What steps must a licensee take prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person?

The following steps must be followed prior to transferring a firearm:

1. The licensee must have the transferee complete and sign ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record.

2. The licensee must verify the identity of the transferee through a government–issued photo identification.

3. Unless an exception applies, the licensee must contact NICS through either the FBI or a State point of contact (POC). A licensee may not transfer a firearm unless the licensee receives a “proceed” response, or three business days have elapsed since the licensee contacted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and the system has not notified the licensee that the receipt of a firearm by such other person would violate the law. Licensees contacting the FBI directly and receiving a “delayed” response will receive information from the FBI indicating when the 3 business day time period elapses. A licensee may not transfer a firearm where a “denied” response is issued by NICS.

Last Reviewed September 13, 2017