The ATF’s New 4473 is Coming: Here are the Changes, Requirements, How to Get Them

Form 4473 and GLOCK (courtesy fbi.gov)

courtesy fbi.gov

By Ryan Cleckner

ATF’s new 4473 is now available for pre-order. The new 4473s will start shipping in late July 2020 and all FFLs must start using the new 4473 on November 1, 2020.

If you’re an FFL that would like updates on these topics or help understanding ATF Compliance requirements, you might want to check out RocketFFL’s ATF Compliance program.

4473 Background

The ATF Form 4473 is the form used when purchasing a firearm from a gun store. The 4473 is filled out by the purchaser and includes information about both the purchaser and the firearm(s).

The purchaser includes their personal identifying information and current residential address (which must generally match their government issued photo ID) and they answer a series of questions to ensure that they are not a prohibited person (someone who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition).

The form is also used by Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs), who are gun dealers/operate gun stores, to record any relevant background check information about the purchaser as well as information about the FFL.

This is an incredibly important form for ATF compliance – it accounts for 7 out of the top 10 violations from the ATF every year.

ATF’S New 4473

There are a handful of changed to the 4473 that the ATF announced on December 26, 2019 for public comment and which are now going into effect on the new firearm transaction form.

The most notable changes are the inclusion of the firearm information at the top of page one instead of page three, the change of “county” to “county/parish/borough,” and the addition of “non-binary” to the gender.

There are, of course, other changes but they are not as significant as these and they apply mostly to the FFLs.  There is a full breakdown of each change, and what it means for FFLs, in the RocketFFL compliance program.

New 4473 Deadline

The new 4473s, which can be pre-ordered now and will start shipping by late July 2020, are required as of November 1, 2020.

The current 4473s must be used until this date. The e4473 system should be updated by then but FFLs shouldn’t risk their business on it. Pre-order some paper copies now just in case.

4473 FAQ

Q: When are the new 4473 forms available?
A: The new 4473s are available for pre-order now.

Q: Where can I get the new 4473?
A: The new 4473 can be pre-ordered on the ATF’s website.

Q: When will the new 4473s start shipping?
A: The ATF plans to start shipping the new 4473s by the end of July 2020.

Q: When must FFLs start using the new 4473?
A: The new 4473s must start being used on November 1, 2020.

Q: Does the new 4473 affect individuals?
A: Yes, the new 4473 will affect individual purchasers the next time they purchase a gun from an FFL.

 

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

This post originally appeared at gununivesity.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar anarchyst says:

    The 4473 is being changed to facilitate a “registration scheme” that, by law, they are not permitted to do. This is an end-run around the “no registration” mandate. This is why the firearms information is on the first page.
    Sneaky bastards…

    1. avatar That Jason says:

      Bullcrap.

      Order of fields is completely irrelevant.

      Take any multiple page document. Lay it out. Take a picture with an Android phone and it’ll tell you what the text is.

      Image to text is trivial, even across many pages, with nothing more than the technology in your pocket

      1. avatar Dave says:

        Absolutely. The ATF is a bastion of honesty, forthrightness and good LEO’s who would never do anything like keep illegal records of firearms purchases, or do anything that would make doing such a thing even slightly more convenient to do. Like putting the gun information on the same page as the buyers personal info. Pure conspiracy theories. 🙂

        1. avatar That Jason says:

          It’s not even slightly.

          It doesn’t matter in the slightest.

          I don’t need to invent things to be afraid of; but by all means, wallow in your determined and fearful ignorance.

        2. avatar MontanaActual says:

          Jason, you don’t need to live in fear, but ignorance is bliss apparently, and you seem awfully careless.

      2. avatar Dave says:

        Just having fun. If you can’t take a joke. Not my problem

    2. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

      anarchyst, I think your tin-foil hat is on a bit too tight.

    3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      I purchased a Glock 44 this past weekend during a price drop and was handed a ‘android’ type tablet to complete the 4473. This was in turn sent to a printer.
      If I remember correctly the order of the screens was not the same as the form itself. Not too keen on this, would rather have the paper type I think.

    4. avatar Don from CT (ex-FFL) says:

      It doesn’t change anything about the process.

      And the 4473s still reside with the FFL. They are no sent to the ATF unless/until the dealer gives up his license.

      1. avatar mirgc says:

        You might want to go talk to some mom-pop FFL’s.

        Last decade, it wasn’t unheard of for ATF agents to take pics of peoples 4473s who bought multiple AR-15 lowers. The reason given when the FFL owner asked what the agent was doing? “training materials”. It may be illegal and shady, but a store owner would have to make the decision if they want to challenge someone who could shut down their business for literally missing dotting an “i” or crossing a “t”.

        1. avatar John Walker says:

          Don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but that never happens at our shop.

    5. avatar binder says:

      The primary reason for the 4473 has nothing to do with tracing “crime” guns or the register firearms. Has everything to do with trying to slow down overt gun running.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Except that it’s not even remotely effective at doing that, either.

        It has no purpose, at all.

    6. avatar Richard L Silva says:

      Before the ATF made the changes to the 4473 they sent agents out to various small gun shops across the US where they took pictures of various 4473s each store had on record. This was a test flight for the new 4473s. The ATF doesn’t have the power or authority to make the changes. Only Congress can make the changes, part of the regulation commerce clause of the Constitution. What the ATFis doing is illegal and unconstitutional.

  2. avatar Covfefe-19 says:

    Great! I’m glad that I have all the guns that I need. I just need to buy all of the guns that I want before November 1.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Great! I also have all the ones I need (a lot), and half of them I built myself from 80% frames. The other half I inherited. A couple of “gray area” items…well, first rule about Fight Club, and all that.

      Glad I don’t need to put up with any of that 4473 nonsense. Build your own Glocks, 1911s, and ARs. Uncle Sam has no need to know about your property.

    2. avatar arc says:

      I’m going to save my money and invest in a machine shop and lifetime tools, no paperwork there. Other priorities and a lot of them right now, maybe in five years.

  3. avatar CTstooge says:

    “Non-Binary Gender.” Awesome.

    1. avatar John Bryan says:

      Oh, “gender”…I thought they were asking about non-binary TRIGGERS…never mind…

    2. avatar DinWA says:

      Yes / No / Maybe

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        I would think a simple ‘Male – Female – Alternative’ cover all contingencies…

        1. avatar DinWA says:

          …. all of the above … none of the above … check all that apply …

        2. avatar Big E says:

          Actually “Male- Female” covers all the alternatives.

          You can pretend to be whatever you want, but your chromosomes (and everyone else) don’t have to play along.

          Of all the PC nonsense “choosing” your gender is THE most preposterous, and that is saying something.

        3. avatar Johnny IndigoBlue says:

          In all actuality 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 babies are born yearly as what is termed as a hermaphrodite. These children are outside the simple box of the male/female gender. The X and Y chromosomes are often accompanied by a third companion showing them to be sexed differently. Look it up. Binary happens to be a fair descriptive of these individuals. Sorry folks, science wins here.
          Before you go all hissy on me, I’m a retired Reverend and I do a lot of research. No sense being ignorant.

        4. avatar American Patriot says:

          There also Siamese twins born every year too, but I don’t see a box for that???

    3. avatar Ross says:

      With gender dysphoria being a mental illness how many FFL’s are going to get jammed up on that.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Can they put you in prison if you claim to be a fruit and later discover you are not?

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Like for when there are times you feel like nut, and sometimes you don’t?

          (Oh, the crap swirling around inside my 70’s programmed brain…)

        2. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          Why couldn’t they have put the dark chocolate from the mounds on the almond joy? The Peter Paul Candy Co blew it with that.

        3. avatar Roger Ramjet says:

          Or the other way around?

      2. avatar Ty King says:

        You have to be adjudicated to be mentally ill to be a prohibited person, not simply have a mental illness. Frickin social anxiety is a mental illness.

        1. avatar American Patriot says:

          Just being a democRat is a mental illness!

        2. avatar Ross says:

          It would be nice if that logic applied to both sides but clearly it does not.

        3. avatar Roger Ramjet says:

          Doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I get most of my gunz using the “gunshow loophole”. Or from a guy we call Tony the Rusty Blade. He sells ’em out of the trunk of his 1975 El Camino. If I learned anything from the democrats, it’s “the law don’t matter”.

      3. avatar Dan says:

        There are a very small number of people who suffer from congenital abnormalities and really don’t have a clear gender. Granted is rare, but some states do put something other than M/F on the birth certificate and then the DMV follows suit. The 4473 should match the ID. Period.

        1. avatar guest says:

          The correct info goes on the 4473, even if the licence doesn’t match. You then provide alternate documentation that shows the correct info.

    4. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      [ X ] Meat Popsicle

      1. avatar DinWA says:

        Ooh, I remember that one:

        https://youtu.be/xibUoGUcjc4

    5. avatar Don from CT says:

      Really?? Who cares. The more shooters we can get, the stronger we are.

  4. avatar American Patriot says:

    Paper? I’ve used .pdf electronic files for over 10 yrs now!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Them only a idiot would buy from you.

      Once digital it NEVER goes away. See the copcam from 2017 of Arbury

      1. avatar American Patriot says:

        Don’t be an Idiot……Whoops too late!

  5. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Go FTF private, or build your own. Screw the ATF.

    1. avatar MontanaActual says:

      That’s the only thing I read too. Stop buying guns, start making them and never ask permission. Fuck all alphabet Bois.

    2. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      Our government at various levels is working hard to make those options illegal as well. They don’t want private transactions, 3D printed guns or parts, 80% builds, or homemade guns. In a number of states those aren’t even options anymore. You have to go through an FFL, register for a serial number for homemade guns, etc.

      Meanwhile the criminals, regardless of the rules, will always do black market sales, face to face illegal transfers (because they are both prohibited), straw buys, and make weapons.

  6. avatar GunnyGene says:

    And while I’m at it, use cash. Don’t leave a paper trail.

  7. avatar enuf says:

    Just “Binary” or “non-binary” are weird terms for humans. I think of binary as computer data, ones and zeroes. Not as a gender.

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      It makes sense…kinda…sorta if you look at it from a computer engineering perspective.

      If you think of “1’s” and “0’s” as analogues to human external genitalia then non-binary means that you identify as a Null Set (which does not contain anything).

  8. avatar RGP says:

    No sir Mister Confiscator, I didn’t buy that, and I can’t believe some non binary fruitloop used my identity to buy a gun!

  9. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    Page order makes little difference, if an individual is being background checked, firearm information should be eradicated from the form.

    1. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

      Yep, it shouldn’t be on the first page of the form along with the information about the purchaser.

      Simple fact is that separating those bits of information does make converting the information more difficult in a mass conversion scheme because those pages would have to be processed through automated paper handling scanners and these would be lowest bidder devices more subject to jams. Anything that reduces the efficiency of any future database creation is a good thing and anything that makes that database easier to create is a bad thing. sure your android phone could do the conversion with you turning the pages, but that is no more efficient than a data entry person doing it manually from the form.

      1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

        My point being that firearm information should be eliminated from the form entirely. What firearm I purchase is unnecessary information for a background check.

      2. avatar Dan says:

        I have never understood the point of trying to hide your guns from the ATF. Imagine you had a machine gun in 1933 and the next year when the NFA passed you said “I’m not going to register. I’ll just bury it in my back yard.” What have you accomplished? Either it just sits there providing you with no benefit, or you get caught a few decades later and just go to prison. If it’s time to bury your guns, then it’s time to dig them up. Everyone has to push back at the same time or it does no good. If you found that machine gun buried in your grandfather’s back yard and decided that this was the time for “I will not comply”, you would have no impact. You would just be seen as a nut with an illegal gun. If an entire class of people are pushing back it’s viewed far differently.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Spoken like a true defeatist.

      3. avatar Dave says:

        I could be wrong but I think the location of the buyer info in relation to the gun info was actually a point of contention decades ago. There were concerns of a computerized registry as far back as the 70’s.
        Someone with better Google-fu than I might be able to find a historical reference to that.

  10. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Here’s the thing with having a “non-binary” choice on the 4473. If you put “non-binary” down and your ID says “male” or “female”, they can deny your purchase. Run that thru NICS and you get flagged. Fun.

    1. avatar Casey says:

      So, no downside?

  11. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    the change of “county” to “county/parish/borough,”

    Fucking FINALLY! I am so tired of people writing “USA” in that box. They probably could’ve just gotten rid of that box, too.

    1. avatar Wolverines!!! says:

      The people that write “USA” for the county are likely the same people that wouldn’t know what a parish or borough is anyway.

      Plus, people that do that see what they want to see when reading county, so they’re still going to screw that up.

      I see it all the time at work and I don’t deal with 4473s.

      1. avatar Bigred2989 says:

        The point isn’t that they know those things but their presence in the box makes them read it more carefully and realize “this does not say ‘country'”. We get a lot of first time buyers and these people don’t get they can’t purchase if the form isn’t perfect, so you end up standing over their shoulders and chiming in when they get to the “county” box or else we have to rip the form up and start over.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          So keep doing your part and quit whining about it. You should be telling them how much bullshit the whole form is.

        2. avatar guest says:

          Bruh. They just strike it through with a single line, put the correct info in, and initial. Mistakes happen and most of them except the disqualifiers you can correct.

  12. avatar Kendall S says:

    There is going to be a mad dash for guns again.

  13. avatar Billb says:

    The “binary” addition makes this total b/s and shows there has been some form of liberal input…. adding something that shouldn’t be anywhere on any form except when checking into a mental institution.

    1. avatar American Patriot says:

      The “binary” check box should automatically indicate you are mentally unfit to buy a gun & would then be Denied upon sending to the ATF!

    2. avatar Chadwick says:

      The way I see it… We can lie about our sex/gender now and are given full freedom to lie about anything else on this null and void document. I identify as a potato that lives in Hawaii. None of that is fact, but when hey… They started it.

  14. avatar neiowa says:

    Would I be correct in assuming there was ZERO change to the thugs form as a result of the “public comment” period (eyewash drill)?

    1. avatar N says:

      Yes that is correct every time.

  15. avatar Don The Con says:

    Thanks again, Don the Con!

  16. avatar Dan says:

    The FFL shouldn’t be in the position of arbitrating a customer’s gender. For that matter they shouldn’t be in the position of calling out a lady that puts 120 lbs on the form when she’s clearly almost double that. They should simply be responsible for checking that what is on the form matches what is on your ID and some states have that option on their IDs.

  17. avatar Nigel the expat says:

    I foresee a lot of ‘non-binary’ submissions henceforth.

    f’em.

  18. avatar John Hull says:

    The ATF is not our friend and never has been. Individual agents may be good decent people, but the organization itself is not. It has been slapped down numerous times over the last 50 years for trying to establish defacto registration that would enable them to keep track of who owns what and how many guns. Many of us who have worked in the gun business in the past know this, and there are numerous incidents that demonstrate their less than stellar record when it comes to obeying the Constitution. Anyone recall Ruby Ridge, Waco, Kenyon Ballow, and a bunch of other screwups on the part of the ATF?

    1. avatar Jayk74 says:

      Don’t forget the one where some atf b*tch stomped a kitten to death

    2. avatar Chadwick says:

      No, the individual agents are just as culpable and despicable. It’s like saying there were some good guys that worked for the nkvd, but the organization was set up to kill or enslave those who would speak out against the regime.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        There were no good nazis……and there are no “good“ aft agents.

        If you believed in the constitution and the rule of law you would not even consider working for an authoritarian totalitarian agency with a clearly unconstitutional objective, track record and agenda.

        I wouldn’t have one for a friend. I wouldn’t trust their testimony in court, they should NOT have qualified immunity and I want the home addresses of every single employee in a published public record.

  19. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m going to sue the ATF over this.

    I identify as a 400MHz Intel PII which is socially non-binary yet also binary.

    The ATF isn’t allowing me to properly fill out this form, meaning I can’t legally buy a gun with committing a process crime. That’s a denial of my rights and, more importantly, it hurts my feelz.

    I’m going to need the ATF to cease production and use of 4473s until this can be properly remedied and also $100 million.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      I really hope you do that, just for the Lulz.

      (And how is ‘Lulz’ supposed to be pronounced, anyways? Like a ‘lull in the action’?)

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Personally, I pronounce it as you suggest. “Lulls”.

        But then, on alternate Tuesdays I identify as an autistic seven year old with a speech impediment and a penchant for boobs, until around 2200, when I transition into an attack helicopter, or a 1988 Xerox copier, or a 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV (depending on the moon) for Wednesday.

        And today is a Tuesday with a waning crescent moon…

        1. avatar Chadwick says:

          Ah..structured madness is the best kind!

  20. avatar Kwestions says:

    So… gender isn’t important anymore, but whether or not you are specifically hispanicis? I can just hear the police radio now: “suspect is a hispanic….. uh…”

    1. avatar Kwestions says:

      Edit Colin sorry about the the typos but the point remains.

  21. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    If they haven’t implemented a scheme to confirm that the applicant’s picture on his Driver’s License or Non-Driver ID matches that on file with his DMV file, then they’ve done nothing to prevent someone from giving a fake driver’s license where everything is legit at the DMV *except* the photo. It’s called “identity theft” – and as far as I can tell, that would work.

    Fine with me.

  22. avatar pigs are not perfect says:

    Non-binary??? I IDENTIFY as a government agency now where are my post 86 machine guns?

    1. avatar after 16 hrs at 225 degrees, pigs ARE perfect says:

      Yeah, me too! And I want my MTV along with ’em!

  23. Unconstitutional Big Brother Horseshit 🐎 💩…Designed to weigh YOU down and burden you with paperwork…Until your brain hurts…The same for our broken healthcare system….

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