ATF Alert to FFLs and NFA Dealers in Advance of Hurricane Irma

You may have read our earlier post regarding gun laws in Florida in advance or Hurricane Irma’s landfall. Of particular note were Bennet Richt’s warnings concerning NFA items carried across state lines. The ATF has just issued the following alert to FFLs in the path of Irma, addressing some of these points:

This is an important message from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center has forecasted Hurricane Irma as a major hurricane having an extensive impact in Florida.

While it is still too early to determine what other impacts Hurricane Irma may have, a disaster preparedness plan should be established by all firearms and explosives licensees and permittees to safeguard explosives, firearms, and required records. Please secure your firearms and explosives inventory and move records to elevated areas to prevent damage from flooding.

If necessary, licensees and permittees should take precautionary steps by contacting their local ATF field office. If you are an NFA dealer and are evacuating and want to take NFA Items with you, please e-mail a completed form 5320.20 to [email protected] and put HURRICANE IRMA in the heading. ATF will approve them as quickly as possible.

You do not need to wait for approval, but taxpayers should keep a copy of the submitted form 5320.20 with the original registration documents either form 1 or form 4 and confirmation that it was submitted to the fax line.


  1. avatar tinhat says:

    We want our paperwork not real practical solutions, Just store your guns with the government …what could go wrong???

  2. avatar dwb says:

    Yeah, I am sure people are making sure their paperwork is completed and approved before evacuating. In triplicate. Totally.

    1. avatar David T says:

      It reveals the mentality of bureaucrats. “Since your homes and your businesses are being destroyed, we’ll do you a favor and expedite the paperwork that our world revolves around.”

      On the other hand, there are a lot of good citizens that like to have all their papers in order.

  3. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    I’m not seeing anything nefarious here. And I see nefarious everywhere.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      It’s awful quiet out there……

    2. avatar Ing says:

      The only nefariousness I see here is the same nefariousness that’s already saturated our society — the idea that one needs to ask permission from the government before doing what they will with their own belongings.

      1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        I thought that was understood Ing. I can’t post the basics with every post.

    3. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with the BATF’s post. Just giving common sense advice to all FFL’s and those of us who are SOT’s… Not everything is a government conspiracy…

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Yes because “common sense” originates from and is dispensed by the fuderal gov’t

      2. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

        After all, can’t have those 4473’s getting flooded, can we?

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’d also keep a copy of that email from the BATFE.

  5. avatar CommonSense says:

    “If you are an NFA dealer and are evacuating and want to take NFA Items with you,” – what happens if I’m NOT a dealer, just an OWNER – and would prefer to take my NFA item (suppressor, SBR) w/ me ?

    Am I screwed ?

    1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

      My advice is to contact your local BATF field office for advice…

  6. avatar John says:

    First thing you should allow to be destroyed is every 4473……..then the hard copy.
    F*** atf. They are the real nazis………not these nationalist pussies

    1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

      Great advice!! I hear the foods great in prison…! Maybe you’ll get placed somewhere safe from any bad weather… what an ASS!

      1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        He said “should”. What part do you disagree with?

        1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

          His entire post! We may not always agree with the laws BUT, we have to follow them! The ATF is simply advising FFL’s on what they should do to maintain these documents. You NEVER destroy the paperwork! That’s just common sense and personally I’m getting sick and tired of people bad mouthing the ATF! The agents are not the ones to be getting pissed off at! The leadership perhaps, but the political climate has changed and along with that, common sense is now taking root. Just look at some of the changes the ATF has made so far… One example..??, the stance on arm braces… So just follow the law, be responsible and shut the hell up!

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          He said, “First thing you should allow to be destroyed is every 4473.” Read that carefully. Note the word “allow.” Nothing illegal if the BATFE(ARBF) allows the forms to be destroyed.

          Now, if TTAG would allow me to see any replies to my comments, as it seems to say it does, that would be really great.

  7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This is yet another example of the absurdity of federal firearm laws — both as written and as the ATF has “interpreted” them.

    In essence the ATF is saying that you better risk life and limb to file paperwork before you evacuate with your super deadly firearms that require an ATF tax stamp. Or you should just leave all that super deadly firearm stuff behind (for theft) if you were not able to file the paperwork.

    Which is it ATF? If that stuff is so super deadly that possessors must AT ALL COSTS file paperwork before they can move it across state lines? Or is it really not so deadly that possessors can simply leave it behind where thieves are almost guaranteed to steal it?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      ATF didn’t make the law, they’re just stuck with enforcing it, but for once they’d prefer to just help people follow it.

      1. avatar Mike in OK says:

        They didn’t write the law. All they did was sign on with an agency whose core mission is the infringement of that which shall not be infringed. I give them a pass on nothing, and feel they should be ridiculed more frequently, not less.

        1. avatar PWinKY says:

          Hear hear!

      2. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

        Well said and I totally agree.. I am an FFL and have ALWAYS had good interaction with the ATF..! I look at it this way, you’ve got good cops and bad cops… You shouldn’t lump them ALL into the same basket just because of the few that have allowed their ego to rule over better judgement. As FFL’s, we have the LEGAL responsibility to maintain the paperwork AND provide safe storage of any firearms…PERIOD. To do otherwise is to be totally irresponsible and you should probably not be an FFL to start with!

        1. avatar Bitchnuts says:

          It is a good thing you’re here to clarify things.

        2. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

          Isn’t it though … =)

  8. avatar barnbwt says:

    I’m honestly surprised the ATF isn’t ordering FFLs to leave with their guns, because honestly? It’s a pretty good idea if you can make the logistics work. “Safe storage” being non-existent in a windy, looty kind of scenario, after all. And human nature being what it is…let’s not pretend there aren’t some store owners hoping to hell that the storm or looters relieve them of their slower-moving merchandise so insurance can pick up the tab. The conspiratorial side of me actually wonders if some of that insta-looting of gun stores we heard about in Houston, was actually people being tipped off as an inside job.

    1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

      HAHA… Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing and judging by some of the comments being left here, they may be some of those “nefarious” dealers =)

  9. avatar Greg Torchia says:

    If you leave your guns behind regardless of what class they are be sure and take the serial numbers down so you can give them to the ATF after MS-13 use them to kill everybody on the street

  10. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    I wonder how many unfortunate boating accidents registered fire arms holders will have during the hurricanes?

    Natural disaster and all. Nothing to be done. Sad.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email