Signs Suggest Walmart to Turn Over Customer 4473 Gun Records to ATF

Signs Suggest Walmart to Turn Over Customer 4473 Gun Records to ATF
Signs Suggest Walmart to Turn Over Customer 4473 Gun Records to ATF

U.S.A.-( It appears Walmart is transferring their customer sales records for firearms purchases to the ATF. These records will be transferred to the ATF from the 500 stores that have discontinued the sale of firearms. This information comes to AmmoLand News from a recently leaked internal ATF conference call.

A former ATF Assistant Director confirmed to AmmoLand News that Walmart plans to discontinue gun sales at 500 of its stores nationwide. As of January of this year, 2388 Walmart stores sell guns.


When an FFL closes a location the ATF allows the transfer of documents to a “successor” federal firearm licensed dealer. Walmart could transfer the 4473 records from those stores that are ending sales to another regional store location that still sells firearms.

If Walmart chose to, they could shield their customer’s information from direct access by ATF.

Instead, Walmart appears to be handing over, for locations ending gun sales, the customer’s records to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Internal ATF communications appear to show the massive retailer’s internal “compliance manager” is working with the ATF to transfer their records to the federal agency. The ATF will then scan all received documents into a searchable database. In recent years the ATF has started using high-speed scanners to catalog out of business FFL’s records into a searchable database using optical character recognition software (OCR).

Federal law prohibits the creation of a national gun registry. Yet, this appears to be what is happening, not only with Walmart’s records but all other out of business FFL records that are turned over at the close of business.

18 USC. Section 926(a)(3) states that:

No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.

Following the Law

The ATF is permitted by statute to collect “out of business records” from FFLs under 18 USC. Section 923(g)(4) (Where a firearms or ammunition business is discontinued [and is] absolute, such records shall be delivered within thirty days after the business discontinuance to the Attorney General). It is only recently that the ATF has started scanning the records into a searchable database. For many years, FFLs would ship their out of business records to the ATF’s “Out-Of-Business Records Center” in Martinsburg, WV. The records sat undisturbed unless there was something specific ATF needed to go looking for (such as tracing a firearm).

AmmoLand News’ internal sources provided evidence that the ATF has been employing third-party contractors with high-speed scanners to digitize these records, perform “optical character recognition” (OCR) on them, and transform the documents into a searchable database.

In other words, the ATF has or is in the process of creating a searchable registry of all firearms sold through now-defunct gun dealers.

By using this technology, the ATF could search on a person’s name and pull every gun purchase by the person from any dealer that has gone out of business. Soon this will include the 500 Walmart locations that appear to be in the process of turning over their records to the ATF. The ATF does not view this list as a de facto registry even though serial numbers, names, and addresses are searchable. The ATF’s recent changes to the 4473, which puts the firearms information on the front page, could speed up the creation of the database. This change will increase the speed a document can be indexed and retrieved for information.

Gun Owners of America (GOA) became aware of the scanning practice in May of this year, 2020. The GOA submitted an FOIA request to the ATF to determine what information is searchable, the policies surrounding the scanning of documents, and the current number of searchable records. The ATF has not responded to the FOIA request, leaving us wondering what the agency is hiding.

AmmoLand News reached out to Gun Owners of America and spoke to legislative counsel, Michael Hammond.

“The McClure-Volkmer Amendments prevents the federal government from keeping a gun registry,” Hammond told AmmoLand. “We have a federal agency that is supposed to be enforcing the law but is actually breaking the law. What type of country do we live in where law enforcement agencies are allowed to break the law?”

AmmoLand reached out to Walmart for comment, but the retail giant did not return AmmoLand News’ calls.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Again, this is why we need 80 percenters and we need to end the BATF. We shouldn’t need licenses to buy guns or carry or for different configurations or especially to buy ammunition. WTF.

Constitutional carry all across the USA enforced by the federal government. Those governors or officers that do not comply will be jailed , loss of job and pension and be fined.

It’s supposed to be by the people and for the people not for the government and by the government. It’s obvious we have no control and government has gotten out of hand.


I second the motion.


Here here.

Ryben Flynn

Wrong word.
Hear, hear is an expression used as a short, repeated form of hear him/her. It represents a listener’s agreement with the point being made by a speaker.:

WI Patriot

While you are correct, you’re being pedantic, we all understood the spirit in which his comment was made, and yet her comes the grammar police…

Mike the Limey

ATF are blatantly breaking the law.

They’re criminals who do little to discomfort other criminals, as harassing law abiding citizens is easier & practically risk free.


Every… single ….. FFL must have 4473 available to the ATF AND CJIS. Law Abiding gun owner here, this is an old procedure, feels like clickbait.

Gene Ralno

Last I heard, Walmart continues to sell shotguns and lever action carbines. They’ll have to sort and separate their millions of Forms 4473. Alternatively, they could eliminate sales of long guns, accessories, ammunition, etc., and eliminate the whole product category.


Nice of them to help the NWO in such a way as if the Facial Recognition cameras in Walmart and Home Depot weren’t enough, be very careful Glow Man, I sense a snake in the grass.

Gene Ralno

If a searchable database exists, it will be searched. The 2020 election proved government is capable of unimaginable deception to have its way. It created tens of millions of ballots out of whole cloth. Looking for records that exist will be a piece of cake for democrat criminals. Hopefully, sufficient numbers of private, licensed arms owners will force ATF to destroy any data that violates the 2nd Amendment. It’s important to recall that the Weimar Republic, founded in 1918, also maintained a firearms registry and guaranteed no breaches. Just 20 years later, Hitler breached the data and began disarming peaceable,… Read more »


The Law Abiding have no clue how to deal with lawless government stooges.


bureaucrats do not care about the law, they are protected by the government. there is no oversight by congress, who is charged with that responsibility. we need people in congress that are accountable to us, not rule over us.


The digital age turns rules based upon paper, upside down. The greater accessibility of the optically scanned records means we must have a “watcher” to ensure access is limited to prior uses and not for political or other purposes!

Unfortunately, from the last 4 years, we now know that the ATF, FBI, ad Dept of Justice have no integrity or competent oversight!

Lord, help and protect us!!

WI Patriot

Well, how about this, you compile a list, a list of businesses that ONLY support American interests, post it here for all to see…


Each and everyone of us, whether we bought a gun or not, as can be afforded should Sue Walmart! The number of people affected is tremendous and the number of suits would keep their Attorneys busy forever.

AZ Lefty

Aw for farks sake! This happens thousands of times yearly as shops close or FFL Licensees stop selling; yet this is now a problem becasue Walmart is following Federal law and doing it?.

Just more fear mongering


The problem isn’t Walmart. It is the ATF collecting a database.