ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record Has Been Revised 2016-2017

Form 4473
ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record Has Been Revised 2016-2017
Orchid Advisors
Orchid Advisors

U.S.A.-( ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473) has been revised. This article highlights the significant changes to the form. It is highly suggested that you review the entire revised form including all of the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions.

All Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) must begin using this form (see below) on January 16, 2017. After that date, you may no longer use the previous edition (April 2012) of the Form 4473 as it will be obsolete.

The significant changes to Form 4473 for 2017 include:


  • Form Title: Removed “Part I-Over-the-Counter”
  • Warning Statement: Clarifies that the form is to be completed at the licensed premises unless the transaction qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922(c).


  • Question 1: Clarifies that transferee’s/buyers with a legal name that contains an initial only should record “IO” after the initial. Also clarifies that transferee’s/buyers with a legal name that contains a suffix (e.g., Jr, Sr, II, III) should record the information with their last name.
  • Question 2: Incorporated State of Residence information from former Question 13.
  • Question 6: Changed “Gender” to “Sex”
  • Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Clarifies that both questions must be answered
  • Question 11.e: Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.

     Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized
    Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized
  • Questions 12.a – 12.d and 13: (Formerly Questions 11.k – 12 and 14 – 15): Regrouped and revised the citizenship and immigration status questions to make them easier to follow.
  • Transferee/Buyer Certification: Clarifies that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is violation of Federal law.


  • Question 18.b (Formerly Question 20.b): Changed to “Supplemental Government Issued Documentation (if identification document does not show current residence address
  • Question 18.c (Formerly Question 20.c): Changed to “Exception to the Nonimmigrant Alien Prohibition: If the transferee/buyer answered “YES” to 12.d.2. the transferor/seller must record the type of documentation showing the exception to the prohibition and attach a copy to this ATF Form 4473.”
  • Question 19.d (Formerly Question 21.d): Added a check box for “Overturned” transactions.
  • Question 19.g (Added to Form): “Name of FFL Employee Completing NICS check. (Optional)”.
  • Question 20 (Formerly Question 22): Clarifies that a NICS check is not required if the individual receiving the firearm was subject to a background check as part of the NFA approval process.


  • Header: Added instruction that the firearm information must be recorded even if the firearm(s) is/are not transferred.
  • Question 24 (Formerly Question 26): Changed to “Manufacturer and Importer (If any)” to reflect the language in 27 CFR 478.125(e).
  • Question 24 – 28 (Formerly Question 26 – 30): Removed line 5 and added line numbers.
  • Multiple Sale: Added “REMINDER – By the Close of Business” to the beginning of the sentence for clarification.
  • Question 29 (Formerly Question 30.a): Clarifies that “zero” should be recorded if no firearm(s) is/are transferred.
  • Question 30 (Formerly Question 30.b): Changed to a check box and added an instruction to record the line number(s) involved in the pawn redemption.
  • Question 32 (Added to Form): A check box to indicate that the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Question 33 (Formerly Questions 31 – 32): Combined the two questions.
  • Transferor Certification: Revised language to certify that the form was completed at the licensed business premises unless the transaction meets the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 922(c) and the transaction complies with State or local laws that are applicable to the firearms business. Clarifies that unless the transaction has been denied or cancelled the transferor/seller certifies that it is his/her belief that it is not unlawful for him/her to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise dispose of the firearm(s) listed on this form to the person identified in Section A.


  • Purpose of the Form – Paragraph 2 (Added to Form): “Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises only if the transferee/buyer meets certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in section 922(c), 27 CFR 478.96(b), and ATF Procedure 2013-2.”
  • Purpose of the Form – Over-the-Counter Transaction (Formerly Paragraph 4): Removed from form.
  • Purpose of the Form – State Laws and Published Ordinances (Formerly Paragraph 5): Removed from form. Information incorporated into Paragraph 1.
  • Purpose of the Form – Exportation of Firearms: Added “Warning: Any person who exports a firearm without proper authorization may be fined not more than $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than 20 years See 22 U.S.C. 2778(c).”
  • Instruction for Section A: Formerly instructions for Question 1.
  • Instruction for Question 2: Clarifies that a rural route (RR) may be accepted provided the transferee/buyer lives in a State or locality where it is considered a legal residence address. Also clarifies that the State of residence for members of the Armed Forces on active duty is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located.
  • Instruction for Question 9: Clarifies that the licensee should provide the UPIN when conducting background checks through the NICS or the State POC.
  • Instruction for Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Added to form.
  • Instruction for Question 11.a: Clarifies when a gift is considered “bona fide” and provides examples.
  • Instruction for Questions 11.b – 12 (Formerly Questions 11.b – 11.l): Added a new paragraph between the 1st and 2nd “A member of the Armed Forces must answer “yes” to 11.b. or 11.c. if charged with an offense that was either referred to a General Court Martial, or at which the member was convicted. Discharged “under dishonorable conditions” means separation from the Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal adjudged by a General Court-Martial. The term does not include any other discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.”
  • Instruction for Question 11.b: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Questions 11.b – 12.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCPTION to 11.c. and 11.i.): Clarifies that persons subject to this exception, or who receive relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. 925(c), should answer “no” to the applicable question.
    Instruction for Question 11.d: Added to form. Provides the definition of “Fugitive from Justice”.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCEPTION to 11.f): Clarifies when a person is not prohibited under the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. Language revised and additional information added.
  • Instruction for Question 12.d (Formerly Question 11.l.): Clarifies which aliens must answer “yes” to this question and provide the additional documentation required under Question 18.c.
  • Former Instruction for Question 11.l: Paragraph 2 removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 12: Removed from form. Information from Paragraph 1 incorporated into Question 18.c. Information from paragraph 2 incorporated into Questions 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 13: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 2.
  • New Instruction for Question 13: Added to form. Clarifies where U.S.-issued alien and admission numbers may be found. Also clarifies that U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals should leave the question left blank.
  • Instruction for Question 16 (Formerly Question 18): Clarifies that frames and receivers cannot be transferred to anyone who is not a resident of the State where the transfer is to take place.
  • Instruction for Question 17. (Formerly Question 19.): Added the definition of “Qualifying Gun Show or Event”.
  • Instruction for Question 18a (Formerly Question 20.a): Clarifies that licensees may accept electronic PCS orders to establish residency.
  • Instruction for Question 18.b. (Formerly Question 20.b.): Clarifies that a valid electronic document from a government website may be used as supplemental documentation provided it contains the transferee’s/buyer’s name and current residence address.
  • Instruction for Question 18c. (Formerly Question 20.c.): Clarifies the exceptions to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition and acceptable documentation.
  • Instruction for Question 19 (Formerly Question(s) 21, 22, 23): Clarifies for purposes of this form, contacts to NICS include State agencies designated as points-of-contact (“or POCs”) to conduct NICS checks for the Federal Government. Provides instructions for completing the form when a transaction was denied and later overturned.
  • Instruction for Questions 20 and 21 (Formerly EXCEPTIONS TO NICS CHECK): Clarifies that the exception includes transfers of National Firearms Act firearms to an individual who has undergone a background check during the NFA approval process. Also clarifies that a NICS check must be conducted if an NFA firearm has been approved for transfer to a trust, or to a legal entity such as a corporation, and no background check was conducted as part of the NFA approval process on the individual who will receive the firearm. Additionally clarifies that individuals who have undergone a background check during the NFA application process are listed on the approved NFA transfer form.
  • Instruction for Question(s) 24-28 (Formerly Question(s) 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30): Clarifies that these blocks must be completed with the firearms information. Also clarifies that all firearms manufactured after 1968 by Federal firearms licensees should be marked with a serial number.
  • Former Instruction for Question 32: Removed from form.
  • New Instruction for Question 32: Added to form. Provides instructions for completing the form when the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Former Instructions for Questions 33-35: Removed from form.

If you have additional questions regarding the revised Form 4473, please contact your local ATF office. A listing may be found online (

If you need additional forms, please contact the ATF Distribution Center by telephone at (703) 870-7526 or (703) 780-7528. Form may also be ordered online ( or you may print the Form 4473 from ATF’s website ( and make copies as needed. Please note that all six pages of the Form 4473 must be printed and retained as a part of your permanent records.

About Orchid Advisors:

Orchid Advisors helps firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers achieve compliance and operational excellence through education, technology, software and consulting solutions that reduce risk, cut costs, and provide expert guidance to make our clients’ businesses more successful and efficient. Orchid Advisors is the Firearms Industry’s Trusted Compliance & Operations Experts and is endorsed by NSSF, the National Shooting Sports Association.

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LEE Pritchard

Alan is right. It works the same way in Cali for the 4473’s because that is the Federal form. However , in Cali the state gets everything !!! and then some !!!


What they need to do is get rid of q11.c or put a year limit. you have people who have done what they were supposed paid their dues and still after some years can’t own a firearm for something stupid that they did 20-30-40 yrs ago because the act is looked at as a felony. ???? that bill should have never been implied at all or at least have a year ending on the bill.


we need governors to tell the feds were not going to obey..the second says, shall not be infringed!!..every thug out there is a repeat offender..stop bothering me and keep them in jail!!


Repeal the ATF.


So the form is still racist and sexist.


I have 10 fingers and toes,where do I check.I like big busty women,where do I check.I do breathe oxygen,where do I check.this is really getting out of control.seems to me that the questions asked should be more than vaguely general.WE DO AS AMERICAN HAVE AN OLD PEICE OF PAPER CALLED THE U.S.CONSTITUTION. For some reason you are no longer going to be afforded the frivolous thing called your rights.I feel if Obama could get it done fast enough he’d add questions like have you ever been called a honkey,do you walk on two feet,by the way have you ever measured… Read more »


This is a defacto registering of firearms and owners, which is in total and absolute violation of the constitution and bill of rights. When are we the people going to stop this total infringement of our freedoms?

Wild Bill

This would be the perfect time to push the Trump administration to repeal the National Firearms Act (NFA) and the Gun Control Act (GCA). Neither of which have ever prevented a crime or helped to solve one. The GCA was originally intended to keep guns out of the hands of black groups like Bobby Seals and the Black Panther party. Now, the elites find it useful to drive up costs to keep guns out of all of our hands. The NFA was intended to keep guns out of the hands of Italian groups. Now, the elites find it useful in… Read more »


I tried reading the new form, it gave me a headache. Trying to understand the new update form. I’m glad I purchase my new semi-automatic pistol. I was alway told to read before signing. Reading this will take almost an hour in trying to understand it. Asking questions about it, as you go through it. I feel sorry for the FFL dealer have to know and understand and answer any question on this form. From what I read on this, I don’t think it follows the second amendment or not. Like I said it was hard to read and understand.


I don’t use the stuff, but I’m still mad about the change in language regarding use of marijuana. FedGov have NO business meddling in what we do/do not put into our bodies. No conasitutional authority to say anything about that. Yet they now have chnaged the language to make even casual use, legal in one’s state of residence, a disabling factor for our right to arms. THIS is NOT acceptible.

Trumo needs to find someone with a brain in their head to take over BATF. Make it comply wiht the Constitution.


Those who do use it ,just don’t tell the gov’t.However, if you’ve followed the law and obtained a medical marijuana card, you’re already in a database they can use to deny your rights. Also,of course, false answers on the 4473 are already classed as crimes. What was that book I read, Three Felonies a Day How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey A. Silverglate ….Don’t “take over” the Burn All Toddlers First agency, ABOLISH it.

George Murphy

What is next! If they can restrict law abiding citizens from buying and selling firearms for profit, what is next?!!!!!….used cars?!!! This smells like Obama. Thankfully, we have been spared the catastrophe of Hillary! Trump is going to need a big eraser to negate all the bullshit executive orders that Obama has made.


Section D should be completely removed from the 4473 Form. There’s no reason the Feds need the serial number of our sport or defensive weapons.

Alan Chwick

The Feds do not get the serial numbers. That info stays with the FFL Dealer and is only used when a TRACE REQUEST is issued.


Alan, are you sure about that…sources? Once the form is turned in who knows what kind of information the can and will glean from it.

Alan Chwick

The forms may not be turned in. I get to keep them for 20 years and then I destroy them. When I end an FFL business, the 4473s under 20 years old do get sent in. But that would be a very small percentage of them.

I was an FFL in NY, now I’m one in SC.


Correction… They are getting them. I have talked with a couple of FFL dealers that say the government comes in to their dealership and takes pictures of the 4473s. They have their gun registry whether we wanted them to or not.


KTGLOCKFAN/Robert: ATF does not photo/copy 4473 unless it is a trace request, to do so otherwise would be illegal. Please see official ATF books/website. When a NICS check is done, it is a check on the purchaser, not the firearm. The only info on firearm that is given is long gun or hand gun- no make, model, SN#, caliber. I have not seen the new form as of yet. Be Safe,

Alan Chwick

The forms may not be turned in. I get to keep them for 20 years and then I destroy them. When I end an FFL business, the 4473s under 20 years old do get sent in. But that would be a very small percentage of them.

I was an FFL in NY, now I’m one in SC.