Federal and State Laws, Regulations and Rulings


Determine Firearm State Legality

Firearm manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and pawn shops are required to follow both federal laws and state laws. But locating and tracking the laws across all 50 states is a very taxing process. Orchid Advisors and NASGW have developed the State Firearms Portal to consolidate pertinent state regulations and to provide you with updates as the rules change. Get immediate results to questions like:

  • What laws affect selling a large capacity magazine in Colorado?
  • What laws affect selling pistols in Connecticut?
The OA / NASGW State Restrictions Portal is Available in FFLBizHub.com

Federal ATF Regulations

Regulations are issued by federal agencies, boards, or commissions. They explain how the agency intends to carry out a law.

 

The Rulemaking Process

Federal regulations are created through a process known as rulemaking.

By law, federal agencies such as ATF must consult the public when creating, modifying, or deleting rules in the Code of Federal Regulations. This is an annual publication that lists the official and complete text of federal agency regulations. Once ATF decides that a regulation needs to be added, changed, or deleted, it typically publishes a proposed rule in the Federal Register to ask the public for comments. After ATF considers public feedback and makes changes where appropriate, we then publish a final rule in the Federal Register with a specific date for when the rule will become effective and enforceable. When ATF issues a final rule for comment, we must describe and respond to the public comments we received.

ATF makes documents associated with the rulemaking process available on this website. In each section you will find information relevant to the areas that ATF focuses on including firearms, explosives and arson.

The Federal Firearms Licensing Center issues and renews Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) in accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968.

  • Type 01 – Dealer in Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices
  • Type 02 – Pawnbroker in Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices
  • Type 03 – Collector of Curios and Relics
  • Type 06 – Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms Other Than Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition
  • Type 07 – Manufacturer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices
  • Type 08 – Importer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices or Ammunition for Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices, or Ammunition Other Than Armor Piercing Ammunition
  • Type 09 – Dealer in Destructive Devices
  • Type 10 – Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition
  • Type 11 – Importer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition

Federal Firearms Regulations Covered by the Gun Control Act (GCA), National Firearms Act (NFA) and Arms Export Control Act (AECA)

Relavent Sections from the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide

III. Laws and Regulations
A. Gun Control Act
1. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44
§ 921 Definitions
§ 922 Unlawful acts
§ 923 Licensing
§ 924 Penalties
§ 925 Exceptions: Relief from disabilities
§ 925A Remedy for erroneous denial of firearms
§ 926 Rules and regulations
§ 926A Interstate transportation of firearms
§ 926B Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement officers
§ 926C Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement officers
§ 927 Effect on State law
§ 928 Separability
§ 929 Use of Restricted ammunition
§ 930 Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
§ 931 Prohibition on purchase, ownership, or possession of body

2. 27 CFR Part 478
Subpart A Introduction
Subpart B Definitions
Subpart C Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions
Subpart D Licenses.
Subpart E License Proceedings
Subpart F Conduct of Business
Subpart G Importation
Subpart H Records
Subpart I Exemptions, Seizures, and Forfeitures
Subpart K Exportation

B. National Firearms Act
1. 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53
Subchapter A Taxes
Subchapter B General Provisions and Exemptions
Subchapter C Prohibited Acts
Subchapter D Penalties and Forfeitures

2. 27 CFR Part 479
Subpart A Scope of Regulations
Subpart B Definitions
Subpart C Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions
Subpart D Special (Occupational) Taxes
Subpart E Tax on Making Firearms
Subpart F Transfer Tax
Subpart G Registration and Identification of Firearms
Subpart H Importation and Exportation
Subpart I Records and Returns
Subpart J Stolen or Lost Firearms or Documents
Subpart K Examination of Books and Records
Subpart L Distribution and Sale of Stamps
Subpart M Redemption of or Allowance for Stamps or Refunds
Subpart N Penalties and Forfeitures
Subpart O Other Laws Applicable

C. Arms Export Control Act
1. 22 U.S.C. Chapter 2778
2778 Control of arms exports and imports
2. 27 CFR Part 447
Subpart A Scope
Subpart B Definitions
Subpart C The U.S. Munitions Import List
Subpart D Registration
Subpart E Permits
Subpart F Miscellaneous Provisions
Subpart G Penalties, Seizures and Forfeitures

D. 28 CFR Part 25 (National Instant Criminal Background Check System Regulations)
1. 28 Code of Federal Regulations Part 25
Subpart A The National Instant Criminal Background Check System

E. Postal Service
1. 18 U.S.C. Section 1715
Firearms As Nonmailable; Regulations

IV. Additional Information
A. Ruling, Procedures, and Industry Circulars
B. General Information
C. Question and Answers
D. Key Information
1. ATF Points of Contact
2. ATF Criminal Enforcement Filed Divisions
3 ATF Industry Operations Field Offices
4. Non-ATF Points of Contact
5. State Attorneys General
E. NICS Forms, Flyers, and Brochures
1. Letter to Federal Firearms Licensees
2. Reference Guide
3. What is a “business day” for NICS Purposes?
4. What Do I Give My Delayed/Denied Customers?
5. Deny/Delay NICS Resolution Card

ATF publishes rulings to interpret and promote uniform application of the laws and regulations it administers. These interpretations are released in Rulings.The Federal Firearms Licensing Center issues and renews Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) in accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968.

  • 2016-5 – Marking Variance for Government Defense Contractors
  • 2016-4 – Electronic Transmission of Form 6A Information to CBP
  • 2016-3 – Consolidation of Records Required for Manufacturers
  • 2016-2 – Electronic ATF Form 4473
  • 2016-1- Requirements to Keep Firearms Records Electronically
  • 2015-1 – Manufacturing and Gunsmithing
  • 2014-1 – Manufacturing/Inventory of Machineguns for LE and Military
  • 2013-3 – Adopting Identification of Firearms
  • 2013-2 – NFA Electronic Forms
  • 2013-1 – Electronic Form 6 and 6A
  • 2012-3 – AFMER Electronic Form
  • 2012-1 – Time Period for Marking Firearms Manufactured
  • 2011-4 – Pistols Configured from Rifles; Rifles Configured from Pistols
  • 2011-1 – Importers Consolidated Records
  • 2010-10 – Manufacturing Operations Maybe Performed by Licensed Gunsmiths Under Certain Conditions
  • 2010-6 – State of Residence
  • 2010-3 – Identification of Maxim Side-Plate Receivers
  • 2010-1 – Temporary Assignment of a Firearm by an FFL to an Unlicensed Employee
  • 2009-5 – Firearms Manufacturing Activities Identification Markings of Firearms
  • 2009-2 – Installation of Drop In Replacement Parts
  • 2009-1 – Firearms Manufacturing Activities-Camouflaging or Engraving Firearms
  • 2008-1 – Fabrique Nationale Herstal SA (FN) FNC Rifle
  • 2006-2 – Classification of Devices Exclusively Designed to Increase the Rate of Fire of a Semiautomatic Firearm (67.72 KB)
  • 2005-4 – A Ported Device Attached to the Barrel of a Paintball Gun
  • 2004-5 – Minigun Ruling
  • 2004-2 – Temporary Importation of Firearms Subject to the NFA
  • 2003-4 – Importation of Sten Type Receivers for Unrestricted Commercial Sale.pdf
  • 2003-3 — Importation of Heckler & Koch G3 Type Receivers for Unrestricted Commercial Sale
  • 2003-2 — Importation of FN FAL Type Receivers for Unrestricted Commercial Sale
  • 2003-1 — Importation of Browning M1919 Type Receivers for Unrestricted Commercial Sale
  • 2002-6 – Identification of Firearms, Armor Piercing Ammunition, and Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices
  • 2002-5 – Transfer and Possession Machineguns
  • 2001-5 – Identification of Transferee
  • 2001-1 – Destructive Device, USAS-12 and Streetsweeper Shotguns

ATF Forms are used for license-related communications including, but not limited to applications, imports, transfers, marking variances and more.

  • 4473 Part 1— Firearms Transaction Record Over-The-Counter (ATF Form 5300.9)
  • Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) (ATF Form 5300.11)
  • Application for an Amended Federal Firearms License (ATF Form 5300.38)
  • Application for Restoration of Firearms Privileges (ATF Form 3210.1)
  • Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (ATF Form 5320.20)
  • ATF Form 4590 – Factoring Criteria for Weapons
  • Certification of Qualifying State Relief (ATF E-Form 3210.12)
  • Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Continuation Sheet (ATF Form 3310.11a)
  • ATF F 3310.11  (Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/Loss Report) (ATF Form 3310.11)
  • Finger Print Card Instructions and Example (FD-258)
  • FIPB Marking Variance Form Announcement
  • Form 1 – Application to Make and Register a Firearm (ATF Form 5320.1)
  • Form 10 – Application for Registration of Firearms Acquired by Certain Governmental Entities (ATF Form 5320.10)
  • Form 2 – Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported (ATF Form 5320.2)
  • Form 3 – Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearm and Registration to Special Occupational Taxpayer National Firearms Act) (ATF Form 5320.3)
  • Form 4 – Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.4)
  • Form 4587 – Application to Register as an Importer of U.S. Munitions Import List Articles (ATF Form 5330.4)
  • Form 5 – Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.5)
  • Form 6-Part 1 – Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War (ATF Form 5330.3A)
  • Form 6-Part 2 – Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War (ATF Form 5330.3B)
  • Form 6A – Release and Receipt of Imported Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War (ATF Form 5330.3C)
  • Form 6NIA – Application/Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens (ATF Form 5330.3D)
  • Form 7 – Application for Federal Firearms License (ATF Form 5310.12)
  • Form 7(5310.12A)-7CR(5310.16) – Responsible Person Questionnaire Supplement for Use By Additional Responsible Persons
  • Form 9 – Application and Permit for Permanent Exportation of Firearms (ATF Form 5320.9)
  • Interstate Firearms Shipment Theft/Loss Report (ATF Form 3310.6)
  • Marking Variance – Application for Alternate Means of Identification of Firearm(s) (ATF 3311.4)
  • National Firearms Act (NFA) Responsible Person Questionnaire (5320.23)
  • National Tracing Center Trace Request (ATF Form 3312.1)
  • Report of Firearms Transactions (ATF Form 5300.5)
  • Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Certain Rifles (ATF Form 3310.12)
  • Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers (ATF Form 3310.4)=
  • Special Tax Registration and Return National Firearms Act (NFA) (ATF Form 5630.7)

Obtain ATF Technical Classifications

Per the ATF website, “The mission of the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division is to serve as ATF’s technical authority relating to firearms and their classification under Federal laws; to respond to law enforcement agencies requests to test, evaluate, and provide expert testimony on firearms and ammunition; and to provide technical services to the firearms industry and other members of the public”.

 

Let Orchid’s experts work on your behalf with ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) to quickly make technical determinations for import, export, and newly designed firearms. Our experts can liaise with industry and regulators to assure your product is correctly classified to prevent any unknown hurdles for go to market.

  • Regulatory Liaison
  • Firearm Classification
  • Accessory Classification
CONTACT AN FFL EXPERT FOR ASSISTANCE TODAY