Federal Firearms License (FFL) Guide – Part 6

6. GUNSMITH ACTIVITIES

Gunsmithing Definition 478.11- Engaged in the bussiness (d), Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide 2014 Page 36

(d) Gunsmith. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such a term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;

Gunsmith Recordkeeping, 478.124(a) & .125(e), ATF Ruling 77-1, Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide 2014 Page 63,66 & 124-125

§ 478.124(a) Firearms transactionrecord. Pg 63

(a) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall not sell or otherwise dispose, temporarily or permanently, of any firearm to any person, other than another licensee, unless the licensee records the transaction on a firearms transaction record, Form 4473: Provided, That a firearms transaction record, Form 4473, shall not be required to record the disposition made of a firearm delivered to a licensee for the sole purpose of repair or customizing when such firearm or a replacement firearm is returned to the person from whom received.

§ 478.125(e) Firearms transactionrecord. Pg 65

(e) Firearms receipt and disposition by dealers. Each licensed dealer shall enter into a record each receipt and disposition of firearms. In addition, before commencing or continuing a firearms business, each licensed dealer shall inventory the firearms possessed for such business and shall record same in the record required by this paragraph. The record required by this paragraph shall be maintained in bound form under the format prescribed below. The purchase or other acquisition of a firearm shall, except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, be recorded not later than the close of the next business day following the date of such purchase or acquisition. The record shall show the date of receipt, the name and address or the name and license number of the person from whom received, the name of the manufacturer and importer (if any), the model, serial number, type, and the caliber or gauge of the firearm. The sale or other disposition of a firearm shall be recorded by the licensed dealer not later than 7 days following the date of such transaction. When such disposition is made to a nonlicensee, the firearms transaction record, Form 4473, obtained by the licensed dealer shall be retained, until the transaction is recorded, separate from the licensee’s Form 4473 file and be readily available for inspection. When such disposition is made to a licensee, the commercial record of the transaction shall be retained, until the transaction is recorded, separate from other commercial documents maintained by the licensed dealer, and be readily available for inspection. The record shall show the date of the sale or other disposition of each firearm, the name and address of the person to whom the firearm is transferred, or the name and license number of the person to whom transferred if such person is a licensee, or the firearms transaction record, Form 4473, serial number if the licensed dealer transferring the firearm serially numbers the Forms 4473 and files them numerically. The format required for the record of receipt and disposition of firearms is as follows: (See Table 4)

Table 4: Disposition Record of Personal Firearms (Still Ugly, need to learn how to clean up)

Description of firearm

Receipt

Disposition

Manufacturer

and/or importer

Model

Serial No.

Type

Caliber or

gauge

Date

Name and address or name and license No.

Date

Name

Address or license No. if licensee, or Form 4473 Serial No. if form 4473 filed numerically

ATF Rul. 77-1 Pg 124-125

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has received several requests for a clarification as to the authorized activities of and recordkeeping requirements for licensed gunsmiths.

It has specifically come to our attention that several gunsmiths desire to do on-the-spot repairs at organized shooting events. It has also come to our attention that several gunsmiths are uncertain as to what transactions are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements.

ATF Ruling 73-13, 1973 ATF C.B. 92, held that a licensed gunsmith must maintain the required records as specified in 27 CFR 178.121 et seq., and if a gunsmith engages in the business of buying and selling firearms, he must record these transactions on a Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) for each sale. However, as provided in section 178.124(a), a Form 4473 is not required to record the disposition made of a firearm delivered to a gunsmith for repair or customizing when the firearm is returned to the person from whom received.

The Bureau recognizes the necessity for having on-the-spot repairs made to firearms at skeet, trap, target, and similar organized events. It is, therefore, held that licensed gunsmiths may make immediate on-the-spot repairs to firearms at skeet, trap, target, and similar organized shooting events.

Held further, a licensed gunsmith must enter into his bound acquisition and disposition record, required to be maintained by 27 CFR 178.125(e), each receipt and disposition of firearms, except that a firearm need not be entered in the bound acquisition and disposition record if the firearm is brought in for adjustment or repair and the owner waits while it is being adjusted or repaired or if the gunsmith returns the firearm to the owner during the same business day it is brought in. If the firearm is retained from one business day to another or longer, it must be recorded in the bound acquisition and disposition record.

Held further, a licensed gunsmith is not required to prepare a Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) where a firearm is delivered to him for the sole purpose of customizing, adjustment, or repair and the firearm is returned to the person from whom received. However, if a licensed gunsmith engages in the business of selling firearms, he must record these transactions on a Form 4473 for each sale in addition to maintaining the bound firearms acquisition and disposition record required by 27 CFR 178.125(e).

ATF Rul. 73-13, 1973 ATF C.B. 92, is hereby amplified.

[77 ATF C.B. 185]

Return of Repaired Firearm,478.124(a), Q&A Sec J, Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide 2014 Page 63 & 206-207

§ 478.124(a) Firearms transactionrecord. Pg 63

(a) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall not sell or otherwise dispose, temporarily or permanently, of any firearm to any person, other than another licensee, unless the licensee records the transaction on a firearms transaction record, Form 4473: Provided, That a firearms transaction record, Form 4473, shall not be required to record the disposition made of a firearm delivered to a licensee for the sole purpose of repair or customizing when such firearm or a replacement firearm is returned to the person from whom received.

J. GUNSMITHS Pg 206-207

J1) Is a license needed to engage in the business of engraving, customizing, refinishing or repairing firearms?

Yes. A person conducting such activities as a business is considered to be a gunsmith within the definition of a dealer.

[18 U.S.C. 921(a)(11) and (21); 27 CFR 478.11]

(J2) Does a gunsmith need to enter every firearm received for adjustment or repair into an acquisition and disposition (A&D) record?

If a firearm is brought in for repairs and the owner waits while it is being repaired, or if the gunsmith is able to return the firearm to the owner during the same business day, it is not necessary to list the firearm in the A&D record as an “acquisition.” If the gunsmith has possession of the firearm from one business day to another or longer, the firearm must be recorded as an “acquisition” and a “disposition” in the A&D record.

(J3) Is an ATF Form 4473 required when a gunsmith returns a repaired firearm?

No, provided the firearm is returned to the person from whom it was received.

[27 CFR 478.124(a) and 478.147]

(J4) May a gunsmith make immediate repairs at locations other than his or her place of business?

Yes. Licensed gunsmiths may make on–the–spot repairs at skeet, trap, target, and similar organized shooting events.

(J5) May a licensed gunsmith receive an NFA firearm for purposes of repair?

Yes, a licensed gunsmith may receive a National Firearms Act firearm for the sole purpose of repair and subsequent return to its owner. It is suggested that the owner obtain permission from ATF for the transfer by submitting an ATF Form 5, Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm, to the NFA Branch and receive approval prior to the delivery. The gunsmith should do the same prior to returning the firearm.

(J6) Is a licensed gunsmith required to comply with the requirements to give written notification to handgun transferees and post signs regarding juveniles and handguns?

Yes. Licensed gunsmiths are required to comply with written notification to unlicensed individuals upon delivery of a handgun. A gunsmith who transfers handguns to nonlicensees must also comply with the sign posting requirement.

[27 CFR 478.103]

(J7) Must a licensed gunsmith conduct a NICS background check on the return of repaired or customized firearms?

No, if the firearm is being returned to the person from whom it was received. If however the firearm is delivered to a person other than the person from whom received, a NICS background check is required.

[18 U.S.C. 922(t); 478.124(a)]

Firearms & Ammo Excise Tax – Tax and Trade Bureau, www.ttb.gov/firearms

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