ATF Announces Release of New Form 4473

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has released a new Form 4473 with several changes from the existing version.

ATF Announces Release of New Form 4473

The ATF has issued a new Form 4473 with several updates. 

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is set to release its newest version of the Form 4473, the mandatory form required to be used by Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders during a sale.

The Form 4473 records pertinent information from persons seeking to purchase a firearm or firearms. After completing and signing the form, the FFL-holder performs a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) or state-approved point-of-contact law enforcement agency.
The revised May 2020 Form 4473 includes several changes from the previous version, including:

  • The warning at the top of the form includes information about illegal exportation. 
  • Information on the firearm/s to be transferred is now Section A, which must be completed before the transferee completes Section B.
  • The “County” block has been changed to “County/Parish/Borough” to accommodate Louisiana and Alaska, respectively.
  • A new item (26c.) has been included for the recording of official military orders establishing permanent change of station.
  • Item 26b, which previously applied to situations in which the identification document did not show the current residence address of the transferee, has been updated to include situations in which the identification document does not include the full legal name of the transferee. 

Use of the May 2020-approved Form 4473 will be mandatory for all FFLs beginning November 1, 2020.

FFLs may use supplies of their current Form 4473s (October 2016 version) until that date.

The new Form 4473 and continuation sheets are available for preorder in English and Spanish here, and FFLs can expect those preorders to begin shipping in late July 2020. In addition, ATF expects to ship 50-quantity starter packs of the new Form 4473 to all FFLs in late July 2020.

The agency also intends to have an updated eForm 4473 up and running during that same time period for those FFLs utilizing the FBI’s NICS E-Check system instead of the paper Form 4473.
NSSF has ordered Spanish and English overlays for the new Form 4473. The National Shooting Sports Foundation will notify its members when they are in stock and available through the member portal. These overlays, which complement an FFL’s compliance best practices, help improve accuracy and completion of this critical form and are available free to NSSF members.


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