(forms downloads at bottom of page)
Regulations are issued by federal agencies, boards, or commissions. They explain how the agency intends to carry out a law.
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.
This Legislation regulated interstate and foreign commerce in firearms, including importation, "prohibited persons", and licensing provisions.
After the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Gun Control Act is passed and imposes stricter licensing and regulation on the firearms industry, establishes new categories of firearms offenses, and prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons and certain other prohibited persons. It also imposes the first Federal jurisdiction over "destructive devices," including bombs, mines, grenades and other similar devices. Congress reorganizes ATU into the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division (ATTD) and delegates to them the enforcement of the Gun Control Act.
Answers to some common questions related to what is the Nation Firearms Act (NFA) including the definition, clarification and application of the Act, as well as which form(s) to use in order to apply for a tax stamp.
Until recently, the NFA Branch was operating with state-of-the-art 1970′s technology – but the new electronic submission system is bringing the NFA process into the new millennium.
Unfortunately, as with anything to do with the NFA, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the new system. In this post, we’re going to cover some of the details of this new submission method – as well as covering some of the pros and cons. First of all, I have to say that the new system is MUCH FASTER. Because of that, from a customer perspective you should definitely try to use electronic submissions (e-Forms) whenever possible. Unfortunately, there is a pretty steep learning curve for dealers; so, many are sticking to paper submissions for the time being.
I suspect that pressure from customers will force everybody into using e-Forms pretty quickly. In our case, we are now submitting all forms using the new electronic method. All the traditional NFA forms are supported through e-Forms; but, in this article we’re only going to cover the forms that most customers will care about. Those are the Form 1, Form 3, and Form 4. Read on to get more details about electronic submission of the different ATF forms.
A Form 4 is the form used to transfer an existing item from a seller to you.
For example, if you live in Texas and purchase a suppressor from us, we will submit a Form 4 to handle that transfer. If you live outside Texas, we will do a Form 3 transfer to a local FFL/SOT license holder and they will take care of submitting the Form 4. Using an electronic Form 4 is definitely one of the biggest wins when it comes to time. As an example, we are currently seeing paper Form 4 submissions come back from 9-10 months ago; but, electronic submissions are being processed in a mere 3-4 months. As of the middle of October (2013), we started submitting all of our Form 4′s using e-Forms – and we’ve gotten a pretty good feel for how the system works; although, there have definitely been some bumps in the road.
At this point, we have several thousand already in the pipeline at the NFA Branch. Here are some things to keep in mind with electronic Form 4 submissions:
A Form 3 is used to transfer an NFA item from one FFL/SOT license holder to another. For example, if you live outside of Texas, then we will do a Form 3 transfer to an FFL/SOT in your area and they will handle the Form 4 transfer to you. Remember that it doesn’t matter at all if the FFL/SOT in your area is using e-Forms – we can still do an electronic transfer to them. Since there are quite a few FFL/SOT holders who aren’t yet using e-Forms, it’s a good idea to check with the FFL/SOT licensees in your area to see if you can find somebody who is using the new system. Although the biggest overall win with e-Forms is with either a Form 1 or Form 4, an electronic Form 3 is also significantly faster. Aside from the electronic Form 3′s that were impacted by the infamous government shutdown, we are consistently seeing approvals in the 2-3 week range. Many FFL/SOT holders are still expecting incoming transfers to take 90 days or more; but, with e-Forms, that is no longer the case. Although most customers don’t care about the details of a Form 3 transfer, there are some changes that may impact you (at least indirectly):
If you are going to build your own suppressor or convert an existing weapon to be either an SBR or SBS, then you can use the electronic Form 1 directly. In order to create an account, simply go to this page and start the process: https://www.atfonline.gov/EForms. Remember that filing a Form 1 means you are building something yourself – or acting as the manufacturer. Because of that, we can’t submit a Form 1 on your behalf – just like you wouldn’t be able to submit a Form 4 for us. Having said that, we do quite a bit of this and are happy to answer questions if you have them. Most of the pros and cons I already mentioned about electronic Form 4′s also apply to electronic Form 1′s – so I won’t rehash them here; but, here are some quick tips that should make the process a bit easier: