ATF Issues New Procedures 2020-1 and 2020-2

ATF Issues New Procedures

New ATF Procedures 2020-1 and 2020-2 Impact FFL to Consumer and Private Party Sales


ATF Procedure 2020-1

ATF Procedure 2020-1, released on September 3, 2020 addresses the sale and transfer of firearms by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to unlicensed consumers who do not appear in store (or on premises).  Under the Gun Control Act FFLs may sell and dispose of firearms to individuals who do not appear in store under limited circumstances.  Generally speaking, the individual or the circumstances surrounding the transfer must fall under one of the NICS-exempt categories of the Gun Control Act and the consumer purchaser must reside in the same state as the FFL.  Provided the individual or the circumstances are exempt from the NICS requirement, the FFL and transferee are located in the same state, and the procedural and recordkeeping requirements of ATF Procedure 2020-1 are satisfied, the FFL may sell, dispose, and ship a firearm to the buyer’s home without the stepping foot on the FFL’s premises.  


ATF Procedure 2020-1 is available here


ATF Procedure 2020-2

ATF Procedure 2020-2, released on September 2, 2020 addresses the facilitation of “Private Party Transfers” by FFLs.  This generally occurs in states where a law has been passed that implements what is referred to in the industry as “Universal Background Checks.”  In other words, the applicable state has passed a law that either mandates or provides the opportunity for FFLs to facilitate the sale of a firearm from one non-licensed consumer to another.  As most are aware, these laws are passed by states so an FFL may conduct a NICS background check to determine whether the purchasing individual is a Prohibited Person.  ATF Procedure 2020-2 updates and supersedes the multiple Procedures and guidance documents (dating back to 2013) that the ATF had issued regarding this process.  As such, ATF Procedure 2017-1 has been superseded by this document. ATF Procedure. 2020-2 lays out in detail the steps an FFL needs to take to properly handle a consumer to consumer transaction and addresses the following circumstances: immediate NICS “Proceed” response; “Denied” or “Cancelled” response; “Delayed” transactions with no subsequent denial; and “Delayed” transaction with a subsequent denial.  The Procedure also lays out other requirements, including, but not limited to, Multiple Handgun Sales, Secure Handgun Storage, and the impact of State/Local Law.  


ATF Procedure 2020-2 is available here



Assistance with ATF Procedures and Rulings

As always, we encourage all individuals and FFLs to read the entirety of ATF Procedures and Rulings. If you have additional questions regarding the nature of these transfers or the potential impact to your business and FFL software, please contact the experts at Orchid. Should you require legal assistance, please contact firearm attorneys at our partner firm, FFL Law.



Orchid Advisors

#1 in FFL Compliance Solutions – Trusted by leading firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers — Orchid Advisors, the firearm’s industry’s leading compliance solutions company is the only firm endorsed by the four leading trade associations, who liaise directly with ATF, DDTC, and other regulators, and staff by leading industry professionals. Orchid Advisors and Orchid Solutions are subsidiaries of Orchid LLC

Ready to Learn More About Orchid’s Expanded Offerings? Contact Us Today.