The Latest ATF 4473 Form Updates: Are You Prepared?

In December 2022, the ATF released an updated version of the ATF Form 4473, which is used to facilitate background checks for firearm purchases. The changes made to the form are intended to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the background check process and to ensure that individuals who are prohibited from purchasing firearms are not able to do so. These changes, however, do mean procedural changes for FFLs while completing a firearm sale. FFLs must begin using the updated form by April 1, 2023 to remain in compliance with ATF regulations.  

The Significant Changes

A detailed list of all changes made to the 4473 form can be found on the ATF’s website, but let’s walk through some of the changes that will require changes in procedures for retail operators.  

Privately Made Firearms

Any firearm received by the FFL that was privately made must now be recorded with a 4473 form. “Privately Made Firearm (PMF)” has been added to item 1, Section A. It now reads: “Manufacturer and Importer, if any or Privately made firearm (PMF) (If the manufacturer and importer are both different, include both)”.

Preventing Straw Purchases

Two more questions have been added to Section B (21b and 21c) to confirm the purchaser is not buying the firearm for a prohibited party.  

  • 21b: “Do you intend to purchase or acquire any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition, for sale of other disposition to any person described in questions 21(c)-(m) or to a person described in question 21.n.1 who does not fall within a nonimmigrant exception?”
  • 21.c.: “Do you intend to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition in furtherance of any felony or other offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than one year, a Federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking offense?”

Extended Waiting Period

To comply with the Bipartisan Safer Community Act’s 10-day waiting period on certain transfers involving transferees under the age of 21, Section C of the form has been revised, including a notice about transferees and buyers under 21.  

  • “Notice: If transferee/buyer is under 21, a waiting period of up to 10 days may apply where notification from NICS is received within 3 business days to further investigate a possible disqualifying juvenile record.  A NICS check is only valid for 30 calendar days from the date recorded in question 27a.”

Although there were many more updates made to the form, these are the three that would most affect day-to-day retail sales procedures. Compliance is more important now than ever before, so informing employees of the changes and making sure policies and procedures are in place to meet the new requirements is crucial.  

Bravo E4473 customers can rest easy knowing E4473 is updated to meet the requirements of the December 2022 form updates in the Q1 2023 product release, ahead of the mandatory adoption date of April 1, 2023. The update allows for easy adoption of the new form, with little to no training for staff or changes to processes– just follow the E4473 prompts as you always have!  

April 1 is just around the corner! Are you and your staff ready? Let’s talk.