If you would like to purchase a firearm in the United States, you must submit a form. This form is called the Firearms Transaction Record, and it is also referred to as the 4473 form. On this page, you can learn more about what it does, how to fill it out, as well as consequences if you neglect the form.
What is Form 4473?
Form 4473, also referred to as the Firearms Transaction Record, is a form popularized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The ATF is part of the United States Department of Justice. If a person wants to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder, this form has to be filled out. For example, if you want to purchase a gun or another firearm from a gun shop, you need to provide this form.
Keep in mind that these forms are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974. Much like with tax returns, the information on Form 4473 can only be disclosed to others in accordance with this act. But, keep in mind that private dealers don’t have to adhere to these disclosure restrictions.
Filling Out the Form
On Form 4473, you need to provide some personal information. This includes information such as:
- Your name.
- Your address.
- Your date of birth.
- National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) transaction number.
- Government issued photo identification.
- A short statement that you are eligible to buy firearms according to federal law.
You also need to fill out the make, model, or serial number of the firearm you wish to purchase.
The firearm dealer will copy all of your information from Form 4473 into a special book. This book is the Acquisition and Disposition Log. If the ATF asks for a copy of your Form 4473 during a criminal investigation, they are required to hand it over. Dealers are also required to report certain kinds of sales to ATF. For example, any sale of two or more handguns within a five day period to one person must be reported. The dealer is required to keep this information on file for at least twenty years. When the dealer retires from the firearm business, they have to surrender their Acquisition and Disposition Log to the ATF.
If you want to buy a firearm from a person who is not a licensed dealer, most states won’t require that you fill out Form 4473. However, if purchasing a handgun from a private individual, Form 4473 has to be filled out before the sale can take place.
Inaccurate Forms Also Known as “Lie and Try”
If you purposefully lie on your Form 4473, you are subject to a felony. The consequences are as much as five years in prison and a fine. This is the case even if NICS denies the transaction. Prosecution of this crime is common in Connecticut by the United State’s Attorney’s office, and it is not something that you should take a chance with. Avoid lying on your Form 4473 at all costs.
If you are facing a violation for inaccurate information on a 4473 form, contact a Form 4473 defense attorney. We can assist you with fighting this issue.