USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world.
I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we’re talking about the changes to the ATF Firearms Transaction Record or as you probably know it the 4473. For those of you that never took note, that’s the form you fill out when buying a gun.
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Now, the new 4473 has to be used by licensees starting January 16, 2017. The old revision CANNOT be used after that date as it will be obsolete.
We’re going to break this down into two parts, changes that you the purchaser will see and then changes that the licensee will see.
So here’s the part for the purchaser, you. For those who were unsure as to how to designate your middle initial, the form now gives instructions to put the letters I O in quotations after that initial. I O as you may have guessed, stands for initial only. Further, if your last name contains a suffix such as junior, the third, etc,. you are to include that after your last name. You’ll notice that the old question 13, which was the purchasers state of residence no longer exists. It has been combined with question 2, the purchaser’s address, thus eliminating a redundant question.
One of the sections that a number of people always missed was answering not only the race but ethnicity question on the form. The instructions clarify that both must be answered. Yes, the ATF does separate race and ethnicity.
Perhaps the biggest changes that you as a purchaser will see on the form are in questions 11-13 or the bottom half of the form. Most of the questions which ask if you have been convicted of a crime or engage in some behavior or have some circumstance that would lead you to be prohibited are the same. One of those is found in question 11.e Which asks are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Sounds familiar right? The change comes in the big bold letters underneath the question, which state “Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
Yes, that’s right, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and regardless of whatever your state says, it is still a prohibiting factor to purchasing a gun.
A lot of people seem to think this is a new change, as far as the effect, but in all reality, it is just a warning label underneath to clearly denote to people that they cannot purchase a firearm if they are a user of marijuana as it is illegal at the federal level. I’ve included an open letter in the description from 2011 in which ATF addresses marijuana and firearm purchases.
The other big change that you’ll see is in questions 12-13, which used to be 11.k-15 on the old form. ATF consolidated and revised the citizenship and immigration questions to make them easier to follow. Question 12 was often answered by incorrectly because people would not read the instructions in Question 11.l which stated, if you answered “no” to this question, do NOT respond to question 12 and proceed to question 13. Resulting in many boxes in question 12 being marked “no”. The changes ATF made seem to make this area flow a little better and easier for people to comprehend. Lastly, the certification language, above the part where you sign and date, was changed for the person purchasing the firearm.
As far as changes the seller of the firearm will notice, in section B, the old alternate documentation box which was used if the ID did not show the current residence has been changed to supplemental government issued documentation if the identification document does not show the current residence address. Small change, same function. For those wondering what this did, it clarifies in the description that the supplemental documentation must be government issued.
Box 18.c has added clarity that if the individual is a nonimmigrant alien admitted to the United States, the seller must record the type of documentation showing exception to the prohibition and attached it to the form. There is now a box for the name of the employee who completed the form. This box is optional and not required but some licensees may elect to utilize it.
The no NICS check box for NFA firearms has had language revised to read no NICS check was required because a background check was completed during the NFA approval process on the individual who will receive the NFA firearm(s), as reflected on the approved NFA application. This is clearly meant to put it in line with ATF 41F.
Section D has a number of changes as well. They include instructions that the firearm information must be recorded even if it is not transferred, clarifies the recording of the manufacturer and importer of the firearm, reduces the number of firearms able to be recorded on the form itself from five to four (which may have had to do with spacing on the form itself), adds a checkbox to record that some of the firearms are part of a pawn transaction, adds a checkbox for private party sales and combined old questions 31 and 32, which relate to the trade name, address and ffl number.
The last change, other than the instructions section which I won’t cover, but I suggest you review, is the certification language for the seller. And you can thank me for some of the revision to that language. The changes include certifying that the form was completed at the licensed business premises unless the transaction meets the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 922(c) or the gun show exception and the transaction complies with State or local laws that are applicable to the firearms business. It also clarifies that unless the transaction has been denied or cancelled the seller certifies that it is his or her belief that it is not unlawful for him or her to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise dispose of the firearm(s) listed on the form to the person identified in Section A, the part the purchaser filled out.
Previously, the language had the seller rely on information published in ATF’s State Law and Published Ordinances which hadn’t been updated since 2011. Interestingly enough, ATF completely ignores one of its own regulations which states that the director shall annually update the book. Funny how that works, right?
Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of the new 4473 and what the changes were made. If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Have a question you want answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com for more information on my quest to serve YOU on the NRA Board of Directors.
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