Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- This alert is the final of three installments reviewing ATF's recent rulings on recordkeeping. Our previous alerts of May 11 and May 12, 2016, covered ATF. Rul 2016-1 and Rul. 2016-2, respectively.
In this alert, we review ATF Rul. 2016-3.
ATF Rul. 2016-3
This ruling addresses two separate record keeping issues. The first is consolidation of records of manufacture and records of disposition. The second is how to record changes to firearms that have already been logged into the acquisition and disposition records. Both issues were previously addressed in ATF Rul. 2010-8, which is now superseded and replaced by ATF Rul. 2016-3.
Current ATF regulations in 27 C.F.R. Part 478, Subpart H, require licensed manufacturers to maintain records of their manufacture or other acquisition of firearms separate from their records of firearm dispositions to nonlicensees. ATF Rul. 2016-3 allows consolidation of these two types of records as long as the following conditions are met (our comparison of ATF Rul. 2016-3 to ATF Rul. 2010-8 indicates virtually no changes as to the conditions for consolidation of manufacture and disposition records):
1. Within 7 days of the date of manufacture or other acquisition, the licensed manufacturer must record the following information for each firearm:
- Date of manufacture or other acquisition;
- Name of the person from whom the firearm was acquired;
- Address of the person from whom the firearm was acquired if the transferor is a nonlicensee OR the complete 15-digit license number of the licensee from whom acquired;
- Name of the licensed manufacturer (to include the licensed firearms manufacturer making the entry-discussed in more detail below) and licensed importer (if applicable);
- Serial number;
- Type; AND
- Caliber, size, or gauge.
2. Within 7 days of the date of sale or other disposition, beside the corresponding line item record of manufacture or other acquisition, the licensed manufacturer must record the following information:
- Date of sale or other disposition;
- Name of the person to whom the firearm was transferred (to include the licensed manufacturer-discussed in more detail below); AND
- Address of the person to whom the firearm was transferred if the transferee is a nonlicensee, OR the Form 4473 serial number of the forms are filed numerically OR if transferred to a licensee, the licensee's complete 15-digit FFL number.
3. For firearms dispositions to another FFL, the commercial record of the transaction must be retained separately from other commercial documents maintained by the licensed manufacturer and must be readily available for inspection on the licensed premises until the transaction is recorded in the acquisition and disposition record.
4. For firearms dispositions to a nonlicensee, the Form 4473 must be retained separately from the FFL's Form 4473 file and be readily available for inspection until the transaction is recorded in the acquisition and disposition record. After the transaction is recorded, the Form 4473 must be retained alphabetically (by name of purchaser), chronologically (by date of sale), or numerically (by transaction serial number).
The ruling also sets forth the procedure to be followed when a licensed manufacturer makes changes to the model, type, caliber, size, and/or gauge of a frame or receiver, or assembly of a firearm. The ruling is a significant improvement to the procedure outlined in ATF Rul. 2010-8, because it requires that the firearm be logged in as inventory during the entire time the firearm is on the premises of the manufacturer. Licensees have been concerned about the procedure outlined in ATF Rul. 2010-8 because it required the firearm be logged out of the acquisition record as a disposition to the licensed manufacturer, modified/assembled/completed, then after the modifications were complete logged back in as a new acquisition. FFLs were concerned about having firearms on their premises that were not in the acquisition record during what may be an extended process while the firearms are completed or modified.
ATF Rul. 2016-3 addresses that issue by keeping the firearms logged in as acquisitions during modification and delaying the disposition entry until the modifications are complete. The specific procedure is as follows:
* The firearm must remain logged into the acquisition and disposition record until the changes or conversions are complete.
* Once the change and/or conversion is complete, the licensed manufacturer then logs the firearm out of the acquisition and disposition record as a disposition to itself using the license name and license number appearing on its FFL. The date of the disposition is the date the change, conversion, or assembly is complete.
* The same date the disposition entry is made the licensed manufacturer must record the new firearm on a separate line of the acquisition and disposition record as an acquisition from itself.
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