A lot of folks have expressed concern, to put it mildly, about the revelation of what we all knew all along: that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and Really Big Fires has created quite a database on American gun sales. While there’s nothing good (or legal) to come from a government registry of firearms owners and their holdings, old gun purchase forms remain of limited value at best.
From the Washington Free Beacon . . .
The Biden administration is in possession of nearly one billion records detailing American citizens’ firearm purchases, far more than Congress and the public has been aware of, according to new information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The ATF disclosed to lawmakers that it manages a database of 920,664,765 firearm purchase records, including both digital and hard copy versions of these transactions.
These are records from FFLs that have closed up shop. Some of those records are no doubt thirty-plus years old.
Old Form 4473s, the form federally licensed gun dealers require purchasers to complete which includes the purchased gun(s) make, model, caliber and serial number are a lot like sales leads. Why? Because like sales leads, the information on those 4473s ages rather quickly to the point of becoming of questionable value after a few years at most.
How so, you ask? People move, people die, and people buy and sell guns on a regular basis. Unless a state (such as Illinois) has a mandate that sellers retain the buyer’s information for a certain period of time (it’s 10 years in the Land of Lincoln), I suspect most gun owners don’t retain that information.
Even if someone didn’t sell a particular gun they purchased from a traditional dealer, it would be difficult for authorities to prove that the original buyer still has it after a few years. And the difficulty would increase sharply after ten or twenty years.
After all, not only do people buy and sell guns privately, but boating accidents happen with regularity as well.
Obviously guns which are purchased “without paperwork” in private sales will command a premium price among some, even in good times.
But for everyone else, the fact that the incompetents who toil away in the Biden regime have themselves a mountain of digitized 4473s isn’t something most of us should lose a whole lot of sleep about.