New ATF Form 4473 Coming January 16th

Form 4473

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and really big fires (BATF) has announced a “new” Form 4473.  Beginning January 16, 2017, all Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) must begin using this latest revision for customers purchasing firearms.  The new form features an extensive list of new warnings and explanations.

Perhaps the most notable warning statement refers to legalized marijuana usage.  For the growing number of Americans who smoke pot legally, per ATF, these persons are ineligible to purchase firearms.

The new form also repeatedly cautions buyers that the form must be completed on the licensed premises of the dealer.

Ironically, the new form is not yet available from the BATF for dealers.  This despite the fact that it must be used no later than January 16th – just a few days from now.

Many of us remember the old form 4473.  The formerly yellow sheet of paper with a few questions on the front and a signature and instructions on the back.

Form 4473

Today the form has grown to six pages.  Of course, the “Paperwork Reduction Act” notice on the final page of today’s forms adds a particular irony to the entire exercise in big government.

Here is a comprehensive explanation of the latest revisions from our friends at BATF.



  • Form Title: Removed “Part I-Over-the-Counter”
  • Warning Statement: Clarifies that the form is to be completed at the licensed premises unless the transaction qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922(c).

Section A

  • Question 1: Clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains an initial only should record “IO” (including the quotation marks, i.e. John W. “IO” Smith). Also clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains a suffix (e.g., Jr, Sr, II, III) should record the information with their last name.
  • Question 2:  Incorporated State of Residence information from former Question 13.
  • Question 6: Changed “Gender” to “Sex”.
  • Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Clarifies that both questions must be answered.
  • Question 11.e: Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.
  • Questions 12.a – 12.d and 13: (Formerly Questions 11.k – 12 and 14 – 15): Regrouped and revised the citizenship and immigration status questions to make them easier to follow.
  • Transferee/Buyer Certification: Clarifies that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is violation of Federal law.

Section B

  • Question 18.b (Formerly Question 20.b): Changed to “Supplemental Government Issued Documentation (if identification document does not show current residence address)
  • Question 18.c (Formerly Question 20.c): Changed to “Exception to the Nonimmigrant Alien Prohibition: If the transferee/buyer answered “YES” to 12.d.2. the transferor/seller must record the type of documentation showing the exception to the prohibition and attach a copy to this ATF Form 4473.”
  • Question 19.d (Formerly Question 21.d): Added a check box for “Overturned” transactions.
  • Question 19.g (Added to Form): “Name of FFL Employee Completing NICS check. (Optional)”.
  • Question 20 (Formerly Question 22): Clarifies that a NICS check is not required if the individual receiving the firearm was subject to a background check as part of the NFA approval process.

Section D

  • Header: Added instruction that the firearm information must be recorded even if the firearm(s) is/are not transferred.
  • Question 24 (Formerly Question 26): Changed to “Manufacturer and Importer (If any)” to reflect the language in 27 CFR 478.125(e).
  • Question 24 – 28 (Formerly Question 26 – 30): Removed line 5 and added line numbers.
  • Multiple Sale: Added “REMINDER – By the Close of Business” to the beginning of the sentence for clarification.
  • Question 29 (Formerly Question 30.a): Clarifies that “zero” should be recorded if no firearm(s) is/are transferred.
  • Question 30 (Formerly Question 30.b): Changed to a check box and added an instruction to record the line number(s) involved in the pawn redemption.
  • Question 32 (Added to Form): A check box to indicate that the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Question 33 (Formerly Questions 31 – 32): Combined the two questions.
  • Transferor Certification: Revised language to certify that the form was completed at the licensed business premises unless the transaction meets the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 922(c) and the transaction complies with State or local laws that are applicable to the firearms business. Clarifies that unless the transaction has been denied or cancelled the transferor/seller certifies that it is his/her belief that it is not unlawful for him/her to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise dispose of the firearm(s) listed on this form to the person identified in Section A.

Notices, Instructions, and Definitions

  • Purpose of the Form – Paragraph 2 (Added to Form): “Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises only if the transferee/buyer meets certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in section 922(c), 27 CFR 478.96(b), and ATF Procedure 2013-2.”
  • Purpose of the Form – Over-the-Counter Transaction (Formerly Paragraph 4): Removed from form.
  • Purpose of the Form – State Laws and Published Ordinances (Formerly Paragraph 5): Removed from form. Information incorporated into Paragraph 1.
  • Purpose of the Form – Exportation of Firearms: Added “Warning: Any person who exports a firearm without proper authorization may be fined not more than $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than 20 years See 22 U.S.C. 2778(c).”
  • Instruction for Section A: Formerly instructions for Question 1.
  • Instruction for Question 2: Clarifies that a rural route (RR) may be accepted provided the transferee/buyer lives in a State or locality where it is considered a legal residence address. Also clarifies that the State of residence for members of the Armed Forces on active duty is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located.
  • Instruction for Question 9: Clarifies that the licensee should provide the UPIN when conducting background checks through the NICS or the State POC.
  • Instruction for Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Added to form.
  • Instruction for Question 11.a: Clarifies when a gift is considered “bona fide” and provides examples.
  • Instruction for Questions 11.b – 12 (Formerly Questions 11.b – 11.l): Added a new paragraph between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs. “A member of the Armed Forces must answer “yes” to 11.b. or 11.c. if charged with an offense that was either referred to a General Court Martial, or at which the member was convicted. Discharged “under dishonorable conditions” means separation from the Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal adjudged by a General Court-Martial. The term does not include any other discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.”
  • Instruction for Question 11.b: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Questions 11.b – 12.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCPTION (sic) to 11.c. and 11.i.): Clarifies that persons subject to this exception, or who receive relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. 925(c), should answer “no” to the applicable question.
  • Instruction for Question 11.d: Added to form. Provides the definition of “Fugitive from Justice”.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCEPTION to 11.f): Clarifies when a person is not prohibited under the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. Language revised and additional information added.
  • Instruction for Question 12.d (Formerly Question 11.l.): Clarifies which aliens must answer “yes” to this question and provide the additional documentation required under Question 18.c.
  • Former Instruction for Question 11.l: Paragraph 2 removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 12: Removed from form. Information from Paragraph 1 incorporated into Question 18.c. Information from paragraph 2 incorporated into Questions 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 13: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 2.
  • New Instruction for Question 13: Added to form. Clarifies where U.S.-issued alien and admission numbers may be found. Also clarifies that U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals should leave the question left blank.
  • Instruction for Question 16 (Formerly Question 18): Clarifies that frames and receivers cannot be transferred to anyone who is not a resident of the State where the transfer is to take place.
  • Instruction for Question 17. (Formerly Question 19.): Added the definition of “Qualifying Gun Show or Event”.
  • Instruction for Question 18a (Formerly Question 20.a): Clarifies that licensees may accept electronic PCS orders to establish residency.
  • Instruction for Question 18.b. (Formerly Question 20.b.): Clarifies that a valid electronic document from a government website may be used as supplemental documentation provided it contains the transferee’s/buyer’s name and current residence address.
  • Instruction for Question 18c. (Formerly Question 20.c.): Clarifies the exceptions to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition and acceptable documentation.
  • Instruction for Question 19 (Formerly Question(s) 21, 22, 23): Clarifies for purposes of this form, contacts to NICS include State agencies designated as points-of-contact (“or POCs”) to conduct NICS checks for the Federal Government.  Provides instructions for completing the form when a transaction was denied and later overturned.
  • Instruction for Questions 20 and 21 (Formerly EXCEPTIONS TO NICS CHECK): Clarifies that the exception includes transfers of National Firearms Act firearms to an individual who has undergone a background check during the NFA approval process. Also clarifies that a NICS check must be conducted if an NFA firearm has been approved for transfer to a trust, or to a legal entity such as a corporation, and no background check was conducted as part of the NFA approval process on the individual who will receive the firearm. Additionally clarifies that individuals who have undergone a background check during the NFA application process are listed on the approved NFA transfer form.
  • Instruction for Question(s) 24-28 (Formerly Question(s) 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30): Clarifies that these blocks must be completed with the firearms information. Also clarifies that all firearms manufactured after 1968 by Federal firearms licensees should be marked with a serial number.
  • Former Instruction for Question 32: Removed from form.
  • New Instruction for Question 32: Added to form. Provides instructions for completing the form when the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Former Instructions for Questions 33-35: Removed from form.



  1. avatar Rabbi says:

    I received a package of the revised forms from the ATF a couple of days ago

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Just wanted to check – are you sure you got the new ones? I received a packet as well, but it only had the older forms in place. Hoping that withing the next week they get this all updated so we can get orders in – they are going to be swamped once this starts up.

      1. We received old forms as well, nothing new yet.

        1. avatar Mike says:

          I received my forms monday the 9th. I’m kind of curious as to what people are going to do with state medical marijuana cards, do they have to check the yes box now? and if so can i still sell them a fire arm?

        2. avatar unknown says:

          NO, they are prohibited.

        3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Why would simply holding a card make one a prohibited person? They could be a provider or caretaker and not a user, which is the only prohibited person according to the form.

        4. avatar unknown says:

          If they check the box ‘YES’, it’s a no go. Don’t know what happens if they check ‘NO’ & hold a card.

        5. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Obviously, but the question was about possession of a MML/card, not checking the box “yes.” It doesn’t ask about holding a card, it asks about being a user.

  2. avatar Arc says:

    I got this crazy idea, ditch the 4473 and get an 80% lower and all other parts with cash…

    1. avatar Wood says:

      Better yet, just ditch the ATF.

  3. avatar Rick the Bear (now in NH!!) says:

    “…who smoke pot legally…”

    At least from a state law perspective.

    “The new form also repeatedly cautions buyers that the form must be completed on the licensed premises of the dealer.”

    Will that be the end of sales by dealers at gun shows? Will people have to browse at the show and then go to the shop? That will suck.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      “Will that be the end of sales by dealers at gun shows? “

      Good point. When I think about it that would seem to be the goal of such a rule.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Agreed, but it isn’t actually a new rule is it? This summary indicates that it’s a ‘clarification’.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          “Clarification” and “new rule” mean the same thing in ATF/government parlance.

          New rule technically means it’s new, “clarification” means “this is what it means and how we’ll enforce it from now on”, which is, IMHO, basically the same thing since it’s a “new” interpretation/explanation and comes with new enforcement guidelines/rules.

          If a rule is enforced one way, or not enforced, and then changed to another meaning/enforcement isn’t that basically a new rule?

        2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          You’re right strych9, my phrasing was a little naive 🙂

      2. avatar Topher in Texas says:

        I wonder if this is one of the things Obama’s think tank came up with that they could do without having to go through the house and senate.

    2. avatar Rabbi says:

      Gun shows are an exception

    3. avatar unknown says:

      On top of page 2 it states “17. If transfer is at qualifying gun show or event”. The dealer enters the information as to name of the function & it’s location. This is right under where you now sign the form. Hope this helps.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        So they can now gather data for CDC on gun show transactions?

    4. avatar Cliff H says:

      “…shall not be infringed.”

      Unless of course a government agency like the BATFE has the authority to make a bunch of rules and regulations that make you ineligible to purchase or own a firearm “legally”.

      So if they add some disqualifier to their form or tweak the wording “on the premises” they can infringe? With this system in place, how will you keep your name off of their lists of people they do not want to purchase/own guns? What’s to stop the BATFE from arbitrarily deciding that any psychotropic or mood-altering drug, even by prescription, is a disqualifier? My doctor prescribed Valium for a pinched nerve in my back! This sort of regulatory infringement of a Constitutionally protected natural right is outrageous and needs to be stopped! Nix NICS!

      1. avatar Ruppertt Jenkkins says:

        In most cases, they don’t know what you don’t tell them. So, don’t tell them sh**.

        You need to adopt the following philosophy:
        “In the face of unconstitutional and illegal laws, a citizen is justified in taking any actions whatsover to avoid being affected by such laws.”

    5. avatar tmm says:

      Prepare in original only at the licensed premises (“licensed premises” includes business temporarily conducted from a qualifying gun show or event in the same state in which the licensed premises is located) unless the transaction qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922 (c)

      “Licensed premises” appears to be a legal definition, although strange wording (premises have to be licensed?)

    6. avatar DaveW says:

      It appears the new form eliminates all marijuana users since IIRC, it is still a federal offense no matter what the individual states decide. Chalk one up for Obama and the Gang. I am surprised California missed that one.

      1. avatar Pyratemime says:

        CA views that as a feature not a bug. Anything that makes more people ineligible under the law to own firearms the gov’t of CA is happy to see cime to pass.

      2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Marijuana use being a federal offense is not new, and it’s not ‘the form’ that says marijuana use makes one a prohibited person.

  4. avatar FelixD says:

    Who will be the new Director of BATF in the coming weeks?

    1. avatar Pyratemime says:

      Would it be to much to hope for Alan Gura?

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Probably, but I’m still down with hoping.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Oh man and I got good checking all the right boxes?

  6. avatar peirsonb says:

    Dammit. Now I’m going to have to read it…

  7. avatar Rich K. says:

    BATF = Bureau for the Absolute Termination of Freedom

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      “Absolute” isn’t accurate. Make it “Arbitrary” and it’s spot on.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    The only good Form 4473 is a dead Form 4473.

  9. avatar HatingCA says:

    It’s sad that many Americans with a marijuana incident on their record are now prohibited from exercising their second amendment rights.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      How so?

      1. avatar HatingCA says:

        Marijuana makes you a prohibited person.

        1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Explain how having a marijuana conviction on your record precludes you from legally purchasing a firearm from an FFL. I’ll wait.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          “”Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…”
          It’s right there, on the form. Rather obviously, a conviction for using pot means you’re a user of pot.
          It doesn’t matter if you are a “current” user, the conviction is enough.
          Just like a conviction for domestic abuse means you’re a prohibited person, so does that pot conviction.
          Ex post facto be damned!

        3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Wrong. If you used marijuana 20 years ago or 40 years ago (or one year ago) and got convicted but are not using now, then you can answer the question “no” honestly. Just because you used before is not a permanent mark against you like some other crimes that specifically are.

          Also, people that have been convicted of pot possession/use in the past pass NICS checks every day.

        4. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          You’re reading a lot into that line that is not there. It seems pretty clear that “user of, or addicted to” would mean at the time of purchase.

    2. avatar Ruppertt Jenkkins says:

      BS. I can almost 99% guarantee you that if you just give them all the “correct” answers, you’ll get the gun.
      No way they can cross-check some old pot arrest to you buying a gun today.

      So, F ’em.

  10. avatar Chris Wolf says:

    It’s my understanding that this new form provides an exemption for “visa waiver” non-citizens like the San Bernardino scumbag’s wife to buy firearms, per obama.

  11. avatar Chris Wolf says:

    There’s an Eric Holder clause stating that anyone who exports a firearm without proper authorization is subject to a $1,000,000 fine and twenty years in prison.

  12. avatar Dan l says:

    How many govt dollars and man hours were wasted tweaking this form? Change gender to sex, how pointless. Free gratis. im suprised it doesnt say male,female,transgender, or transitioning….well i guess that gives there task force something to work on. Phase 2 del boca vista

    1. avatar Ruppertt Jenkkins says:

      Hey, want to totally F with them?

      Do what I did when I bought my last Glock: On the 4473 form, just create a new box and the question “Are you currently a Quadra-sexual bestiality fetishist, living with a tri-sexual lesbian hermaphrodite and a dual-headed gay Collie?” Then, check the box.

  13. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Last gun I bought from my basement FFL, I printed the form and filled it out at home, took it to his house when I picked up the gun.

    So much for that idea.

  14. avatar Sian says:

    I just got a stack of the new forms.

  15. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Actually it does NOT have to be completed on the FFL’s premises. All the buyer has to do is sign the following:

    “Subject to penalties provided by law, I swear that, in the case of any firearm other than a shotgun or a rifle, I am twenty-one years or more of age, or that, in the case of a shotgun or a rifle, I am eighteen years or more of age; that I am not prohibited by the provisions of chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, from receiving a firearm in interstate or foreign commerce; and that my receipt of this firearm will not be in violation of any statute of the State and published ordinance applicable to the locality in which I reside. Further, the true title, name, and address of the principal law enforcement officer of the locality to which the firearm will be delivered are ____________


    Signature _________ Date ____.”

    and containing blank spaces for the attachment of a true copy of any permit or other information required pursuant to such statute or published ordinance.

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      Well, the new rule says “Purpose of the Form – Paragraph 2 (Added to Form): “Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises only if the transferee/buyer meets certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in section 922(c), 27 CFR 478.96(b), and ATF Procedure 2013-2.”

      But I’m sure you’re right.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        There are other exceptions that deal with shipping, etc. but those aren’t really what we are talking about.

  16. avatar neiowa says:

    Thus the need for an Exec Order overruling ALL regulations passed in the last 8 years. F Obumer and his progtard minions.

  17. avatar neiowa says:

    The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (H.R. 26) on Thursday

  18. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Wouldn’t cigarette smokers have to answer “yes” to to question 11.e, since it asks if you are “addicted to any stimulant”? Nicotine’s a stimulant and most tobacco users are pretty well addicted.

    1. avatar Shaun L. says:

      Or coffee.

  19. avatar Roymond says:

    There should be only two questions:

    1. Are you an individual human being?

    2. Do you know which end the bullet comes out?

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Isn’t #2 self-correcting?

  20. LOL. If you’re stupid enough to check the “yes” box, frankly even as an avid 2A supporter, I think maybe you ought not be sold a gun. Pointless other than that.

    It’s like asking new immigrants, “Are you a terrorist?” (you know you have to tell me if you are, right?)

  21. avatar MisterAmax says:

    So I’m in Oregon, a pic state. Always been auto approval or right out the door. Wtf is upin? Why would it ask for a POC state to care? I googled it and it sounds like a way to finger print you, make a profile, and bypass the min waiting period.

    After trying to understand more about NICs, I felt the fbi does everything they can to infringe on rights. Lol. I may be moving to Texas so…Ugh. I hate change. Anyone?

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      What is a “PIC” vs “POC” state?

      1. avatar MisterAmax says:

        Sorry, my phone has a mind of it’s own thanks to autocorrect. My question still stands. Why does a point of contact state need a upin for people?

        When I google information about it, it seems nothing more than a way to infringe on gun sales in states that use the FBI’s NICs.

  22. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    Ahh, I remember filling out that yellow form on my first gun, a Glock 22, probably about ten years ago? Only time I recall seeing it though, but it was a few more years before I got my second gat. Subsequent gun purchases have, thankfully, not given me sight of such a long reprieve since.

  23. avatar TFred says:

    The new form is now available on the ATF website.

    Regarding the new emphasis on completing the form on premises, what possible interest does the government have to justify this requirement? As we have seen from recent SCOTUS cases, the level of scrutiny for infringements on fundamental rights (such as the Second Amendment) require that the government have a compelling interest that cannot otherwise be met. How is that test satisfied by the geography of where one writes ink on a piece of paper?

  24. avatar Dennis says:

    Got my new stack in the mail about a week ago and they are the corrected new forms… surpirsed they got that part correct.

  25. avatar GW Grant says:

    Need to get Mr Trump on this ASAP and put a stop to this NONSENSE..

  26. avatar David says:

    I received a packet of the new ones last week. Can confirm, lots of changes.

  27. avatar fishydude says:

    One always has the Bubba Clinton defense. “I am not using any controlled substance at this moment while filling out this ATF form.” Therefore All is good. 😀

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      We have a certain current president who would have to use that reasoning if he ever wanted to buy a gun.
      Of course, he’ll have 24 hour armed protection, so why would he need one?

      1. avatar unknown says:

        We need to rescind & withdraw protection for this bastard & let him fend the hell for himself. WORST DAMN PRESIDENT EVER deserves absolutely NOTHING, end of story.

  28. avatar Mike C says:

    Somewhere out there, someone is saying:
    “They can have my bong when they pry my cold, dead fingers from my non-gun hand.”

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