Gun Gripes – The ATF Form 4473

The gun store guys complain some more about their customers in the context of the 4473:

Huh?  They say you’re not supposed to allow people to see the 4473.  I don’t know where they got that information from, but the form is available as a PDF directly on the ATF’s own website.  In addition there is also some sort of “smart form” to help eliminate errors.  I had to LOL when I saw the smart form is an .exe file.  I’m not one of those tinfoil hat kind of guys but this is definitely one of those “nice try ATF” type scenarios.

I love how he gives such a specific “8/10 FFL holders lose their licences because they make errors on this form”…. I’d like to see the data to support that claim, because that sounds incredibly high.




Ross February 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

“I love how he gives such a specific “8/10 FFL holders lose their licences because they make errors on this form”…. I’d like to see the data to support that claim, because that sounds incredibly high.”

Probably meant ~80% of those who lose it are from paperwork errors, not that 8/10 FFLs fail because they lose their FFL from 4473 errors..


Ross February 5, 2012 at 12:41 am

Gah, I’ve watched the whole video this time. This one is hard to watch. I’m starting to really not like these guys.


Kevin February 5, 2012 at 12:52 am

I agree, at first I was like “oh hey these guys are interesting” now they’re just annoying and should stop fucking complaining about the people that give them money. (I understand some people are fucking morons and really piss them off, but if I saw theses videos I’d think twice about shopping at a gun store that will scrutinize my every “mistake”). I understand the complaints but they’re drawing it out over so many videos…


Kevin February 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

(at the same time I can see how the videos could have an educational value for people interested in a first purchase, if they wanted to fucking watch 45 minutes of these guys rabble on)


Ed b July 15, 2015 at 02:45 pm

I am looking at felony charges for a gun I did not get. I am out of the military and got a misdemeanor for some b.s.. Got a discharged and came back from Iraq and really did not pay much attention to changing gun laws. Now I know a lot of you guys will tell me ignorance of the law is no excuse. But I ask you to look at ATF form 4473 question 11c it states in bold felony convictions. After the bold statment it asked or any other crime in which you could receive 2 years. They specifically do not mention the word misdemeanor. I know that they give you further info on this 5 page form but don’t you think it is kind of a trap. I have been charged with a felony for lieing on a form and never got the shot gun. That I intended to use for home protection. It hurts me that it does not matter that I was honorably discharged after two tours in Iraq to come home and tell me I can’t own a gun. And I face up to 5 years of state prison time. What do I tell my prison mate I am hear for checking the wrong block. Sucks.


Vhyrus February 5, 2012 at 12:48 am

I installed that atf smart form garbage on my comp recently cause I wanted to read the 4473, but it wont let you unless you have an FFL license number, so I shitcanned it.


Ben February 5, 2012 at 12:56 am

Any one want to bet that the woman at the end of the video will slam a mag home, pull the slide, and “put the safety on” before attempting to pull the trigger? even ignoring that frame mounted safeties generally go up and down, the instructions should be “safety off and THEN pull the trigger,” especially when demonstrating operations to a new user.


GAGG February 5, 2012 at 01:47 am

ATF likes to send gun dealers some nice reminders every now and then. Last one I got was a cute pamphlet with a list of court cases they had won because dealers made spelling errors. Real subtle.

Nothing in the 4473 instructions OR the thick FFL manual (can’t remember what it’s called but it pretty much lists every gun law and bylaw down to the last letter) says anything about forbidding the public from seeing the form.

Side note: the instructions concerning Section A of the 4473 specifically say that in the instance that the buyer is unable to see or write, a representative (not an employee) may fill out the form in the presence of TWO non-employee witnesses, not one.

These jerks are giving us good gun dealers a bad reputation!


MrMaigo February 5, 2012 at 02:57 am

Do you REALLY have to spell Georgia right? The BATFE going to look at the books and say “this guy spelled Goerga, give us your FFL”?


DaveP. February 5, 2012 at 07:31 am

There was one gun store near where I live- about halfway through the first Clinton Administration, the ATF showed up at their door to go over their paperwork. The store got fined for every time a customer used “Y” or “N” instead of “Yes” or “No”.
No, the ATF didn’t pull their FFL for that: the accumulated fines drove them out of business. Big difference, right?


Jacks February 5, 2012 at 03:04 am

I couldn’t make it through the whole video. The younger guy just immediately struck me as one of those “I have an FFL and I AM GOD BECAUSE I OWN A STORE!” guys.

Unless something changed recently, I’m pretty sure that the questions on the 4473 aren’t all that top secret. They keep blathering on about it being a test and how they can’t help you with it, which is funny because they’re all YES or NO questions about specific facts in the buyer’s life. How exactly are they going to “coach” someone into changing their answer on “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”. Is the ATF suddenly of the opinion that buyers don’t know how to lie unless some “Terrible FFL man” teaches them? WTF.



McThag February 5, 2012 at 05:13 am

A hint: The question where they ask if you’re fugitive from justice? They mean the law.


Crunkleross February 5, 2012 at 07:25 am

I don’t think the 4473 is such a secret document. BTW arent’t the current ones back to being yellow instead of the white one they are showing maybe it’s an old video.


GAGG February 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

The current forms are white, but the e-forms are printed onto yellow paper once they are finished.


DaveP. February 5, 2012 at 07:32 am

I’ve never been at a store where the clerk wanted to keep me from reading the 4473. I doubt I’d continue the purchase if that happened.


dave February 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

I think Fiasco sums up this video, its more a demonstration of their lack of understanding of the rules and an interesting insight into how many of their customers may not have finished high school.


Bebop February 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

You know, I dont mind these guys so much. Maybe I just live in a crapy town for shooting, but despite their sometimes grumpy attitude, they still seem twice as nice and approachable as the gunstore owners in my town. Biggest problem I have with the form is I normally can’t spell boulevard with out spell check for shit. If blvd is good enough for the post office, why does the ATF gotta be such dicks? Oh right… It’s the ATF….


Weer'd Beard February 5, 2012 at 02:05 pm

At the end the novice black couple who were being shown safe operation. I thought “Oh nice! Good on them showing we’re not all just middle-aged overweight white guys….wait is that a hi-point???” *headdesk*

Oh well, it was good instruction, and they’ll probably make a few bucks off the used Hi-point once that nice couple learns how to shoot, and gets a chance to try a well made gun!


Ed February 5, 2012 at 06:50 pm

I definitely agree here. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see more diversity at gunshows lately.


ENDO-Mike February 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm

wait is that a hi-point???” *headdesk*

LOL my reaction as well!


Church February 5, 2012 at 03:16 pm

WOW! I hate them.


Rick February 5, 2012 at 09:25 pm

This type of thing is why box stores like cabelas, sportsmans wareshouse etc are trumping mom and pop style shops. You can teach and inform customers without treating them like crap. Everyone has to start someplace and I can tell you years ago I went into a shop where people had this attitude and I havent been back. I found a good shop with 40 years experience to help me learn and i now repay their patience by only buying guns and ammo from them regardless if it costs more . because I support people who support me


paul kimble February 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

they shot the proverbial shark with this video


Jim P. February 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

A quick Google came up with this:
I gad problems downloading it, but I have a crappy web link.

This one had no problems though:

I have heard of FFLs that did have their licenses pulled for using a Y/N instead of Yes/No. But if you google “Utah appeals court rules typo on gun purchase form not a crime”. That may be changing.


mos2111 February 6, 2012 at 07:49 am

In the section that asks “current residence” for the state, I had a guy write “with parents”….


Bear February 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

You know, if they want you to write in the whole word instead of Y/N etc, they REALLY should give you more room to do it in. The boxes are as big as a child’s thmbnail. I have monster hands, my handwriting is bigger than Texas even when I try to write really small.

I think BATFE is full of trolls.


Jwhite February 6, 2012 at 01:27 pm

Here is Cali we have to fill out the form our selves why some neck beard watches us. My favorite question is…

” Are you a fugitive from jus t i c e ”

I always read it out loud in a “look up in the sky its a bird its a plane” type voice..

“Up in the sky! Its a Fugitive of JUUUUUUUUUSTICE!”

They hate when I do it and sometimes give me a dirty look but I dont care. The question is stupid. If your a fugitive of justice you ant going to mark yes and they sure as shit going to come up in the system, I would hope, otherwise its pointless to ask in the first place.

These guys are a little hill billy. Their gun store has had quite a few issues over the years. They found that a vast majority of firearms sold out of that store have ended up used in crimes. Probably straw buys. Theres a report on gun stores in that region and their stop popped up on the map. Have too google it a little bit.


bob February 8, 2012 at 01:08 am

you guys like to bitch alot dontcha?


Jason February 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

you all know of the part where you put your SSN? well I usually fill that out, and I bought my first rifle before going to college and when filling out the FAFSA, the gov called and said my SSN was wrong. therefore, I had also entered the wrong # on the 4473. Think about that.


Crane Sandston July 31, 2012 at 05:33 pm

Does anybody really know for sure about ADHD being a mental illness for the purposes of this form?


Howard Hudeck February 19, 2013 at 04:21 pm

The ATF is only suppose to confiscate,copy,or even read the 4473’s if it’s part of a criminal investigation. HBH


Crunkleross February 19, 2013 at 05:06 pm

So when the ATF stops by for a routine compliance check and go over the 4473’s for errors they are doing a criminal investigation? More likely whoever gave you that info is wrong.


HBH February 19, 2013 at 09:51 pm

Crunkleross,I could have gotten some bad far as the ATF checking 4473’s in a compliance situation,but from what I understand they can’t remove or copy the forms.HBH



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