18 U.S.C. § 923 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 923. Licensing




 No person shall engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition, until he has filed an application with and received a license to do so from the Attorney General.  The application shall be in such form and contain only that information necessary to determine eligibility for licensing as the Attorney General shall by regulation prescribe and shall include a photograph and fingerprints of the applicant.  Each applicant shall pay a fee for obtaining such a license, a separate fee being required for each place in which the applicant is to do business, as follows:

 If the applicant is a manufacturer--

 of destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices or armor piercing ammunition, a fee of $1,000 per year;

 of firearms other than destructive devices, a fee of $50 per year;  or

 of ammunition for firearms, other than ammunition for destructive devices or armor piercing ammunition, a fee of $10 per year.

 If the applicant is an importer--

 of destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices or armor piercing ammunition, a fee of $1,000 per year;  or

 of firearms other than destructive devices or ammunition for firearms other than destructive devices, or ammunition other than armor piercing ammunition, a fee of $50 per year.

 If the applicant is a dealer--

 in destructive devices or ammunition for destructive devices, a fee of $1,000 per year;  or

 who is not a dealer in destructive devices, a fee of $200 for 3 years, except that the fee for renewal of a valid license shall be $90 for 3 years.

 Any person desiring to be licensed as a collector shall file an application for such license with the Attorney General.  The application shall be in such form and contain only that information necessary to determine eligibility as the Attorney General shall by regulation prescribe.  The fee for such license shall be $10 per year.  Any license granted under this subsection shall only apply to transactions in curios and relics.

 Upon the filing of a proper application and payment of the prescribed fee, the Attorney General shall issue to a qualified applicant the appropriate license which, subject to the provisions of this chapter and other applicable provisions of law, shall entitle the licensee to transport, ship, and receive firearms and ammunition covered by such license in interstate or foreign commerce during the period stated in the license.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer from maintaining and disposing of a personal collection of firearms, subject only to such restrictions as apply in this chapter to dispositions by a person other than a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer.  If any firearm is so disposed of by a licensee within one year after its transfer from his business inventory into such licensee's personal collection or if such disposition or any other acquisition is made for the purpose of willfully evading the restrictions placed upon licensees by this chapter, then such firearm shall be deemed part of such licensee's business inventory, except that any licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer who has maintained a firearm as part of a personal collection for one year and who sells or otherwise disposes of such firearm shall record the description of the firearm in a bound volume, containing the name and place of residence and date of birth of the transferee if the transferee is an individual, or the identity and principal and local places of business of the transferee if the transferee is a corporation or other business entity:  Provided, That no other recordkeeping shall be required.

 Any application submitted under subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be approved if--

 the applicant is twenty-one years of age or over;

 the applicant (including, in the case of a corporation, partnership, or association, any individual possessing, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the corporation, partnership, or association) is not prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce under section 922(g) and (n) of this chapter;

 the applicant has not willfully violated any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations issued thereunder;

 the applicant has not willfully failed to disclose any material information required, or has not made any false statement as to any material fact, in connection with his application;

 the applicant has in a State (i) premises from which he conducts business subject to license under this chapter or from which he intends to conduct such business within a reasonable period of time, or (ii) in the case of a collector, premises from which he conducts his collecting subject to license under this chapter or from which he intends to conduct such collecting within a reasonable period of time;

 the applicant certifies that--

 the business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law in the place where the licensed premise is located;

 within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of the business;  and

 the business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met;  and

 that the applicant has sent or delivered a form to be prescribed by the Attorney General, to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality in which the premises are located, which indicates that the applicant intends to apply for a Federal firearms license;  and

 in the case of an application to be licensed as a dealer, the applicant certifies that secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees (subject to the exception that in any case in which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee, the dealer shall not be considered to be in violation of the requirement under this subparagraph to make available such a device).

 The Attorney General must approve or deny an application for a license within the 60-day period beginning on the date it is received.  If the Attorney General fails to act within such period, the applicant may file an action under section 1361 of title 28 to compel the Attorney General to act.  If the Attorney General approves an applicant's application, such applicant shall be issued a license upon the payment of the prescribed fee.

 The Attorney General may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, revoke any license issued under this section if the holder of such license has willfully violated any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation prescribed by the Attorney General under this chapter or fails to have secure gun storage or safety devices available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees (except that in any case in which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee, the dealer shall not be considered to be in violation of the requirement to make available such a device).  The Attorney General may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, revoke the license of a dealer who willfully transfers armor piercing ammunition.  The Secretary’s  [FN1] action under this subsection may be reviewed only as provided in subsection (f) of this section.

 Any person whose application for a license is denied and any holder of a license which is revoked shall receive a written notice from the Attorney General stating specifically the grounds upon which the application was denied or upon which the license was revoked.  Any notice of a revocation of a license shall be given to the holder of such license before the effective date of the revocation.

 If the Attorney General denies an application for, or revokes, a license, he shall, upon request by the aggrieved party, promptly hold a hearing to review his denial or revocation.  In the case of a revocation of a license, the Attorney General shall upon the request of the holder of the license stay the effective date of the revocation.  A hearing held under this paragraph shall be held at a location convenient to the aggrieved party.

 If after a hearing held under paragraph (2) the Attorney General decides not to reverse his decision to deny an application or revoke a license, the Attorney General shall give notice of his decision to the aggrieved party.  The aggrieved party may at any time within sixty days after the date notice was given under this paragraph file a petition with the United States district court for the district in which he resides or has his principal place of business for a de novo judicial review of such denial or revocation.  In a proceeding conducted under this subsection, the court may consider any evidence submitted by the parties to the proceeding whether or not such evidence was considered at the hearing held under paragraph (2).  If the court decides that the Attorney General was not authorized to deny the application or to revoke the license, the court shall order the Attorney General to take such action as may be necessary to comply with the judgment of the court.

 If criminal proceedings are instituted against a licensee alleging any violation of this chapter or of rules or regulations prescribed under this chapter, and the licensee is acquitted of such charges, or such proceedings are terminated, other than upon motion of the Government before trial upon such charges, the Attorney General shall be absolutely barred from denying or revoking any license granted under this chapter where such denial or revocation is based in whole or in part on the facts which form the basis of such criminal charges.  No proceedings for the revocation of a license shall be instituted by the Attorney General more than one year after the filing of the indictment or information.

 Each licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, and licensed dealer shall maintain such records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms at his place of business for such period, and in such form, as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.  Such importers, manufacturers, and dealers shall not be required to submit to the Attorney General reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof, except as expressly required by this section.  The Attorney General, when he has reasonable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred and that evidence thereof may be found on such premises, may, upon demonstrating such cause before a Federal magistrate judge and securing from such magistrate judge a warrant authorizing entry, enter during business hours the premises (including places of storage) of any licensed firearms importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, licensed collector, or any licensed importer or manufacturer of ammunition, for the purpose of inspecting or examining--

 any records or documents required to be kept by such licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector under this chapter or rules or regulations under this chapter, and

 any firearms or ammunition kept or stored by such licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, at such premises.

 The Attorney General may inspect or examine the inventory and records of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer without such reasonable cause or warrant--

 in the course of a reasonable inquiry during the course of a criminal investigation of a person or persons other than the licensee;

 for ensuring compliance with the record keeping requirements of this chapter--

 not more than once during any 12-month period;  or

 at any time with respect to records relating to a firearm involved in a criminal investigation that is traced to the licensee;  or

 when such inspection or examination may be required for determining the disposition of one or more particular firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.

 The Attorney General may inspect the inventory and records of a licensed collector without such reasonable cause or warrant--

 for ensuring compliance with the record keeping requirements of this chapter not more than once during any twelve-month period;  or

 when such inspection or examination may be required for determining the disposition of one or more particular firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.

 At the election of a licensed collector, the annual inspection of records and inventory permitted under this paragraph shall be performed at the office of the Attorney General designated for such inspections which is located in closest proximity to the premises where the inventory and records of such licensed collector are maintained.  The inspection and examination authorized by this paragraph shall not be construed as authorizing the Attorney General to seize any records or other documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law.  If the Attorney General seizes such records or documents, copies shall be provided the licensee within a reasonable time.  The Attorney General may make available to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency any information which he may obtain by reason of this chapter with respect to the identification of persons prohibited from purchasing or receiving firearms or ammunition who have purchased or received firearms or ammunition, together with a description of such firearms or ammunition, and he may provide information to the extent such information may be contained in the records required to be maintained by this chapter, when so requested by any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency.

 Each licensed collector shall maintain in a bound volume the nature of which the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe, records of the receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms.  Such records shall include the name and address of any person to whom the collector sells or otherwise disposes of a firearm.  Such collector shall not be required to submit to the Attorney General reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof, except as expressly required by this section.

 Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totalling two or more, to an unlicensed person.  The report shall be prepared on a form specified by the Attorney General and forwarded to the office specified thereon and to the department of State police or State law enforcement agency of the State or local law enforcement agency of the local jurisdiction in which the sale or other disposition took place, not later than the close of business on the day that the multiple sale or other disposition occurs.

 Except in the case of forms and contents thereof regarding a purchaser who is prohibited by subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of this title from receipt of a firearm, the department of State police or State law enforcement agency or local law enforcement agency of the local jurisdiction shall not disclose any such form or the contents thereof to any person or entity, and shall destroy each such form and any record of the contents thereof no more than 20 days from the date such form is received.  No later than the date that is 6 months after the effective date of this subparagraph, and at the end of each 6-month period thereafter, the department of State police or State law enforcement agency or local law enforcement agency of the local jurisdiction shall certify to the Attorney General of the United States that no disclosure contrary to this subparagraph has been made and that all forms and any record of the contents thereof have been destroyed as provided in this subparagraph.

 Where a firearms or ammunition business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, the records required to be kept by this chapter shall appropriately reflect such facts and shall be delivered to the successor.  Where discontinuance of the business is absolute, such records shall be delivered within thirty days after the business discontinuance to the Attorney General.  However, where State law or local ordinance requires the delivery of records to other responsible authority, the Attorney General may arrange for the delivery of such records to such other responsible authority.

 Each licensee shall, when required by letter issued by the Attorney General, and until notified to the contrary in writing by the Attorney General, submit on a form specified by the Attorney General, for periods and at the times specified in such letter, all record information required to be kept by this chapter or such lesser record information as the Attorney General in such letter may specify.

 The Attorney General may authorize such record information to be submitted in a manner other than that prescribed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph when it is shown by a licensee that an alternate method of reporting is reasonably necessary and will not unduly hinder the effective administration of this chapter.  A licensee may use an alternate method of reporting if the licensee describes the proposed alternate method of reporting and the need therefor in a letter application submitted to the Attorney General, and the Attorney General approves such alternate method of reporting.

 Each licensee shall report the theft or loss of a firearm from the licensee's inventory or collection, within 48 hours after the theft or loss is discovered, to the Attorney General and to the appropriate local authorities.

 Each licensee shall respond immediately to, and in no event later than 24 hours after the receipt of, a request by the Attorney General for information contained in the records required to be kept by this chapter as may be required for determining the disposition of 1 or more firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.  The requested information shall be provided orally or in writing, as the Attorney General may require.  The Attorney General shall implement a system whereby the licensee can positively identify and establish that an individual requesting information via telephone is employed by and authorized by the agency to request such information.

 Licenses issued under the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall be kept posted and kept available for inspection on the premises covered by the license.

 Licensed importers and licensed manufacturers shall identify by means of a serial number engraved or cast on the receiver or frame of the weapon, in such manner as the Attorney General shall by regulations prescribe, each firearm imported or manufactured by such importer or manufacturer.

 A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer may, under rules or regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, conduct business temporarily at a location other than the location specified on the license if such temporary location is the location for a gun show or event sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, or any affiliate of any such organization devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms in the community, and such location is in the State which is specified on the license.  Records of receipt and disposition of firearms transactions conducted at such temporary location shall include the location of the sale or other disposition and shall be entered in the permanent records of the licensee and retained on the location specified on the license.  Nothing in this subsection shall authorize any licensee to conduct business in or from any motorized or towed vehicle.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a separate fee shall not be required of a licensee with respect to business conducted under this subsection.  Any inspection or examination of inventory or records under this chapter by the Attorney General at such temporary location shall be limited to inventory consisting of, or records relating to, firearms held or disposed at such temporary location.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the Attorney General to inspect or examine the inventory or records of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer at any location other than the location specified on the license.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to diminish in any manner any right to display, sell, or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition, which is in effect before the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act, including the right of a licensee to conduct “curios or relics” firearms transfers and business away from their business premises with another licensee without regard as to whether the location of where the business is conducted is located in the State specified on the license of either licensee.

 Licensed importers and licensed manufacturers shall mark all armor piercing projectiles and packages containing such projectiles for distribution in the manner prescribed by the Attorney General by regulation.  The Attorney General shall furnish information to each dealer licensed under this chapter defining which projectiles are considered armor piercing ammunition as defined in section 921(a)(17)(B) .

 The Attorney General shall notify the chief law enforcement officer in the appropriate State and local jurisdictions of the names and addresses of all persons in the State to whom a firearms license is issued.

[FN1]

 So in original.  Probably should be “Attorney General’s”.





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