Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
November 19, 2008
Contact: Robert Browning, Chief, PAD
ATF Releases Electronic Version of Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record, to Federally Licensed Gun Dealers
Computerized Form to Reduce Common Errors Made By Firearms Purchasers
Washington — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today the release of an electronic version of ATF Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record, which all firearms purchasers are required to complete before buying a gun from a federal firearms licensee (FFL). FFLs, also known as licensed gun dealers, may now elect to download and use the electronic form from the ATF website via a secure internet connection.
The E-Form 4473 should benefit gun dealers, large and small and is the latest example of ATF’s continuing effort to improve its service and support and its record processing requirements for industry members, said ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan.
E-4473 will substantially improve accuracy and completeness of the information that is required to be captured as part of the purchase and sale of firearms. Reducing and eliminating innocent mistakes or human error benefits the dealer and best serves the American public added Sullivan.
The e-4473 will help all firearms retailers, especially small independent dealers, by giving the federal firearms licensee an opportunity to reduce costs and further enhance compliance issues by eliminating — or at the very least reducing — innocent mistakes caused by human error, said Lawrence Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The e-Form 4473 is an automated software program designed to reduce errors and identify omissions through the use of prompts in the completion of the form. Through the use of pop-ups and warnings FFLs are alerted to possible prohibited transactions ensuring that firearms are kept out of the hands of prohibited persons, like felons and underage purchasers, as well as potential straw purchasers. Though the information is entered into a computer, the information is printed onto paper, and mirrors the approved, paper version of the ATF Form 4473, which is reviewed and certified by the seller and purchaser.
As a retailer who annually transfers over 200,000 firearms, this new tool will be a welcome addition to the firearm sale process. It will greatly assist our store personnel and our customers ensuring this crucial document is filled out properly, stated Matthew G. French, Vice President, Sportsman’s Warehouse.
Carl Roy, owner of Maryland Small Arms Range located in Upper Marlboro, indicated the form will aid firearms dealers with recordkeeping as well as reduce the possibility of errors during firearms purchases.
The e-Form 4473 may be downloaded from the ATF Web site at www.atf.gov/forms. The software is compatible with most personal computers and Macintosh workstations. It can be integrated into many industry members’ point-of-sale systems with minimal technical assistance. No fee is required to download the form. Firearms dealers may continue to use the current printed form if they prefer to do so.
ATF is the primary federal law enforcement agency dedicated to preventing gun-related, violent crime. More information on ATF and its programs is at www.atf.gov.