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July 11, 2017

ATF Q&A: Firearms Transactions


A customer brought in a firearm to my gunsmithing shop with only the serial number present on the firearm. I know the make and model of this firearm. Should I enter what I know in my repair bound book, or should I put "Unknown"?

Even if the identifying information is not legible, if the licensee knows the manufacturer and model of the firearm, he or she is expected to record such information in the A&D record. Documenting all firearm identification information enhances the traceability of the firearm. It is important that the identifying information of firearms is accurately and fully recorded in the acquisition and disposition records retained by FFLs for tracing purposes. However, the ATF understands that licensees can only be expected to record identifying information marked on a firearm. If the licensee cannot determine the manufacturer or other information due to defaced or missing markings, he or she can enter “Unknown” or “Not Marked” as applicable in the appropriate column of his A&D record. If firearms markings have been defaced, we encourage licensees to notify their local ATF office. In fact, if the serial number is defaced, it is a crime to receive or possess the firearm; you must notify the ATF immediately. [18 USC 922(k)]