Does the ATF Already Maintain a National Gun Registry?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (and Really Big Fires) is creating an “emergency” database of gun buyers who purchase “two or more rifles within any five consecutive business days with the following characteristics: (a) Semi automatic; (b) a caliber greater than .22; and (c) the ability to accept a detachable magazine.” Once activated, the ATF directive will apply to some 8500 gun dealer near America’s southern border for 180 days. The move has stirred-up a gun rights’ hornet’s nest, as well it should . . .

The initiative puts the ATF on a slippery slope towards a national gun registration scheme, with all the taxation, purchase restrictions and Katrina-esque federal gun grabbing (bye Dan) that implies. The only thing is, the ATF’s been slidin’ down that slope for some time.

If a federally-licensed gun dealer (FFL) goes out of business, the ATF takes possession of all records of all firearms sales since the dealer opened shop—often decades of customer data—and enters them into their eTrace database. That includes everything that’s on ATF Form 4473: name, address, date of birth, social security number, weapon or weapons purchased and serial numbers for same.

As the Wiki hive mind points out, this same data transfer occurs when a gun dealer leaves the trade:

The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into their “bound-book”. A dealer must keep this log the entire time they are in business and is required to surrender the log to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4.

Note the bit about inspection of the dealer’s “bound-book.” Once upon a time, this was done manually during inspections. These days, the ATF routinely photographs the contents of the bound book during inspections. TTAG has learned that the ATF is now entering this information into a database.

Nothing new there. Back in 2000, the ATF admitted that it was data-capturing Form 4473 info into its database without a warrant. Here’s a turn-of-the-century story from The Denver Post about a paperwork-aversive gun dealer named Jim Gowda.

[Inspector Chris] Eastburn entered the serial numbers of thousands of guns that had passed through Gowda’s hands into ATF’s national “suspect gun database,” in case they turned up later in criminal arrests . . .

In an interview, [Denver ATF enforcement chief Gerald] Petrilli said ATF routinely entered Trader Jim’s identifiable sales into its suspect gun database because “Mr. Gowda, as far as we’re concerned, was trafficking guns all over the place.”

Translation: if the ATF suspects a gun dealer of dealing guns illegally—without having to prove so to any judicial authority—the dealers’ legal sales are entered into the ATF’s eTrace system.

Flash forward and the ATF has developed a 4473 “eForm” whereby a gun dealer enters all the customer data into their computer, enabling more rapid and efficient transfer of the purchase information to the feds—as and when. Or . . . now?

Regardless, the bottom line remains the same: the ATF maintains a national gun registry. It may not be complete or up-to-date, but if you buy a gun through an FFL, the chances are the feds will keep a record of the transaction. Maybe not now, but soon. And forever.


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    “If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF.” Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

    It’s good to know that those jack-booted fascists will soon have my name in their database.

  2. avatar David says:

    1. There complaint is: There is about 8500 Gun Dealers Store Fronts Stores too. Lets cut off about 8200 Smaller Class-1 (01) & Class-2 Is (02) too. I agree! There is to many Firearms Dealers near the border of Mexico too. Do you agree! Lets in those Four States is around 500 F.F.Ls Retailers Dealers alone too! Let’s Striped There option License is N.F.A. License is Class-(09) Applications is off Limits too. The A.T.F will not processes Option License is Class-3 Gun Dealers Only too. Lets leave 300 Gun Dealers remained in business too Do you agree! cover 4 States of border of Mexico . too. The Mexico people would like it a lot too. I do agree! The A. T.F should cut off 8200 Un necessary Dealers out too. Close them down too. To many Guns going into Mexico too. Being sneak in by Drivers From Mexico too. It True!! A.T.F U.S.A. Border Patrol Should be aware of the Gun Running Problem too> it true> Wake Up smell the Coffee Or Tea too. do you agree? Yes? Or Disagree? No?

  3. avatar Revere Reaper says:

    They said you would not need them until they tried to take them away. Incrementalism is the mechanism of change to strip away personal freedom.You propose taking away people’s livelihoods and a funneling of locations where firearms may be lawfully procured for a defacto registration system and larger businesses such as sporting goods stores may be pressured to stop selling certain types of weapons. Repeal NFA and GCA and disband BATFE. Almost every firearms law and regulation is in fact a violation of the constitution. That is REAL Common Sense and not your pretzel logic put forth by Progressive Totalitarians (Marxist, Franfurt School, Fabians, etc.), the DNC, and the Military Industrial Media Complex. You must admit the current crew are strange bedfellows… This a Free Republic and not a Democracy. 1969: VC in the wire; 2009: VC in the White House!

  4. avatar David says:

    1.There is F.F.L.s (01) Regular Gun Dealers is 55,563 too . The total of Pawn Shop & Gun shop Gun dealers(02) is 7,551 too. The Total is left is in 50 States is left is( 63,114) Federal Firearm Licenses Retailer Store Gun dealers Regulars Sold Conventional Firearms & Semi auto Firearms Rifles ,Shotguns with up to 5 Rounds in chamber too! Semi auto Pistols is Limited up to: 10 Round Clips sold to the Law abiding Citizens Rights to have to owned them to defended agents Violent Criminals Ganges & Criminals Illegal Al liens Criminals kill U.S.a. Citizens are borne in the Country too! Do you agree! Yes Or Disagree? No? Why this? The number Of F.F.L.s Smaller Gun Dealers Store Fronts Had Dropped a lot too! It true! On 01/01/2015 There were about 64,747 Federal Firearms Licenses Gun Dealers When Obama was is Office too! As President of the United States a Democrat (D) is Very Anti Gun Left wing President too! For 8 Years i n Office too! It True!!! This is when the Number Of F.F.L.s Gun Dealers Retailers (01) & (02) Numbers took off too! Facts were there too! Now When Trump Is President of the U.S.A. Too! The Number Of F.F.L. Gun Dealer Retailers Smaller Stores Give up ;there F.F.L.s Licensees & there State Licenses of 15 States too! It true!! They don”t those Licenses to sell Firearms & Ammo no more too! There Numbers went way down alot too! It’s True! Guns Sales & Ammo is not as popular is before too! It true!!! We Lost The Number is: smaller Gun Dealers smaller Stores do sell Firearms & ammo too! Is decline A lot too !!! It true? There is (1633) Federal Firearms Licenses Retailer Gun Dealers Store Fronts is smaller Gun stores declined a lot in 50 States too! From 01/01/2015 A.D( To)01/01 2019 A.D too! Is 4 Years Span too ! True!!! The Change is Reduction of Smaller Gun Dealers (01) & (02) too! By (0.75)% Too! The Number Of N.F.A . Class-3 Is(01) with Tax Stamp is N.F.A too (09) & Tax Stamp is Black Color only too! Agree! Therese F.F.L.s Licenses Are not Gun Dealers Licenses :at all too. Agree!!!( They are Corporation Companies Or Companies inc, is a only is Businesses F.F.L.s Licensees only too! Is the— — The Import & Export is (08)& (011) Is Red tax stamp color only too! Agree! The N.F.A. Gun Mfg Is Class-2 is (010) Is a Gold Tax Stamp too! Agree!) Let”s keep it that way too! I agree! Yes? The Corporation Co .Corp ,inc Companies F.F.L.s Are (06) Cam apply for (08) F.F.L. License too! Stops Here too! Agree!!!Ammo mfrs (07) Regular Gun mfrs Regulars Companies only F.F.Ls Up to (08) Import Export only too! Stops here too! .Same Import & Export Companies only (08) & (011) too! The Regular Gun Mfrs is (07) Can apply for a (08) import & Export License too! The N.F.A. Gun Mfrs is (010)Gold tax Stamp License Company Can apply for Extension is (011) F.F.L.s License, is a Red Tax Stamp is allow to apply for a; Import & export N.F.A. license too! Only! Do you agree! Yes? Or Disagree? No? Why??

  5. avatar David says:

    1. The Number of smaller Gun Dealers Smaller Gun Stores needs to cut down a lot too! The Federal Laws Said is 1 Federal Firearms License Gun Dealer per 100,000 residences too! In every State too! Agree! Each State should count the Number Of People living in the Crowed States too! Let”s Cut down number Gun Dealers Retailers (01) & Pawn Shop & gun Dealers too! (02) of Extra Federal Firearms Dealers License & State Licenses in 15 States too. The A.T.F should do it job too! Cut off Federal Firearms Licenses & Sheriffs Dept should cut of State Licenses Renewals down a lot too! If a State has to many Smaller Gun Dealers retailer F.F.L.s Licenses & State Licenses too! If there to many Gun Dealers Smaller Stores too! They should go by population of each State In the U.S.A too! Agree! This will Cut the Guns off the Cities Streets Townships,Towns ,too! Do you agree!! Sir? & Mam? Yes? Or Disagree? No/ Why this Problem Starting now? Why??? The Extra Gun Dealers Federal Firearm License Gun Dealers Renewals Applications Is cut off too! In 15 States The State Licenses to Firearms State Wide Is issued by the Sheriffs Dept of State License is issued by the Country Sheriffs Dept office only by the The State they live in too! Do you agree!!! Yes? Or Disagree? No? why? Some States in the east cost have to many F.F.L.s Retailers Smaller Dealers need to Cut down by (0.78) % too Do you agree?( B. A.T.F.E.A.) Agency should do it too! I agree! Less Guns on the Cities, Townships , town Streets ,on eastern States too. Agree! Let”s Make The Firearms Decline by (077)% too! I do agree! Sir? & mam? Let”s get Started too. Cut off Renewals F.F.L. Applications off too! An State Licenses Applications is Cut off too! Between Half of Texas Up to IL State too! To many Crowed Gun Dealers is to many eggs in one nest too ! Then need to be thinned out by 3/4 too! agree! Smaller Gun Dealers Retailer Stores. too! agree!! The 1/3 of the U.S.a Map too! Agree!!! is 64,747 F.F.L.S is counted too!!! agree!!! Complaint is: Some States Is crowed with Smaller Gun dealers Retailer(01)(02) Regulars too. Agree! They need to Cut off There Renewals Applications is cut off too! Agree! If there to many smaller Gun Dealers Stores Fronts way to many too! They need to cut there F.F.Ls Off & State Licenses Off By the Country Sheriffs dept of the counties of those eastern States too Agree!!! Let”s get the ball rolling now!!! Go ! Go! Reason is: Fewer Guns off the Streets too! I agree!! Complaint is serious !!! Too!!!

  6. avatar David says:

    1 .note 8000 Gun Dealers need to cut off too! Cut of renuals Applications off too! An State Licenses (01)(02) And leave 500 Dealers alone too! There is to many Gun Dealers Retailer there at the Four States is California Arizona ,New Mexico, Texas too! Is four States too . The A.T.F need to do it now!!! I agree!

  7. avatar David says:

    1. The Federal U.S.A. Gun Dealer Retailers Store Front Business : is per 100,000 Residences; per 1 Federal Firearms License holder too! Is Class-1 Is (01) F.F.L.Or & Class-2- is (02) too! Agree!!!

  8. avatar David says:

    1. The total of regular Federal Firearms LIcense Holders Retailers regulars (01) is 55,000 too. The number of PawnShops&GunDealers is (02) 7000 too. The total of F.F.L.GunDealers 63,000 total too. They are still dealing by each month period to is fewer of the smaller Gun Dealers smaller F.F.L. Holders too.!true!

  9. 1. Most of the 39 States will melt those Crime Guns down too! They were used by Criminals Ganges too! Like foe example California Will melt those Crime Firearms down to liquid Metal too! Later They make Rebar Square Strips is 8 Feet long too! Some is made into Drain Covers for sour Pipes under the public Roads too! Some is mfg. Garden tools : shelves Products too. This is good Reason is to keep the Crime Guns the Criminals Used in the Crimes too! It true!!! To keep those Guns out of the Gun dealers Gun Stores too! Agree!!! I think all Local Police Depts. Town ships, Towns , Cities Police Depts. Counties Sheriffs Depts., of all Counties in 50 States too!! Some State Police of 25 States in all too. Are for it too! And The Highway Patrol & State Police of 25 States too! Warning the 11 States are trying to put Crime Bad Guns Back on the Gun Dealers (01)& (02) & Suspects is (09) N.F.A. Dealers Are Accepting Crime back in the Gun Dealers Weapons back on Shelves In Glass Classes for Hand Guns Revolvers & Semi Auto Pistols too! Why? How Come this racket is Starting in 11 States refused to melt those Gun in Steal mill too!!! The Complaint is ; not good thing to Start too! The Pawn Shops & gun Dealers are accepting Crime Guns in 11 States Will Not melt those Guns down too! Reason is Serial number is grinded off by Criminals too! It true!!! The Profit is some Police Depts. are selling gun to an Gun Dealers is regular F.F.L.s Retailer (01)Stores Fronts Gun Stores too! And Pawn Shops & gun Stores, (02) too! And some N.F.A Is Gun Stores Dealers is (09) too! Few are accept those Crime Guns to sell it back to ,the public too! And The Street Criminals do like it a-Lot too! They can rob those Stores to get those weapons back into there hands too. It true!!! This is why the Law needs to change to tell them those Guns don’t Belong on the Gun Dealers Shelves too! I agree!!! They need Change the Law to all Crime Guns need to be melted down too! They will keep the Law abiding Citizens safe too! Agree! Those 11 States Should Change the Law too. The State Assembly Need to change the Laws to melt all Crime Guns not allow in Gun Stores Shelves : The State senate should vote the same way to get all Crime Guns to be melted down too! Or not to be put in Gun Stores too the Gun Dealers will refused them, too! Get them melted to Still Mill too! I agree!!! You don’t want to put Blood Guns back in Gun Dealers Stores too! A lot of the Gun Dealers will Refused them not in there Gun Stores too! I agree!!! They can melt them to rebar steel Strips is 8 Feet long too! Or Drain Covers For Public Drains Sew line Drains Pipes under roads too! True!!! The 39 States are doing it too! To get rid of there, Pile of Crime Guns to be melted down too! Those Police depts. Must Get Help to Disposed those, Crime Guns to be melted down too! For Example Texas State has the Storied in warehouses too! And Chicago ILL has a warehouse full with Guns is Crime Guns too! They should be turned to the Federal Authorities is A.T.F. should take them to the Steel mills Melt liquid metal hot pots in Steel Mill Plants too! Make Rebar Strips An Drain Covers For Drain Pipes on public Roads Too! This will keep less Crime Guns off the Streets of Towns, Townships, Cities, Counties , State Highways too! Agreed !!! This Is Federal Law Saying Crime Guns should melted too! in Steel Mill too!!! in all Fifty Stats too!! Do you Agree? yes Or Disagree? No? Why this problem starting up now!!! why???

  10. avatar David says:

    1. The Federal Laws says is 1 Federal Firearms License Gun Dealer Regular per 100,000 Residences in the U.S.A. too! A Retailer Store Front Business.

  11. avatar David says:

    1. Federal Laws States: That All the 50 must complied with the Federal Law says is 1 Federal Firearms License Gun Dealer Retailer Store Front Retailers with no windows not allow on Building unit is a Gun Store by trade: (01) is Regular Gun Store too! Sporting Goods, Hunting, Fishing ,Gun Store , Pawn Shop Junk Store,& Gun Store to is (02) too! They Must Located in industrial Business location only ;is Commercial Industrial Block Zone location only too! Is Required by Zoning Commission : Of Enforced Building Codes Laws & Prosperity Zones Laws today on the Books today Up to Date Laws do Stand too! Do you Agree? Yes? P.S . This is enforced by the Town, Laws ,Township, Laws, Cities Laws, Country Laws, State Laws, & U.S.A. Federal Building Code Laws too! Do You Agree? Yes? Or Disagree? No? Why?

  12. avatar David says:

    1. The State Of Texas Has to many F.F.L. Gun dealers Smaller Gun Stores too! In 258 Counties too! The Population is 29,100,000 Residences living in the State of Texas too! True! The Federal Laws Said is 1 F.F.L. Gun Dealer Retailer Per 100,000 Residences too. of the population of People per Gun Dealer F.F.L. Holder Gun Retailer too! Agree! There is 5000+ Gun Dealers F.F.L.s in State Of Taxes to in 258 Counties too! Agree! The (Max cap Limit should be 291 F.F.L. Retailer Store Fronts Gun Sellers too!) They should be 25 miles Apart from each other too! In State Of Texas the Long Star State too! Agree! All the Extra Gun Dealers just to many ! The Applications Should be Cut off too! F.F.L.s (01)(02) an N.F.A Is (09) too! There Should be 2 N.F.A Gun Dealers is (09) is max Cap Limit for Texas State only too! Do you Agree? Yes ? Is High Crime State too> True!! Of to many Smaller Gun Dealers Retailers Smaller Stores too! Do you Agree! Yes ? The A.T.F should cut some them down a lot them too! Just to Many of them too! Agree!! This is the Reason is to many Guns on the City ,Towns, Townships , Counties , Streets too! It True!!!

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