ATF E-Form 3 (5320.3)
Revised October 2004
a. National Firearms Act (NFA). Title 26, United States Code, Chapter
53. The implementing regulations are found in Title 27, CFR, Part 479.
b. Gun Control Act (GCA). Title 18, United States Code, Chapter 44.
The implementing regulations are found in Title 27, CFR, Part 478.
c. Firearm. The term "firearm" means: (1) a shotgun having a barrel or
barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a
shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than
26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a
rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a
weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall
length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches
in length; (5) any other weapon as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 5845(e); (6) a
machine gun; (7) a muffler or silencer for any firearm whether or not
such firearm is included within this definition; and (8) a destructive
d. Person. The term "person" means a partnership, company, association,
trust, estate, or corporation, as well as a natural person.
e. Employer Identification Number (EIN). Required of taxpayer filing
special (occupational) tax returns under 27 CFR § 479.35.
f. Special (Occupational) Tax. Required by the NFA to be paid by a
Federal firearms licensee engaged in the business of manufacturing
(Class 2), importing (Class 1), or dealing (Class 3) in NFA firearms.
g. Federal Firearms License. A license issued under the provisions of
the GCA to manufacture, import or deal in firearms.
h. ATF Officer. An officer or employee of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorized to perform any
function relating to the administration of the NFA
i. Transfer. Selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away,
or otherwise disposing of a firearm.
j. Transferor. The registered owner of a firearm who is applying to
k. Transferee. The person acquiring the firearm.
2. Preparation of Application
a. Authority. As provided by 26 U.S.C. §§ 5812 and 5852, any person
seeking to transfer a firearm exempt from payment of tax must
complete, in duplicate, a separate application on this form. The
transferor must furnish all the information called for on this application
b. The entity identified in item 4 must be the same as the entity identified
in item 5. For example, if item 4 identifies a sole proprietor, item 5
cannot identify a corporation. This also applies for the completion of
items 6 and 7.
c. Signatures. All signatures required on Form 3 must be original in ink
on both copies.
d. Photocopies Or Computer Generated Versions. The ATF Form 3
may be photocopied or a computer-generated version (as long as it is in
the same format and contains all required information) may be used.
This form may also be downloaded from the ATF Internet website:
e. Serial Numbers. When more than one firearm of the same description
is being transferred and the serial numbers are in a consecutive series,
the transferor may enter the beginning and ending numbers of the range
in item 3g. If more than one firearm of the same description is being
transferred, but the serial numbers are non-consecutive, the registrant
may note item 3g to "see attached list of xxx serial numbers." Any
attachment must be referenced to ATF Form 3.
f. Estates. If the firearm is being transferred from an estate, as provided in
27 CFR §§ 478.56 and 479.42, of a Federal firearms licensee who has
paid the special (occupational) tax under the NFA, item 2a shall reflect:
the executor's name, title (executor (or executrix, administrator,
administratrix) of the estate of (name)), and the executor's address.
(See the ATF Internet website at www.atf.gov for additional information).
g. Submission. All requested information must be entered in blue or black
ink and must be legible. Send both copies of the ATF Form 3 and
attachments to the address located in the upper right hand corner on the
face side of the ATF Form 3. The return of the application or sending it to
any other address will only delay the processing.
h. Submission By Facsimile Transmission. ATF Form 3 may be submitted
for approval via facsimile transmission ((304) 616-4501) provided the
transferor filed an affidavit with the NFA Branch in accordance with ATF
Industry Circular 89-6.
i. State Or Local Permit. If a State or local permit or license is required for
the transferee prior to acquisition of the firearm, a copy of the permit must
be included with the application.
3. Approval of Application. Upon approval of an application, the NFA
Branch will return an approved copy to the transferor for delivery with the
firearm to the transferee. Since the approval of the application effectuates
registration of the firearm to the transferee, the physical transfer of the
firearm must be completed immediately; however, the transferor must not
transfer the firearm until the application has been approved and received. If
the physical transfer of the firearm cannot be completed immediately, the
transferor must contact the NFA Branch with the specifics.
4. Withdrawal of Application. The transferor may withdraw an application
prior to approval subsequent to a written request.
5. Cancellation of Approved Application. The transferor may cancel an
approved application only if the physical transfer of the firearm has not been
completed. The transferor must return the approved application with a
written request of cancellation, citing the need and that the physical transfer
of the firearm did not take place.
6. Disapproval of Application. If the application is disapproved, the NFA
Branch will note the reason for disapproval on the application and return one
copy of the ATF Form 3 to the transferor.
7. Reasons for Disapproval. 26 U.S.C. § 5812 provides that applications shall
be denied if the transfer, receipt, or possession of the firearm would place the
transferee in violation of law. If State or local law prohibits the receipt or
possession of the firearm being transferred, the application will be
8. Status Inquiries and Questions. Information relating to the NFA and other
firearms laws is available at the ATF Internet website at www.atf.gov. Any
inquiry relating to the status of an application to transfer an NFA firearm or
about procedures in general should be directed to the NFA Branch at (304)
616-4500. Please be aware that any dissemination by ATF of information
relating to the application to register an NFA firearm must conform with the
restrictions in 26 U.S.C. § 6103. The opportunity provided in item 8 to
authorize ATF to disclose information is intended to enable ATF to respond
to inquiries by the transferee regarding the application. The failure to
complete item 8 will be considered a declination of authorization to release
9. Penalties. Any person who violates or fails to comply with any of the
requirements of the NFA shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than
$10,000 or be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both. Any firearm
involved in a violation of the NFA shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
It is unlawful for any person to make or cause the making of a false entry on
any application or record required by the NFA knowing such entry to be
10. Compliance With The Gun Control Act. All provisions of the GCA must
also be complied with, including the recordkeeping requirements for