammunition only, but a manufacturer
or an importer must be licensed.

(F12) May licensed dealers sell firearms at gun shows? [Back]

Generally, a licensee may sell firearms at a gun show located only in the same
state as that specified on the seller’s license. However, a licensee may sell
curio or relic firearms to another licensee at any location. The transfer of
NFA firearms may be lawfully made only upon an ATF approved transfer application.
[18 U. S. C. 923( j), 27 CFR 178.100]

(F13) What may a licensed dealer do at an out-of-state gun show? [Back]

A licensed dealer may sell and deliver curio or relic firearms to another licensee
at an out-of-state gun show. With respect to other firearms transactions, a
licensed dealer may only display and take orders for firearms at an out-of-state
gun show. In filling any orders for firearms, the dealer must return the firearms
to his or her licensed premises and deliver them from that location. Any firearm
ordered by a nonlicensee must be delivered or shipped from the licensee’s premises
to a licensee in the purchaser’s state of residence, and the purchaser must
obtain the firearm from the licensee in the purchaser’s state. Except for sales
of curio or relic firearms to other licensees, sales of firearms and simultaneous
deliveries at the gun show, whether to other licensees or to nonlicensees, violate
the law because the dealer would be unlawfully engaging in business at an unlicensed
location. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 1), (b)( 3), 923( a), (j)] 18

(F14) Who may ship firearms through the U. S. Postal Service? [Back]

Federal firearm licensees may deposit an unloaded firearm in the mails for
conveyance to any officer, employee, agent, or watchman who is eligible under
18 U. S. C. 1715 to receive pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of
being concealed on the person for use in connection with his or her official
duties.

However, any person proposing to mail a handgun must file with the postmaster,
at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the addressee stating that the
addressee is qualified to receive the firearm, and the affidavit must bear a
certificate stating that the firearm is for the official use of the addressee.
See the current Postal Manual for details. The Postal Service recommends that
all firearms be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which
would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel
containing firearms. (See also Question B8.)

(F15) Must a dealer record firearms received on consignment? [Back]

Yes. Firearms received for sale on consignment must be entered in the dealer’s
“bound book.” Sales of the firearms are handled in the same manner as other
firearm sales. Return of the remaining firearms by the licensee to the consignor
is entered in the dealer’s disposition record, and the consignor must complete
an ATF Form 4473 if the consignor is a nonlicensee. It should also be noted
that the sale of such firearms or their return to the consignor must also comply
with the Brady Law.

(F16) To whom does a dealer report stolen firearms? [Back]

A theft or lost of firearms must be reported to your local police as well as
to ATF within 48 hours after the discovery. Licensees should notify ATF on the
24-hour, 7 days week toll free line at 1-800-800-3855 and by preparing and submitting
ATF Form 3310.11, Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/ Loss Report. Theft or loss
of NFA firearms should also be reported to the NFA Branch, (202) 927-8330, immediately
upon discovery. [18 U. S. C. 923( g)( 6), 27 CFR 178.39a and 179.141]

(F17) If my firearms are stolen, what do I do about my records? [Back]

Take an inventory of stock on hand and enter “stolen” and the date in the disposition
section of the “bound book” for those stolen firearms. In addition, at the time
a licensee reports the theft on the ATF toll free line, the licensee will be
provided a control number that should be placed in the records as well as on
ATF Form 3310.11, Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/ Loss Report. [18 U. S. C.
923( g)( 6), 27 CFR 178.39a]

(F18) How many copies of the ATF Form 3310.4, Report of Multiple Sale or
Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers, must be completed and what becomes
of each copy?
[Back]

ATF Form 3310.4 must be completed in triplicate (3 copies). The original is
sent to ATF’s National Tracing Center by FAX at 1-877-283-0288 or by mail to
Box 1061, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1061. A copy is to be sent to
the designated state police or the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction
where the sale took place. The remaining copy is to be retained in the records
of the dealer and held for not less than 5 years. [27 CFR 178.126a, 178.129]

(F19) What is my responsibility to respond to a request to trace a firearm?
[Back]

A licensee must provide the requested information immediately and in no event
later than 24 hours after receipt of a request by ATF for information required
to be kept. Failure to respond to the request for trace information can result
in monetary fines, imprisonment, and/ or revocation of the licensee’s Federal
firearms license. [18 U. S. C. 923( g)( 7), 27 CFR 178.25a]

(F20) Does the requirement to give written notification to handgun transferees
about juvenile handgun possession apply to a licensed dealer who returns firearms
to their owners, for example, handguns that the dealer repaired?
[Back]

Yes. The requirement to give written notification to nonlicensees to whom handguns
are transferred applies to the return of handguns, as well as to their sale.
However, the requirement does not apply where a handgun is delivered to a customer
through another licensee. The licensee who delivers the handgun must provide
the notification. [18 U. S. C. 922( x), 27 CFR 178.103]

(F21) Does the requirement to post a sign on the licensed premises about
juvenile handgun possession apply to a licensed dealer who only disposes of

handguns to nonlicensees who do not appear at the dealer’s premises?
[Back]

No. The sign posting requirement does not apply where the licensee only disposes
of handguns to nonlicensees who do not appear at the licensed
premises, for example, the licensee ships repaired or replacement handguns to
nonlicensees. [18 U. S. C. 922( x), 27 CFR 178.103]

G. COLLECTORS

(G1) Is there a specific license which permits a collector to acquire firearms
in interstate commerce?
[Back]

Yes. The person may obtain a collector’s license; however, this license applies
only to transactions in curio or relic firearms. [27 CFR 178.41( c), (d), 178.50(
b) and 178.93]

(G2) Does a collector’s license afford any privileges to the licensee with
respect to acquiring or disposing of firearms other than curios or relics in
interstate or foreign commerce?
[Back]

No. A licensed collector has the same status under the GCA as a nonlicensee
except for transactions in curio or relic firearms. [27 CFR 178.93]

(G3) Does a license as a collector of curio or relic firearms authorize
the collector to engage in the business of dealing in curios or relics?
[Back]

No. A dealer’s license must be obtained to engage in the business of dealing
in any firearms, including curios or relics. A collector’s license only enables
the collector to obtain curio and relic firearms interstate. [18 U. S. C. 922(
a) and 923( a)( 1), 27 CFR 178.41]

(G4) Since a licensed firearms dealer may legally receive firearms interstate,
including curios or relics, is there any reason why a dealer would need both
a dealer’s license and collector’s license?
[Back]

No. [27 CFR 178.50( b)]

(G5) Are licensed collectors required to execute ATF Form 4473 for transactions
in curio or relic firearms?
[Back]

No. Licensed collectors are only required to keep a “bound book” record. [27
CFR 178.125( f)]

(G6) Are licensed collectors’ transfers of curio or relic firearms subject
to the Brady law, including the provision for making background checks on transferees?

[Back]

No, but it is unlawful to transfer a firearm to any person knowing or having
reasonable cause to believe that such person is a felon or is within any other
category of person prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms. (See also
Questions P13 and P14.) [18
U. S. C. 922( d), 27 CFR 178.32( d)]

(G7) Are licensed collectors required to comply with the requirements that
written notification be given to handgun transferees and signs be posted on
juvenile handgun possession?
[Back]

The requirement that written notification concerning juvenile handgun possession
be given by licensees to a nonlicensee to whom a handgun is delivered applies
to curio or relic handguns transferred by licensed collectors. However, the
sign posting requirement does not apply to licensed collectors. In the case
of collectors, a requirement to post signs at the licensed premises would serve
no purpose because the premises is not a business premises open to the public
and licensed collectors may lawfully dispose of curio or relic handguns away
from their licensed premises. [18 U. S. C. 922( x), 27 CFR 178.103]

(G8) Are licensed collectors required to turn in their acquisition/ disposition
records to ATF if their collector’s license is not renewed or they discontinue
their collecting activity?
[Back]

No. The GCA requires the delivery of required records to the Government within
30 days after a firearms “business” is discontinued. A license as a collector
of curios or relics does not authorize any business with respect to firearms.
This is in contrast to firearms importers, manufacturers, and dealers who are
licensed to engage in a firearms business. Therefore, the records required to
be kept by licensed collectors under the law and regulations are not business
records and are not required to be turned in to ATF when collector’s licenses
are not renewed or collecting activity under such licenses is discontinued.[18
U. S. C. 923( g)( 4), 27 CFR 178.127]

H. MANUFACTURERS

(H1) Must a person who engages in the business of manufacturing and importing
firearms have a separate license to cover each type of business?
[Back]

Yes. A separate license is required to cover each of these types of businesses.
[27 CFR 178.41]

(H2) May a person licensed as a manufacturer of ammunition also manufacture
firearms?
[Back]

No. A person licensed as a manufacturer of ammunition may not manufacture firearms
unless he or she obtains a license as a firearms manufacturer.

(H3) May a person licensed as a manufacturer of firearms also manufacture
ammunition?
[Back]

Yes. The person may also manufacture ammunition (not including destructive
device ammunition or armor piercing ammunition) without obtaining a separate
license as a manufacturer of ammunition.

(H4) Is one who reloads ammunition required to be licensed as a manufacturer?
[Back]

Yes, if the person engages in the business of selling or distributing reloads
for the purposes of livelihood or profit. No, if the person reloads only for
personal use. [27 CFR 178.41]

(H5) Must a licensed manufacturer pay excise taxes? [Back]

Yes. Licensed manufacturers incur excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition
manufactured.

I. GUNSMITHS

(I1) Is a license needed to engage in the business of engraving, customizing,
refinishing or repairing firearms?
[Back]

Yes. A person conducting such activities as a business is considered to be
a gunsmith within the definition of a dealer. [27 CFR 178.11]

(I2) Does a gunsmith need to enter in a permanent “bound book” record every
firearm received for adjustment or repair?
[Back]

If a firearm is brought in for repairs and the owner waits while it is being
repaired or if the gunsmith is able to return the firearm to the owner during
the same business day, it is not necessary to list the firearm in the “bound
book” as an “acquisition.” If the gunsmith has possession of the firearm from
one business day to another or longer, the firearm must be recorded as an “acquisition”
and a “disposition” in the permanent “bound book” record. [27 CFR 178.125( e)]

(I3) Is ATF Form 4473 required when a gunsmith returns a repaired firearm?
[Back]

No, provided the firearm is returned to the person from whom received. [27
CFR 178.124( a)]

(I4) May a gunsmith make immediate repairs at locations other than his or
her place of business?
[Back]

Yes.

(I5) May a licensed gunsmith receive an NFA firearm for purposes of repair?
[Back]

Yes, for the sole purpose of repair and subsequent return to its owner. It
is suggested that the owner obtain permission from ATF for the transfer by completing
and mailing ATF Form 5 to the NFA Branch and receive approval prior to the delivery.
The gunsmith should do the same prior to returning the firearm. Only the face
of the form need be completed in each instance. ATF Forms 5 may be obtained
from the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC 20226, (202) 927-8330.

(I6) Is a licensed gunsmith required to comply with the requirements to
give written notification to handgun transferees and post signs on juvenile
handgun possession?
[Back]

The requirement that written notification on juvenile handgun possession be
given to a nonlicensee to whom a handgun is delivered applies to all Federal
firearms licensees. It also applies to the return of handguns to their owners,
as well as to their sale. Thus, a gunsmith who repairs or customizes a nonlicensee’s
handgun must provide the notification to the nonlicensee when the handgun is
returned. The sign posting requirement also applies to gunsmiths, unless the
gunsmith only disposes of handguns to nonlicensees who do not appear at the
gunsmith’s licensed premises, for example, when repaired handguns are shipped
to nonlicensees. [18 U. S. C. 922( x), 27 CFR 178.103]

(I7) Is a licensed gunsmith’s return of repaired or customized firearms
to their owners subject to the Brady law, including the provision for making
background checks on transferees?
[Back]

No, but it is unlawful to transfer a firearm to any person knowing or having
reasonable cause to believe that such person is a felon or is within any other
category of person prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms. (See also
Question P25.) [18 U. S. C. 922( d), 27 CFR 178.32(
d)]

J. PAWNBROKERS

(J1) What disposition records must be kept by a pawnbroker upon the redemption
of a pawned firearm?
[Back]

The redemption of a pawned firearm is a “disposition” of a firearm under Federal
firearms law and is subject to all the recordkeeping requirements under the
GCA. Disposition must be properly entered in the pawnbroker’s “bound book,”
and ATF Form 4473 must be executed in connection with the redemption. (See also
Question
J4.) [27 CFR 178.124 and 178.125]

(J2) What is the procedure for a licensed pawnbroker to return a firearm?
[Back]

The procedure varies, depending upon the firearm and the situation.

Some Examples –
(1) Pawnbroker and nonlicensee are residents of the same state: The pawnbroker
may return a handgun or longgun to either the person who pawned it or a holder
of the pawn ticket who resides in the pawnbroker’s state. Use ATF Form 4473,
Part I (yellow) at the time of redemption.

(2) Pawnbroker and nonlicensee are not residents of the same state:

a. The pawnbroker may return a handgun only to the person who pawned it, using
ATF Form 4473, Part I (yellow) at the time of redemption.
b. The pawnbroker may return a rifle or shotgun to the person who pawned it.

c. The pawnbroker may transfer a rifle or shotgun to the holder of a pawn ticket
who did not pawn it at the licensed premises, provided that the transaction
complies with the law of the state where the pawnbroker’s business is located
and the law of the state where the pawn ticket holder resides. An ATF Form 4473,
Part I (yellow) is used for this transaction. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 2) and 922(
b)( 3)]

(J3) Are there prohibited categories of persons from whom a pawnbroker should
not accept firearms?
[Back]

Yes. The pawnbroker cannot lawfully return a firearm to a person who is underage
or within a prohibited category of persons to whom the sale or other disposition
of the firearm would be unlawful. For example, a pawnbroker cannot lawfully
return a pawned handgun to a person who is less than 21 years of age, nor can
he or she return a firearm to a convicted felon or to anyone else who is prohibited
from receiving the firearm. (See also Question J5.) [18
U. S. C. 922( d), 27 CFR 178.99]

(J4) Are licensed pawnbrokers required to comply with the requirements that
written notification be given to handgun transferees and signs be posted on
juvenile handgun possession?
[Back]

The requirement that written notification on juvenile handgun possession be
given to a nonlicensee to whom a handgun is delivered applies to all types of
Federal firearms licensees. It also applies to the return of handguns to their
owners, as well as to their sale. Thus, a pawnbroker who returns a handgun to
its owner upon its redemption from pawn must provide the notification to the
owner. The sign posting requirement also applies to licensed pawnbrokers. [18
U. S. C. 922( x), 27 CFR 178.103]

(J5) Are licensed pawnbrokers’ firearms sales or return of firearms redeemed
from pawn subject to the Brady law, including the provision for making background
checks of transferees?
[Back]

Yes. As provided by Public Law 105-277, enacted on October 21, 1998, a licensed
pawnbroker may also contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
(NICS) for a background check on a person at the time the person offers to pawn
a firearm. If NICS advises the pawnbroker that receipt or possession of the
firearm by the person attempting to pawn the firearm would violate the law,
the pawnbroker must advise local law enforcement within 48 hours after receipt
of the information. A pawnbroker who contacts NICS about a person prior to accepting
the person’s firearm in pawn must still comply with the requirements of the
Brady law at the time of the firearm’s redemption, i. e., NICS must again be
contacted for a background check on the person at the time of redemption. (See
also questions P18 through P24.)

K. AUCTIONEERS

(K1) Does an auctioneer who is involved in firearms sales need a dealers
license?
[Back]

Generally speaking, there are two types of auctions: estate-type auctions and
consignment auctions. In estate-type auctions, the articles to be auctioned
(including firearms) are being sold by the executor of the estate of an individual.
In these cases the firearms belong to and are possessed by the executor. The
auctioneer is acting as an agent of the executor and assisting the executor
in finding buyers for the firearms. The firearms are controlled by the estate,
and the sales of firearms are being made by the estate. In these cases, the
auctioneer does not meet the definition of engaging in business as a dealer
in firearms and would not need a license. An auctioneer who has a license may
perform this function away from his or her licensed premises.

In consignment-type auctions, an auctioneer often takes possession of firearms
in advance of the auction. These firearms are generally inventoried, evaluated,
and tagged for identification. The firearms belong to individuals who have entered
into a consignment agreement with the auctioneer giving that auctioneer authority
to sell the firearms. The auctioneer has possession and control of the firearms.
Under these circumstances, an auctioneer would generally need a license. An
auctioneer who buys firearms for purposes of resale will also need a license.

(K2) If a licensed auctioneer is making sales of firearms, where may those
sales be made?
[Back]

Firearms may be displayed at an auction site away from the auctioneer’s licensed
premises and sales of the firearms can be agreed upon at that location, but
delivery may only be made to purchasers after the firearms have been returned
to the auctioneer’s licensed premises. The simultaneous sale and delivery of
the auctioned firearms away from the licensed premises would violate the law,
i. e., engaging in business at an unlicensed location. However, if the auctioneer
is assisting an estate dispose of firearms, the estate is the seller of the
firearms, and the estate is in control and possession of the firearms, the firearms
would not have to be returned to the licensed premises prior to their delivery.
(See also Question K1.)

L. IMPORTING AND EXPORTING

(L1) May a licensed dealer who does not have an importer’s license make
an occasional importation?
[Back]

Yes. A licensee may make an occasional importation of a firearm for a nonlicensee
or for the licensee’s personal use (not for resale). The licensee must first
submit an ATF Form 6, Part I to the Imports Branch for approval. The licensee
may then present the approved Form 6 and completed ATF Form 6A to the U. S.
Customs Service. Contact the Bureau of ATF, Imports Branch, Washington, DC 20226,
(202) 927-8320 for forms.

(L2) Does a licensee need an export license to export a firearm? [Back]

The GCA does not provide for an export license. However, firearms and ammunition
shall be exported in accordance with provisions of the Arms Export Control Act
of 1976 and a license must be obtained from the Office of Defense Trade Controls,
PM/ DTC, SA-6, Room 228, U. S. Department of state, Washington, DC 20522-0602;
(703) 875-6644. In the case of exporting NFA firearms, a permit, ATF Form 9,
must be obtained from ATF.

The export of sporting shotguns is regulated by the U. S. Department of Commerce.
For further information, contact them at their nearest district office or the
Bureau of Export Administration, Export Counseling Division, U. S. Department
of Commerce, 14 th St. & Pennsylvania Ave. N. W., Washington, DC 20230,
(202) 482-4811. [22 U. S. C. 2778, 27 CFR 179.114-179.116]

(L3) Does ATF regulate gas masks? [Back]

Yes. Gas masks are "defense articles" subject to regulation under
the Arms Export Control Act. ATF regulates the importation of gas masks and
generally requires an import permit for lawful importation of these items.

(L4) What must I do to import gas masks for resale? [Back]

A commercial importer must be registered in accordance with the Arms Export
Control Act. You can download the application to register, ATF F 5330.4 (4587),
Application to Register as an Importer of U.S. Munitions Import List Articles
at http://www.atf.treas.gov/forms/pdfs/f4587.pdf.
There is a fee and the processing time is 2-4 weeks.

(L5) Once I am a Registered Importer, are there any other forms required
to import gas masks?
[Back]

Yes. You must submit to ATF by mail an ATF Form 6 Part I, (F 5330.3A), Application
and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War. The
standard processing time is 4-6 weeks from the date ATF’s Firearms and Explosives
Imports Branch receives a complete Form 6. You can download the Form 6 at http://www.atf.treas.gov/forms/pdfs/f53303a.pdf

(L6) Are there any countries that I cannot import gas masks from? [Back]

Yes. Per 27 CFR 47.52, gas masks manufactured in or exported from proscribed
countries or countries with which the United States maintains an arms embargo
are prohibited from importation into the United States:

§47.52 Import restrictions applicable to certain countries. (a) It is the
policy of the United States to deny licenses and other approvals with respect
to defense articles and defense services originating in certain countries or
areas. This policy applies to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mongolia, North Korea,
Sudan, Syria, Vietnam, and some of the states that comprised the former Soviet
Union (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Tajikistan). This policy applies to
countries or areas with respect to which the United States maintains an arms
embargo (e.g., Burma, China, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and
Montenegro), Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, UNITA (Angola), Zaire,
and Afghanistan. It also applies when an import would not be in furtherance
of world peace and the security and foreign policy of the United States.

(L7) Are there any types of gas masks that are not importable? [Back]

Yes. Defense articles such as gas masks that were manufactured with U.S. technical
data and/or were manufactured under a U.S. technical assistance agreement, are
not importable without written retransfer authorization from the Department
of State, Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfer Policy.

(L8) Are there any exceptions to the ATF Form 6 requirements? [Back]

Yes, there is one. Paragraph 47.41(c) states that a permit is not required
for the importation of gas masks into the United States from Canada. This exception
does not apply, however, if the gas masks originated in a proscribed country
for which the U.S. maintains an embargo. See section 47.53 and question L6.

(L9) If I have any further questions, whom should I contact? [Back]

For further assistance, please contact our Firearms and Explosives Imports
Branch at 202-927-8320.

M. FIREARMS – NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT (NFA)

(M1) The types of firearms that must be registered in the National Firearm
Registration and Transfer Record are defined in the NFA and in 27 CFR Part 179.
What are some examples?
[Back]

Some examples of the types of firearms that must be registered are:

bullet Machineguns;

bullet The frames or receivers
of machineguns;
bullet Any combination
of parts designed and intended for use in converting weapons into machineguns;

bullet Any part designed
and intended solely and exclusively for converting a weapon into a machinegun;

bullet Any combination
of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if the parts are in the possession
or under the control of a person;

bullet Silencers and any
part designed and intended for fabricating a silencer;
bullet Short-barreled rifles;

bullet Short-barreled shotguns;

bullet Destructive devices;
and,
bullet “Any other weapons.”

A few examples of destructive devices are:
bullet Molotov cocktails;
bullet Anti-tank guns (over
caliber .50);
bullet Bazookas; and,
bullet Mortars.

A few examples of “any other weapon” are:
bullet H& R Handyguns;

bullet Ithaca Auto-Burglar
guns;
bullet Cane guns; and,

bullet Gadget-type firearms
and “pen” guns which fire fixed ammunition.

(M2) How can an individual legally acquire NFA firearms? [Back]

Basically, there are 2 ways that an individual (who is not prohibited by Federal,
state, or local law from receiving or possessing firearms) may legally acquire
NFA firearms:

(1) By lawful transfer of a registered weapon from its lawful owner
residing in the same state as the transferee. Obtain any forms needed from the
Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC 20226.
(2) By obtaining prior approvals to make NFA firearms. [27 CFR 179.84-179.87
and 179.62-179.67]

(M3) What is the tax on making an NFA firearm? [Back]

The tax is $200 for making any NFA firearm, including “any other weapon.”

(M4) How is this tax paid? [Back]

A money order or check made payable to the Bureau of ATF together with the
application forms are to be mailed to the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington,
DC 20226.

(M5) What is an unserviceable firearm? [Back]

An unserviceable firearm is defined as one which is incapable of discharging
a shot by means of an explosive and which is incapable of being readily restored
to a firing condition. An acceptable method of rendering most firearms unserviceable
is to fusion weld the chamber closed and fusion weld the barrel solidly to the
frame. Certain unusual firearms require other methods to render the firearms
unserviceable.

An unserviceable NFA firearm is still subject to the controls of the NFA, but
may be transferred tax free as a curio or ornament. Contact the Bureau of ATF,
Firearms Technology Branch, Washington, DC 20226, (202) 927-7910 for instructions.
[27 CFR 179.11 and 179.91]

(M6) What is the status of an unregistered NFA firearm acquired through
seizure or abandonment by a state?
[Back]

When NFA firearms are desired for official use, they must be registered by
filing ATF Form 10 with the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC 20226.
Since approval is conditioned on an “official use only” basis, subsequent transfers
on ATF Form 5 cannot be approved except to a government agency for official
use. [27 CFR 179.104]

(M7) May a private citizen who owns an NFA firearm which is not registered
have the firearm registered?
[Back]

No. An unregistered NFA firearm is a contraband firearm and it is unlawful
to possess the weapon. The possessor should contact the nearest ATF office to
arrange for its disposition. [26 U. S. C. 5861( d)]

(M8) What can happen to someone who has an NFA firearm which is not registered
to him?
[Back]

Violators may be fined not more than $250,000, and imprisoned not more than
10 years, or both. In addition, any vessel, vehicle or aircraft used to transport,
conceal or possess an unregistered NFA firearm is subject to seizure and forfeiture,
as is the weapon itself. [49 U. S. C. 781-788, 26 U. S. C. 5861, 26 U. S. C.
5872]

(M9) What should a person do if he or she comes into possession of an unregistered
NFA firearm?
[Back]

Contact the nearest ATF office immediately.

(M10) Are there any exemptions from the making or transfer tax provisions
of the NFA?
[Back]

Yes. These are noted below, along with the required form number. You will have
to contact the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC 20226, (202) 927-8330.
Completed forms must be approved by the NFA Branch prior to the making or transfer:

(1) Tax exempt transfer and registration of a firearm between special (occupational)
taxpayers: ATF Form 3.
(2)

( a) Tax-exempt making of a firearm on behalf of a Federal or state agency:
ATF Form 1. Tax-exempt transfer and registration of the firearm: ATF Form 5.

(b) A licensed manufacturer under contract to make NFA firearms for the U. S.
Government may be granted exemption from payment of the special (occupational)
tax as a manufacturer of NFA firearms and exemption from all other NFA provisions
(except importation) with respect to the weapons made to fulfill the contract.
Exemptions are obtained by writing the NFA Branch, stating the contract number(
s) and the anticipated date of termination. This exemption must be renewed each
year prior to July 1.
(3) Tax-exempt transfer and registration of an unserviceable firearm which is
being transferred as a curio or ornament; tax exempt transfer of a firearm to
a lawful heir: ATF Form 5. 28.[26 U. S. C. 5851, 27 CFR 179.69, 179.70, 179.88,
179.89, 179.90 and 179.91]

(M11) How does a person qualify to import, manufacture, or deal in NFA firearms?
[Back]

The person must be licensed under the GCA and pay the required special (occupational)
tax imposed by the NFA. In addition, an importer (except importers of sporting
shotguns and shotgun ammunition) must also be registered with ATF under the
Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

After becoming licensed under the GCA, he or she must file ATF Form 5630.7
with the appropriate tax payment in the entire amount with ATF. [26 U. S. C.
5801, 18 U. S. C. 923, 27 CFR 47.31, 178.41, 179.34 and 179.193]

(M12) When must firearms special (occupational) taxes be paid, how much
are the taxes, and how are they paid?
[Back]

On first engaging in business and thereafter on or before the first day of
July, these taxes must be paid in full. The current taxes are set out in the
following table. Taxes are paid in the manner discussed in Question M11,
above.

SPECIAL (OCCUPATIONAL) TAX RATES UNDER THE NFA CLASS OF ANNUAL TAXPAYER
FEE

1 Importer of Firearms (Including “Any Other Weapons”) $1000.00

2 Manufacturer of Firearms (Including “Any Other Weapons”) $1000.00
3
Dealer of Firearms (Including “Any Other Weapons”) $ 500.00
4
Importer of Firearms (Including “Any Other Weapons”) $ 500.00 REDUCED*

5 Manufacturer of Firearms (Including “Any Other Weapons”) $ 500.00
REDUCED*

* REDUCED = Rates which apply to certain taxpayers whose total gross receipts
in the last taxable year are less than $500,000.

(M13) Does a single special (occupational) tax payment entitle a person
or firm to import and manufacture firearms?
[Back]

No. A separate special (occupational) tax payment must be made for each of
these activities. However, Class 1 and Class 2 special (occupational) taxpayers
are qualified to deal in NFA firearms without also having to pay special (occupational)
tax as a Class 3 dealer. [27 CFR 179.39]

(M14) May a licensed collector obtain NFA firearms in interstate commerce?
[Back]

Only if the firearms are classified as curios or relics, are registered, and
are transferred in accordance with the provisions of the NFA. In addition, the
collector must meet the requirements set forth under Question

(M15) What are the required transfer procedures for an individual who is
not qualified as a manufacturer, importer, or dealer of NFA firearms?
[Back]

ATF Form 4 (5320.4) must be completed, in duplicate. The transferor must first
complete the face of the form. The transferee must complete the transferee’s
certification on the reverse of the form and have the “Law Enforcement Certification”
completed by the chief law enforcement officer.

The transferee is to affix, on each copy of the form, a 2-inch by 2-inch photograph
of the transferee taken within the past year (proofs, group photographs or photocopies
are unacceptable). The transferee’s address must be a street address, not a
post office box. If there is no street address, specific directions to the residence
must be included.

If state or local law requires a prior permit or license to purchase, possess,
or receive NFA firearms, a copy of the transferee’s permit or license must accompany
the application. A check or money order for $200 ($ 5 for transfer of “any other
weapon”) shall be made payable to ATF by the transferor. All signatures on both
copies must be in ink. Submit fingerprints on FBI Form FD-258, in duplicate.
Fingerprints must be taken by a person qualified to do so, and must be clear
and classifiable. If wear or damage to the fingertips do not allow clear prints,
and if the prints are taken by a law enforcement official, a statement on his
or her official letterhead giving the reason why good prints are unobtainable
should accompany the fingerprints.

Forward completed information and appropriate tax payment to the Bureau of
ATF, P. O. Box 73201, Chicago, IL 60673. Transfer of the NFA firearm may be
made only upon approval of the ATF Form 4 by the NFA Branch. If the application
is approved, the original of the form with the cancelled stamp affixed showing
approval will be returned to the applicant. Otherwise, the tax will be refunded.

Upon approval of the ATF Form 4, the transferor should transfer the firearm
as soon as possible, since the firearm is now registered to the transferee.
[26 U. S. C. 5812, 27 CFR 179.83-179.86]

(M16) How does an individual obtain authorization to make an NFA firearm?
[Back]

Prior to making the firearm, the individual must submit ATF Form 1, Application
to Make and Register a Firearm, to the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington,
DC 20226, and receive approval. The applicant must follow the procedures described
in Question M15 concerning completion of the form, including photographs, fingerprints
and certifications. The applicant must forward the original and a duplicate
of the form along with a check or money order for $200 made payable to the Bureau
of ATF. If the application is approved, the original of the form with the cancelled
stamp affixed showing approval will be returned to the applicant. Otherwise,
the tax will be refunded. [26 U. S. C 5822, 27 CFR 179.62-179.65]

(M17) Are parts which would convert a firearm into an NFA firearm subject
to registration?
[Back]

Yes.

Examples:
bullet An M-2 conversion
kit;
bullet Any part designed
and intended solely and exclusively to convert a weapon into a machinegun. (See
Question
M1.)

(M18) May a licensed firearms dealer, qualified to deal in NFA firearms,
transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person in another state?
[Back]

No. The GCA generally prohibits the interstate transfer of a firearm from a
licensed dealer to a nonlicensee, except for an over-the-counter sale of a longgun
to an unlicensed person where the sale complies with the legal requirements
in the states of both buyer and seller. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 2) and (b)( 3),
27 CFR 178.29-178.30]

(M19) What law enforcement officials’ certifications on an application to
transfer or make an NFA weapon are acceptable to ATF?
[Back]

As provided by regulations, certifications by the local chief of police, sheriff
of the county, head of the state police, or state or local district attorney
or prosecutor are acceptable. The regulations also provide that certifications
of other officials are appropriate if found in a particular case to be acceptable
to the Director. Examples of such other officials include state attorneys general
and judges of state courts having authority to conduct jury trials in felony
cases. [27 CFR 179.63, 179.85]

(M20) Is the chief law enforcement officer required to sign the law enforcement
certification?
[Back]

No. Although ATF cannot approve an application to make or transfer an NFA weapon
without a law enforcement certification, no official is required to sign the
certification.

(M21) If the chief law enforcement official whose jurisdiction includes
the proposed transferee’s residence refuses to sign the “law enforcement certification,”
will the signature of an official in another jurisdiction be acceptable?
[Back]

No.

(M22) Does the registered owner of a destructive device, machinegun, short
barreled shotgun, or short barreled rifle need authorization to lawfully transport
such items interstate?
[Back]

Yes, unless the owner is a qualified dealer, manufacturer or importer, or a
licensed collector transporting only curios or relics. Prior approval must be
obtained, even if the move is temporary, and is requested by either submitting
a letter application containing all necessary information, or by submitting
ATF Form 5320.20 to the Bureau of ATF, NFA Branch, Washington, DC 20226. Possession
of the firearms must still comply with state and local laws. [27 CFR 178.28]

(M23) If an individual is changing his or her state of residence and the
individual’s application to transport the NFA firearm cannot be approved, what
options does a lawful possessor have?
[Back]

NFA firearms may be left in a safe deposit box in his or her former state of
residence. Also, the firearm could be left or stored in the former
state of residence at the house of a friend or relative in a locked room or
container to which only the registered owner has a key. The friend or relative
should be supplied with a copy of the registration forms and a letter from the
owner authorizing storage of the firearm at that location. The NFA Branch must
be notified of the location at which the firearms are stored.

The firearms may also be transferred under the procedures referred to in Question
M15 or abandoned to ATF.

(M24) May a transferor submit an application to transfer an NFA firearm
prior to the date on which the transferor receives the weapon?
[Back]

No.

(M25) If a person has a pistol and an attachable shoulder stock, does this
constitute possession of an NFA firearm?
[Back]

Yes, unless the barrel of the pistol is at least 16 inches in length (and the
overall length of the firearm with stock attached is at least 26 inches). However,
certain stocked handguns, such as original semiautomatic Mauser “Broomhandles”
and Lugers, have been removed from the purview of the NFA as collectors’ items.
[27 CFR 179.11]

(M26) Does the owner of a registered NFA firearm have to have any evidence
to show it is registered lawfully to him or her?
[Back]

Yes. The approved application received from ATF serves as evidence of registration
of the NFA firearm in the owner’s name. This document must be kept available
for inspection by ATF officers. It is suggested that a photocopy of the approved
application be carried by the owner when the weapon is being transported.

(M27) What is the status of deactivated, unloaded or dummy grenades, artillery
shell casings and similar devices?
[Back]

Such devices would merely be ornaments and not within the purview of the NFA.
However, such devices would have to be cut or drilled in such a manner as to
preclude possible use as ammunition components for destructive devices.

(M28) Are muzzleloading cannons classified as destructive devices? [Back]

Generally, no. Muzzleloading cannons not capable of firing fixed ammunition
and manufactured in or before 1898 and replicas thereof are antiques and not
subject to the provisions of either the GCA or the NFA. [26 U. S. C. 5845, 27
CFR 179.11]

(M29) Are grenade and rocket launcher attachments destructive devices? [Back]

Grenade and rocket launcher attachments for use on military type rifles generally
do not come within the definition of destructive devices. However, the grenades
and rockets used in these devices are generally within the definition. [26 U.
S. C. 5845, 27 CFR 179.11]

(M30) What is a “conversion kit?” [Back]

A conversion kit is any part or combination of parts designed and intended
for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun. A conversion kit is a machinegun
for purposes of the NFA. [26 U. S. C. 5845, 27 CFR 179.11]

N. MACHINEGUNS -NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT (NFA)

(N1) May an unlicensed person make a machinegun? [Back]

Generally, no. But, in the event that documentation can be provided, along
with the Application to Make a Machinegun, which establishes that the weapon
is being made for distribution to a Federal or state agency, an individual may
be permitted to make the machinegun. [18 U. S. C. 922( o)( 2), 27 CFR 179.105(
e)]

(N2) May machineguns be transferred from one registered owner to another?
[Back]

Yes. If the machinegun was lawfully registered and possessed before May 19,
1986, it may be transferred pursuant to an approved ATF Form 4. [18 U. S. C.
922( o)( 2)]

O. SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING
DEVICES

(O1) What restrictions does Federal law impose on semiautomatic assault
weapons?
[Back]

It is generally unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess
semiautomatic assault weapons after September 13, 1994, the effective date of
the law. See the exceptions listed in Question O5. [18
U. S. C. 922( v)( 1)]

(02) How does the law define the term “semiautomatic assault weapon?” [Back]

The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” is defined to include 19 named models
of firearms and semiautomatic rifles, semiautomatic pistols, and semiautomatic
shotguns that have at least 2 of the features specified in the law. Frames or
receivers for firearms are not regulated as semiautomatic assault weapons, since
they could be assembled as a firearm other than the 19 named models of firearms.
Likewise, frames or receivers are not semiautomatic assault weapons under the
“features” test of the law because they do not yet have the features necessary
to bring them within the definition.

Semiautomatic assault weapons in knockdown (disassembled) condition consisting
of a receiver and all parts needed to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault
weapon are subject to regulation if the parts are segregated or packaged together
and held by a person as the parts for the assembly of a particular firearm.
[18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 30)]

(O3) What restrictions does Federal law impose on large capacity ammunition
feeding devices?
[Back]

It is generally unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity
ammunition feeding device manufactured after September 13, 1994, the effective
date of the law. See the exceptions listed in Question O5.
[18 U. S. C. 922( w)( 1)]

(O4) How does the law define the term “large capacity ammunition feeding
device?”
[Back]

The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” is defined as a magazine,
belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device manufactured after September 13, 1994,
that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept,
more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Large capacity ammunition feeding devices
in knockdown – disassembled) condition consisting of all parts needed to assemble
a complete large capacity ammunition feeding device are subject to regulation
if the parts are segregated or packaged together and held by a person as the
parts for the assembly of a particular device. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 31)]

(05) What exceptions from the prohibitions on semiautomatic assault weapons
and large capacity ammunition feeding devices are provided in the law?
[Back]

Exceptions are provided for semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity
ammunition feeding devices –

(1) lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment;
(2) manufactured for, transferred to, or possessed by governmental entities
or law enforcement officers employed by governmental entities for official use;

(3) transferred to licensees maintaining on-site security at a nuclear power
plant required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of
such licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized
training or transportation of nuclear materials;
(4) transferred to law enforcement officers by the officer’s agency upon the
officer’s retirement; and

(5) manufactured, transferred, or possessed by licensed manufacturers or licensed
importers for the purposes of testing or experimentation as authorized by ATF.

Ammunition feeding devices having a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition
that were manufactured on or before September 13, 1994, are excluded from the
definition of “large capacity ammunition feeding device” and, therefore, are
not subject to the prohibitions. [18 U. S. C. 922( v)( 2), (v)( 4), (w)( 2)
and (w)( 3)]

(O6) If an NFA firearm has 2 or more of the features specified in the law
for semiautomatic assault weapons, will the firearm be regulated under both
statutes?
[Back]

Any firearm that falls within the definition of “semiautomatic assault weapon”
and the NFA definition of “firearm” is subject to both laws.

(O7) Are replacement parts for grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapons
and large capacity ammunition feeding devices subject to regulation under the
law?
[Back]

No. Parts may be replaced in grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapons and
grandfathered feeding devices without violating the law. However, if the frame
or a receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon is defective, the replacement
must be made by the weapon’s manufacturer or importer. The replacement receiver
must be parked with the same serial number as the original receiver, and the
original receiver must be destroyed. However, a manufacturer or importer who
is unable to mark the replacement receiver with the same serial number as the
original receiver may seek a marking variance in accordance with 27 CFR 178.92.
In addition, the permanent records of the manufacturer or importer should indicate
that the receiver for the weapon has been replaced.

(O8) May law enforcement officers purchase and possess semiautomatic assault
weapons and high capacity ammunition feeding devices?
[Back]

Yes. The law provides exceptions for law enforcement officers purchasing assault
weapons and magazines for official use. However, assault weapons may not be
lawfully distributed to, or received or possessed by, an officer having been
convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. A licensee may lawfully
transfer these items to a law enforcement officer and the officer may lawfully
receive and possess them if:

(1) the officer is a “peace officer” having the authority to arrest persons
for violations of the law and to obtain and execute search warrants;
(2) the officer is employed by a government agency; and
(3) in the case of a semiautomatic assault weapon, the officer has not been
convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

(O9) May law enforcement officers keep their semiautomatic assault weapons
(SAWs) and large capacity ammunition feeding devices (LCAFDs) when they retire
or leave their employment with a law enforcement agency?
[Back]

Under certain circumstances. In general, it is unlawful to possess SAWs and
LCAFDs. However, there is an exception that allows a retired law enforcement
officer (LEO) to possess a SAW or a LCAFD if the item belongs to the law enforcement
agency and the LEO’s agency transfers it to the LEO when he retires. The law
of the jurisdiction where the officer was employed governs whether he is considered
“retired.” The exception does not cover officers who leave an agency
for reasons other than retirement. It also does not allow retired officers to
acquire additional SAWs/LCAFDs after retirement.

We recognize some law enforcement officers have to purchase their own service
weapons. Such an officer still can fall within the exception for retired officers
if the LEO gives his service SAW/LCAFD back to his agency before retiring, following
the agency’s rules/guidelines for such a transfer. We recommend that both
the officer and his agency keep records of any such transfer, in case it later
must be established that the transfer was not a sham to avoid the general prohibition.

Any officer who does not fall within the retired officer exception should transfer
any SAWs/LCAFDs he owns to an FFL or another qualified officer when he retires
or otherwise leaves the agency.

(O10) If a person is in possession of a frame or receiver for a semiautomatic
assault weapon on the date of enactment, may the person acquire the rest of
the parts and assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon?
[Back]

No. It is unlawful to make such weapon after the law’s effective date. [18
U. S. C. 922( v)( 1)]

(O11) What documentation must a manufacturer, importer, or dealer obtain
from law enforcement officers who purchase semiautomatic assault weapons and
large capacity ammunition feeding devices for official use?
[Back]

Licensees may transfer semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition
feeding devices to law enforcement officers with the following documentation:

(1) a written statement from the purchasing officer, under penalty of perjury,
stating that the weapon or device is being purchased for use in performing official
duties and that the weapon or device is not being acquired for personal use
or for purposes of transfer or resale; and
(2) a written statement from a supervisor of the purchasing officer, under penalty
of perjury, stating that the purchasing officer is acquiring the weapon or feeding
device for use in official duties, that the weapon or device is suitable for
use in performing official duties, and that the weapon or device is not being
acquired for personal use or for purposes of transfer or resale. In the case
of a transfer of a semiautomatic assault weapon, the supervisor’s written statement
must also state that a records check reveals that the purchasing officer has
no convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. In the case of semiautomatic
assault weapons, licensees are required to retain the above statements in their
permanent records for a period of 5 years. [27 C. F. R. 178.129, 178.132, 178.134]

(O12) May licensed manufacturers, licensed importers, and licensed dealers
stockpile semiautomatic assault weapons for future sales to law enforcement
agencies and law enforcement officers employed by such agencies?
[Back]

Yes. Semiautomatic assault weapons may be transferred directly to law enforcement
agencies with a purchase order. Licensed manufacturers and licensed dealers
may transfer semiautomatic assault weapons to any Federal firearms licensee
upon obtaining evidence that the weapons will only be disposed of to law enforcement
agencies and law enforcement officers for official use. Examples of acceptable
evidence include the following:

1. Contracts between the manufacturer and dealers stating that the weapons
may only be sold to law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers.

2. Copies of purchase orders submitted to the licensee by law enforcement agencies.

3. Copies of letters submitted to the licensee by government agencies or law
enforcement officers expressing an interest in purchasing the weapons.
4. Letters from dealers to the manufacturer stating that sales will only be
made to law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers.
5. Letters from law enforcement officers as described in Question O11.

The above evidence must be maintained in the records of Federal firearms licensees
for a period of 5 years.

ATF Form 6 applications for the importation of nonsporting weapons, including
semiautomatic assault weapons, are approved only if the importer submits a purchase
order from a governmental entity. Therefore, importers and dealers may not maintain
an inventory of imported assault weapons. [18 U. S. C. 922( v)( 4), 27 C. F.
R. 178.40, 178.129( e); ATF Rul. 80-8]

(O13) Will manufacturers, importers, and dealers in large capacity ammunition
feeding devices be permitted to stockpile devices for sale to governmental entities?
[Back]

Yes. Possession and transfer of these devices by manufacturers, importers,
or dealers will be presumed to be lawful if they maintain evidence that the
devices are possessed and transferred for sale to government agencies and law
enforcement officers employed by such agencies. Examples of acceptable evidence
are the same as those set forth in Question O11, relating
to semiautomatic assault weapons. The importation of ammunition feeding devices
requires an approved ATF Form 6 issued by ATF. ATF will approve an ATF Form
6 application to import such devices when submitted with a purchase order from
a law enforcement agency or evidence that the device is being imported for sale
to a government agency or law enforcement officer employed by such agency. A
Form 6 will also be approved when an application is submitted with a statement
by the importer that the devices are being acquired for resale to law enforcement
agencies and/ or law enforcement officers for official use. ATF will stamp or
type a restriction on the Form 6 stating that the devices are approved for importation
and sale only to law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers in accordance
with 18 U. S. C. 922( w)( 3). A Form 6 will also be approved if there is physical
or documentary evidence establishing that the magazines were manufactured on
or before September 13, 1994. Examples of such evidence are listed in 27 CFR
178.119( c)( 7). Imported magazines manufactured on or before September 13,
1994, may be sold without restriction. [18 U. S. C. 922( w)( 3), 27 CFR 178.40a
and 178.119]

(O14) What markings must appear on semiautomatic assault weapons manufactured
after September 13, 1994?
[Back]

In addition to the markings required of all firearms pursuant to 27 C. F. R.
178.92( a)( 1), the frames or receivers for semiautomatic assault weapons must
be marked "RESTRICTED LAW ENFORCEMENT/ GOVERNMENT USE ONLY” or, in the
case of weapons manufactured for export, “FOR EXPORT ONLY.” [18 U. S. C. 923(
i), 27 CFR 178.92( a)( 2)]

(O15) What markings must appear on large capacity ammunition feeding devices
manufactured after September 13, 1994?
[Back]

Persons who import large capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured after
September 13, 1994, or manufacture large capacity ammunition feeding devices
must legibly identify each device imported or manufactured by serial number
and other prescribed markings. The same serial number may be used for all devices
manufactured or imported. Such devices must also be marked “RESTRICTED LAW ENFORCEMENT/
GOVERNMENT USE ONLY” or, in the case of devices manufactured for export, "FOR
EXPORT ONLY.” Domestically made devices must also be marked with the name, city
and state of the manufacturer. Imported devices must be marked with the same
of the manufacturer, country of origin, and name, city and state of the importer.
Persons who manufacture or import metallic links for use in the assembly of
belted ammunition are only required to place the prescribed identification marks
on the containers used for packaging the links. [18 U. S. C. 923( i), 27 CFR
178.92( c)]

(O16) Are fixed magazines for weapons specified in APPENDIX A to 18 U. S.
C. 922 and fixed magazines for manually operated firearms which hold more than
10 rounds of ammunition “large capacity ammunition feeding devices?”
[Back]

The law specifically provides that the prohibition on semiautomatic assault
weapons shall not apply to any of the firearms specified in Appendix A or any
firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action. Accordingly,
weapons listed in Appendix A with fixed magazines and manually operated firearms
with fixed magazines are exempt from both the assault weapon and feeding device
provisions of the law. [18 U. S. C. 922( v)( 3), 922( w)]

(O17) What evidence is sufficient for Federal firearms licensees to be sure
that particular semiautomatic assault weapons are “grandfathered” weapons which
are not subject to the restrictions on possession and transfer?
[Back]

The requirement that semiautomatic assault weapons be marked “RESTRICTED LAW
ENFORCEMENT/ GOVERNMENT USE ONLY” was not effective until July 5, 1995. Thus,
semiautomatic assault weapons manufactured from September 13, 1994-July 4, 1995,
may not be marked with the restrictive markings. Additionally, sporting weapons
may have been modified after September 13, 1994, so that they are semiautomatic
assault weapons, e. g., a pistol grip and magazine extension are installed on
a sporting shotgun. Licensees obtaining semiautomatic assault weapons which
do not have the restrictive marking should obtain from the seller an invoice,
bill of sale, or other documentation indicating that the weapon in its present
configuration was lawfully possessed on or before September 13, 1994. [27 CFR
178.92( a)( 2)]

(O18) May semiautomatic assault weapons which have been classified as curios
or relics be imported?
[Back]

Not unless they are being imported for sale to a government agency or law enforcement
officer employed by such agency for official use. Since ATF will not approve
an importation which would place the importer in violation of the law, ATF would
not authorize the importation of semiautomatic assault weapons, even if classified
as curios or relics, unless the importer provided evidence that the weapons
were being imported for sale to a governmental entity or other exempt purchaser.
[18 U. S. C. 922( v)]

(019) May a licensed dealer lawfully acquire semiautomatic assault weapons
manufactured after September 13, 1994, remove the features that bring them within
the definition of such weapons in the law, and sell the weapons to the public?
[Back]

No. The law prohibits possession of semiautomatic assault weapons manufactured
after September 13, 1994. However, an exception is provided for licensed dealers
possessing and dealing in such weapons that have been manufactured for and are
possessed for transfer to government agencies. A dealer’s possession of the
weapons for sale or transfer to the public is not among the exceptions to the
prohibition on their possession. Thus, a dealer who acquires such weapons for
the purpose of stripping them of their assault weapon features and selling the
modified weapons to the public violates the law. This is true even if the dealer
strips the assault weapon features from the weapons so that they no longer meet
the definition of semiautomatic assault weapon. The dealer may also have violated
the law by making false statements to a supplier that the weapons were being
acquired under an exception to the prohibition, e. g., for sales to law enforcement
agencies or law enforcement officers. [18 U. S. C. 922( v), 27 CFR 178.40( c)]

P. BRADY LAW

Editor’s Note:

Unless otherwise noted, these questions and answers relate to the permanent
provisions of the Brady law found in section 922( t) of the Gun Control Act.
These provisions, including the requirement for licensees to initiate background
checks of individuals to whom all types of fireams are transferred by contacting
the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), became effective
on November 30, 1998. They replace the interim provisions of the Brady law that
imposed a Federal 5-day waiting period on licensees’ sales of handguns and required
the sending of Brady forms to state or local officials.

(P1) Does the Brady law require a 5-day waiting period before a firearm
can be transferred?
[Back]

No. Instead of waiting 5 days for a background check through a local law enforcement
officer, licensees will initiate a background check through the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS). For the most part, these background
checks will be immediate. In some circumstances, however, licensees will have
to wait up to 3 business days before getting a response from NICS.

(P2) Who must comply with the requirements of the Brady law? [Back]

Federally licensed firearms importers, manufacturers, and dealers must comply
with the Brady law prior to the transfer of any firearm to a nonlicensed individual.

(P3) When did the provisions of the permanent Brady law take effect? [Back]

The permanent Brady law went into effect on November 30, 1998. Accordingly,
any transfer occurring on or after November 30, 1998, is subject to the requirements
of this law.

(P4) Is NICS operated by ATF? [Back]

No. NICS is operated by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation
(FBI).

(P5) Do all NICS checks go through the FBI’s NICS Operations Center? [Back]

No. In many states, licensees initiate NICS checks through the state point
of contact (POC). In some cases, the state POC is also the agency that does
background checks for firearms transactions under state law.

(P6) If the state is acting as a point of contact (POC), does that mean
that all NICS checks go through the POC rather than the FBI?
[Back]

That depends on the state. In some states, the POC conducts background checks
for all firearms transactions. In other states, licensees must contact the POC
for handgun transactions and the FBI for longgun transactions. In some states,
NICS checks for pawn redemptions are handled by the FBI.

(P7) How does a licensee know whether to contact the FBI or a state point
of contact (POC) in order to initiate a NICS check?
[Back]

Prior to November 30, 1998, ATF sent an open letter to licensees in each state,
providing the licensees with instructions as to how to initiate a NICS check
in their state. Your local ATF office can also advise you on the appropriate
point of contact for NICS checks.

(P8) Is there a charge for NICS checks? [Back]

The FBI does not charge a fee for conducting NICS checks. However, states that
act as points of contact for NICS checks may charge a fee consistent with state
law.

(P9) Must licensees enroll with the FBI to get access to NICS? [Back]

Licensees must be enrolled with the FBI before they can initiate NICS checks
through the FBI’s NICS Operations Center. Licensees who have not received an
enrollment package from the FBI should call the FBI NICS Operations Center at
1-877-444-6427 and ask that an enrollment package be sent to them. Licensees
in states where a state agency is acting as a point of contact for NICS checks
should contact the state for enrollment information.

(P10) Does the Brady law apply to the transfer of long guns as well as handguns?
[Back]

Yes.

(P11) Does the Brady law apply to the transfer of antique firearms? [Back]

No. Licensees need not comply with the Brady law when transferring a weapon
that meets the Gun Control Act’s definition of an “antique firearm.”

(P12) Does the Brady law apply to the transfer of firearms between two licensees?
[Back]

No. The Brady law only applies when a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer
is transferring a firearm to a nonlicensee.

(P13) Must licensed collectors comply with the Brady law prior to transferring
a curio or relic firearm?
[Back]

No. Transfers of curio or relic firearms by licensed collectors are not subject
to the requirements of the Brady law.

(P14) Is the transfer of a firearm by a licensed dealer to a licensed collector
subject to the Brady law?
[Back]

The Brady law does not apply to the transfer of a curio or relic firearm to
a licensed collector. However, a licensed collector who acquires a firearm other
than a curio or relic from a licensee would be treated like a nonlicensee, and
the transfer would be subject to Brady requirements.

(P15) Must a licensed importer, manufacturer or dealer comply with the Brady
law when selling firearms from his or her own personal collection?
[Back]

No, provided the licensee has maintained the firearm as part of his or her
personal collection for at least 1 year from the date the firearm was transferred
from the business inventory into the personal collection or otherwise acquired
as a personal firearm and the licensee complies with the recordkeeping
requirements in 27 CFR 178.125a.

(P16) Do the provisions of the Brady law apply to a licensee’s loan or rental
of a firearm to a nonlicensee?
[Back]

If the firearm is loaned or rented for use on the licensee’s premises, the
transaction is not subject to the Brady law. However, if the firearm is loaned
or rented for use off the premises, the licensee must comply with the Brady
law.

(P17) Must licensees conduct NICS checks for sales of firearms to nonlicensees
at gun shows?
[Back]

Yes. A licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealeer may not transfer a firearm
to a nonlicensee at a gun show without first complying with the requirements
of the Brady law.

(P18) Is the redemption of a pawned firearm subject to the Brady law? [Back]

Yes. Unlike the interim Brady law, the permanent Brady law that went into effect
on November 30, 1998 does not contain an exemption for the return of a firearm
to the individual from whom it was received. Accordingly, the redemption of
a pawned firearm is considered a transfer subject to the permanent Brady law.

(P19) What should a licensed pawnbroker do with a firearm he or she has
in pawn when the NICS check results in a “denied” transaction?
[Back]

The licensee cannot transfer the firearm to the transferee without violating
the law and placing the transferee in violation of the law. Licensees with additional
questions should contact their local ATF office.

(P20) If an individual repeatedly pawns the same firearm, is the FFL required
to do a NICS check each time the firearm is redeemed?
[Back]

Yes. The fact that the transferee has redeemed the firearm before does not
excuse the pawnbroker from complying with the Brady law.

(P21) Can licensed pawnbrokers conduct NICS checks prior to accepting a
firearm in pawn?
[Back]

Yes. The law provides that a NICS check may be done, on an optional basis,
prior to accepting a firearm in pawn. If the check results in a “denied” response,
the licensee is required to notify local law enforcement officials within 48
hours after receipt of the “denied” response.

(P22) If a pawnbroker conducts an optional NICS check prior to receiving
a firearm in pawn, should the owner of the firearm complete a Form 4473?
[Back]

ATF is developing a new form to cover these transactions. Until this form is
distributed, ATF suggests that licensees have the owner complete Section A of
the Form 4473, record the results of the NICS check on the form, and retain
the form in their records for at least 5 years. These issues were addressed
in greater detail in an open letter ATF sent to pawnbrokers.

(P23) What should a licensed pawnbroker do when he or she gets a “denied”
response from an optional NICS check conducted prior to the receipt of a firearm
in pawn?
[Back]

The licensee is required to notify local law enforcement officials within 48
hours after receipt of the “denied” response. If the licensee has taken possession
of the firearm, he or she may not return it to the individual who offered it
for pawn.

(P24) If a licensed pawnbroker conducts a NICS check prior to accepting
a firearm in pawn, and gets an “approved” response from NICS, must the pawnbroker
conduct another NICS check if the firearm is redeemed from pawn? What if it
is redeemed from pawn the same day?
[Back]

The law provides that another NICS check must be done at the time of redemption,
regardless of how recently the pre-pawn NICS check was conducted. Even if the
firearm is redeemed the same day, a separate NICS check must be conducted at
the time of redemption.

(P25) A firearm is delivered to a licensee by an unlicensed individual for
the purpose of repair. Is the return of the repaired firearm subject to the
requirements of the Brady law? Would the transfer of a replacement firearm from
the licensee to the owner of the damaged firearm be subject to the requirements
of the Brady law?
[Back]

Neither the transfer of a repaired firearm nor the transfer of a replacement
firearm would be subject to the requirements of the Brady law. Furthermore,
the regulations provide that a Form 4473 is not required to cover these transactions.
However, the licensee’s permanent acquisition and disposition records should
reflect the return of the firearm or the transfer of a replacement firearm.

(P26) Is a licensee’s return of a consigned firearm to an unlicensed individual
subject to permanent Brady?
[Back]

Yes.

(P27) Do the requirements of the Brady law apply to sales of firearms to
law enforcement officials for official use?
[Back]

Transfers of firearms to law enforcement officials for their official use are
exempt from the provisions of the Brady law when the transaction complies with
the conditions set forth in the regulations at 27 CFR 178.134. In general, the
purchaser must provide a certification on agency letterhead, signed by a person
in authority within the agency (other than the officer purchasing the firearm),
stating that the officer will use the firearm in official duties, and that a
records check reveals that the purchasing officer has no convictions for misdemeanor
crimes of domestic violence. If these conditions are met, the purchasing officer
is not required to complete a Form 4473 or undergo a NICS check. However, the
licensee must record the transaction in his or her permanent records and retain
a copy of the certification letter.

(P28) Do the requirements of the Brady law apply to the sale of a firearm
to a law enforcement official for his or her personal use?
[Back]

Yes. In such transactions, the law enforcement official is treated no differently
from any other unlicensed transferee, and a NICS check must be conducted.

(P29) Are there exceptions to the Brady law’s requirement for a NICS check
prior to a licensee’s transfer of a firearm to an unlicensed individual?
[Back]

Firearm transfers are exempt from the requirement for a NICS check in 3 situations.
These include transfers (a) to buyers having a state permit that has been recognized
by ATF as an alternative to a NICS check; (b) of National Firearms Act weapons
approved by ATF; and (c) certified by ATF as exempt because compliance with
the NICS check requirement is impracticable.

(P30) What steps must be followed by an FFL prior to transferring a firearm
subject to the requirements of the Brady law?
[Back]

The following steps must be followed prior to transferring a firearm:
1. The licensee must have the transferee complete and sign ATF Form 4473, Firearms
Transaction Record.
2. The licensee must verify the identity of the transferee through a government-issued
photo identification.
3. The licensee must contact NICS (through either the FBI or a state point of
contact). The licensee will get either a “proceed”, “denied” or “delayed” response
from the system. If the licensee gets a “delayed” response and there is no additional
response from the system, the licensee may transfer the firearm after 3 business
days have elapsed. Of course, the licensee must still comply with any waiting
period requirements under state law.

(P31) What form of identification must a dealer obtain from a purchaser
under the Brady law?
[Back]

The identification document presented by the purchaser must have a photograph
of the purchaser, as well as the purchaser’s name, address, and date of birth.
The identification document must also have been issued by a governmental entity
for the purpose of identification of individuals. An example of an acceptable
identification document is a driver’s license.

(P32) Under the Brady law, may a licensee transfer a firearm to a nonlicensed
individual who does not appear in person at the licensed premises?
[Back]

In any transaction that is subject to the requirement for a NICS check, the
firearm may only be sold over-the-counter. Unless the purchaser appears in person
at the licensed premises, the licensee cannot comply with the requirement in
the Brady law that the identity of the purchaser be verified by means of a government-issued
photo identification document.

(P33) If no NICS check is required, may a licensee transfer a firearm to
a nonlicensed individual who does not appear in person at the licensed premises?
[Back]

Yes, assuming the transaction otherwise complies with Federal law. For example,
a licensee may still ship firearms to out-of-state law enforcement officials
for official use, as long as the transaction complies with the alternate procedure
set forth in the regulations. Furthermore, licensees may ship firearms intrastate
to state residents who have valid permits that have been recognized as alternatives
to the NICS check requirements, in compliance with the procedures set forth
in 27 CFR 178.96( b).

(P34) Do gun purchasers have to fill out a Brady Form under the permanent
Brady law?
[Back]

No. The Brady Form and ATF Form 4473 have been combined into one form, a revised
Form 4473.

(P35) Can licensees continue to use old versions of ATF Form 4473 on or
after November 30, 1998? [Back]

Beginning November 30, 1998, licensees should use the forms dated 10/ 98. The
old forms are obsolete. Licensees who have not yet received their new forms
should contact their local ATF office to get copies of the form faxed to them.
In addition, licensees may order copies of ATF Form 4473 from the ATFDistribution
Center.

(P36) Is the transferee required to provide his or her social security number
on the ATF Form 4473?
[Back]

No. This information is solicited on an optional basis. However, providing
this information will help ensure the lawfulness of the sale and avoid the possibility
that the transferee will be incorrectly identified as a felon or other prohibited
person.

(P37) Will NICS provide an instant response? [Back]

NICS will not always provide an instant response. Licensees will receive either
a “proceed”, “denied” or “delayed” response from NICS. If a “proceed” response
is received, the transfer may proceed. If a “denied” response is received, then
the transfer may not proceed. If a “delayed” response is received, then the
transfer must be delayed until a final response is received from NICS or until
after the lapse of 3 business days.

(P38) For purposes of the Brady law, what is meant by a “business day”?[Back]

A business day is defined as any day on which state offices are open.

(P39) If a licensee contacts NICS on Thursday, December 3, 1998, and gets
a “delayed” response, when may the licensee transfer the firearm if no further
response is received from NICS?
[Back]

The firearm may be transferred on Wednesday, December 9, 1998. Assuming state
offices are open on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, and closed on Saturday and
Sunday, 3 business days would have elapsed at the end of Tuesday, December 8,
1998. Therefore, the licensee may transfer the firearm at the start of business
on Wednesday, December 9, 1998. (The 3 business days do not include the day
the NICS check is initiated.)

(P40) What should a licensee do if he or she gets a “denied” response from
NICS or a state point of contact after 3 business days have elapsed, but prior
to the transfer of the firearm?
[Back]

If the licensee receives a “denied” response at any time prior to the transfer
of the firearm, he or she may not transfer the firearm.

(P41) What should an FFL tell a transferee who is denied by NICS? [Back]

The FFL should inform the transferee that the NICS check indicates that the
transfer of the firearm should not be made, but that it does not provide a reason
for the denial. The FFL should provide the transferee with the NICS or state
transaction number and an appeals brochure. The FBI will provide FFLs with brochures
that outline the transferee’s appeal rights and responsibilities.

(P42) If a transferee receives a “denied” response from NICS, can the transferee
find out why he or she was denied?
[Back]

Yes. Although the FFL will not know the reason for the denial, the transferee
may contact the FBI or the state point of contact in writing to request the
reason for denial.

(P43) What information do FFLs have to record on ATF Form 4473 once they
hear back from NICS or the state point of contact?
[Back]

FFLs must record any “proceed”, “delayed”, or “denied” response received, as
well as any transaction number provided.

(P44) What should licensees do if no transaction number is provided? [Back]

The FBI’s NICS Operations Center will always provide a transaction number at
the time of the initial inquiry. Some state points of contact (POC) may not
provide a transaction number for denied transactions. If a state POC does not
provide a transaction number for a denied transaction, then the licensee should
just record the response without a transaction number. Licensees should note,
however, that a transaction number is required if the firearm is being transferred
within 3 business days of the initiation of a NICS check.

(P45) Do FFLs have to keep a copy of ATF Form 4473 if the transaction is
denied or for some other reason is not completed?
[Back]

FFLs must keep a copy of each ATF Form 4473 for which a NICS check has been
initiated, regardless of whether the transfer of the firearm was made. If the
transfer is not made, the FFL must keep the Form 4473 for 5 years after the
date of the NICS inquiry. If the transfer is made, the FFL must keep the Form
4473 for 20 years after the date of the sale or disposition. Forms 4473 with
respect to a transfer that did not take place must be separately maintained.

(P46) When should FFLs contact NICS? [Back]

FFLs should contact NICS after the transferee has completed Section A of the
ATF Form 4473.

(P47) For what period of time is a NICS check valid? [Back]

A NICS check is valid for 30 calendar days, as long as it applies to a single
transaction. An FFL may not rely on a NICS check that was conducted more than
30 calendar days prior to the transfer of the firearm.

Example: A NICS check is initiated on December 15, 1998. The FFL receives
a “proceed” from NICS. The purchaser does not return to pick up the firearm
until January 22, 1999. The FFL must conduct another NICS check before transferring
the firearm to the purchaser, and must record the results of the check on the
Form 4473.

(P48) Is a NICS check valid for 30 days from when the check was initiated,
or from when a “proceed” is issued?
[Back]

The NICS check is valid for 30 days from when the check was initiated.

Example: A NICS check is initiated on December 15, 1998. The FFL receives
a “proceed” response from NICS on December 17, 1998. The purchaser does not
return to pick up the firearm until January 16, 1999. The FFL must conduct another
NICS check before transferring the firearm to the purchaser.

Example: A NICS check is initiated on December 15, 1998. The FFL receives
a “delayed” response from NICS; no further response is received. The purchaser
does not return to pick up the firearm until January 16, 1999. The FFL must
conduct another NICS check before transferring the firearm to the purchaser.

(P49) A purchaser places an order for a custom-made firearm, which will
not be ready for at least 60 days. Should the NICS check be initiated on the
date the order is placed or the day the firearm is ready for delivery?
[Back]

If the licensee knows that it will be more than 30 days before the firearm
is ready, the licensee may choose to wait until the firearm is ready for delivery
to have the purchaser complete Section A of the Form 4473 and contact NICS for
a background check. If the purchaser completes Section A ofthe Form 4473 on
the date the order is placed, and a NICS check is initiated on that day, the
licensee will have to conduct a second NICS check prior to transferring the
firearm.

(P50) Can one NICS check cover two or more separate firearms transactions?
[Back]

No. An FFL must initiate separate NICS checks for separate transactions. However,
an individual may purchase several firearms in one transaction.

Example: A purchaser completes an ATF Form 4473 for a single firearm
on February 15, 1999. The FFL receives a “proceed” from NICS that day. The FFLsigns
the form, and the firearm is transferred. On February 20, 1999, the purchaser
returns to the FFL’s premises and wishes to purchase a second firearm. The purchase
of the second firearm is a separate transaction. Therefore, a new NICS check
must be initiated by the FFL.

Example: A purchaser completes ATF Form 4473 for a single firearm on
February 15, 1999. The FFL receives a “proceed” from NICS that day. The purchaser
does not return to pick up the firearm until February 20, 1999. Before the FFL
signs the Form 4473 for the first firearm, the purchaser decides to purchase
an additional firearm. The second firearm may be recorded on the same Form 4473,
in which case the purchase of the 2 firearms is considered a single transaction.
Therefore, the licensee is not required to conduct a new NICS check prior to
transferring the second firearm.

Example: A purchaser wishes to purchase 1 rifle and 1 handgun. state
law requires that a background check be conducted on the sales of all handguns.
The state is acting as a point of contact (POC) for NICS checks for handgun
sales, while the FBI is conducting NICS checks for longgun transactions in that
state. To comply with state law, the dealer initiates a background check through
the state POC. There is no need to initiate a separate background check through
the FBI for the sale of the rifle, since the 2 firearms are being transferred
in one transaction.

(P51) If no exceptions to the NICS check apply, must an FFL always wait
3 business days before transferring a firearm to a transferee?
[Back]

No. An FFL may transfer a firearm to a transferee as soon as he or she receives
a “proceed” from NICS (assuming that the transaction would be in compliance
with state law). However, if the FFL does not receive a final “proceed” or “denied”
response from NICS, he or she must wait until 3 business days have elapsed prior
to transferring the firearm.

(P52) Will a state “instant check” or “point of sale check” system qualify
as an alternative to a NICS check?
[Back]

No. However, it should be noted that many states with their own background
check requirements are also acting as points of contact for NICS checks.

(P53) What happens if the transferee successfully appeals the NICS denial
but more than 30 calendar days have elapsed since the initial background check
was initiated?
[Back]

The FFL must initiate another NICS check before the firearm may be transferred.

(P54) Are permits to carry concealed firearms included under the permit
exception to the NICS check (assuming they meet the other requirements of the
exception)?
[Back]

Yes. The exception includes permits to carry concealed firearms and permits
specifically authorizing the purchase of a firearm.

(P55) How does a licensee know whether a permit may be accepted as an alternative
to a NICS check?
[Back]

Prior to November 30, 1998, ATF sent an open letter to licensees in each state,
advising them of what permits in that state qualified as alternatives to a NICS
check at the time of transfer. Licensees having questions whether particular
state permits are acceptable alternatives to NICS checks should contact their
local ATF office.

(P56) Does a permit qualify as an alternative to a NICS check if the purchaser
is using it to purchase a type of firearm that is not covered by the permit?
[Back]

Yes, assuming the transaction complies with state law.

Example: ATF recognizes the permit to purchase a handgun and the concealed
weapons permit as alternatives to a NICS check in state A. Any purchaser who
displays a permit to purchase a handgun or a concealed weapons permit is not
required to undergo a NICS check prior to purchasing a rifle, assuming the transaction
complies with state law.

Example: In that same state, a person with a concealed weapons permit
wants to purchase a handgun. state law prohibits the sale of any handgun to
a person unless he or she has a permit to purchase. Accordingly, the licensee
cannot lawfully sell the handgun unless the purchaser has a permit to purchase
a handgun.

(P57) ATF has recognized the concealed weapons permits in state A and state
B as valid alternatives to a NICS check. Can a resident of state A use a concealed
weapons permit issued by state A to purchase a longgun in state B without undergoing
a NICS check?
[Back]

No. A permit qualifies as a NICS alternative only if it was issued by the state
in which the transfer is to take place.

(P58) ATF’s open letter to licensees in state C states that while concealed
weapons permits issued by state C were recognized as alternatives to the background
check required by the interim Brady law, concealed weapons permits issued by
state C on or after November 30, 1998, will not be recognized as alternatives
to the NICS check required by the permanent Brady law. Why will these permits
no longer be recognized as Brady alternatives?
[Back]

The change in the status of the permits is probably due to one of the following
circumstances:

(1) the state does not conduct NICS checks prior to issuing permits; or
(2) the state does not disqualify all permit applicants prohibited from possessing
firearms under Federal law.

(P59) On December 1, 1998, can a licensee accept as a NICS alternative a
“grandfathered” concealed weapons permit that was issued by state C on January
1, 1993? [Back]

No. The permit must have been issued within the past 5 years.

(P60) If state law provides that permits are only valid for 2 years, can
a licensee accept as a NICS alternative a permit that was issued 4 years ago?

[Back]

No. The permit must be still valid under state law in order to qualify as an
alternative to a NICS check.

(P61) If the state has its own instant check system, must the licensee comply
with state requirements for a background check as well as the Brady law?
[Back]

Yes. If the state is not acting as a point of contact for NICS checks,
the licensee may have to initiate 2 background checks by contacting (1) the
FBI’s NICS Operations Center, and (2) the state system.

(P62) If a licensee gets a “proceed” response from NICS, does he or she
still have to wait until the expiration of the state waiting period before transferring
the firearm?
[Back]

Yes. Compliance with the Brady law does not excuse a licensee from compliance
with state law.

(P63) If a state is acting as a NICS point of contact (POC), and state law
has separate requirements regarding the amount of time that a licensee must

wait before transferring a firearm after contacting the state, should the licensee
comply with the state requirements, the Federal requirements, or
both?
[Back]

The licensee must comply with both state and Federal requirements.

Example: State D is acting as a POC for NICS checks. state law requires
a background check prior to the transfer of any firearm. state law also requires
the licensee to wait 10 days to get a response from the state. The licensee
must contact the state POC for a NICS check and a state background check. The
licensee must comply with both Federal and state law by waiting 10 days for
a response prior to transferring the firearm. If the licensee has not received
a response from the state after 10 days, he or she may transfer the firearm.

Example: State E is acting as a POC for NICS checks. state law requires
a background check prior to the transfer of any firearm. Under state law, the
licensee may transfer the firearm if he or she gets no final response from the
state by the next day. The licensee contacts the state POC for a NICS check,
and gets a “delayed” response. Assuming that the licensee gets no further response
from the state POC, the licensee must comply with both Federal and state law
by waiting until 3 business days have elapsed prior to transferring the firearm.

(P64) Does an individual licensee have to conduct a NICS check on himself
or herself prior to transferring a firearm to his or her own personal collection?
[Back]

No. The regulations do not require a licensee to complete a Form 4473 prior
to transferring a firearm to his or her own personal collection; accordingly,
a NICS check is not required either. Such transfers must be recorded in the
manner prescribed by the regulations at 27 CFR 178.125a.

(P65) Is a NICS check required for the sale of firearms registered under
the National Firearms Act (NFA)?
[Back]

No, assuming all NFA requirements have been satisfied.

(P66) An organization without a firearms license wishes to acquire a firearm
from a licensee for the purpose of raffling the firearm at an event. How does
the licensee comply with the Brady law?
[Back]

The licensee must comply with the Brady law by conducting a NICS check on the
transferee. If the licensee wishes to transfer the firearm to the organization,
a representative of the organization must complete a Form 4473, and a NICS check
must be conducted on that representative prior to the transfer of the firearm.
Alternatively, if the licensee transfers the firearm directly to the winner
of the raffle, the winner must complete a Form 4473, and a NICS check must be
conducted on the raffle winner prior to the transfer.

Example: A licensee transfers a firearm to the organization sponsoring
the raffle. The licensee must comply with the Brady law by requiring a representative
of the organization to complete the Form 4473 and undergo a NICS check. Once
the firearm has been transferred to the organization, the organization can subsequently
transfer the firearm to the raffle winner without a Form 4473 being completed
or a NICS check being conducted. This is because the organization is not an
FFL; therefore, its transfer of a firearm is not subject to the Brady law.

Example: The licensee or his or her representative brings a firearm
to the raffle, so that the firearm can be displayed. After the raffle, the firearm
is returned to the licensee’s premises. The licensee must comply with the Brady
law prior to transferring the firearm directly to the winner of the raffle by
requiring the winner to complete the Form 4473 and undergo a NICS check at the
licensee’s premises prior to the transfer of the firearm.

Example: The raffle meets the definition of an “event” at which a licensee
is allowed to conduct business under 27 CFR 178.100( b). The licensee attends
the event and transfers the firearm at the event to the winner. The licensee
must comply with the Brady law prior to transferring the firearm to the winner
by requiring the winner to complete a Form 4473 and undergo a NICS check.

Q. MISDEMEANOR CRIME OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(Q1) What is a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”? [Back]

A “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” means an offense that:
(1) is a misdemeanor under Federal or state law;

(2) has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened
us of a deadly weapon; and
(3) was committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the
victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person
who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent,
or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian
of the victim. However, a person is not considered to have been convicted of
a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless:
(1) the person was represented by counsel in the case, or knowingly and intelligently
waived the right of counsel in the case; and
(2) in the case of a prosecution for which a person was entitled to a jury trial
in the jurisdiction in which the case was tried, either –

(a) the case was tried by a jury, or
(b) the person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case
tried by a jury, by guilty plea or otherwise.

In addition, a conviction would not be disabling if it has been expunged or
set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had
civil rights restored (if the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings
were held provides for the loss of civil rights upon conviction for such an
offense) unless the pardon, expunction, or restoration of civil rights expressly
provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms,
and the person is not otherwise prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction in
which the proceedings were held from receiving or possessing firearms. [18 U.
S. C. 921( a)( 33), 27 CFR 178.11]

(Q2) What is the effective date of this disability? [Back]

The law was effective September 30, 1996. However, the prohibition applies
to persons convicted of such misdemeanors at any time, even if the conviction
occurred prior to the law’s effective date. [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9), 27 CFR
178.32( a)( 9)]

(Q3) Does application of the law to persons convicted prior to the law’s
effective date violate constitutional rights?
[Back]

No. This provision is not being applied retroactively or in violation of the
ex post facto clause of the Constitution. This is because the law does not impose
additional punishment upon persons convicted prior to the effective date, but
merely regulates the future possession of firearms on or after the effective
date. The provision is not retroactive merely because the person’s conviction
occurred prior to the effective date. [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9), 27 CFR 178.32(
a)( 9)]

(Q4) X was convicted of misdemeanor assault on October 10, 1996 for beating
his wife. The crime of assault does not make specific mention of domestic violence.
May X still lawfully possess firearms or ammunition?
[Back]

No. X may no longer legally possess firearms or ammunition. [18 U. S. C. 922(
g)( 9), 27 CFR 178.32( a)( 9)]

(Q5) X was convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence on September
20, 1996, 10 days before the effective date of the new statute. He possesses
a firearm on October 10, 1996. Does X lawfully possess the firearm?
[Back]

No. If a person was convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence at
any time, he or she may not lawfully possess firearms or ammunition on or after
September 30, 1996. [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9), 27 CFR 178.32( a)( 9)]

(Q6) In determining whether a conviction in a state court is a “conviction”
of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, does Federal or state law apply?
[Back]

State law applies. If a conviction of a disqualifying misdemeanor does not
occur under state law, the person has not been “convicted” of a misdemeanor
crime of domestic violence. Therefore, if the state does not consider the person
to be convicted, the person would not have the disability. [18 U. S. C. 921(
a)( 33), 27 CFR 178.11]

(Q7) What state and local offenses are “misdemeanors” for purposes of 18
U. S. C. 922( d)( 9) and (g)( 9)?
[Back]

The definition of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in the GCA includes
any offense classified as a “misdemeanor” under Federal or state law. In states
that do not classify offenses as misdemeanors, the definition includes any state
or local offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of 1 year or less. For
example, if state A has an offense classified as a “domestic violence misdemeanor”
that is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, it would be a misdemeanor
crime of domestic violence as defined. If state B does not characterize offenses
as misdemeanors, but has a domestic violence offense that is punishable by no
more than 1 year imprisonment, this offense would be a misdemeanor crime of
domestic violence as defined. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 33), 27 CFR 178.11]

(Q8) Are local criminal ordinances “misdemeanors under state law” for purposes
of sections 922( d)( 9) and (g)( 9)?
[Back]

Yes, assuming a violation of the ordinance meets the definition of “misdemeanor
crime of domestic violence” in all other respects. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 33),
27 CFR 178.11]

(Q9) Does the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” include
offenses that are punishable only by a fine?
[Back]

Yes, assuming the offense meets the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic
violence” in all other respects. Nothing in the language of the definition limits
the term to offenses punishable by imprisonment. The legislative history of
the definition illustrates that the prohibition on firearm possession by persons
convicted of such offenses was to be as broad as possible, for example, covering
individuals who plead guilty to minor offenses. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 33), 27
CFR 178.11]

(Q10) What is meant by the “similarly situated to a spouse” provision in
the definition of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
[Back]

The phrase means 2 persons who share the same domicile in an intimate relationship,
with “domicile” being one’s fixed place of dwelling where one intends to reside
more or less permanently. Such persons do not have to be married or in a “common
law” marriage relationship. However, they must be in more than a “dating” relationship.
Furthermore, the “similarly situated to a spouse” provision applies to anyone
who was domiciled in an intimate relationship with the victim of the offense
either at the time of, or at any time prior to, the offense. [18 U. S. C. 921(
a)( 33), 27 CFR 178.11]

(Q11) In order for an offense to qualify as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic
violence”, does it have to have as an element the relationship part of the definition
(e. g., committed by a spouse, parent, or guardian)?
[Back]

No. The “as an element” language in the definition of “misdemeanor crime of
domestic violence” only applies to the use of force provision of the statute
and not the relationship provision. However, to be disabling, the offense must
have been committed by one of the defined parties. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 33),
27 CFR 178.11]

(Q12) Is a person who received “probation before judgment” or some other
type of deferred adjudication subject to the disability?
[Back]

What is a conviction is determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which
the proceedings were held. If the state law where the proceedings were held
does not consider probation before judgment or deferred adjudication to be a
conviction, the person would not be subject to the disability. [18 U. S. C.
921( a)( 33), 27 CFR 178.11]

(Q13) What should a licensee do if he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor
crime of domestic violence?
[Back]

Federal firearms licensees should verify that they are disabled under the prohibition.
A licensee convicted of a disqualifying misdemeanor may not lawfully possess
firearms or ammunition. In addition, a licensee who incurs firearms disabilities
during the term of a license by reason of such a misdemeanor conviction may
not continue operations under the license for more than 30 days after incurring
the disability unless the licensee applies for relief from Federal firearms
disabilities. [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9) and 925( c), 27 CFR 178.144( c)( 8) and
(i)]

(Q14) What should an individual do if he or she has been convicted of a
misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
[Back]

Individuals subject to this disability should immediately dispose of their
firearms and ammunition. ATF recommends that such persons transfer their firearms
and ammunition to a third party who may lawfully receive and possess them, such
as their attorney, a local police agency, or a Federal firearms dealer. The
continued possession of firearms and ammunition by persons under this disability
is a violation of law and may subject the possessor to criminal penalties. In
addition, such firearms and ammunition are subject to seizure and forfeiture.
[18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9) and 924( d)( 1), 27 CFR 178.152]

(Q15) Does the disability apply to law enforcement officers? [Back]

Yes. The Gun Control Act was amended so that employees of government agencies
convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence would not be exempt
from disabilities with respect to their receipt or possession of firearms or
ammunition. Thus, law enforcement officers and other government officials who
have been convicted of a disqualifying misdemeanor may not lawfully possess
or receive firearms or ammunition for any purpose, including performance of
their official duties. The disability applies to firearms and ammunition issued
by government agencies, purchased by government employees for use in performing
their official duties, and personal firearms and ammunition possessed by such
employees. [18 U. S. C. 922( g)( 9) and 925( a)( 1), 27 CFR 178.32( a)( 9) and
178.141( a)]

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