||U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Washington, DC 20226
CHANGES IN FEDERAL LAW AS OF SEPTEMBER 13, 2004
RELATING TO SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS (SAWs)
AND LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES (LCAFDs)
As of September 13, 2004, the provisions of Public Law 103-322, the Violent Crime Control and
Law Enforcement Act of 1994, covering semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity
ammunition feeding devices are no longer in effect. The regulations implementing these
provisions also are no longer in effect.
Specifically, there is no longer a Federal prohibition on the manufacture, transfer, and possession
of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
There are no longer any marking requirements for semiautomatic assault weapons and large
capacity ammunition feeding devices. Existing markings on firearms and magazines relating to
law enforcement or government use may be disregarded.
There is no longer any Federal requirement for Federal firearms licensees to obtain certain
documentation before transferring semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity
ammunition feeding devices to government agencies or law enforcement officers. However,
any records obtained prior to September 13, 1994, pertaining to the sale or transfer of
semiautomatic assault weapons must still be retained for a period of 5 years. See 27 CFR §
478.129(f). Moreover, records of importation and manufacture must be maintained permanently
and licensees must maintain all other acquisition and disposition records for 20 years.
Licensees who provided letters of future intent to sell semiautomatic assault weapons and large
capacity ammunition feeding devices to law enforcement agencies and other qualified customers
are no longer obligated to comply with such letters.
Anyone who illegally possessed, manufactured, or transferred semiautomatic assault weapons or
large capacity ammunition feeding devices before the bans sunset still have violated the law
since their possession, manufacture, or transfer was illegal at the time.
The prohibition on the importation of non-sporting firearms under 18 U.S.C. section 922(l) and
925(d)(3) still applies.
Importation of large capacity ammunition feeding devices still is covered under the Arms Export
Control Act. Therefore an approved permit still is required to import large capacity magazines.
Temporary importation of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity magazines is now
lawful under the provisions of 27 CFR § 478.115(d) because temporary importations are not
subject to the sporting purpose test.
Any importer who has a valid approved Form 6 import permit with a restriction related to the
assault weapon ban should comply with the restriction because the weapons most likely are nonsporting.
Any importer who has a valid approved Form 6 import permit with a restriction related to large
capacity ammunition feeding devices may disregard the restriction. Importers may apply for a
new permit if they prefer.
ASSEMBLY OF NON-SPORTING SHOTGUNS AND SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES
FROM IMPORTED PARTS
The prohibition on assembly of non-sporting shotguns and semiautomatic rifles from imported
parts as provided under 18 U.S.C. § 922(r) and 27 CFR § 478.39 still applies.
The sentencing enhancements for using semiautomatic assault weapons in a crime of violence or
drug trafficking crime no longer are in effect. Similarly, the sentencing enhancements for
semiautomatic assault weapons in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines no longer are in effect.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS
Law enforcement officers and police departments who obtained semiautomatic assault weapons
are no longer required to use such firearms only for official use.
Law enforcement officers and police departments may now sell or transfer semiautomatic assault
weapons to persons who are not prohibited from receiving firearms.
Law enforcement officers and police departments may now sell or transfer large capacity
ammunition feeding devices to anybody.
Signed statements that semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding
devices will be used for official use are no longer required to be provided to Federal firearms
RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Federal law does not prohibit retiring law enforcement officers from keeping semiautomatic
assault weapons or large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
Former law enforcement officers who received semiautomatic assault weapons on retirement
may now transfer those firearms to persons who are not prohibited from receiving firearms.
Transfer of large capacity ammunition feeding devices is no longer restricted.
NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT
All provisions of the National Firearms Act relating to registration and transfer of machineguns,
short barreled rifles, weapons made from rifles, short barreled shotguns, weapons made from
shotguns, any other weapons as defined in Title 26 U.S.C. section 5845(e), silencers, and
destructive devices still apply.
Registered silencers can now be attached to semiautomatic rifles and pistols without creating a
prohibited semiautomatic assault weapon.
USAS-12 and Striker12/Streetsweeper shotguns are still classified as destructive devices under
ATF Rulings 94-1 and 94-2 and must be possessed and transferred in accordance with the NFA.
EFFECT ON STATE LAW
Expiration of the Federal law will not change any provisions of State law or local ordinances.
Questions concerning State assault weapons restrictions should be referred to State and local