FEDERAL FIREARMS REGULATIONS INTERSTATE
TRAFFIC IN FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION (26 C.F.R., Part 177)
Firearms Manufacturers, Industry Organizations
or Associations, and others concerned:
Purpose. The purpose this industry circular is to outline the principal
changes in the new regulations under the Federal Firearms Act (U.S.C., Title 15,
Chapter 18), as published in the Federal Register for January 18, 1958, to become effective on March 1, 1958. A copy of the new regulations will become
available from the office of your District Director of Internal Revenue on or
about March 1, 1958.
Background. Administrative regulations to implement the Federal Firearms Act were adopted on May 1, 1939, and have remained substantially
unchanged except to reflect changes in the law. On May 3, 1957, a notice of
proposed rule making, incorporating additional enforcement and evidentiary
measures designed to identify and aid in the tracing of firearms and certain
types of ammunition and to aid in proper administration of the law was published
in the Federal Register, soliciting data, arguments, and views material and
relevant thereto. In addition, public hearings were held on August 27 and 28,
1957, for the purpose of receiving oral testimony regarding the proposals.
Consideration of all data submitted by interested persons since publication of
the original notice resulted in certain modifications to the proposals and final
regulations were approved by the Secretary on January 14, 1958.
Principal changes. The principal changes in the regulations are as follows:
1. The term "ammunition" has been defined to include reloads.
2. A licensee is required to
(a) obtain a separate license for each location
at which the licensee's business is conducted (this new requirement
will not affect any licensee holding a valid license issued prior to
March 1, 1958 until expiration of such valid license),
(b) submit his
license to the District Director for appropriate endorsement if he
changes his business location, and
(c) notify the District Director if
he permanently discontinues business.
3. Serial numbers and other identifying data must be stamped by the
manufacturer or importer on firearms produced on and after July 1,
1958, except that serial numbers and model designation need not be
stamped on shotguns and .22 caliber rifles.
4. A simplified format is prescribed for firearms manufacturer's or
dealer's records unless commercial records contain the required
information; production records must be maintained by manufacturers
of firearms; the retention period of firearms records is increased
from 6 to 10 years; record maintenance by licensees is simplified in
respect to transactions between licensees; and provisions are made for
retention of the records by a successor, or by the Director, Alcohol and
Tobacco Tax Division, if a licensee discontinues business.
5. Manufacturers; are relieved from record keeping requirements in
respect to ammunition.
6. Investigating officers are authorized, under certain specified conditions,
to inspect a licensee's stock of firearms as well as his books and
7. Emphasis is given to the prior requirement that licensees must record
Inquiries. Inquiries in regard to this circular should refer to the number
thereof and should be addressed to the office of your Assistant Regional
Commissioner, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax.
Dwight E. Avis
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division
IRS D. C. 35621