Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2012 7:01 PM
To: FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
Subject: Obscured serial number
Some buddies and I are having a rather heated discussion about this....
If I were to put a piece of black tape over the serial number of my CCW handgun (1911 style) would that constitute "obscuring" the serial number and be illegal? The serial number is in no way defaced, altered or removed, all you have to do to see the serial number is remove the tape. If this does constitute obscuring then isn't every S&W shipped with the large grips which cover the serial number on the butt illegal? There are a number of after market products that cover the serial number, would that be illegal? If not but the tape is what is the difference?
RE: Obscured serial number
FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
9:51 AM (2 hours ago)
This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, you wanted to know if covering a serial number of a firearm with tape be constituted as obscuring.
Under Federal law, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed,
obliterated, or altered, or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported
in interstate or foreign commerce.
Merely, attaching black tape to a firearms serial number does not constitute a violation of Federal law.
Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: ATF Online - Field Divisions
Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF