Purpose of the Form: The information and certification on this form are designed so that a person licensed under 18 U.S.C. § 923 may determine if he or she may lawfully sell or deliver a firearm to the person identified in Section A, and to alert the buyer of certain restrictions on the receipt and possession of firearms. This form should only be used for sales or transfers where the seller is licensed under 18 U.S.C. § 923. The seller of a firearm must determine the lawfulness of the transaction and maintain proper records of the transaction. Consequently, the seller must be familiar with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §§ 921-931 and the regulations in 27 CFR Part 478. In determining the lawfulness of the sale or delivery of a long gun (rifle or shotgun) to a resident of another State, the seller is presumed to know the applicable State laws and published ordinances in both the seller’s State and the buyer’s State.
After the seller has completed the firearms transaction, he or she must make the completed, original ATF Form 4473 (which includes the Notices, General Instructions, and Definitions), and any supporting documents, part of his or her permanent records. Such Forms 4473 must be retained for at least 20 years. Filing may be chronological (by date), alphabetical (by name), or numerical (by transaction serial number), as long as all of the seller’s completed Forms 4473 are filed in the same manner. FORMS 4473 FOR DENIED/CANCELLED TRANSFERS MUST BE RETAINED: If the transfer of a firearm is denied/cancelled by NICS, or if for any other reason the transfer is not complete after a NICS check is initiated, the licensee must retain the ATF Form 4473 in his or her records for at least 5 years. Forms 4473 with respect to which a sale, delivery, or transfer did not take place shall be separately retained in alphabetical (by name) or chronological (by date of transferee’s certification) order.
If you or the buyer discover that an ATF Form 4473 is incomplete or improperly completed after the firearm has been transferred, and you or the buyer wish to make a record of your discovery, then photocopy the inaccurate form and make any necessary additions or revisions to the photocopy. You only should make changes to Sections B and D. The buyer should only make changes to Sections A and C. Whoever made the changes should initial and date the changes. The corrected photocopy should be attached to the original Form 4473 and retained as part of your permanent records.
Over-the-Counter Transaction: The sale or other disposition of a firearm by a seller to a buyer, at the seller’s licensed premises. This includes the sale or other disposition of a rifle or shotgun to a nonresident buyer on such premises.
State Laws and Published Ordinances: The publication (ATF P 5300.5) of State firearms laws and local ordinances ATF distributes to licensees.
Exportation of Firearms: The State or Commerce Departments may require you to obtain a license prior to export.
Question 1. Transferee’s Full Name: The buyer must personally complete Section A of this form and certify (sign) that the answers are true, correct, and complete. However, if the buyer is unable to read and/or write, the answers (other than the signature) may be completed by another person, excluding the seller. Two persons (other than the seller) must then sign as witnesses to the buyer’s answers and signature.
When the buyer of a firearm is a corporation, company, association, partnership, or other such business entity, an officer authorized to act on behalf of the business must complete Section A of the form with his or her personal information, sign Section A, and attach a written statement, executed under penalties of perjury, stating: (A) the firearm is being acquired for the use of and will be the property of that business entity and (B) the name and address of that business entity.
If the buyer’s name in question 1. is illegible, the seller must print the buyer’s name above the name written by the buyer.
Question 2. Current Residence Address: U.S. Postal abbreviations are acceptable. (e.g., St., Rd., Dr., PA, NC, etc.). Address cannot be a post office box. County and Parish are one and the same.
If the buyer is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty acquiring a firearm in the State where his or her permanent duty station is located, but does not reside at his or her permanent duty station, the buyer must list both his or her permanent duty station address and his or her residence address in response to question 2. If you are a U.S. citizen with two States of residence, you should list your current residence address in response to question 2 (e.g., if you are buying a firearm while staying at your weekend home in State X, you should list your address in State X in response to question 2).
Question 9. Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN): For purchasers approved to have information maintained about them in the FBI NICS Voluntary Appeal File, NICS will provide them with a Unique Personal Identification Number, which the buyer should record in question 9. The licensee may be asked to provide the UPIN to NICS or the State.
Question 10. Race (Ethnicity): Any other race or ethnicity that does not fall within those indicated, please select the closest representation.
Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party. ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer “NO” to question 11.a. The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm and should answer “YES” to question 11.a. However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), (n), or (x). Please note: EXCEPTION: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a. and may proceed to question 11.b.
Question 11.b. – 11.l. Definition of Prohibited Person: Generally, 18 U.S.C. § 922 prohibits the shipment, transportation, receipt, or possession in or affecting interstate commerce of a firearm by one who: has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; has been convicted of a felony, or any other crime, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (this does not include State misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment of two years or less); is a fugitive from justice; is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance; has been adjudicated mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution; has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship; is an alien illegally in the United States or a nonimmigrant alien; or is subject to certain restraining orders. Furthermore, section 922 prohibits the shipment, transportation, or receipt in or affecting interstate commerce of a firearm by one who is under indictment or information for a felony, or any other crime, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
Question 11.b. Under Indictment or Information or Convicted in any Court: An indictment, information, or conviction in any Federal, State, or local court. An information is a formal accusation of a crime verified by a prosecutor.
EXCEPTION to 11.c. and 11.i.: A person who has been convicted of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned the person for more than one year, or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, is not prohibited from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm if: (1) under the law of the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred, the person has been pardoned, the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or the person has had their civil rights (the right to vote, sit on a jury, and hold public office) taken away and later restored AND (2) the person is not prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred from receiving or possessing firearms. Persons subject to this exception should answer “no” to 11.c. or 11.i., as applicable.
Question 11.f. Adjudicated Mentally Defective: A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: (1) is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs. This term shall include: (1) a finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and (2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility.
Committed to a Mental Institution: A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution. Please also refer to Question 11.c. for the definition of a prohibited person.
EXCEPTION to 11. f. NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007: A person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution is not prohibited if: (1) the person was adjudicated or committed by a department or agency of the Federal Government, such as the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (“VA”) (as opposed to a State court, State board, or other lawful State authority); and (2) either: (a) the person’s adjudication or commitment for mental incompetency was set-aside or expunged by the adjudicating/committing agency; (b) the person has been fully released or discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or monitoring by the agency; or (c) the person was found by the agency to no longer suffer from the mental health condition that served as the basis of the initial adjudication. Persons who fit this exception should answer “no” to Item 11.f. This exception does not apply to any person who was adjudicated to be not guilty by reason of insanity, or based on lack of mental responsibility, or found incompetent to stand trial, in any criminal case or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Question 11.h. Definition of Restraining Order: Under 18 U.S.C. § 922, firearms may not be sold to or received by persons subject to a court order that: (A) was issued after a hearing which the person received actual notice of and had an opportunity to participate in; (B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and (C)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury. An “intimate partner” of a person is: the spouse or former spouse of the person, the parent of a child of the person, or an individual who cohabitates or cohabitating with the person.
Question 11.i. Definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: A Federal, State, local, or tribal offense that is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or tribal law and has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim. The term includes all misdemeanors that have as an element the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon (e.g., assault and battery), if the offense is committed by one of the defined parties. (See Exception to 11.c. and 11.i.) A person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence also is not prohibited unless: (1) the person was represented by a lawyer or gave up the right to a lawyer; or (2) if the person was entitled to a jury, was tried by a jury, or gave up the right to a jury trial. Persons subject to this exception should answer “no” to 11.i.
Question 11.l. “Nonimmigrant Alien”: An alien in the United States in a nonimmigrant classification. The definition includes, among others, persons traveling temporarily in the United States for business or pleasure, persons studying in the United States who maintain a residence abroad, and certain foreign workers. The definition does NOT include permanent resident aliens.
Sale of Firearms to Legal Aliens: Even if a nonimmigrant alien can establish that he or she has a U.S.-issued alien number or admission number and has resided in a State for at least 90 continuous days immediately prior to the date of sale, he or she is prohibited from receiving a firearm unless he or she falls within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition. (See Question 11.c. and Exception to 11.l.) If a nonimmigrant alien claims to fall within one of these exceptions by answering “yes” to question 12, he or she must provide the licensee with documentation of the exception (e.g., hunting license/permit; waiver). If the documentation is a hunting license/permit, the licensee must make sure it has not expired. An expired hunting license/permit does not qualify for the exception. A licensee MUST complete and may attach a copy of the documentation to ATF Form 4473.
Exception to 11.l.: A nonimmigrant alien is not prohibited from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm if the alien: (1) is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States; or (2) has received a waiver from the prohibition from the Attorney General of the United States. (See 18 U.S.C. § 922(y)(2) for additional exceptions.) Persons subject to one of these exceptions should answer “yes” to questions 11.l. and 12 and provide a copy of the hunting license or letter granting the waiver, which must be recorded in 20.d. If the Transferee (Buyer) answered “yes” to this question, the licensee MUST complete 20.d.
Question 12. Exceptions to Nonimmigrant Alien Response: If question 11.l. is answered with a “no” response, then do NOT respond to question 12 and proceed to question 13. If response is “yes,” then licensee must complete question 20.d., and may attach a copy.
Question 13. State of Residence: The State in which an individual resides. An individual resides in a State if he or she is present in a State with the intention of making a home in that State. If an individual is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty, his or her State of residence also is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located. An alien who is legally in the United States is a resident of a State only if the alien is residing in the State and has resided in the State continuously for at least 90 days immediately prior to the date of sale or delivery of a firearm.
If you are a U.S. citizen with two States of residence, you should list your current residence address in response to question 2 (e.g., if you are buying a firearm while staying at your weekend home in State X, you should list your address in State X in response to question 2.) If you are not a citizen of the United States, you only have a State of residence if you have resided in a State for at least 90 continuous days immediately prior to the date of this sale.
Question 16. Certification Definition of Engaged in the Business: Under 18 U.S.C. § 922 (a)(1), it is unlawful for a person to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. A person is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms if he or she devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. A license is not required of a person who only makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his or her personal collection of firearms.
Question 18. Type of Firearm(s): Check all boxes that apply. “Other” refers to frames, receivers and other firearms that are not either handguns or long guns (rifles or shotguns), such as firearms having a pistol grip that expel a shotgun shell, or National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms.
If a frame or receiver can only be made into a long gun (rifle or shotgun), it is still a frame or receiver not a handgun or long gun. However, they still are “firearms” by definition, and subject to the same GCA limitations as any other firearms. See Section 921(a)(3)(b). 18 U.S.C. Section 922(b)(1) makes it unlawful for a licensee to sell any firearm other than a shotgun or rifle to any person under the age of 21. Since a frame or receiver for a firearm, to include one that can only be made into a long gun, is a “firearm other than a shotgun or rifle,” it cannot be transferred to anyone under the age of 21. Also, note that multiple sales forms are not required for frames or receivers of any firearms, or pistol grip firearms, since they are not “pistols or revolvers” under Section 923(g)(3)(a).
Question 19. Gun Shows: If sale at gun show or other qualifying event sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, as authorized by 27 CFR § 478.100, the seller must record the name of event and the location (city and State) of the sale in question 19.
Question 20a. Identification: List issuing authority (e.g., State, County or Municipality) and type of identification presented (e.g., Virginia driver’s license (VA DL), or other valid government-issued identification).
Know Your Customer: Before a licensee may sell or deliver a firearm to a nonlicensee, the licensee must establish the identity, place of residence, and age of the buyer. The buyer must provide a valid government-issued photo identification to the seller that contains the buyer’s name, residence address, and date of birth. The licensee must record the type, identification number, and expiration date (if any) of the identification in question 20.a. A driver’s license or an identification card issued by a State in place of a license is acceptable. Social Security cards are not acceptable because no address, date of birth, or photograph is shown on the cards. A combination of government-issued documents may be provided. For example, if a U.S. citizen has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver’s license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government-issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address. If the buyer is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty acquiring a firearm in the State where his or her permanent duty station is located, but he or she has a driver’s license from another State, you should list the buyer’s military identification card and official orders showing where his or her permanent duty station is located in response to question 20.a.
Question 20.b. Alternate Documentation: Licensees may accept a combination of valid government-issued documents to satisfy the identification document requirements of the law. The required valid government-issued photo identification document bearing the name, photograph, and date of birth of transferee may be supplemented by another valid, government-issued document showing the transferee’s residence address. This alternate documentation should be recorded in question 20.b., with issuing authority and type of identification presented. A combination of government-issued documents may be provided. For example, if a U.S. citizen has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver’s license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government-issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address.
Question 20.c. Documentation for All Aliens:
Sale of Firearms to Legal Aliens: A buyer who is not a citizen of the United States must provide additional documentation (beyond a valid government-issued photo identification that contains the buyer’s name, residence address, and date of birth) to establish that he or she has resided in a State continuously for at least 90 days immediately prior to the date of the sale. (See Question 13.) Examples of appropriate documents to establish State residency are utility bills from each of the last 3 months immediately prior to the sale or a lease agreement that demonstrates 90 days of residency immediately prior to the sale. A licensee may attach a copy of the documentation to ATF Form 4473, rather than record the type of documentation in question 20.c. Acceptable documentation to prove 90-day continuous residency must be original documentation (e.g., utility bills, current bank statements, rent receipts, mortgage payments, lease agreements, personal property tax bills, documents issued by Federal, State, or local government agencies, first-class mail issued by government agency, insurance policies, or bill with current address or major credit card bill).
Question 20.d. Documentation for Nonimmigrant Aliens: See instructions for Question 11.l. Types of acceptable documents would include a valid State-issued hunting license or a letter from the U.S. Attorney General granting a waiver.
Question(s) 21, 22, 23, NICS BACKGROUND CHECKS: 18 U.S.C. § 922(t) requires that prior to transferring any firearm to an unlicensed person, a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer must first contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). NICS will advise the licensee whether the system finds any information that the purchaser is prohibited by law from possessing or receiving a firearm. For purposes of this form, contacts to NICS include contacts to State agencies designated to conduct NICS checks for the Federal Government. WARNING: Any seller who transfers a firearm to any person they know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm violates the law, even if the seller has complied with the background check requirements of the Brady law.
After the buyer has completed Section A of the form and the licensee has completed questions 18-20, and before transferring the firearm, the licensee must contact NICS (read below for NICS check exceptions.) However, the licensee should NOT contact NICS and should stop the transaction if: the buyer answers “no” to question 11.a.; the buyer answers “yes” to any question in 11.b.-11.l., unless the buyer only has answered “yes” to question 11.l. and also answers “yes” to question 12; or the buyer is unable to provide the documentation required by question 20.a, b, c, or d.
At the time that NICS is contacted, the licensee must record in question 21.a-c: the date of contact, the NICS (or State) transaction number, and the initial response provided by NICS or the State. The licensee may record the Missing Disposition Information (MDI) date in 21.c. that NICS provides for delayed transactions (States do not provide this number). If the licensee receives a “delayed” response, before transferring the firearm, the licensee must record in question 21.d. any response later provided by NICS or the State or that no resolution was provided within 3 business days. If the licensee receives a response from NICS or the State after the firearm has been transferred, he or she must record this information in question 21.e. Note: States acting as points of contact for NICS checks may use terms other than “proceed,” “delayed,” “cancelled,” or “denied.” In such cases, the licensee should check the box that corresponds to the State’s response. Some States may not provide a transaction number for denials. However, if a firearm is transferred within the three business day period, a transaction number is required.
NICS responses: If NICS provides a “proceed” response, the transaction may proceed. If NICS provides a “cancelled” response, the seller is prohibited from transferring the firearm to the buyer. If NICS provides a “denied” response, the seller is prohibited from transferring the firearm to the buyer. If NICS provides a “delayed” response, the seller is prohibited from transferring the firearm unless 3 business days have elapsed and, before the transfer, NICS or the State has not advised the seller that the buyer’s receipt or possession of the firearm would be in violation of law. (See 27 CFR § 478.102(a) for an example of how to calculate 3 business days.) If NICS provides a “delayed” response, NICS also will provide a Missing Disposition Information (MDI) date that calculates the 3 business days and reflects when the firearm(s) can be transferred under Federal law. States may not provide an MDI date. Please note State law may impose a waiting period on transferring firearms.
EXCEPTIONS TO NICS CHECK: A NICS check is not required if the transfer qualifies for any of the exceptions in 27 CFR § 478.102(d). Generally these include: (a) transfers where the buyer has presented the licensee with a permit or license that allows the buyer to possess, acquire, or carry a firearm, and the permit has been recognized by ATF as a valid alternative to the NICS check requirement; (b) transfers of National Firearms Act weapons approved by ATF; or (c) transfers certified by ATF as exempt because compliance with the NICS check requirements is impracticable. See 27 CFR § 478.102(d) for a detailed explanation. If the transfer qualifies for one of these exceptions, the licensee must obtain the documentation required by 27 CFR § 478.131. A firearm must not be transferred to any buyer who fails to provide such documentation.
Question 24 and 25. Transfer on a Different Day and Recertification: If the transfer takes place on a different day from the date that the buyer signed Section A, the licensee must again check the photo identification of the buyer at the time of transfer, and the buyer must complete the recertification in Section C at the time of transfer.
Immediately prior to transferring the firearm, the seller must complete all of the questions in Section D. In addition to completing this form, the seller must report any multiple sale or other disposition of pistols or revolver on ATF Form 3310.4 (see 27 CFR § 478.126a).
Question(s) 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, Firearm(s) Description: These blocks should be completed with the firearm(s) information. Firearms manufactured after 1968 should all be marked with a serial number. Should you acquire a firearm that is not marked with a serial number; you may answer question 28 with “NSN” (No Serial Number), “N/A” or “None.”
If more than five firearms are involved in a transaction, the information required by Section D, questions 26-30, must be provided for the additional firearms on a separate sheet of paper, which must be attached to the ATF Form 4473 covering the transaction.
Types of firearms include: pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, receiver, frame and other firearms that are not either handguns or long guns (rifles or shotguns), such as firearms having a pistol grip that expel a shotgun shell or National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms.
Additional firearms purchases by the same buyer may not be added to the form after the seller has signed and dated it. A buyer who wishes to purchase additional firearms after the seller has signed and dated the form must complete a new ATF Form 4473. The seller must conduct a new NICS check.
Question 30c. This box is for the FFL’s use in recording any information he or she finds necessary to conduct business.
Question 32 Federal Firearms License Number: Must contain at least the first three and last five digits of the FFL number, for instance X-XX-XXXXX.
Question 33-35 Transferor/Sellers Information: For “denied” and “cancelled” NICS transactions, the person who completed Section B must complete Section D, questions 33-35.
Privacy Act Information
Solicitation of this information is authorized under 18 U.S.C. § 923(g). Disclosure of the individual’s Social Security number is voluntary. The number may be used to verify the buyer’s identity.
Paperwork Reduction Act Notice
The information required on this form is in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of the information is to determine the eligibility of the transferee to receive firearms under Federal law. The information is subject to inspection by ATF officers and is required by 18 U.S.C. §§ 922 and 923.
The estimated average burden associated with this collection is 30 minutes per respondent or recordkeeper, depending on individual circumstances. Comments about the accuracy of this burden estimate and suggestions for reducing it should be directed to Reports Management Officer, Document Services Section, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Washington, DC 20226.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Confidentiality is not assured.