ATF Provides Answers to Top 10 Firearms Questions
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), receives hundreds of telephone and electronic inquiries every day. In an effort to provide individuals with the most up-to-date information, ATF has compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions. ATF has provided these questions, along with official ATF-sourced answers, in a 4-page PDF file you can download.
The #1 most commonly asked question is whether a person barred by law from possessing a “firearm” can legally own a black-powder muzzle-loading gun. The answer to that question is quite lengthy, so we can’t include it here. But we have reprinted below the second, third, and fourth most-asked questions, along with the ATF answers. Download the PDF file to read the remaining questions and answers.
2. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a friend who resides in a different State?
Under Federal law, an unlicensed individual is prohibited from transferring a firearm to an individual who does not reside in the State where the transferee resides. Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of State, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) within the recipient’s State of residence. He or she may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check. More information can be obtained on the ATF website at www.atf.gov and www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html. The GCA provides an exception from this prohibition for temporary loans or rentals of firearms for lawful sporting purposes. Thus, … a friend visiting you may borrow a firearm from you to go hunting. Another exception is provided for transfers of firearms to nonresidents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident who inherits a firearm under the will of a decedent. See 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5).
3. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a resident of the same State in which I reside?
Any person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of the State where he resides as long as he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. There may be State laws that regulate interstate firearm transactions. Any person considering acquiring a firearm should contact his or her State Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible State or local restrictions. A list of State Attorney General contact numbers may be found at www.naag.org.
4. How do I register my firearm or remove my name from a firearms registration?
There is no Federal registration requirement for most conventional sporting firearms. Only those firearms subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA) (e.g., machineguns, short-barrel firearms, silencers, destructive devices, any other weapons) must be registered with ATF. For information on the registration and transfer provisions of the National Firearms Act, please refer to the ATF NFA Handbook at www.atf.gov/publications/firearms/nfa-handbook/ or contact the ATF NFA Branch at 304-616-4500. Firearms registration may be required by State or local law. Any person considering acquiring a firearm should contact his or her State Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible State or local restrictions. A list of State Attorney General contact numbers may be found at www.naag.org.
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