In 2002, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) published an interim final rule implementing the provision of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, relating to firearms disabilities for certain nonimmigrant aliens. That regulation implemented the law by prohibiting, with certain exceptions, the sale or disposition of firearms or ammunition to, and the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of firearms or ammunition by, nonimmigrant aliens. The Department of Justice has now determined that the relevant statutory prohibitions on transfer and possession of firearms and ammunition apply only to nonimmigrant aliens who were admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, and that the prohibitions do not apply to nonimmigrant aliens who lawfully entered the United States without a visa. The Department is therefore issuing this rule to make conforming changes to the regulations, so that the regulations are consistent with the Department's current legal interpretation. This final rule addresses only the nonimmigrant alien visa issue. The remaining issues raised by the 2002 interim final rule, and the public comments submitted with respect to those issues, will be addressed in a separate forthcoming rule.
Agency Contact: James P. Ficaretta, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; telephone: 202-648-7094.
This rule is final. Its effective date is July 9, 2012.