ATF Issues Drive-Through Gun Transfer Clarification

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posted on April 16, 2020
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Curtis W. Gilbert, acting assistant director for the Enforcement Programs and Services section of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), issued a letter on April 10, 2020, that provided clarification on how FFLs can lawfully conduct business at drive-up windows, doorways and more during COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders to maximize adherence to health guidelines enacted after the March 13 declaration of a national emergency. Firearm dealers should view the letter in its entirety to ensure adherence to the guidance and compliance with BATFE regulations and requirements.

The letter explains, “…pursuant to the Gun Control Act (GCA) and its implementing regulations, a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer may engage in the firearms or ammunition business for which the business is licensed on any part of its business premises, provided that the activity otherwise complies with all applicable federal laws and regulations, and any sale, delivery, or disposition would not violate any State law or published ordinance applicable at the place of sale, delivery, or other disposition.”

It then breaks down specific examples that include, “An FFL may carry out the requested activities through a drive-up or walk-up window or doorway where the customer is on the licensee’s property on the exterior of the brick-and-mortar structure at the address listed on the license.”

The letter also explains firearm dealers may also perform the transfer “…from a temporary table or booth located in the parking lot or other exterior location on the licensee’s property at the address listed on the license, but any such activities must occur in a location where the licensee has the authority to permit ATF’s entry for inspection purposes…An FFL carrying out the requested activities from an exterior table or booth should maintain its inventory and records securely in the interior of the brick-and-mortar structure and ensure that the records of each firearms transaction are stored in the interior.”

It emphasizes the property must not be an adjacent structure or parking lot with an address other than that listed on the FFL.

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