[USC04] 26 USC Subtitle E, CHAPTER 53, Subchapter B, PART I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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26 USC Subtitle E, CHAPTER 53, Subchapter B, PART I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
From Title 26—INTERNAL REVENUE CODESubtitle E—Alcohol, Tobacco, and Certain Other Excise TaxesCHAPTER 53—MACHINE GUNS, DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES, AND CERTAIN OTHER FIREARMSSubchapter B—General Provisions and Exemptions

PART I—GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.
5841.
Registration of firearms.
5842.
Identification of firearms.
5843.
Records and returns.
5844.
Importation.
5845.
Definitions.
5846.
Other laws applicable.
5847.
Effect on other law.1

        

5848.
Restrictive use of information.
5849.
Citation of chapter.

        

1 So in original. Does not conform to section catchline.

§5841. Registration of firearms

(a) Central registry

The Secretary shall maintain a central registry of all firearms in the United States which are not in the possession or under the control of the United States. This registry shall be known as the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The registry shall include—

(1) identification of the firearm;

(2) date of registration; and

(3) identification and address of person entitled to possession of the firearm.

(b) By whom registered

Each manufacturer, importer, and maker shall register each firearm he manufactures, imports, or makes. Each firearm transferred shall be registered to the transferee by the transferor.

(c) How registered

Each manufacturer shall notify the Secretary of the manufacture of a firearm in such manner as may by regulations be prescribed and such notification shall effect the registration of the firearm required by this section. Each importer, maker, and transferor of a firearm shall, prior to importing, making, or transferring a firearm, obtain authorization in such manner as required by this chapter or regulations issued thereunder to import, make, or transfer the firearm, and such authorization shall effect the registration of the firearm required by this section.

(d) Firearms registered on effective date of this Act

A person shown as possessing a firearm by the records maintained by the Secretary pursuant to the National Firearms Act in force on the day immediately prior to the effective date of the National Firearms Act of 1968 1 shall be considered to have registered under this section the firearms in his possession which are disclosed by that record as being in his possession.

(e) Proof of registration

A person possessing a firearm registered as required by this section shall retain proof of registration which shall be made available to the Secretary upon request.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1229; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

References in Text

The National Firearms Act in force prior to the effective date of the National Firearms Act of 1968, referred to in subsec. (d), probably means the National Firearms Act in force prior to the effective date of the National Firearms Act Amendments of 1968, which is act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 721, as amended, and which was classified generally to prior chapter 53 (prior §5801 et seq.) of this title.

The effective date of this Act and the effective date of the National Firearms Act of 1968, referred to in subsec. (d) catchline and text, probably means the effective date of the National Firearms Act Amendments of 1968, which is Nov. 1, 1968. See section 207(a) of Pub. L. 90–618, set out as an Effective Date note under section 5801 of this title.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5841, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, consisted of provisions similar to those comprising this section, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Amendments

1976—Subsecs. (a), (c) to (e). Pub. L. 94–455 struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary" wherever appearing.

Effective Date

Section effective on first day of first month following October 1968, see section 207 of Pub. L. 90–618, set out as a note under section 5801 of this title.

1 So in original. See References in Text notes below.

§5842. Identification of firearms

(a) Identification of firearms other than destructive devices

Each manufacturer and importer and anyone making a firearm shall identify each firearm, other than a destructive device, manufactured, imported, or made by a serial number which may not be readily removed, obliterated, or altered, the name of the manufacturer, importer, or maker, and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

(b) Firearms without serial number

Any person who possesses a firearm, other than a destructive device, which does not bear the serial number and other information required by subsection (a) of this section shall identify the firearm with a serial number assigned by the Secretary and any other information the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

(c) Identification of destructive device

Any firearm classified as a destructive device shall be identified in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1230; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5842, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, related to books, records, and returns, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Provisions similar to those comprising this section were contained in prior section 5843, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, as amended by act Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–859, title II, §203(e), 72 Stat. 1427, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Amendments

1976Pub. L. 94–455 struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary" wherever appearing.

§5843. Records and returns

Importers, manufacturers, and dealers shall keep such records of, and render such returns in relation to, the importation, manufacture, making, receipt, and sale, or other disposition, of firearms as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1230; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5843, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, as amended by act Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–859, title II, §203(e), 72 Stat. 1427, related to identification of firearms prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Provisions similar to those comprising this section were contained in prior section 5842, act Aug. 16, 1954, 68A Stat. 725, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Amendments

1976Pub. L. 94–455 struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

§5844. Importation

No firearm shall be imported or brought into the United States or any territory under its control or jurisdiction unless the importer establishes, under regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary, that the firearm to be imported or brought in is—

(1) being imported or brought in for the use of the United States or any department, independent establishment, or agency thereof or any State or possession or any political subdivision thereof; or

(2) being imported or brought in for scientific or research purposes; or

(3) being imported or brought in solely for testing or use as a model by a registered manufacturer or solely for use as a sample by a registered importer or registered dealer;


except that, the Secretary may permit the conditional importation or bringing in of a firearm for examination and testing in connection with classifying the firearm.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1230; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5844, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, related to exportation, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Provisions similar to those comprising this section were contained in prior section 5845, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Amendments

1976Pub. L. 94–455 struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary" wherever appearing.

§5845. Definitions

For the purpose of this chapter—

(a) 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 subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. The term "firearm" shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector's item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

(b) Machinegun

The term "machinegun" means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(c) Rifle

The term "rifle" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.

(d) Shotgun

The term "shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.

(e) Any other weapon

The term "any other weapon" means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

(f) Destructive device

The term "destructive device" means (1) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (A) bomb, (B) grenade, (C) rocket having a propellent charge of more than four ounces, (D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (E) mine, or (F) similar device; (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term "destructive device" shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10 of the United States Code; or any other device which the Secretary finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting purposes.

(g) Antique firearm

The term "antique firearm" means any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

(h) Unserviceable firearm

The term "unserviceable firearm" means a firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.

(i) Make

The term "make", and the various derivatives of such word, shall include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in such business under this chapter), putting together, altering, any combination of these, or otherwise producing a firearm.

(j) Transfer

The term "transfer" and the various derivatives of such word, shall include selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of.

(k) Dealer

The term "dealer" means any person, not a manufacturer or importer, engaged in the business of selling, renting, leasing, or loaning firearms and shall include pawnbrokers who accept firearms as collateral for loans.

(l) Importer

The term "importer" means any person who is engaged in the business of importing or bringing firearms into the United States.

(m) Manufacturer

The term "manufacturer" means any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1230; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), (J), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834, 1835; Pub. L. 99–308, §109, May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 460.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5845, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 725, related to the importation of firearms into the United States or its territory, prior to the general revisions of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Provisions similar to those comprising this section were contained in prior section 5848, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 727, as amended by acts Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–859, title II, §203(f), 72 Stat. 1427; June 1, 1960, Pub. L. 86–478, §3, 74 Stat. 149, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 99–308, §109(b), substituted "any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code)" for "a muffler or a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–308, §109(a), substituted "any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun," for "any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun,".

1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), (J), struck out "or his delegate" after "shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary" and "of the Treasury or his delegate" after "or any other device which the Secretary".

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–308 effective 180 days after May 19, 1986, see section 110(a) of Pub. L. 99–308, set out as a note under section 921 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Effective Date

Section effective on first day of first month following October 1968, except as to persons possessing firearms as defined in subsec. (a) of this section which are not registered to such persons in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, see section 207 of Pub. L. 90–618, set out as a note under section 5801 of this title.

§5846. Other laws applicable

All provisions of law relating to special taxes imposed by chapter 51 and to engraving, issuance, sale, accountability, cancellation, and distribution of stamps for tax payment shall, insofar as not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, be applicable with respect to the taxes imposed by sections 5801, 5811, and 5821.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1232.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5846, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 726, consisted of provisions similar to those comprising this section, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

§5847. Effect on other laws

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as modifying or affecting the requirements of section 414 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, with respect to the manufacture, exportation, and importation of arms, ammunition, and implements of war.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1232.)

References in Text

Section 414 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, referred to in text, was classified to section 1934 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, and was repealed by section 212(b)(1) of Pub. L. 94–329, title II, 90 Stat. 745. Section 212(b)(1) of Pub. L. 94–329, also provided that any reference to section 414 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954 shall be deemed to be a reference to section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act. Section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act is classified to section 2778 of Title 22.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5847, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 726, related to regulations which the Secretary or his delegate may prescribe, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

§5848. Restrictive use of information

(a) General rule

No information or evidence obtained from an application, registration, or records required to be submitted or retained by a natural person in order to comply with any provision of this chapter or regulations issued thereunder, shall, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, be used, directly or indirectly, as evidence against that person in a criminal proceeding with respect to a violation of law occurring prior to or concurrently with the filing of the application or registration, or the compiling of the records containing the information or evidence.

(b) Furnishing false information

Subsection (a) of this section shall not preclude the use of any such information or evidence in a prosecution or other action under any applicable provision of law with respect to the furnishing of false information.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1232.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5848, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 727, as amended by acts Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–859, title II, §203(f), 72 Stat. 1427; June 1, 1960, Pub. L. 86–478, §3, 74 Stat. 149, related to definition of a firearm, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, other weapon, importer, manufacturer, dealer, interstate commerce, transfer and person, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

§5849. Citation of chapter

This chapter may be cited as the "National Firearms Act" and any reference in any other provision of law to the "National Firearms Act" shall be held to refer to the provisions of this chapter.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1232.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5849, Pub. L. 85–859, title II, §203(g)(1), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1427, consisted of provisions similar to those comprising this section, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 90–618.

Short Title

Pub. L. 90–618, title II, §202, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1235, provided that: "The amendments made by section 201 of this title [enacting this chapter] shall be cited as the 'National Firearms Act Amendments of 1968'."