By March 28, 2011

FFL 03 Curio & Relic License Amendment: Sometimes the ATF Needs a Reminder

I’ve held a Curio & Relic collector’s firearms license since December of 2006. A C&R license, issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, makes it easier to collect and transfer historical firearms.

The BATF has to be notified when a C&R holder moves. You need to file Form 5300.38: Application for an Amended Federal Firearms License as soon as you know where you’re going. This can be tough if you’re moving into a rental. I sent mine out on December 21, 2010. It took several attempts to prod the BATF into processing my application, and I think if I had not done so I would still be waiting on my amended license.

Quick dateline

  • December 21, 2010: Sent my Form 5300.58 to the ATF. I anticipated losing one day due to Christmas Eve falling on a Friday. No big deal.
  • January 18, 2011: The renewal of my C&R license had arrived by now. I start getting concerned, but we have so much else going on with the move so I don’t contact the ATF.
  • February 15, 2011: I had received my original C&R license by now back in 2006.
  • March 17, 2011: Plenty of time has transpired for the ATF to process a simple address change. I email the Firearms and Explosives Licensing department at BATF (nlc@atf.gov) asking where my amended license was. I included:
    • A short summary describing my inquiry: that I moved from one state to another and was checking the status of my amended firearms license
    • The form I used to update my address: Form 5300.38: Application for an Amended Federal Firearms License
    • The date I mailed my paperwork
    • My C&R FFL number
  • March 26, 2011: no response from the BATF. I forward my original email from the 17th on to nlc@atf.gov again
  • March 24, 2011: I decide to resubmit my email every day until I get a response. Even a “this is the wrong email address to use” or “it will take another four years” is better than nothing. I forward my forward to nlc@atf.gov.
  • March 25, 2011: An ATF customer service representative responds via email. They state that my amended return was issued on March 24, 2011 and was sent to me via mail.

The expected delivery time is up to two weeks. I have no idea why it would take that long; the ATF office responsible for licensing is in Atlanta, Georgia and that should be only three days or less via First Class mail.

It seems very odd that the request to amend my address was completed only after I emailed the ATF twice asking for status. If left to their own efforts, perhaps I would have never gotten my amended C&R license.

Short story: wait a month and start emailing the ATF. As of 2011, anecdotes around the Web indicated that new licenses only take a month or so to complete. Some people who move from one state to another just let their original license lapse and apply for a new one. I thought this was ridiculous, but perhaps new approvals are on a faster track than amended licenses.

The ATF is funded by your tax dollars. Don’t hesitate to submit inquiries about the status of your license.

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