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Industry Circular

Number: 77-20

Date: October 13, 1977

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Washington, DC 20226


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Importers of Firearms and Destructive Devices:

Recently, ATF has noted cases where some importers have adopted the same serial number for more than one firearm. These instances of dupli- cation have generally occurred when firearms are received from more than one source.

Title 27 CFR 178.92 requires that the serial number you affix to a firearm must not duplicate the number affixed to any other firearm that you import into the United States. Those of you who import destruc- tive devices are under the same requirement due to the inclusion of destructive devices in the definition of firearm as used in 27 CFR 178.11. ATF Ruling 75-28 stated that a serial number, affixed by the foreign manufacturer may be adopted to fulfill this unique serial number requirement. However, the manufacturer's serial number must be affixed in the manner set forth in 27 CFR 178.92 and must not duplicate a number previously adopted by you for another firearm.

If you receive two or more firearms with the same serial number, it is your responsibility to affix additional markings to make each serial number unique.

ATF Ruling 75-28 also reminds you of the other identifying marks required by 27 CFR 178.92. In addition to a unique serial number, each firearm must be marked to show the model (if any); the calibre or gauge; the name of the manufacturer and importer, or recognizable abbrevia- tions; the country of manufacture; and the city and State (or recognized abbreviations) in which your licensed premises are located.

Any inquiries relating to this circular should be directed to the Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226, Attn: R:I:S. Phone inquiries may be made at (202) 566-7591.

Rex Davis


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