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.
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.