ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual Obtained via GOA FOIA Request

Opinion, AmmoLand News gives readers and industry insiders a first look at the ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual.

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF

Springfield, VA-(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America has obtained the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] Industry Operations Manual used by Industry Operations Inspectors (IOI). The gun-rights group received a copy of the document after submitting multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request the federal law enforcement agency.

This copy is the first time since the 1990s that the manual has been made public. The ATF was not quick to supply the information to GOA, but continued pressure by the gun-rights organization forced the ATF's hand. The document does have a few redactions, but it does give enough information to help out FFLs by understanding what the ATF is looking for in their inspections of FFL and gun shop retailers.

ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual

The Firearms Industry Operations Manual provides the rules and guidelines used by “Industry Operations Investigators.” These are the investigators that make up the regulatory side of ATF. They are responsible for examining and investigating the records kept by gun dealers on customer's firearms purchases nationwide.

The ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual can be a valuable tool for Federal Firearms License (commonly referred to as an “FFL”). It will not only let the gun dealers know what the ATF looks for and what is important to them during their inspection, but it also tells the FFLs what the agents are not allowed to request from the FFLs. It also lets the firearms dealers know what action the ATF agents cannot take during their inspections.

This information gives the dealers a way to know if the inspectors are overstepping their authority. Before GOA was able to obtain the document, it was almost impossible to know how much power the ATF inspectors had in regard to their inspections.

AmmoLand News sent an email to the ATF to find out why they fought so hard to keep this document private, but as of this writing, we have not gotten a response.

The Firearms Industry Operations Manual covers topics such as qualification inspections for those seeking a license, administrative controls of dealers' records, and inventory, and it explains how dealer violations are reported and punished. Most importantly, it lets the FFLs know when the inspection goes from a regulatory compliance investigation to a criminal investigation. When it becomes a criminal investigation, the dealer should invoke their right to remain silent and contact their attorney immediately.

The manual will also be an invaluable tool for FFL's lawyers that are defending their clients from criminal prosecution. The attorneys will know if the inspecting agent violated their operational guidelines, which could get the case thrown out of court. Before GOA got this document their scope of power was a secret.

The ATF recently brought charges against a dealer/manufacturer, after inspectors were improperly brought in to conduct an “administrative search,” but where the real purpose was to gather evidence to be used by special agents in building a criminal case. However, as the Industry Operations Manual makes clear, “ATF special agents may not send an IOI into a business to obtain criminal evidence on the licensee. The inspection cannot be initiated to further a criminal investigation of the FFL.” Without GOA getting a copy of the manual, the ATF's violation of their policy would have never come to light.

Gun Owners of America has filed numerous other FOIA requests with ATF and other federal agencies and will continue to make important information like this available to the public.

ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual 2017 REV

ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual PDF Direct DownLoad


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.


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RoyD
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RoyD

It is generally recognized in the Federal law enforcement community that the BATFE is at the bottom of the ladder as far as the quality of employees is concerned. And that is saying something.

Deplorable Bill
Member
Deplorable Bill

I wonder why this paperwork is not standard issue to all FFL applicants? I see their doings have not improved after Ruby Ridge or Waco. No wonder nobody trusts them.
Anyone who takes their oath to defend the nation, the people and the constitution and then disavows it is guilty of treason. Any law that goes against the constitution is treasonous. Anyone who enforces treasonous laws is treasonous. There is a righteous, legal price for treason. Arm up and carry on.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

AmmoLand News sent an email to the ATF to find out why they fought so hard to keep this document private, but as of this writing, we have not gotten a response. Of COURSE not. This is the Deep State in action. Unelected unaccountable immune bureaucrats make their rules in private and use them to protect their own fiefdom. This is what is wrong with the massive administrative state model we have accepted with our silence. Glad GOA pressed this. Now this needs to get thrown into the face of Congress which must answer the question “WHY do you allow… Read more »

StWayne
Member
StWayne

If memory serves me, the BATF was involved with the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident. How is it that their fingerprints are all over the place, when they should only be concerning themselves with the illegal imports or exports of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms? Welcome to 1984.

Will
Member
Will

@StW,your memory serves you right. Those ATF scumbags murdered Vicky Weaver in cold blood !!! Those son of a bitches murdered that woman and AG Barr back up those bastards too ! Pisses me off to this day !

StWayne
Member
StWayne

Yes. I too am still pissed off about this. I looked into it as of this writing and see that they killed their 14-year-old son Sammy and his dog Stryker too. And I know they were at Waco, Texas! This is yet more evidence that their fingerprints are all over the place: places they have no business being. This is what happens when you “lawfully” weaponize a strong-arm branch of the government.

moe mensale
Member
moe mensale

You and Will need to find better sources before you go off spreading false facts. The ATF’s only involvement with the Weavers was trying to turn Randy Weaver into a snitch for them against white supremacists and the sale of supposed illegal short shotguns. ATF was not involved with shooting, wounding or killing anyone. When Randy Weaver refused to be turned, they turned the case over to the US Marshals Service who then brought in the FBI and other LE agencies. Sammy Weaver and the dog were killed by the USMS. Vicky Weaver was killed and Randy Weaver and Kevin… Read more »

StWayne
Member
StWayne

My point being that they were STILL involved with something they had no business being involved with. And, I know they were at Waco, TX. letting the led fly, too. And oh by the way: there’s no such thing as a “false fact.” You really should find better sources before you go off spreading them. Just say’n.

moe mensale
Member
moe mensale

Your point, as well as Will’s, was blatantly false. You both explicitly claimed the ATF killed the Weavers. They did no such thing as I pointed out. So, yes, you both spread false facts. You obviously can’t accept being called out on your misstatement which is easily verified by anyone with an IQ higher than a rock’s.

But hey, you go on pretending what you said was true. No skin off my back. This place is infested with morons who think they can just make shit up and get away with it. Not gonna happen.

And don’t forget my down votes.

StWayne
Member
StWayne

I only vote on something when it’s deserving of it. You qualify for neither an up or down. Just because you went online to look all your clever little facts up before posting doesn’t make you shit. But at least you went from “false fact” to “blatantly false” so you’re not incapable of learning. What we were talking about was the bigger picture, where I expressed it as the BATF having their fingerprints all over this thing, which I think anyone with an IQ hovering around moron could have figured out, save an online know-it-all. People like you can’t help… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@mm, Gentlemen please, this is Thanksgiving Day. On TGD, you are only supposed to argue with those … sitting around … your dinner table! 😉

StWayne
Member
StWayne

Wild Bill —

Thanks for the humor. Happy TGD to you too! I was wondering: are your a lawyer of some kind, or have you ever been? You seem very learned when it comes to the Constitution and whatnot: always on point. I would much rather be guided by someone who has a social redeeming value to offer, than to have to argue with someone who has to look up what that means.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Wayne, As I came to the end of my Army career, I realized that I could not retire on my Army pension. So, I went to law school on the Army’s nickel, got a late career transfer to the JAGC, and got a lawyer job with USDOJ (later USDHS). You gotta have positive waves, baby!

Stag
Member
Stag

Infringement is their SOP. It’s literally the only thing they do. They have absolutely zero constitutional authority to even exist. Abolish the agency and tar and feather every single agent.

DarryH
Member
DarryH

I see a lot of negatives posted here, but remember, there are a number of good honest people working for the BATF. They do not make the laws, but are entrusted to enforce them, Our industry needs them and they are a valuable recourse. I agree that there are too many unfortunate incidents involving the BATF, and we need to work to keep them on an honest course. I’d rather see us trying hard to work with them, and to keep them from being tied to politics. These offices should NEVER be tied to politics!!!!!!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@DarryH, We can transfer those good honest people to other legitimate agencies or offer them early outs when the Sec DHS writes the memo decommissioning the BATFE. The BATFE as an agency, however, must go.

UncleT
Member
UncleT

The BATF is an unconstitutional, non accountable agency as whole in the first place. And “they don’t write laws”?. They wrote laws banning bump stocks after they ruled they were not a NFA product with the push by Trump and they banned the AA-12 shotguns. They have made laws and Congress was not in sight who are the ONLY ONES who is suppose to be writing and passing laws under our Constitution. Article One grants Congress various enumerated powers and the ability to pass laws “necessary and proper” to carry out those powers.. Nope, no ATF or other Unconstitutional agency… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@UncleT, Technically, Darry is correct. The various federal agencies, and BATFE don’t write the statutes. The agencies write “regulations with the force and effect of law” (the Code of Federal Regulations or CFRs) that detail how that agency will enforce the statute that Congress has enacted.
When the agencies write a reg that goes beyond or differs from the Congressional statute, then the agency has acted beyond their authority.
If this sounds like a scam, well… yes… it is. Brought to you by the democrat party.
Restore the Republic.

Jeffersonian
Member

“Our industry needs them”
For what? Increasing costs, stealing property, destroying the lives of people who never harmed anyone?
“they are a valuable recourse”
To what? (Or did you mean resource? For what?) Stomping kittens and burning babies?
https://www.boogieonline.com/revolution/firearms/enforce/lamplugh.html
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=victims+of+waco+massacre&ia=web
What order would these people not obey?

Stag
Member
Stag

The Stockholm syndrome is strong with this one.

Quatermain
Member
Quatermain

I am wondering just what sort of good honest people willingly work for an unconstitutional, illegal, agency?

Reason
Member
Reason

“but remember, there are a number of good honest people working for the BATF. They do not make the laws, but are entrusted to enforce them”

Then they should not work around laws and regulations. they should not run dealers out of business over minor infractions (standard procedure under Clinton & Obama). They should not order dealers to make bad sales(Fast & Furious) They should not harass citizens exorcising constitutional rights.

Those “Good honest people” working there should be turning in the crooked ones.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Please remind me WHERE in the Constitution there is any MANDATE for this agency of unelected inaccountable bureaucrats, making law as they see fit, then enforcing it according to their own terms. The entire operation is counter to the Constitution. Is there a similar agency overseeing the production, distribution, sale, licensing, record keeping, regulation, and criminal prosecution for perceived violations inthe industry that designs and manufactures CLAW HAMMERS such as carpenters use daily in their work? Why not? The ONLY difference between firearms and claw hammers according to the COnstituionis that that document, agreed to by each state as it… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Tio, None, in fact the framers worked hard to make sure that statutes diminishing the peoples’ acknowledged civil Right to obtain, make, repair, sell, keep and carry, on one’s person, arms of all kinds.
The entire scam was brought to us by FDR and the democrat party.

Vanns40
Member
Vanns40

DarryH: Please explain why “our industry needs them” when, in truth, we need to abolish all arms laws and simply enforce existing laws against rape, robbery, assault and murder?

StWayne
Member
StWayne

“That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” Ecclesiastes 1:15.

JPM
Member
JPM

It doesn’t matter what’s in the document. The incompetent bastards at BATFE make it up as they go along and when called on it, nothing, NOTHING is ever done to them for violating their own B.S. regulations or Federal, State or local laws (Ruby Ridge, Waco, Fast & Furious). You can’t win in court against people to whom the laws obviously don’t apply. They do as they please with no accountability.

Fitz
Member
Fitz

Thanks for the post Mr. Crump, just downloaded (free) looking forward to reviewing this evening.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Fitz, how did you down load the manual?

Bill
Member
Bill

At the end of the article, below the Scribd window, is a PDF download link. Nice to have that available.

Degforyou
Member
Degforyou

@WB, at bottom of manual says “ATF Firearms Industry Operations Manual PDF Direct DownLoad” if you are logged in.

HoundDogDave
Member
HoundDogDave

I don’t know that I will ever need to have it handy to read, but I downloaded it all the same.”something… better… something…something.. need it and not have it.”

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@HDDave, send it, print it and mail it, or hand deliver it to every FFL that you know. The document needs to get into their hands.

24and7
Member
24and7

B-astard
A-ssholes
T-aking
F-irearms
E-veryday

Laddyboy
Member
Laddyboy

ATF = UNELECTED APPOINTED BUNCH OF BUREAUCRATS that are NOT held RESPONSIBLE nor ANSWERABLE to WE THE PEOPLE. This office needs to be disbanded for the UNLAWFUL regulations it has passed AGAINST the Second Amendment of the Constitution of America.

Will Flatt
Member

The BATFEces will be held responsible on Day One of the BOOGALOO!

Will Flatt
Member

AMMOLAND, STOP USING SCRIBD. WE REFUSE TO PAY $$$ TO GET INFORMATION THAT OUGHT TO BE FREE TO COPY & SHARE!!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@WF, what is SCRIBD?

Will Flatt
Member

Scribd is a paid document-sharing service. The document you see embedded on this page is posted on Scribd.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@WF, so how do I get to Scribd, and get a copy of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] Industry Operations Manual ?

Ryben Flynn
Member
Ryben Flynn

Click the DOWNLOAD Arrow and then you have to sign in with FB or Google and then I guess you have to pay to download.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@RF, Muchos gracias.

Cygnus
Member
Cygnus

I downloaded the document, and did not have to pay…

Ammoland
Admin

Sign in yes, pay money NO

Tionico
Member
Tionico

I just clicked the red link below the document and the download dialog instantly opened on my computer. Took all of three seconds and two clicks. It is now on my desktop. All mine.

Degforyou
Member
Degforyou

I clicked download opened PDF upper right of page says download clicked it and downloaded o computer.

Ryben Flynn
Member
Ryben Flynn

AGREE. Just post the .pdf on Ammoland’s website.

Ammoland
Admin

Direct Download link added in article.

Note: Scribd is free to read and download all our documents. You do not have to pay but you will need an account on scribd.com. Other than that it is all free.

Will Flatt
Member

The account is not free. You COULD just post it as a PDF!!

Ammoland
Admin

Since you can not figure it out we have posted a download link. Happy T-Day.

Will Flatt
Member

Thanks!!! I’m not keen on having to register for every little thing every time someone posts docs online.

Ammoland
Admin

Understood. We get that.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Scribd are pretty safe. It is a useful tool. Most of the court cases of interest, legal briefs, etc, are posted there. It is far safer than Dropbox, Google, facebook, and other similar services. I’m glad Ammoland use that service for so many valuable documents. I despise the big Silicon valley operators like goog, the face, zon, and the rest.

Degforyou
Member
Degforyou

All you have to do is click on download opens pdf file click right top on download and will start download.

Will Flatt
Member

It wouldn’t let me do that. Fortunately, Ammoland was nice enough to provide a DIRECT link to the PDF.

Will Flatt
Member

NRA NEVER DID THIS AT ALL. This is why the NRA has to be fundamentally transformed or abolished. Good on GOA for getting the job done!!

Whatzit
Member
Whatzit

That’s what I was thinking. NRA is too busy offering gold-plated 1911s, collector coins, “win this truck” and “become a godlike super endowment member for just $1000 and receive this pocket knife” to be concerned with things like this. Boo, NRA.

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

“AmmoLand News sent an email to the ATF to find out why they fought so hard to keep this document private, but as of this writing, we have not gotten a response.”

Lol, and when they don’t call you’ll know it’s the ATF getting back to you.

Seriously? Of course they aren’t going to respond. An agency like this RELIES on it’s subjects not knowing the rules of the game so they can make even more up on the fly.

Knute
Member
Knute

Which is yet another of the many reasons that the US is no longer a nation of laws, but of administrative whims. And has been for my entire lifetime, and I’m sixty. To get back to a Country of laws we’d have to go back to pre-1913, and most amerikans today think that was the ago of dinosaurs. or steller evolution, or any of a thousand other phrases that they won’t understand. but will boo, nod, or cheer for in order to hide the fact that they don’t even know what words mean. /Not even the words they just used.

Laddyboy
Member
Laddyboy

I have you beat by one decade. I CONCUR with your comment.

Whatzit
Member
Whatzit

Okay – half a decade, and I agree. The wheels officially fell off in 1913.

Will
Member
Will

Abolish the worthless,useless,criminal ATF !

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Will, You might find this interesting: Who or What is the BATF? by Dan Meador. B.A.T.F. from I.R.S. On June 6, 1972 Acting Secretary of the Treasury, Charles E. Walker signed Treasury Order Number 120-01 which establishes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. He did this with the stroke of his PEN citing, “by virtue of the authority vested in me as Secretary of the Treasury, including the authority in Reorganization Plan No. 26 of 1950.” He ordered the, “transfer, as specified herein, the functions, powers and duties of the Internal Revenue Service arising under laws relating to alcohol,… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

@WB,great comment. I really learned some things I didn’t know too. Instead of just saying the ATF needs to be abolished,I will start screaming it ! Thanks again Bill. Have a great Thanksgiving too.

Laddyboy
Member
Laddyboy

@WB; Let me get this straight. The ATF has NO AUTHORITY on weapons made or sold within the borders of America!? The only “authority” this IRS created bureaucracy has is with IMPORTED weapons!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Laddyboy, That is what author Dan Meador writes. But who cares if we can get Trump to order the Sec. DHS to write a memo disbanding BATFE. BATFE is duplicitous, wasteful, and has a history of corruption.

StWayne
Member
StWayne

How you come up with this stuff just amazes me, and makes me thankful you’re on our side. Are you a lawyer by trade? Keep up the good work WB! And Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@StW, Soldier. I used my Army career to get three university degrees cumulating in a Juris Doctorate. Practiced for USArmy, DOJ, and DHS.
But the absolute best was armored infantry. Happy Thanks Giving to all, and to all Restore the Republic!

tomcat
Member
tomcat

@ Wild Bill, I was aware of your occupation as a Jag Lawyer but not the other two. Good job. Happy Thanksgiving to every one here.