§ 479.11 Meaning of terms.

  1. When used in this part and in forms prescribed under this part, where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof, terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section. Words in the plural form shall include the singular, and vice versa, and words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine. The terms “includes” and “including” do not exclude other things not enumerated which are in the same general class or are otherwise within the scope thereof.

  2. Antique firearm. 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.

  3. Any other weapon. 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.

  4. ATF officer. An officer or employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) authorized to perform any function relating to the administration or enforcement of this part.

  5. Complete muffler or silencer device. A muffler or silencer that contains all component parts necessary to function as designed whether or not assembled or operable.

  6. Complete weapon. A firearm other than a muffler or silencer that contains all component parts necessary to function as designed whether or not assembled or operable.

  7. Customs officer. Any officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard, or any agent or other person authorized by law to perform the duties of a customs officer.

  8. Dealer. 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.

  9. Destructive device. (a) Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (1) bomb, (2) grenade, (3) rocket having a propellent charge of more than 4 ounces, (4) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (5) mine, or (6) similar device; (b) 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 Director finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (c) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this definition and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term shall not include any device which is neither designed or 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 under 10 U.S.C. 4684(2), 4685, or 4686, or any device which the Director 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.

  10. Director. The Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

  11. Director, Industry Operations. The principal regional official responsible for administering regulations in this part.

  12. Director of the Service Center. A director of an Internal Revenue Service Center in an internal revenue region.

  13. District director. A district director of the Internal Revenue Service in an internal revenue district.

  14. Executed under penalties of perjury. Signed with the prescribed declaration under the penalties of perjury as provided on or with respect to the return, form, or other document or, where no form of declaration is prescribed, with the declaration:

  15. “I declare under the penalties of perjury that this—(insert type of document, such as, statement, application, request, certificate), including the documents submitted in support thereof, has been examined by me and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, is true, correct, and complete.”

  16. Exportation. The severance of goods from the mass of things belonging to this country with the intention of uniting them to the mass of things belonging to some foreign country.

  17. Exporter. Any person who exports firearms from the United States.

  18. Firearm. (a) A shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (b) 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; (c) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (d) 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; (e) any other weapon, as defined in this subpart; (f) a machine gun; (g) a muffler or a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition; and (h) a destructive device. The term shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machine gun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Director 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. For purposes of this definition, the length of the barrel having an integral chamber(s) on a shotgun or rifle shall be determined by measuring the distance between the muzzle and the face of the bolt, breech, or breech block when closed and when the shotgun or rifle is cocked. The overall length of a weapon made from a shotgun or rifle is the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore.

  19. Fixed ammunition. That self-contained unit consisting of the case, primer, propellant charge, and projectile or projectiles.

  20. Firearm frame or receiver. That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel. Frame or receiver.A part of a firearm that, when the complete weapon is assembled, is visible from the exterior and provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate one or more fire control components, even if pins or other attachments are required to connect those components to the housing or structure. Any such part identified with a serial number shall be presumed, absent an official determination by the Director or other reliable evidence to the contrary, to be a frame or receiver. For purposes of this definition, the term “fire control component” means a component necessary for the firearm to initiate, complete, or continue the firing sequence, including any of the following: hammer, bolt, bolt carrier, breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails. The following are nonexclusive examples that illustrate this definition:

  21. a.(a)Firearm muffler or silencer frame or receiver. The term “frame or receiver” shall mean, in the case of a firearm muffler or firearm silencer, a part of the firearm that, when the complete device is assembled, is visible from the exterior and provides housing or a structure, such as an outer tube or modular piece, designed to hold or integrate one or more essential internal components of the device, including any of the following: baffles, baffling material, or expansion chamber.

  22. b.(b)Split or modular frame or receiver

    1. 1.(1) In the case of a firearm with more than one part that provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate one or more fire control or essential internal components (e.g., a split frame with upper assembly and lower assembly as in many semiautomatic rifles, upper slide assembly and lower grip module as in many semiautomatic handguns, or multiple silencer modular pieces), the Director may determine whether a specific part or parts of a weapon is the frame or receiver, which may include an internal frame or chassis at least partially exposed to the exterior to allow identification. In making this determination, the Director will consider the following factors, with no single factor being controlling:

    1. i.(i) Which component the manufacturer intended to be the frame or receiver;

    2. ii.(ii) Which component the firearms industry commonly considers to be the frame or receiver with respect to the same or similar firearms;

    3. iii.(iii) How the component fits within the overall design of the firearm when assembled;

    4. iv.(iv) The design and function of the fire control components to be housed or integrated;

    5. v.(v) Whether the component may permanently, conspicuously, and legibly be identified with a serial number and other markings in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed;

    6. vi.(vi) Whether classifying the particular component is consistent with the legislative intent of the Act and this part; and

    7. vii.(vii) Whether classifying the component as the frame or receiver is consistent with ATF's prior classifications.

  23. 2.(2) Frames or receivers of different weapons that are combined to create a similar weapon each retain their respective classifications as frames or receivers provided they retain their original design and configuration.

  24. 3.(3) The Director has previously determined that a specific part is the frame or receiver with respect to certain weapons with split or modular frames or receivers. The following is a nonexclusive list of such weapons and the specific part identified as the frame or receiver as they existed on [date of publication of the final rule]:

    1. i.(i) Colt 1911-type, Beretta/Browning/FN Herstal/Heckler & Koch/Ruger/Sig Sauer/Smith & Wesson/Taurus hammer fired semiautomatic pistols: the lower portion of the pistol, or grip, that provides housing for the trigger mechanism and hammer, and a structure designed to integrate the slide rails.

  25. c.(c)Partially complete, disassembled, or inoperable frame or receiver. The term “frame or receiver” shall include, in the case of a frame or receiver that is partially complete, disassembled, or inoperable, a frame or receiver that has reached a stage in manufacture where it may readily be completed, assembled, converted, or restored to a functional state. In determining whether a partially complete, disassembled, or inoperable frame or receiver may readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to a functional state, the Director may consider any available instructions, guides, templates, jigs, equipment, tools, or marketing materials. For purposes of this definition, the term “partially complete,” as it modifies “frame or receiver,” means a forging, casting, printing, extrusion, machined body or similar article that has reached a stage in manufacture where it is clearly identifiable as an unfinished component part of a weapon.

  26. d.(d)Destroyed frame or receiver. The term “frame or receiver” shall not include a frame or receiver that is destroyed. For purposes of this definition, the term “destroyed” means that the frame or receiver has been permanently altered not to provide housing or a structure that may hold or integrate any fire control or essential internal component, and may not readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to a functional state. Acceptable methods of destruction include completely melting, crushing, or shredding the frame or receiver, or by completely severing at least three critical areas of the frame or receiver using a cutting torch having a tip of sufficient size to displace at least 1/4 inch of material at each location.

  27. Importation. The bringing of a firearm within the limits of the United States or any territory under its control or jurisdiction, from a place outside thereof (whether such place be a foreign country or territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States), with intent to unlade. Except that, bringing a firearm from a foreign country or a territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States into a foreign trade zone for storage pending shipment to a foreign country or subsequent importation into this country, under Title 26 of the United States Code, and this part, shall not be deemed importation.

  28. Importer. Any person who is engaged in the business of importing or bringing firearms into the United States.

  29. Machine gun. 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 machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. For purposes of this definition, the term “automatically” as it modifies “shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,” means functioning as the result of a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds through a single function of the trigger; and “single function of the trigger” means a single pull of the trigger and analogous motions. The term “machine gun” includes a bump-stock-type device, i.e., a device that allows a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semi-automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.

  30. Make. This term and the various derivatives thereof shall include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in such business under this part), putting together, altering, any combination of these, or otherwise producing a firearm.

  31. Manual reloading. The inserting of a cartridge or shell into the chamber of a firearm either with the hands or by means of a mechanical device controlled and energized by the hands.

  32. Manufacturer. Any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms.

  33. Muffler or silencer. Any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

  34. Person. A partnership, company, association, trust, corporation, including each responsible person associated with such an entity; an estate; or an individual.

  35. Pistol. A weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

  36. Readily. A process that is fairly or reasonably efficient, quick, and easy, but not necessarily the most efficient, speedy, or easy process. Factors relevant in making this determination, with no single one controlling, include the following:

    1. a.(a) Time, i.e., how long it takes to finish the process;

    2. b.(b) Ease, i.e., how difficult it is to do so;

    3. c.(c) Expertise, i.e., what knowledge and skills are required;

    4. d.(d) Equipment, i.e., what tools are required;

    5. e.(e) Availability, i.e., whether additional parts are required, and how easily they can be obtained;

    6. f.(f) Expense, i.e., how much it costs;

    7. g.(g) Scope, i.e., the extent to which the subject of the process must be changed to finish it; and

    8. h.(h) Equipment, i.e., what tools are required;

  37. Responsible person. In the case of an unlicensed entity, including any trust, partnership, association, company (including any Limited Liability Company (LLC)), or corporation, any individual who possesses, directly or indirectly, the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust or entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust or legal entity. In the case of a trust, those persons with the power or authority to direct the management and policies of the trust include any person who has the capability to exercise such power and possesses, directly or indirectly, the power or authority under any trust instrument, or under State law, to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of a firearm for, or on behalf of, the trust. Examples of who may be considered a responsible person include settlors/grantors, trustees, partners, members, officers, directors, board members, or owners. An example of who may be excluded from this definition of responsible person is the beneficiary of a trust, if the beneficiary does not have the capability to exercise the powers or authorities enumerated in this section.

  38. Revolver. A projectile weapon, of the pistol type, having a breechloading chambered cylinder so arranged that the cocking of the hammer or movement of the trigger rotates it and brings the next cartridge in line with the barrel for firing.

  39. Rifle. 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.

  40. Shotgun. 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.

  41. Transfer. This term and the various derivatives thereof shall include selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of. For purposes of this part, the term shall not include the temporary conveyance of a lawfully possessed firearm to a manufacturer or dealer qualified under this part for the sole purpose of repair, identification, evaluation, research, testing, or calibration, and return to the same lawful possessor.

  42. United States. The States and the District of Columbia.

  43. U.S.C. The United States Code.

  44. Unserviceable firearm. A firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.