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Post Info TOPIC: Federal Gun Laws


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Federal Gun Laws

Swiped this post from a dude on Mingle2 who swiped it from the gov. lol - I was pretty impressed with the amount of information it cherry picked so I wanted to run this by the gun think tank here for any possible errors or omissions

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A Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a form promulgated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the United States Department of Justice that is filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder (such as a gun shop).

To purchase a firearm in America, you have to complete the ATF Form 4473. Then a federal firearms license (FFL) can: Contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) through a state government contact who conducts NICS checks.

Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, and a short affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. It contains make, model, or serial number on page three of the six page form. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison.

1. No guns for felons. 

2. No guns after misdemeanor criminal domestic violence convictions and no guns during the time that a DVPO is in effect.

3. The federal gun ban includes some people who are only under indictment.

4. No guns for drug users.

5.  If someone was barred by federal law from possessing a gun (because they were a convicted felon, a drug addict, etc.), they were not allowed to possess a gun even in their own home or business as a matter of federal law.

6. it shall be unlawful for any convicted felon to "to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm or any weapon of mass death and destruction." The statute goes on to define the term "firearm" by borrowing the federal definition found in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3): "any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive." The term "firearm" also includes the frame of a weapon and silencers. The length of the gun is now irrelevant; whether long or short, it cannot be possessed by a felon. 

7. The federal gun laws prohibit possession of "any firearm or ammunition." 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). "Ammunition" is defined as "cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm." 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(A). 

8. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

9. 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(20) and (a)(33)(B)(ii) say that "[a]ny conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of" the federal gun ban. To determine whether someone's civil right to own a gun has been restored, federal courts "look to the law of the jurisdiction of conviction . 

The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required "bound-book" called an "Acquisition and Disposition Log.[5] A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of, the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five-day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4.

If a person purchases a firearm from a private individual who is not a licensed dealer, the purchaser is not required in most states to complete a Form 4473. Some states (such as California and Colorado) require individual sellers to sell through dealers.

These forms are given the same status as a tax return under the Privacy Act of 1974 and cannot be disclosed by the government to private parties or other government officials except in accordance with the Privacy Act. Individual dealers possessing a copy of the form are not subject to the Privacy Act's restrictions on disclosure.

In 2016, ATF made several changes to the form, including adding a warning statement that the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.

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Known as the "gun show loophole," most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows from private individuals -- federal law only requires licensed dealers to conduct checks. ... Some states' requirements are limited only to handgun purchases.

Warning: Any person who exports a firearm without proper authorization may be fined not more than $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than 20 years See 22 U.S.C. 2778(c).

Instruction for Question 16 (Formerly Question 18): Clarifies that frames and receivers cannot be transferred to anyone who is not a resident of the State where the transfer is to take place.

Firearms Rulings

Any person (including any corporation or other legal entity) engaged in the business of performing machining, molding, casting, forging, printing (additive manufacturing) or other manufacturing process to create a firearm frame or receiver, or to make a frame or receiver suitable for use as part of a "weapon which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive," i.e., a "firearm," must be licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA; identify (mark) any such firearm; and maintain required manufacturers records. A business (including an association or society) may not avoid the manufacturing license, marking, and recordkeeping requirements of the GCA by allowing persons to perform manufacturing processes on firearms (including frames or receivers) using machinery or equipment under its dominion and control where that business controls access to, and use of, such machinery or equipment. ATF Ruling 2010-10 is clarified.

A manufacturer licensed and qualified under the GCA and NFA may manufacture and maintain an inventory of machineguns for future sale to Federal, State, or local government agencies without a specific government contract or official request; provided, the machineguns are properly registered, and their subsequent transfer is conditioned upon and restricted to the sale or distribution of such weapons for the official use of Federal, State, or local government agencies. A manufacturer may deliver machineguns it has manufactured to another qualified manufacturer for any manufacturing process; provided, the first manufacturer maintains continuous dominion or control over the machineguns. A manufacturer may transfer machineguns it has manufactured for present or future sale to a Federal, State, or local government agency to another qualified manufacturer for any manufacturing processes or storage; provided, the manufacturer has a specific government contract or official written request documenting that it is an agent of the government agency requesting and authorizing such transfer. ATF Ruling 2004-2 is clarified.

2010-6 - State of Residence (97.66 KB)

For the purpose of acquiring firearms under the GCA, a U.S. citizen who temporarily resides in a foreign country, but also demonstrates the intention of making a home in a particular State, is a resident of the State during the time period he or she actually resides in that State. The intention must be demonstrated to a Federal firearms licensee by presenting valid identification documents.

2006-2 - Classification of Devices Exclusively Designed to Increase the Rate of Fire of a Semiautomatic Firearm (67.72 KB)

The NFA and GCA definition of machinegun includes a part or parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun. This language includes a device that, when activated by a single pull of the trigger, initiates an automatic firing cycle that continues until the finger is released or the ammunition supply is exhausted.

Certain integral devices intended to diminish the report of paintball guns are not firearm silencers or firearm mufflers under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or the National Firearms Act.

 2002-6 - Identification of Firearms, Armor Piercing Ammunition, and Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices (67.75 KB)

In accordance with 27 CFR 178.92 and 27 CFR 179.102, identification of firearms, armor piercing ammunition, and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, the terms "conspicuously" and "legibly" as used therein mean, respectively, that the markings are wholly unobstructed from plain view and that the markings contain exclusively Roman letters and Arabic numerals.

2001-5 - Identification of Transferee (17.92 KB)

Licensees may accept a combination of valid government-issued documents to satisfy the identification document requirements of the Brady Act under certain conditions. An active duty member of the Armed Forces is a resident of the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located, and may satisfy the identification document requirement by presenting his or her military identification card along with official orders showing the permanent duty station as within the State where the licensed premises are located.

1980-20 - Rifle Bore Tasers as Firearms (23.39 KB)

A hand-held device with a hand grip bent at an angle to the bore and having a rifled bore which is designed to expel, by means of an explosive, two electrical contacts (barbs) connected by two wires to a high voltage source within the device is classified as a firearm. ATF Rul. 76-6 is amplified.

1976-15 - Acquisition and Disposition of Pawned Firearms (51.13 KB)

Certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements of pawnbrokers are explained.

1975-7 - Small Caliber Penguns (50.38 KB)

A small caliber weapon ostensibly designed to expel only tear gas, similar substances, or pyrotechnic signals, which may readily be converted to expel a projectile by means of an explosive, classified as a firearm.

Listing of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) - 2016

Federal Firearms License (FFL) Types

Type Description

01 Dealer in Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices (Includes Gunsmiths)

02 Pawnbroker in Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices

03 Collector of Curios and Relics

06 Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms

07 Manufacturer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices

08 Importer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices

09 Dealer in Destructive Devices

10 Manufacturer of Destructive Devices

11 Importer of Destructive Devices

Firearm forms library

ATF has developed an electronic regulations website at designed to make regulations easier to read, understand and navigate.  This new interaction format provides additional information that clarifies regulations by providing quick links to definitions, regulatory history, and future proposed changes to the regulations.

Current Regulations

    Title 27 CFR Chapter II, Part 447 Importation of Arms, Ammunition and Implements of War.

    Title 27 CFR Chapter II, Part 478 Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition

    Title 27 CFR Chapter II, Part 479 Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms

This is just a SMALL SAMPLE of the stuff on the government websites.


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When I was a dealer processed many of those!

Drive it like you stole it

Guru Guest

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Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell Wants To Make Assault Weapons Illegal, And Prosecute Those Who Wont Hand Theirs Over


In the piece, Swalwell not only argues that the federal "assault weapons ban" should be reinstated, he further demands that the United States government institute a mandatory buyback of semi-automatic rifles. Swalwell then goes even further, stating that if Americans are unwilling to hand over their semi-automatic rifles to the government, they should be sought out and prosecuted:

sassy lassy


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Let him come collect them himself.

Drive it like you stole it

Senior Guest

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Guru Guest

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Shawnee_B wrote:

Let him come collect them himself.

Right.  Molon Labe, motherfucker.

Swalwell is a weaselly piece of shit anyway.  Little pussy would piss his pants if he ever came in contact with reality.


Traveling at 45 rpm in an iPod world


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He's welcome to try and take mine.

Drive it like you stole it


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Well if you're in Florida,

While not a "Federal" law, it's still quite the read!


State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994

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