GOP House Bill Would Delete 4473 Race Questions


Two GOP lawmakers, Representatives Diane Black of Tennessee and Ted Poe of Texas, are pushing legislation that would have the government go “color blind” when guns are purchased. They seek to have the race section of form 4473 removed in an effort to not only simplify the process, but to keep the ATF from being racist. The bill has 11 co-sponsors so far and is moving through the House Judiciary Committee . . .

This intrusive reporting requirement by ATF is nothing more than backdoor gun control,” Black told in a written statement. “An individual’s race and ethnicity has nothing to do with their ability to safely own a firearm. The government should be color blind on all of our rights – including the Second Amendment. Law-abiding citizens should never have to play 20 questions with Uncle Sam just to access their fundamental rights to keep and bear arms,” Black said.

In 2012, the ATF changed their 4473 form to ask about the race of the gun purchaser. Gun store owners can suffer fines or worse for allowing gun buyers to skip this section of the form.


Many gun rights groups, including the NRA support the proposal. Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, doesn’t pull any punches:

“Am I accusing the ATF of racism?” Michael Hammond, legislative counsel at Gun Owners of America, told The Hill. “You’re absolutely right I am.”

The ATF is of course defending the current 4473 form because they claim that race is necessary to help them solve gun crimes and trace the guns used illegally. They claim it is to help “ensure the correct identification of the original purchaser of the gun.”


  1. avatar Bob108 says:

    They claim it is to help “ensure the correct identification of the original purchaser of the gun.”

    That is pure BS.

    First, there is other information on that form that during an investigation will lead an investigator to other records to get their race. Second, as I have read, most gun crimes are committed with stolen guns…so what difference does it make if the race is called out on the form. Third, in today’s world, race is subjective. I am part Native-American and White. What should I chose? If I chose Native-American, will that help identify me? No.

    Like I said, their statement is pure BS. They are either racists or they are collecting this information for political demographics.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “I am part Native-American and White. What should I chose? If I chose Native-American, will that help identify me?”

      It is even worse than that. It gives our beloved federal government grounds to prosecute you for providing false information on the form — which is a “crime”. If you check the caucasion box, they can say that you are Native-American and you lied so you go to prison. If you check the Native-American (or whatever the appropriate category) box, then they can say that you are caucasion and you lied so you go to prison.

      Like almost everything else, it is yet another “mine” in the minefield that is our firearm laws. Make one wrong step and KABOOM!

      1. avatar CAG404 says:

        I don’t know, uncommon_sense….if the federal government can figure out that Elizabeth Warren is not Native American and not hold her accountable for false claims as such, how are they supposed to know if a no-name guy like me is white, black, asian, etc.? LOL.

        1. avatar boardsnbikes says:

          Know your place. One is accountable because one is a no-name-guy.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Oh come on.

      You don’t think that knowing some guy’s race is the most important factor in tracking him down? It’s not like the form has his name, address, and driver’s license number on it…oh wait…

      But if he provides a false name, address, and license, the ATF can look at the name and gender questions to narrow it down to a mere ten or twenty million people. At that point the case is practically solved.

  2. avatar nynemillameetuh says:

    Republicans actually believe what Democrats only pretend to believe in. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, though.

  3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    And how often does ATF use any information on a form 4473 to solve a crime? I call shenanigans.

    I think ATF being involved period is unnecessary. I should be able to purchase a firearm using nothing more than my Indiana LTCH. After all, it proves that I’ve undergone a background check, and am not a so-called “prohibited person”.

  4. avatar DoomGuy says:

    How about republicans do something useful and introduce a bill eliminating the 4473 entirely?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Or use this as a vehicle to repeal the Hughes amendment.

      1. avatar DoomGuy says:

        True, but then that would get in the way of them selling us out in favor of nominating anti-gun thugs like lynch.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Blocking Lynch’s nomination would have been pointless. She’s only AG for eight months anyway. The Demokkkrats aren’t stupid enough to ride the anti-gun bandwagon during an election season.

        2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          @pwrserge It was only “pointless” because the Republican leadership doesn’t know how to play hardball against the Democrats. Instead, they get trolled by Eric Holder, POTUS and a couple of Democrat senators with the race card and fold.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          No… It’s pointless because it would give the DemoKKKrats more ammo in what’s promising to be a critical election year. She only has eight months to do anything and if we elect a GOP candidate like Walker or Cruz her successor is going to be much more acceptable to the people of the gun.

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        @pwrsurge. Um… a ban on the manufacutre of new machine guns? What does that have to do with the stupid 4473 form? How can the one be used as leverage for the other? They are about as far apart as gun law issues can be.

        It’s slightly more likely this could be used as leverage to get rid of other stupid laws, though I realize they don’t gore your particular ox.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Well, if that amendment is repealed, it severely undercuts any bans on weapons by type. The original amendment was passed in the dead of night with some serious legislative douchebaggery. I’d say throwing the DemoKKKrat race card back in their face and using it to push through something that would otherwise be hard to pass would be an amusing way to hoist the liberals by their own petards.

        2. avatar SteveInCO says:

          I still don’t see how repealing the race question can be used as leverage to get rid of the Hughes amendment (I know its sordid history). And since what you wrote has nothing to do with THAT, I obviously managed to miss your point somehow. In any case it would be more fruitful, perhaps, to go after the silencer and short barrelled bans, at this time. Those can be used as a precedent for the “machine gun” issue.

          Personally I think the Hughes Amendment and the full auto parts of the NFA are the very LAST things we will be able to repeal simply because “machine guns” are doubleplusscary to the uninformed and the grabbers will use that (hell, they try to convince the public that off the shelf AR-15s are full auto, for that reason). Not that I don’t think all that crap should be repealed, but going after it in preference to other targets is like attempting an airborne invasion of Berlin and Tokyo on December 8, 1941. That territory is just too well defended right now.

    2. avatar Benny the Jew says:

      Give the man a cigar! Exactly what I came to post. Just delete the 4473 already, useless piece of garbage that it is.

      On an unrelated note, Mr. DoomGuy, thanks for killing all those demons and zombies in space and here on Earth. Super helpful of you!

      1. avatar DoomGuy says:

        “On an unrelated note, Mr. DoomGuy, thanks for killing all those demons and zombies in space and here on Earth. Super helpful of you!”

        Just doing my job. >:) *rip and tear; rip and tear*

  5. avatar blahpony says:

    So the bill to remove the race question as being racist could actually be known as the Poe Black Bill?

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      Ok, if anything on the internet is worth of a LOL – That is.

    2. avatar DanielB says:

      You sir have won the internet today!

  6. avatar CAG404 says:

    Yawn. What would impress me is if legislators told the ATF to get rid of the 4473 altogether.

  7. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I can totally see Barack O’Bama signing this bill into law. He’s all about easing racial tension and reigning in federal bureaucracies.

    1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      BHO all for easing racial tensions? ……………ooooohhh wait…….the Gov is just joking….

  8. avatar JasonM says:

    It’s a good start.
    Only 35 more questions to go…

  9. avatar lurker_of_lurkiness says:

    Delete the question by deleting the form!

  10. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Do it!

  11. avatar Swarf says:

    I hate that question. On all forms. Whenever there is an “other” option, I check it. Whenever there is a write in space, I enter “mutt”.

    I look white (whatever that means, really), but I am Black Irish, British, Native American and Central African in that order and certainly more if you keep tracing back.

    What box do I check? Fu*k your boxes.

  12. avatar Cowboy T says:

    I’m all for this. Remember, folks, even a small victory is still a victory. None of those ridiculous racial categories really describe what I look like, either.

    – T

  13. avatar BlueBronco says:

    That pic posted is prior to the 2012 form. The 2012 form added a box for Hispanic or nonhispanic.

  14. avatar BlueBronco says:

    The fact that ATF is claiming this helps trace crime guns is ludicrous. What they are hoping is to get de facto registration so they can then make insidious use of this info. This info is currently mostly in bound books at the dealers.

    1. avatar A McBeth says:

      Oh, you mean the bound book that is supposed to remain at the retailer’s location that the ATF takes away and copies to create an illegal registry of gun owners?

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