How To Get an FFL in Virginia

Virginia stands as a prominent destination for firearm enthusiasts, where the legalities of firearm sales and FFL transfers are paramount. Whether you’re a potential buyer or looking to become a licensed dealer, understanding the intricacies of a Federal Firearm License (FFL) is essential. But what exactly is an FFL, and why does it hold significance in Virginia?

The FFL (Federal Firearm License) is a permit that authorizes the manufacture, import, or sale of firearms and ammunition in the United States, including specialized firearms like machine guns. For Virginia residents, obtaining this license ensures that all firearm transactions remain transparent and in regulation of both federal and Virginia law. With FastBound’s expertise in firearms compliance, potential buyers can trust that every transaction will be executed with care, emphasizing safety and compliance with the law.

How to Obtain an FFL in Virginia

Venturing into the realm of firearm sales is a journey full of legalities and responsibilities. The path might seem intricate, but with a systematic approach, it’s entirely achievable.

Initial Research

Start with a comprehensive understanding of both federal government and state requirements. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) offers extensive resources to familiarize yourself with these guidelines. The Virginia State Police provides a wealth of information, ensuring you’re well-informed from the beginning.

Application Process

Once you’re equipped with the knowledge, start your FFL journey with the ATF Form 7, the application for a Federal Firearm License. This form includes detailed instructions for completing the application with information on the business, contact information for responsible persons, and what type of license you are requesting. Remember, accuracy is key. An application transfer fee is also required in the process, which varies based on the type of license you’re seeking.

Background Checks

An integral part of the FFL application process is the background check. This ensures that the applicant has no criminal history or any federal restrictions preventing them from securing firearms. Virginia takes this process very seriously, ensuring that firearms dealers adhere to safety and responsibility.

In-Person Interviews

Following the application process, expect an in-depth in-person interview with an Industry Operations Investigator. This step verifies your credentials and the legitimacy of your intent. The interview serves as a way to clarify any questions regarding your application or the FFL process in general.

Local Law Compliance

Ensure you’re not only adhering to federal regulations but also Virginia’s specific laws. Engaging with local law enforcement and understanding the Virginia firearms transaction program can provide valuable insights into local requirements and regulations, especially as it relates to private sales.

Receiving Your FFL

Once your application is approved, your Federal Firearm License will be mailed to you. This document is a testament to your dedication, responsibility, and commitment to upholding Virginia’s esteemed firearm traditions.

License Types and Their Relevance

With the vast array of uses for firearms, the need for varied Federal Firearm Licenses becomes even more important. By understanding these types of licenses, you can align your business goals accurately and secure a license that is right for you.

Type 1 – Dealer

This is the most common FFL, allowing licensees to sell firearms to the end consumer. It also encompasses gunsmith activities, where firearms are repaired or modified. If your goal is to open a shop that sells firearms directly to Virginia residents or offer repair services, this is the license for you.

Type 2 – Pawnbroker

The Type 2 license allows pawnbrokers to engage in firearm sales, catering to a unique segment of the Virginia market. Whether it’s accepting firearms as pawns or reselling them, this license covers what you need.

Type 3 – Curios and Relics

Virginia houses many firearm enthusiasts who enjoy collecting vintage guns and relics. A Type 3 license is specifically made for collectors. While it doesn’t allow regular sales, it facilitates transactions involving firearms categorized as curios or relics.

Type 6 – Manufacturer of Ammunition

If you’re interested in the production side without manufacturing firearms, Type 6 is your go-to license. This license specifically covers the manufacturing of ammunition, catering to Virginia’s growing demand for quality ammunition.

Type 7 – Manufacturer of Firearms

The Type 7 enables Virginia residents to manufacture firearms, ammunition, and even repair or modify guns. With Virginia’s expanding firearm market, this license can be the perfect venture for you.

Type 8 – Importer of Firearms or Ammunition

Virginia’s demand for firearms isn’t just domestic, and many enthusiasts seek international models. A Type 8 license allows businesses to import firearms and ammunition, bridging the gap between international manufacturers and the Virginia market.

Type 9, 10, and 11 – Destructive Devices

These licenses cater to a niche segment, allowing the dealing, manufacturing, and importing of destructive devices. While these licenses aren’t as common, businesses specializing in these devices find them to be valuable.

While these licenses operate under federal guidance, Virginia’s specific laws can influence their operations. FastBound’s solutions in the firearms software industry will assist you in running your business more efficiently once you have acquired an FFL.

Overcoming Obstacles with a Virginia FFL

Just like any regulated venture, the journey to becoming a licensed FFL dealer in the firearm industry requires attention to detail and determination. We’ll address some common challenges and provide insights on how to navigate them effectively:

Navigating the Application Process

The application process is often the most challenging aspect of obtaining an FFL. It’s not just about filling out the ATF form; it’s about understanding the nuances and ensuring every detail is accurate. Key tips here include:

  • Reviewing the form multiple times before submission.
  • Seeking guidance or legal advice if you’re unsure about certain sections.
  • Ensuring you’re fully aware of both federal requirements and Virginia-specific laws.

In-Person Interviews

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducts an in-person interview with FFL applicants. The purpose is to verify information and assess the applicant’s understanding of regulations. Preparing for this involves:

  • Understanding the local laws and federal regulations.
  • Demonstrating a clear business plan and understanding of the firearm business.
  • Keeping all business-related documents organized and accessible.

Local Business Regulations

Virginia has specific zoning laws that can sometimes contradict federal regulations. In this case, research is your best ally.

  • Consult with local law enforcement or Virginia state police on where you can operate your firearm business.
  • Ensure that you meet all local requirements.

Financial Aspects

Starting a business, especially in the firearms sector, requires a significant financial contribution. This involves more than just the application fee, but potentially additional fees for storage, incoming transfers, and other necessities.

  • Plan your finances. Factor in potential costs such as background check fees, storage fees, and unexpected expenses.
  • Consider the costs of ongoing compliance. The state of Virginia might impose additional fee structures that need to be factored into your operational costs.
FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

Maintaining Compliance

Once you have your FFL, the challenge shifts to staying compliant. Regular audits, understanding changes in laws, and adhering to firearm transfer procedures are all essential. We recommend:

  • Leveraging resources like FastBound, which offers firearms compliance solutions.
  • Regularly attending training programs to stay updated.

Already Have Your Virginia FFL? FastBound Is Here!

While obtaining the FFL is a significant achievement, the journey to success in becoming a federal firearms licensee is ongoing. This is where FastBound steps in as your trusted partner, ensuring that your operations remain compliant and efficient.

Streamlined Compliance

With over 50,000 digital 4473s processed monthly, FastBound’s robust system ensures that FFLs stay on the right side of the law. By simplifying the compliance process, we help firearm dealers reduce the risk of inadvertent errors in paperwork.

Integration Capabilities

FastBound seamlessly integrates with Point-of-Sale (POS), ERP, and e-commerce applications. This ensures that whether you’re managing inventory, sales, or incoming transfers, everything syncs perfectly, minimizing discrepancies.

Legal Defense Guarantee

In the unlikely event of legal challenges related to the use of our software, FastBound stands out with a guaranteed legal defense. This unique feature demonstrates our commitment to our customers and reflects our confidence in the platform’s compliance capabilities.

Expertise and Credibility

Supporting more than 5,000 FFLs, we have become an industry leader in firearms compliance. Our extensive user base, combined with consistent positive feedback, showcases our expertise and reliability in this field.

Continuous Updates

Laws and regulations evolve, and staying updated is crucial for FFL holders. FastBound’s platform continuously updates to reflect the latest changes in federal law, state laws, and specific requirements like those imposed by Virginia state police.

Choose FastBound

FastBound is the trusted choice for over 5,000 FFLs across the country. With over 20,000 monthly active users, our reputation in the industry stands as a testament to our excellence. Efficiency and high-quality performance are the foundations of our service, ensuring that as an FFL holder, your focus remains on business growth while we handle the complexities of compliance. Ready to elevate your firearm business? Contact FastBound today and let us guide you towards unparalleled success in the world of firearms.

September 25, 2023

What You Should Know About ATF Form 5

ATF Form 5 is a critical document when it comes to navigating the intricacies of firearms compliance and tax-exempt transfers in the United States. In order to ensure a smooth and legal transfer of certain firearms, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of ATF Form 5 and its requirements. Here at FastBound, we’re committed to providing firearms compliance solutions for Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and helping our users navigate the complex landscape of the registration of firearms.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) aims to regulate certain firearms such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and destructive devices. ATF Form 5 serves as a crucial tool for transferring and registering NFA firearms properly. With our expertise and knowledge in the field, we’re here to guide you through everything you need to know about ATF Form 5.

What is ATF Form 5?

ATF Form 5 is a key document required for the proper transfer and registration of NFA firearms. It serves as an official record of the transfer and helps ensure compliance with the National Firearms Act.

ATF Form 5 is required in various situations, including but not limited to exempt transfers and transfers to lawful heirs. Exempt transfers typically involve transferring NFA firearms to legal entities such as government agencies, museums, or other qualified organizations. Transfers to lawful heirs occur when a firearm is passed down to a lawful heir following the death of the original owner. When dealing with ATF Form 5, it’s crucial to adhere to the specific requirements outlined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Each individual applicant transfer may have unique requirements, so it’s essential to thoroughly review the instructions and guidelines to ensure accurate completion of the form.

How to Fill Out ATF Form 5

Completing Form 5 accurately and efficiently is crucial for a smooth transfer and registration process. Let’s explore this guide to ensure you navigate ATF Form 5 with confidence.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Documentation

Before starting the ATF Form 5, it’s essential to gather all the required information and documentation. This includes details such as the transferee’s name, mailing address, and telephone number. You’ll also need additional information such as the serial number of the NFA firearm involved in the transfer, as well as any supporting documentation, depending on the type of transfer.

Step 2: Provide Accurate Information

Once you have all the necessary information, it’s time to fill out ATF Form 5. Each section of the form requires specific details, and it’s important to provide the correct information to avoid delays or potential compliance issues. 

In this step, you’ll provide information such as the type of transfer (exempt transfer or transfer to a lawful heir), details about the NFA firearm being transferred, and information about both the transferor and the transferee. Pay close attention to ensure that all information is entered correctly, as any errors may result in complications or delays in the transfer process.

Step 3: Submit the ATF Form 5

After completing ATF Form 5, submit the form to the appropriate authority. Following the instructions provided by the ATF, you can mail the form to the designated address. On the other hand, eForms are offered on the official government website where you can complete the ATF Form in a PDF format. This method is more efficient and creates a smoother experience for the user. 

Important Considerations and FAQ’s

As you navigate the ATF Form 5 process, it’s important to be aware of certain considerations and address common questions that may arise.

Are fingerprint cards required for ATF Form 5?

Fingerprint cards are generally not required for ATF Form 5, unless specifically requested by the ATF for certain types of transfers, such as those involving a NFA gun trust or transfers to individuals residing in certain states. It’s essential to review the instructions and requirements for your specific transfer to determine if fingerprint cards are needed.

How long does it take to process an ATF Form 5?

The processing time for ATF Form 5 can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the transfer and the workload of the ATF. While there is no specific timeframe provided by the ATF, it’s advisable to allow for several months to process the form. It’s important to remain patient during the ATF’s review and approval process.

What is the role of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in the process?

For certain types of transfers, ATF Form 5 requires certification from the CLEO of the jurisdiction where the transferee is located. The CLEO is responsible for verifying that the transfer complies with local laws and regulations. It’s recommended to establish a good working relationship with the CLEO in your area to ensure a smooth process.

Form 5 Wait Times

The anticipation after submitting ATF Form 5 can be nerve-wracking. Though transfers to government agencies or those involving unserviceable firearms are relatively faster, Form 5 wait times can fluctuate based on several variables: the specific type of NFA firearm, the volume of applications, accuracy of information, background checks on responsible persons, and the current ATF workload. Awareness of these factors and a proactive approach can help reduce wait times. Ensuring that the form is accurately filled, regularly checking for updates, and being prompt in addressing any ATF queries can make the process smoother.

While ATF Form 5 wait times are variable and sometimes lengthy, understanding the influencing factors and maintaining open communication with the ATF can make the waiting period more manageable and less stressful.

August 25, 2023

A Guide To ATF Form 2

Navigating the intricacies of the ATF Form is pivotal for any individual or entity engaging in the firearms sector within the United States. This becomes especially vital when discussing the National Firearms Act. One such form that stands out is the ATF Form 2.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates specific firearms such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and destructive devices. The ATF Form 2 serves as a key resource to properly transfer and register NFA firearms. At FastBound, we have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through what you should know about ATF Form 2.

What is ATF Form 2?

The ATF Form 2, officially termed “Notice of Firearms”, serves as an essential document under the National Firearms Act. Whenever an NFA firearm, such as a machine gun, a short-barreled shotgun, or a short barreled rifle, is manufactured or modified, ATF Form 2 is the means by which this is reported to the NFA.

One might encounter terms like NFA item or tax stamp when looking into firearms legislation. The NFA form and NFA tax stamp pertain to the same realm of legalities. When a firearm is manufactured or imported into the United States, it is required to send a notification to the NFA branch. This is where the ATF Form 2 comes into play.

While tobacco products might seem unrelated, it’s crucial to note that the ATF, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, oversees both firearms and tobacco products. This convergence, while broad in scope, emphasizes the detailed nature of ATF’s regulations, where ATF Form 2 plays a significant role specifically for firearms.

How to Complete ATF Form 2

It is extremely important to complete ATF Form 2 with accurate information in order to experience a smooth registration process. Below are the steps to make sure you do this.

Step 1. Identification

Your first step involves clearly identifying the entity involved. This could be an individual federal firearms licensee (FFL) or a legal entity such as a gun trust. You should provide the relevant employer identification number or, in the case of trusts, the specific trust document details for the form.

Step 2. Details of Your Firearm

Precise details of the NFA item are paramount. This involves the serial number, specific type (machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, short-barreled rifle, etc.), barrel length, caliber, and other associated specifications. If this section is filled out clearly, there are fewer chances for processing complications.

Step 3. Additional Information

ATF Form 2 requires data on any unique circumstances surrounding the firearm. For instance, if it’s an imported firearm, you must indicate whether it was held in customs custody or stored in an export warehouse prior to its current status.

Step 4. Endorsements

Fingerprint cards and background check details must be attached if a responsible person is applying for the ATF Form 2. In some cases, request approval might be necessary to move forward with the application.

Step 5. Electronic Document

Embracing the digital age, ATF’s eForms are offered on their official government website. This electronic document submission is not only environmentally friendly but also speeds up the application process. Although it is more efficient than traditional paper applications, it’s crucial to keep a backup, be it an electronic or printed copy, for your records.

Mistakes to Avoid with ATF Forms

Incomplete Data

The most frequent mistake that you want to avoid is incomplete submissions. Any missing detail on the application, such as the serial number or the omission of firearm storage status (like in an export warehouse), can lead to immediate application pushback. Always review your registration before you click submit, in the case of incorrect information being presented. 

Confusion with Forms

It’s not uncommon for applicants to mix up ATF forms. Best practices are to ensure that ATF Form 2 is the correct form for your specific needs, differentiating it from other NFA forms that may appear similar to a first-time applicant.

Check out our resources page for more information on each type of ATF Form.

Misinterpretation of Terms

Language is crucial. It’s vital to comprehend and correctly use terms. For example, understanding and indicating the exact difference between a short-barrel rifle and a short-barreled shotgun can make a huge difference in processing times.

Overlooking Electronic Solutions

The digital solutions provided by the ATF’s eForms are designed to streamline the process. Ignoring these forms or failing to check the official government website can unnecessarily prolong your wait time, something you want to prevent with the existing processing times.

Form 2 Wait Times

Processing times for regulatory documents can be unpredictable. While ATF Form 2 typically doesn’t have as lengthy wait times as other NFA forms, it largely depends on several factors. These include the accuracy of the information the applicant provided, the volume of applications at any given time, and any updates or changes in the regulatory environment. Typically, applications can range from a few weeks to a few months. If you’re a qualified federal firearms licensee, the timeline might be shorter, but always be prepared for potential wait times and ensure that all information is correct.

Arming yourself with knowledge is the key to a smooth experience with ATF Form 2. Being meticulous with ATF forms, or any regulatory document, ensures that you remain compliant and reduces the chances of unnecessary complications in your firearm endeavors.

August 25, 2023

How To Get an FFL in Pennsylvania

In recent years, there’s been a surging interest in firearms, not only as a means of personal protection but also as an embodiment of the constitutional right to bear arms. With this heightened demand, the Federal Firearm License (FFL) has become more pivotal than ever, especially in the state of Pennsylvania. Holding an FFL not only allows individuals and businesses to sell and transfer firearms legally but also ensures that they abide by both federal and Pennsylvania state regulations, upholding the safety and integrity of every transaction.

Since 2010, FastBound has been an industry trailblazer, offering innovative solutions tailored for those in the firearm sector. Our groundbreaking federal firearms license software for A&D and 4473 has seen over a billion transactions for thousands of FFLs, guaranteeing ATF compliance. What makes FastBound stand out is not just its unparalleled technical capabilities but its foundation of trust and reliability. Being the first to engage an FFL law firm for backing, FastBound has a guaranteed legal defense directly related to the use of its software—a benchmark of distinction that’s often emulated.

The Steps to Obtain an FFL in Pennsylvania

As with any significant venture, acquiring a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in Pennsylvania requires due diligence, a keen understanding of the process, and meticulous adherence to both federal and state guidelines.

Background Checks: The First Line of Defense

Acquiring an FFL begins with a rigorous background check. This ensures that only responsible and law-abiding citizens are granted the privilege to sell and transfer firearms. The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) managed by the Pennsylvania state police acts as the primary platform for this verification, checking against criminal and mental health records.

Completed Application: Your Passport to the World of Firearms

One cannot stress enough the importance of the completed application. This document, typically referred to as ATF Form 7, provides the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) with essential details about the applicant. It includes information about the business, responsible persons, and the specific license type desired. Accurate and honest representation is crucial, as any discrepancies can lead to application denial or future legal complications.

Deciphering the Federal and Pennsylvania Laws

A firm grasp of both federal and Pennsylvania law is non-negotiable for any FFL holder. Federal law lays out the basic requirements for obtaining an FFL, such as age restrictions and business premises regulations. On the other hand, Pennsylvania law can introduce additional mandates, including local zoning laws and safety protocols. Awareness of both layers of legislation ensures that your FFL operations remain compliant.

Collaborating with Local Authorities

Local law enforcement agencies, especially the county sheriff, play a pivotal role in the FFL process. Not only do they assist in background checks and verifications, but their endorsement can also be instrumental in expediting the application process. Building a positive relationship and transparent communication with these entities is beneficial for any FFL applicant.

By understanding and navigating these fundamental steps, acquiring an FFL in Pennsylvania can be a streamlined and rewarding process. FastBound’s industry-leading solutions will then help you run your business more efficiently once you have the FFL. 

License Types and Their Relevance

The world of firearms is vast, encompassing a range of products from hunting rifles to antique collectibles. Just as varied are the purposes for which individuals and businesses seek to sell or transfer these firearms. Pennsylvania, like other states, categorizes these diverse needs into specific license types to ensure proper regulation and management.

License Types and Specific Firearm Transactions

Pennsylvania recognizes several license types, each tailored to specific firearm categories and transaction needs:

  • Type 1: For gun shops and businesses primarily selling firearms to end consumers.
  • Type 2: For individuals or businesses that pawn, sell, or buy firearms as a pawnbroker, where the sale isn’t the primary source of revenue.
  • Type 3: Ideal for those who collect curious and relic firearms.
  • Type 6: For manufacturers of ammunition, but does not include business activity involving firearms.
  • Type 7: Ideal for those manufacturing firearms, including lower receivers.
  • Type 8: For FFL dealers specializing in the import of firearms.
  • Type 9: A specialized license for those who want to be dealers in destructive devices.
  • Type 10: For those who want to manufacture not just firearms but also destructive devices and ammunition for those devices. 
  • Type 11: Ideal for license holders who want to import destructive devices.

The Significance of License Type in Transactions

The chosen license type dictates several factors in the transaction process. For instance, the sale of a long gun might have different state-specific requirements compared to other firearms. FFL holders must be aware of these nuances, ensuring every transaction aligns with both federal and Pennsylvania law. By ensuring that one’s license aligns with their business operations, they can guarantee compliant, smooth, and efficient transactions for every customer.

Overcoming Challenges in Obtaining a Pennsylvania FFL

Every journey is bound to encounter some hiccups, and the path to securing an FFL in Pennsylvania is no different.

Local Requirements and Zoning Laws

One of the most frequent roadblocks applicants face is local requirements set by their local township or municipality. Zoning laws can dictate where a business selling firearms can be located. It’s essential to consult with local authorities beforehand to ensure the intended business address complies with these regulations.

In-Person Interview

The in-person interview with an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) is a pivotal stage in the FFL application process. Here, the IOI assesses the applicant’s knowledge of federal regulations and state laws, including Pennsylvania law. Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations and understanding your rights and responsibilities as a potential FFL holder can make this interaction smoother.

Fees and Additional Costs

Securing an FFL comes with its set of fees, including the initial transfer fee. Apart from this, there might be additional fees imposed by the state or local agencies. It’s prudent to budget for these in advance, ensuring no future financial surprises.

FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

Ensuring Seamless Firearm Transfers

One of the primary responsibilities of an FFL holder is to facilitate seamless and legal firearm transfers. This involves detailed record-keeping, mandatory background checks using systems like the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, and staying updated on changing regulations related to firearm purchases and transfers.

Staying Updated on Regulations

Laws and regulations pertaining to firearms are dynamic and an FFL holder must stay updated with these changes. Leveraging resources like FastBound’s leading FFL software can be immensely helpful. It not only ensures ATF compliance but provides an updated framework to work within, minimizing the risk of legal violations.

While challenges are a common part of the FFL acquisition process, they’re not impossible. 

Already Have Your Pennsylvania FFL? FastBound Can Help 

Applying for an FFL in Pennsylvania is intricate, requiring a synergy of effort, knowledge, and timely compliance, and once you’ve gotten your FFL, the process is seamless. Enter FastBound, a pioneer in FFL software solutions. 

Unwavering Commitment

Since 2010, FastBound has been at the forefront, assisting FFL holders. Our software has processed over a billion transactions, a testament to its robustness and reliability. When you partner with FastBound, you’re leaning on a decade of expertise and proven results.

Transcending Traditional Boundaries

FastBound’s software isn’t just any solution—it’s transformative. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone, our platform morphs any device into a compliant 4473 with a digital signature and digital storage support. No extra transaction fees, no special hardware demands—just pure efficiency.

Unparalleled Legal Defense

In an industry full of complex legalities, the last thing you need is to be caught off-guard. FastBound stands alone in offering an attorney-backed legal defense related to the use of our software. Our collaboration with FFL Guard ensures that our users have an impenetrable line of defense, a security net that’s often imitated but never equaled.


While FastBound is packed with advanced features, it’s designed for simplicity. We ensure that users of all backgrounds and expertise levels can navigate and utilize our software with ease.

Choose FastBound

FastBound isn’t just about today—it’s also about tomorrow. We continuously adapt to evolving federal regulations and state laws, including those specific to Pennsylvania. With FastBound, you’re always a step ahead, ensuring every firearm transfer aligns with the latest legal mandates.

Acquiring an FFL is a complex process, and once you’ve gotten approved, the journey is easy. Contact FastBound today and we will be here as your trusted companion, ensuring that everything is compliant with regulations. As you embark on this journey, let FastBound be the wind beneath your wings, propelling you toward success in the world of firearms.

August 21, 2023

What is 922r Compliance?

Navigating the complex maze of gun laws in the United States can be a daunting task for any gun owner. Understanding these laws and staying compliant is crucial for the responsible handling and ownership of firearms. One such regulation that stands at the intersection of firearms and legality is the 922r Compliance.

In this post, we will unpack the ins and outs of the 922r Compliance. As experts in Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) compliance, FastBound is your trusted guide on this journey. Our FFL software platform is designed to help keep FFLs in compliance with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), making the process easier and less stressful for you.

Our aim is to guide you through the labyrinth of 922r Compliance, explain its importance, and help you understand the steps required to ensure your firearm meets all compliance criteria. Whether you’re a licensed manufacturer or an individual gun owner, this article is intended to provide valuable insights into maintaining 922r compliance, offering practical tips and reliable legal advice.

Remember, staying informed is the first step towards being compliant. So, let’s dive in.

What is 922r Compliance?

922r Compliance refers to the legal stipulations set forth in Section 922(r) of the U.S federal law. This law primarily pertains to the manufacture and assembly of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns in the United States. It was designed to prevent the creation of new, non-sporting firearms from imported parts.

Imported Firearms and Foreign Parts

One of the critical aspects of 922r is its relation to imported firearms. If a firearm is imported, it falls under the umbrella of 922r, which specifically targets firearms with more than ten “foreign-made parts” from a predetermined list of twenty. The inclusion of the “foreign-made parts” clause aims to regulate the use of foreign parts in domestically assembled firearms, thus encouraging the use of American-made parts.

Compliance Rules

According to the law, to be considered 922r compliant, a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun cannot contain more than 10 imported parts from the approved list. Thus, if your firearm is imported or contains more than ten imported parts, you will need to replace enough parts with American-made components to fall under the legal threshold.

These regulations highlight the importance of understanding the concept of compliance, compliant parts, and compliant firearms.

922R Compliance Parts List

Understanding the 922r compliance list begins with comprehending the variety of firearm parts. The list features a range of components including elements of a semiautomatic rifle, shotgun, and automatic rifle. Whether it’s a pistol grip stock, a trigger pull mechanism, or a bolt carrier, each part plays a critical role in your firearm’s functioning and consequently, its compliance status.

When you look at your firearm, you’re looking at an intricate assembly of US parts and possibly foreign-made parts. It’s essential to distinguish between these in terms of compliance. Under Section 922r, certain parts are specifically enumerated and counted towards the total number of imported parts.

Any rifle or shotgun assembled from foreign parts must have 10 or fewer of the partsfrom the following list:

  • Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings, or stampings
  • Barrels
  • Barrel extensions
  • Mounting blocks (trunnions)
  • Muzzle attachments
  • Bolts
  • Bolt carriers
  • Operating rods
  • Gas pistons
  • Trigger housings
  • Triggers
  • Hammers
  • Sears
  • Disconnectors
  • Buttstocks
  • Pistol grips
  • Forearms, handguards
  • Magazine bodies
  • Followers
  • Floorplates

Foreign-Made Parts vs. US Parts

The law stipulates that a firearm cannot have more than ten imported parts from the list of twenty. Therefore, you must carefully consider the origin of each part while maintaining or modifying your firearm.

To balance out the imported parts, you might want to use an American made parts kit. These kits provide compliant parts that you can use to replace non-compliant, foreign-made ones in your firearm. This way, you can ensure that your firearm stays within the legal limit of imported parts.

Role of Compliance Parts in Your Firearm

Each part in your firearm, whether it’s a magazine, a trigger mechanism, or a bolt, contributes to its overall compliance status. Compliance parts are specifically included in the list to help you keep a count. Being aware of the original part, replacement part, and the number of compliant parts in your firearm is crucial to staying compliant with 922r.

Why is it Important to Stay 922R Compliant?

Navigating the jumble of gun laws may feel overwhelming at times. However, the cost of non-compliance with federal law, especially Section 922r, can be steep. If your firearm is found to be non-compliant, you could face penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment. Therefore, compliance is not just about adhering to the rules – it’s about staying on the right side of the law.

Importance for Gun Owners

As a gun owner, whether you own a semiautomatic rifle, an imported pistol, or a shotgun, it’s crucial that you understand 922r Compliance. By ensuring that your firearm meets the standards set by federal law, you demonstrate responsible gun ownership. Furthermore, maintaining compliance ensures that you can enjoy your firearm without worrying about potential legal implications.

Role of Licensed Manufacturers

For licensed manufacturers, compliance is doubly important. It’s not just about manufacturing firearms that adhere to legal standards – it’s also about providing your customers with the assurance that the products they purchase from you are 100% compliant. This is especially important for manufacturers who import parts or deal with imported firearms.

Grey Areas and Legal Advice

In the realm of 922r compliance, it’s common to encounter grey areas, where it’s unclear whether a particular action or modification makes your firearm compliant or not. This is where legal advice becomes invaluable. Seeking legal advice helps clarify any ambiguities and ensures that you’re making the right decisions when it comes to your firearm’s compliance status.

Steps to Stay Compliant

Remaining 922r compliant is primarily about understanding the components of your firearm and ensuring that it contains the appropriate balance of imported and American-made parts. Here are the steps you can follow:

Replace Foreign Parts with American Made Parts

Since the law stipulates that a firearm can’t have more than ten foreign-made parts from the approved list, you will need to replace these with American-made components. This replacement strategy involves understanding which parts are considered under the 922r Compliance and their origins.

An American made parts kit is a great resource to ensure compliance. These kits offer a range of components that meet the compliance criteria, allowing you to swap out the necessary parts and keep your firearm 922r compliant.

Know What a Compliant Firearm Looks Like

Understanding what a compliant firearm looks like is essential. Does your semiautomatic rifle or shotgun have more than ten imported parts? If so, it’s time to think about replacements. Remember, the compliant parts can include anything from a pistol grip to a magazine body or a floor plate. Each part counts towards compliance.

Legal Advice is Crucial

Seeking legal advice is a fundamental step in staying 922r compliant. Legal professionals with expertise in gun laws can provide insight into the intricate details of compliance and help you avoid potential missteps. By regularly seeking legal advice, you can ensure that your firearm maintains its compliance status, even as you make changes or modifications to it.

Remember, staying compliant is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Regular check-ins, part replacements, and legal advice can help you navigate the complexities of 922r Compliance.

August 9, 2023

How to Get an FFL in Illinois

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on securing a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in the state of Illinois. If you’re an Illinois resident passionate about firearms, whether as a dealer, collector, or simply a responsible owner, then having an FFL is not only beneficial, but in many cases, necessary.

As an FFL holder, you can engage in the legal transfer of firearms, maintain comprehensive records, and ensure compliance with both Illinois state law and federal law. However, the process of obtaining an FFL and the responsibilities that come with it can seem daunting. That’s where this guide comes in. Our aim is to provide you with an engaging and informational overview of the benefits, the step-by-step process to getting an FFL in Illinois, how to navigate the complex firearm transfer process, and how existing FFL holders can simplify their operations.

The journey to getting your FFL in Illinois starts here. Let’s take it step by step together, guiding you towards becoming a confident, knowledgeable, and legally compliant firearm dealer in the state of Illinois.

The Benefits of Having an FFL in Illinois

Having a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in Illinois opens up a world of opportunities for both individual firearms enthusiasts and businesses alike. The benefits extend beyond the legal requirement for conducting firearm transactions, diving deep into the realm of the broader firearms industry. Here are some of the key advantages of being an FFL holder in the Land of Lincoln.

Broadening Your Reach: As an FFL holder, you can legally sell and transfer firearms not only within the state of Illinois but across the United States. This wider market access increases the scope of your operations, whether you’re managing a gun store, a shooting range, or just a private collector.

Cost and Variety Advantages: FFL holders often have the advantage of acquiring firearms at wholesale prices directly from manufacturers. This cost benefit, combined with access to a more extensive variety of firearms such as semiautomatic rifles, machine guns, long guns, and assault weapons, can significantly enhance your firearms collection or inventory.

Legal Coverage: Holding an FFL provides you with legal coverage for all your firearm transactions. It ensures that you comply with both Illinois law and federal law when buying, selling, or transferring firearms. In Illinois, FFL dealers play a critical role in enforcing responsible gun ownership by conducting necessary background checks and maintaining comprehensive records, including firearm ammunition and serial numbers.

Business Opportunities: For those looking to make a business out of their passion for firearms, an FFL is a crucial first step. From establishing a retail location to selling firearms and related accessories, an FFL allows you to legally engage in the firearms trade. Moreover, it paves the way for potential expansions into related businesses, like offering shooting classes or opening a shooting range.

Obtaining your FFL in Illinois is not just about meeting state and federal requirements; it’s about unlocking a world of possibilities in the firearm industry. And, with a clear understanding of these benefits, we can now delve into the step-by-step process of how you can secure your own FFL in Illinois.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining Your Illinois FFL

Securing your Federal Firearms License (FFL) in Illinois requires careful navigation through the application process. It’s not just about filling out forms; it’s also about understanding the legal requirements, knowing how to meet them, and how to ensure your operations remain compliant with state and federal laws. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process.

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: Before you start, ensure you meet the basic eligibility requirements. You must be at least 21 years old, legally allowed to handle firearms and ammunition, and have premises for conducting business. The Illinois law requires that you comply with all local and state laws applicable to this business, including zoning laws.
  2. Decide the Type of FFL License You Need: There are various types of FFL licenses, each for different applications in the firearms industry. These range from a Type 1 Dealer/Gunsmith license to a Type 10 Manufacturer in Destructive Devices, to a Type 02 Pawnbroker. Identifying the right license type based on your goals is crucial. For instance, if you plan to deal with NFA firearms, you will need a Type 1 license and a Class 3 Special Occupational Tax (SOT).
  3. Identify Responsible Persons: These are individuals who have the power to direct the management and policies of the business. This could be the business owner in the case of a sole proprietor, or partners, board members, officers, or owners in other types of businesses.
  4. Complete the Application: Submit your completed application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). You will need to provide all the necessary information about the business and the responsible persons.
  5. Submit Fingerprint Cards: Each responsible person must submit a fingerprint card. This card will be used for a background check, and it’s a necessary step for obtaining an FFL.
  6. Complete Background Check: The ATF will conduct a thorough background check on each responsible person. This includes a check for criminal history, mental health status, and substance abuse issues.
  7. Paying the License Fee: The application fee for an FFL varies depending on the type of license. This fee is non-refundable and covers the first 3 years of your license.
FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

8. Interview with the ATF: An ATF officer will interview the responsible persons and inspect your business premises. The interview will cover your knowledge of Illinois and federal firearm laws and regulations, the security measures at your premises, and your record-keeping plans.

9. Receive Your License: If your application is successful, the ATF will mail your FFL license. This allows you to conduct business as a federally licensed firearm dealer, including the sale and transfer of firearms.

As an FFL holder, you’ll play a critical role in promoting responsible firearm ownership in Illinois. This involves conducting background checks, maintaining complete records of firearms and ammunition, including serial numbers, and ensuring that all firearms transactions are carried out legally. Now that you know how to secure your FFL let’s explore the process of firearm transfers in Illinois.

Navigating the Illinois FFL Transfer Process

Becoming a gun dealer in Illinois unlocks the ability to legally engage in firearm transfers. However, this is a complex process with stringent requirements set by the Illinois State Police and federal government, designed to ensure responsible firearm ownership. Here’s a simplified guide on how to navigate this process effectively.

  1. Understand FOID Requirements: In Illinois, any person involved in a firearm transfer must hold a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. As an FFL dealer, it’s your responsibility to verify the validity of the FOID card before proceeding with any transaction.
  2. Conduct a Background Check: Every firearm transfer requires a background check, regardless of whether it’s a long gun, handgun, or assault weapon. This helps ensure the firearm isn’t being sold to a prohibited person.
  3. Comply with the Waiting Period: Illinois law mandates a waiting period for firearm transfers. This period is to ensure a “cooling-off” period before the completion of the purchase.
  4. Maintain Accurate Record Keeping: Record keeping is critical in any firearm transfer. Information such as the buyer’s details, the type and serial number of the firearm, date of transfer, and the results of the background check must be recorded accurately. This is where FastBound’s software can significantly simplify the process, ensuring ATF compliance while saving you time and resources.
  5. Verify Transfer with Illinois State Police: Illinois requires that you verify the transfer with the Illinois State Police, providing all relevant details about the buyer, the firearm, and the transfer itself.
  6. Complete the Transfer: Once you have met all the requirements, you can complete the transfer. Remember, this process is the same whether you’re at your retail location, a gun show, or performing a transfer between private individuals.

Navigating the Illinois FFL transfer process can be intricate, but it’s crucial in ensuring responsible firearm ownership and compliance with Illinois and federal laws. FastBound’s FFL software can be a valuable ally in streamlining this process, managing complex records, and ensuring legal compliance in every transaction.

Already Have Your Illinois FFL? FastBound Can Help

Electronic Form 4473

Now that you’ve secured your FFL and familiarized yourself with the transfer process, you’re ready to conduct business. But with great power comes great responsibility. The importance of maintaining meticulous records, conducting thorough background checks, and ensuring absolute compliance with federal and state laws cannot be overstated. That’s where FastBound comes in.

FastBound’s industry-leading FFL software simplifies the record-keeping process while ensuring guaranteed ATF compliance. With FastBound, you can manage compliant 4473’s on any smart device, maintain unlimited and compliant A&D bound books, and streamline operations with automated form fills. The software also provides a reliable manufacturing module that assists with every step of the way, making it easier to expand your business offerings in the firearm industry. These are just a couple of the features that have helped FastBound process over a billion transactions for thousands of FFLs across the country.

Furthermore, FastBound guarantees an attorney-backed legal defense against any administrative actions related to our software with FFLGuard. This ensures peace of mind, allowing you to focus on growing your business with the confidence that you are legally protected.

Remember, your journey as an FFL dealer is not just about selling firearms; it’s about promoting responsible firearm ownership and usage. FastBound offers you a smart way to stay compliant, efficient, and successful in your journey.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, getting an FFL in Illinois might seem like a daunting process, but with the right guidance and tools like FastBound, you can become a certified licensee operating under the laws of the State of Illinois, contributing to the broader firearms industry, and fostering responsible firearm ownership. Whether you’re a passionate individual collector or aiming to establish a successful firearm business, the opportunity is yours to seize. We wish you the best of luck on your journey in the world of firearms in Illinois.

August 8, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About ATF Form 3

Are you a firearms enthusiast in the United States? If so, you’ve likely encountered ATF Form 3 in your quest to legally transfer NFA items

This essential document traces its roots back to the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which was implemented to regulate certain types of firearms, including machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and suppressors. 

ATF Form 3 serves as a crucial component of the transfer process for these regulated firearms, ensuring compliance with federal regulations. We will delve into the intricacies of ATF Form 3, providing detailed instructions, exploring its purpose and contents, and shedding light on processing times.

What is ATF Form 3?

ATF Form 3, officially known as the Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearm and Registration to Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT), is a critical paperwork requirement for transferring NFA items. It serves as a legal record and facilitates the transfer of regulated firearms between federal firearms licensees (FFLs), including manufacturers, importers, and dealers. By completing ATF Form 3 accurately and adhering to the necessary guidelines, firearm owners can ensure compliance with federal regulations and facilitate a smooth transfer process.

ATF Form 3 serves as an application for tax-exempt transfers of NFA items. It allows FFL holders to transfer regulated firearms to other eligible FFL holders without the need for payment of a transfer tax.

The form requires detailed information related to the transferor, transferee, and the NFA firearm(s) being transferred. This includes identifying information such as names, addresses, and FFL numbers of the transferor and transferee. Additionally, the form requires a comprehensive description of the NFA firearm(s), including make, model, caliber, and serial number.

How to Fill Out ATF Form 3

Filling out ATF Form 3 accurately is crucial to ensure a smooth transfer process. Let’s explore the step-by-step instructions for completing the form:

Step 1: Obtain the Form

ATF Form 3 can be obtained from the official website of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), or you can request a physical copy from your local ATF field office or licensed firearm dealer.

Step 2: Provide Accurate Information 

When completing the form, ensure that all information provided is accurate and legible. Illegible handwriting can cause delays or misunderstandings. If possible, consider filling out the form online or using block letters.

Step 3: Identify the Parties

Section A of ATF Form 3 requires the identification of both the transferor and transferee. Provide their full names, addresses, and FFL numbers.

Step 4: Describe the NFA Firearm(s)

In Section B, provide a detailed and accurate description of the NFA firearm(s) being transferred. This includes make, model, caliber, and serial number. Precise descriptions minimize the potential for errors or confusion during the transfer process.

Step 5: Additional Information

Section C of the form requires additional information, such as the transferee’s SOT status, the transferor’s reason for transfer, and any other relevant details. Carefully review this section and provide the necessary information.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure a successful ATF Form 3 submission, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can lead to delays or complications:

Illegible Handwriting

Ensure that all information is legible and easily readable. Consider typing the form or using clear block letters to minimize the risk of errors.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Information

Double-check that all required fields are filled in accurately and completely. Incomplete or incorrect information can lead to delays or the rejection of your application.

Consistency in Information 

Ensure that the information provided on ATF Form 3 aligns with other relevant documents, such as FFL and SOT numbers. Consistency helps prevent discrepancies and potential complications.

Form 3 Wait Times

One common concern when dealing with ATF Form 3 is the processing time. Wait times for ATF Form 3 can vary and depend on several factors, including workload, staffing, and external circumstances.

It’s also worth noting that the ATF has made efforts to improve the processing times for NFA-related forms in recent years. They have implemented measures such as hiring additional staff and implementing electronic forms to streamline the process. 

On average, the processing time for ATF Form 3 ranges from a few weeks to several months. However, it’s essential to remember that these estimates are not set in stone and can fluctuate. Factors such as increased application volume or staffing shortages at the ATF’s NFA Branch can impact processing times.

While waiting for approval, exercise patience, as processing times can fluctuate. It’s advisable to stay in touch with your licensed dealer or the ATF to stay updated on the progress of your application. They may be able to provide you with information regarding the current status of your application and any potential delays.

However, it’s important to avoid contacting the ATF too frequently for updates, as this can further inundate their workload. Instead, rely on periodic check-ins to ensure that you stay informed without adding unnecessary burden to the processing timeline.

August 7, 2023

How to Get an FFL in Arizona

The United States has a long-standing tradition of firearms ownership, with Arizona playing a significant role in this narrative. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into the realm of Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs), focusing particularly on the process, benefits, and nuances in the beautiful desert landscapes of Arizona.

Whether you’re a gun owner looking to delve into the world of firearm dealing, a shooting range owner exploring expansion possibilities, or a private party interested in transferring firearms, understanding the intricacies of FFL in Arizona is vital. After all, acquiring a Federal Firearms License is an essential step towards becoming a licensed gun dealer or facilitating an FFL transfer legally and responsibly.

We’ll be your guide, simplifying the complex jargon and legislation that might come across as daunting to many. By the end of this read, you’ll not only understand the federal law surrounding FFLs but also gain insights on how to navigate the application process and become an integral part of the firearms industry in Arizona. Buckle up as we take you on this enlightening journey.

The Benefits of Having an FFL in Arizona

Arizona presents a robust market for firearms dealers. Holding an FFL provides the license holder with an opportunity to tap into this market, which ranges from individual gun owners to shooting ranges and gun stores. As an FFL dealer, you can sell firearms, conduct FFL transfers, and even specialize in NFA items.

Enhanced Access to a Wider Range of Firearms

An FFL isn’t just about the business aspect. For firearm enthusiasts, an FFL in Arizona is like to a golden ticket. It opens the gates to a wider range of firearms that may not be readily accessible to the general public. From antique guns to unique and rare firearms, an FFL allows you to enhance your collection legally and responsibly.

Promoting Responsible Firearms Ownership

FFL holders in Arizona play a vital role in promoting responsible gun ownership. By conducting necessary background checks during every firearm transfer, FFL holders ensure that firearms only end up with their rightful owners. These checks, mandated by federal law, ensure a level of safety and responsibility within the Arizona firearms community.

Community Relations and Law Enforcement

Holding an FFL also strengthens the relationship with local law enforcement. Licensed gun dealers often work closely with law enforcement agencies, assisting them with firearm inquiries and tracing activities. By doing so, FFL holders contribute to safer communities and assist law enforcement in their duties.

A Steppingstone into the Firearms Industry

Finally, for those interested in the firearms industry, an FFL license can be the first step towards a rewarding career. Whether you aspire to open a gun store, operate a shooting range, or establish a firearm manufacturing unit, an FFL license is a requirement you cannot bypass. Not to mention, it also provides credibility in the eyes of customers and other businesses in the industry.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining an FFL in Arizona

Before you embark on the journey to obtain your Federal Firearms License (FFL), it’s essential to grasp what it means. An FFL is a legal permit that allows individuals or companies to manufacture, import, or sell firearms and ammunition. In Arizona, obtaining an FFL can open doors to a thriving firearms industry, enabling you to conduct FFL transfers, sell firearms, or even establish a gun store.

Step 1: Determine the Type of FFL License You Need

There are various types of FFL licenses, each tailored to different aspects of the firearms industry. These range from a Type 1 Dealer/Gunsmith license to a Type 10 Manufacturer in Destructive Devices. Identifying the right license type based on your goals is crucial. For instance, if you plan to deal with NFA firearms, you will need a Type 1 license and a Class 3 Special Occupational Tax (SOT).

Step 2: Understanding the Eligibility Criteria

As per federal law, certain eligibility criteria must be met before you can apply for an FFL. You must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen or a legal resident, and have a premises for conducting business. Additionally, you must not have violated the Gun Control Act or its regulations, and you must not be prohibited from handling firearms or ammunition.

Step 3: Filling the Application Form

Once you’ve established your eligibility, the next step is completing ATF Form 7 (Application for Federal Firearms License). This form requests a variety of information, including your business details, storage address for firearms, and responsible persons involved in the business. It’s crucial to fill this form accurately as any incorrect information can lead to application denial.

Step 4: Compliance with State and Local Law

In addition to federal requirements, FFL applicants must also comply with Arizona state laws and local ordinances related to firearms. This includes zoning laws for your business location, sales tax license, and other permits. Ensuring compliance at all levels is integral to successful application approval.

There are no specific Arizona state requirements beyond those set by the Federal Government, but it’s prudent to check in on your local regulations.

Step 5: Paying the License Fee

The application fee for an FFL varies depending on the type of license. This fee is non-refundable and covers the first 3 years of your license.

FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

Step 6: Preparing for the ATF Interview

Once your application is processed, an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) will conduct an in-person interview. They’ll confirm the information on your application, verify that your business location complies with state and local laws, and ensure you understand the requirements and obligations of an FFL holder.

Step 7: Receiving Your FFL

After a successful interview, the ATF will issue your FFL, allowing you to legally conduct business in the firearms industry in Arizona. It’s important to remember that obtaining your FFL is just the beginning. As an FFL holder, you’re required to maintain accurate records, regularly check the validity of your license, and renew it every three years.

Remember, each step in this process is vital to securing your FFL license. The responsibility attached to it is great, and so is the opportunity. By adhering to these steps and respecting both federal and state laws, you can confidently stride into the expansive landscape of Arizona’s firearms industry.

Navigating the Arizona FFL Transfer Process

An integral part of being an FFL holder is facilitating FFL transfers, which are required whenever a firearm changes hands across state lines or when the transaction involves an unlicensed individual and a licensed dealer. As a Federal Firearms Licensee, you play a crucial role in ensuring these transfers occur legally and safely.

Step 1: Initiate the Transfer

The process typically begins when a firearm purchaser chooses to buy a firearm online or from a location outside Arizona. In such cases, the seller cannot directly ship the firearm to the buyer; instead, the firearm must first be shipped to an FFL holder, who then transfers the firearm to the buyer.

Step 2: Conduct a Background Check

Upon receiving the firearm, the FFL holder is obligated to conduct a background check on the recipient. This requirement, as per federal law, is essential in confirming that the buyer is legally permitted to possess firearms. Tools such as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) are used for this process.

Step 3: Complete the Firearms Transaction Record

Once the background check is cleared, the FFL holder and the recipient must complete ATF Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record. This form includes essential information such as the buyer’s identity, the firearm’s serial number, and a declaration that the buyer is purchasing the firearm for themselves.

Step 4: Collect Transfer Fee

While the federal law doesn’t mandate any specific transfer fee, FFL holders typically charge a fee for facilitating the transfer process. This fee compensates the FFL holder for their time, the background check, and other administrative tasks involved.

Step 5: Handover the Firearm to the Rightful Owner

Upon successful completion of these steps, the FFL holder can transfer the firearm to the buyer. It’s essential to ensure that the firearm only reaches its rightful owner.

By understanding and correctly implementing these steps, FFL holders in Arizona ensure that all firearms transactions they are involved in adhere to federal and state laws. This process not only enhances the safety and legality of firearm ownership but also increases trust and accountability among the gun-owning community.

Already Have Your Arizona FFL? FastBound Can Help

FastBound is the most compliant, attorney-backed firearms compliance software available. Since 2010, our platform has process over a billion transactions for thousands of FFLs around the country with guaranteed ATF compliance.

Compliant 4473s on Any Smart Device

One of FastBound’s standout features is its ability to facilitate ATF Form 4473 compliance on any smart device. This flexibility is crucial in today’s digital era, where operations are often conducted on the go. Whether you’re an FFL holder managing transactions at a gun show or at your storefront, you can rely on FastBound to deliver compliant 4473s, ensuring the legality of every firearm transaction.

Unlimited and Compliant Bound Books

FastBound offers unlimited electronic bound books that fully comply with ATF regulations. Gone are the days of manually maintaining physical records. With FastBound, you can quickly search, update, and manage your records digitally, bringing efficiency to your operations. Whether you handle a handful or hundreds of firearms transactions daily, FastBound’s electronic bound books are designed to meet your needs.

Manufacturing Module

For FFL holders involved in manufacturing firearms, FastBound’s manufacturing module is a game-changer. This module provides step-by-step guidance, ensuring that every manufacturing process you undertake meets federal laws and ATF regulations. From marking firearms correctly to maintaining proper manufacturing records, FastBound supports you throughout the process.

Guaranteed Legal Defense with FFLGuard

ATF compliance can be tricky for any FFL holder. That’s why FastBound offers guaranteed legal defense through FFLGuard, the country’s top attorney backed firearms compliance program. With this, you can rest assured that you will have guaranteed legal defense against any administrative actions related to our software.

Efficient Bulk Changes

FastBound recognizes the needs of busy FFL holders who handle a high volume of transactions. The software’s bulk changes feature allows you to update multiple records simultaneously, saving time and reducing administrative tasks. Whether it’s a status update or adding new information, FastBound’s bulk changes feature brings efficiency to your operations.

In conclusion, FastBound combines functionality, security, and convenience to deliver an ATF compliance solution that meets the needs of today’s FFL holders. Its standout features are designed to streamline operations, reduce manual work, and ensure compliance, making FastBound a valuable partner for any FFL holder in Arizona and across the United States.

July 27, 2023

FastBound’s Latest Release: Streamlining FFL Software with SSO and Enhanced 4473 Form Functionality!

We’re elated to announce the launch of our latest SaaS release, packed with customer-requested features and improvements that will undoubtedly elevate your FastBound experience.

Adding Single Sign-On (SSO) support is topping the list of updates. No more juggling multiple credentials! With SSO, your organization can access multiple applications seamlessly and securely using just one login credential. SSO reduces password fatigue, enhances convenience, and tightens security—a triple threat in the digital space. If your Identity Provider supports SAML 2.0, we’ll happily set you up at no charge (we don’t believe in the SSO Tax!)

Alongside SSO, we’ve upgraded our 4473 preview window. Now, it can detect if a third-party popup blocker is hampering your experience. No more unexpected hitches as you navigate our platform!

API updates are part of the mix too. We’ve enriched our disposition APIs with a new property that accommodates additional email addresses for more precise electronic transfer matching. 

Furthermore, our customers using the 4473 Cloud integration will see a convenient new SSO link under the 4473 navigation menu in the upcoming weeks. This new link is designed to make your navigation even more effortless.

Lastly, and certainly, not least, we’ve broadened our support for the Q10/Q26 Official Military Orders Establishing Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Plus, we’ve refined Q24 “Category of firearm(s) to be transferred” to update if an item type changes.

In a nutshell, this release enhances our existing functionalities and paves the way for simpler, more efficient workflows. It’s all part of FastBound’s ongoing commitment to providing superior, user-friendly service. 

Stay tuned for more updates!

July 17, 2023

ATF Form 4: A Complete Guide

If you’re interested in buying certain types of firearms covered by the National Firearms Act (NFA) then you’ve probably heard of the ATF Form 4…but what exactly is it?

We’re going to take a look at what the form is, how it works, and what you should expect (and what to avoid) when filling one out. Trust us, you don’t want to get a call about a mistake on your form. It could cost you months on your approval wait time.

Speaking of wait times, we’ll also go over those, and how long you’ll probably have before you get everything stamped and approved.

Background on ATF Form 4 

The ATF Form 4 is an important part of buying certain types of firearms covered by the National Firearms Act. In its modern incarnation, it is typically completed online for the fastest turn-around times, but you can also mail in a paper copy, though this can take much longer.

The form itself is an “Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of a Firearm” and must be submitted along with the tax amount for the type of firearm you are transferring and registering ($200 for everything except AOWs, which are $5). 

What is ATF Form 4?

The ATF Form 4 is for transferring devices and firearms covered by the National Firearms Act to someone without an FFL license. If you want to buy a suppressor, fully-automatic gun, machine gun, short barreled shotgun, short barreled rifle, any other weapon (AOW, a specific legal term), or a destructive device, then you’ll need to fill out a form 4. 

Transferring these NFA items requires a special tax to be paid to the federal government, and then for an application (the Form 4) to be approved by the ATF. 

You’ll need to provide your name, address, and other personal information, as well as pass a background check. Also, it should be noted, that a Form 4 is solely for transferring an existing firearm and cannot be used to manufacture one. 

How to Fill Out ATF Form 4

Filling out a Form 4 is best done online, where you can use a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat to fill the fields out quickly. 

This is by far the best option as Acrobat will automatically fill in the information you’ve already put in, so you only have to fill out the first three pages of the form and won’t need to re-input the same information again on the following pages. Make sure to sign in blue or black ink on the paper forms.

As far as filling out the form, here are some notes for most of the relevant sections. 

1. Type of Transfer: $200 for anything but an AOW, which is $5.

2a. Transferee’s name and address: Your name or the name of your trust, plus the appropriate address.

2b. County: County, not country. This is the county or parish where the firearm is being purchased.

Sections 3-4: These sections will be done by the NFA dealer.

5. Transferee’s Federal Firearms License: If the buyer is an individual, list FFL info here. Not used for trusts.

6 a/b. Transferee’s Special Tax Status: The individual buyer’s federal EIN or social security number. Not used for trusts.

7. Transferor’s Federal Firearms License: This will be filled out by the dealer. 

8 a/b. Transferee’s Special Tax Status: Dealer’s EIN or SSN, also provided by the dealer.

9. Signature of Transferor: Dealer’s signature.

10. Name and Title of Authorized Official: This is filled out by the dealer.

11. Date: This is filled out by the dealer.

12. Law Enforcement Notification: This is the agency, agency official, and address that you’re sending the CLEO copy of this form to. This is defined as “The chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) is considered to be the Chief of Police; the Sheriff; the Head of the State Police; or a State or local district attorney or prosecutor [of your county].”

13. Transferee Necessity Statement: Your name and title, or the name and title of the settler trustee. For “Reason” you can list “Investment and All Other Lawful Purposes” or “Any Lawful Purpose” or “Investment and All Other Lawful Purposes”.

14 – 17. Transferee Questions: For individuals only. Answer all questions honestly and attach a passport photo.

“CERTIFICATION”: For individuals, sign and date with your name, as shown in box 2a. For gun trusts, include your signature, as well as your title (ex. Trustee), and the date.

18. Number of Responsible Persons: Only for trusts. List the number of responsible persons in the gun trust or legal entity, including the settlor and co-trustees. Do not include successors or beneficiaries.

19. Responsible Person Name(s): Also only for trusts. You can list up to 8 people in this section. 

*For each responsible person listed, a completed ATF Form 7 – Part B must also be submitted.

20. Method of Payment: Choose your method of payment. If your application is denied, this fee will be refunded. 

Form 4 Wait Times

Form 4 wait times vary based on whether you file electronically for mail in a paper application. In general, the electronic application, or “e-filing” is significantly faster. In other words, if you don’t have years to wait, go with the e-file option. 

Right now, Form 4 wait times are longest for those mailing in a paper application on behalf of a trust, and the ATF is currently processing forms from Q4 2021. E-file forms are currently being processed from Q1/Q2 of 2022. 

So if you were to file today with E-file, you could expect to have your paperwork completed by this time next year, with the average being about 270 days to receive E-file approval.

July 6, 2023

How to Get an FFL in California

Obtaining a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in California is a significant step for anyone interested in dealing with firearms. Whether you’re a passionate collector, an entrepreneur looking to open a gun shop, or someone who wants to facilitate private party transfers, having an FFL opens a world of possibilities. But how does one navigate the process of becoming an FFL dealer in the Golden State?

Why Get an FFL in California?

As an FFL dealer in California, you’ll be able to legally sell firearms and conduct ammunition transfers. This license is not just for large-scale gun stores. If you’re a hobbyist who refurbishes antique guns, a retail store owner who wants to expand your offerings, or an online retailer, an FFL is required.

Additionally, with an FFL, you can facilitate private party transfers, which are an essential part of many firearm transactions in California. As a Federal Firearm Licensee, you can ensure these transfers are conducted safely and within the bounds of both California law and federal law.

Understanding Different Types of FFLs

There are several types of FFLs available in the United States, each with its own set of privileges and restrictions. In California, you might be interested in becoming a Type 1 dealer/gunsmith, a Type 3 collector of Curio & Relic (C&R) firearms, or a Type 7 manufacturer of firearms. Each license type comes with its own responsibilities, such as handling additional firearms or making sales across state lines.

Eligibility Criteria

Before you can become a licensed dealer in California, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. First and foremost, you must pass a background check, a standard procedure for anyone dealing with firearms. You must also be a California resident who is at least 21 years old, and you must not be prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms.

Applying for an FFL in California

The FFL application process is straightforward, but it requires attention to detail. You’ll start by filling out an ATF Form, which will ask for your contact information, business details (if applicable), and a certificate of eligibility which proves you can lawfully possess firearms.

Once you’ve completed the ATF form, you’ll need to submit it along with fingerprints and a photo to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). You’ll also need to pay a fee, which varies depending on the type of license you’re applying for.

California FFL Cost

Upon receipt of your application, the ATF will conduct a thorough background check. If you pass, the ATF will then inform local law enforcement, who will also review your application.

FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for an FFL

When applying for an FFL license, there are common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. First, make sure all your information is correct and complete. Incomplete applications or those with errors often lead to delays in the application process.

Second, be sure you meet all the eligibility requirements before applying. This includes passing a background check and meeting the age and residency requirements for your state.

California State Laws and Regulations

Guaranteed legal defense

Navigating the laws and regulations that apply to an FFL dealer in California can be complex, given the numerous stipulations outlined in both state and federal law. However, understanding these laws is crucial to maintaining your Federal Firearms License (FFL) and operating within the legal confines of the state of California and the United States at large.

Assault Weapon Regulations

California law is stringent when it comes to assault weapons. Under California law, firearms classified as assault weapons are generally prohibited. As an FFL holder in California, you’re expected to be conversant with what constitutes an assault weapon under California’s legal definition. This includes certain semi-automatic firearms, .50 BMG rifles, and firearms with specific features, such as flash suppressors or pistol grips. You need to understand these laws to prevent inadvertently facilitating the sale or transfer of such firearms, which could lead to the revocation of your FFL license.

Ammunition Vendor Requirements

In the state of California, ammunition sales must be conducted by or processed through a licensed ammunition vendor. FFL dealers often serve as ammunition vendors, but they must be specifically licensed to do so under state law. The California law also mandates that all ammunition sales be recorded and that a background check be performed on purchasers in many situations. Understanding these requirements will help ensure that your ammunition transfers are done in compliance with state laws.

Private Party Transfer Procedures

Private party transfers are another area regulated heavily in California. Any private party firearm sale in the state must be conducted through a licensed dealer, with both parties present during the transaction. This includes background checks and a 10-day waiting period, even for private sales. As an FFL holder, facilitating these transactions involves ensuring all the necessary steps are followed for a smooth, legal firearm transaction.

Interstate Transfers

There are also laws relating to the sale and transfer of firearms across state lines, including the sale of firearms to non-residents. Additional firearms regulations may apply if the purchaser is a law enforcement officer, or a corporate officer involved in the security industry.

Certificate of Eligibility

Finally, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) requires every licensed firearm dealer to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for each employee who handles, sells, or delivers firearms. The COE verifies that the employee passed a background check and is eligible to engage in these activities.

Understanding these laws and abiding by them is crucial for anyone looking to become a successful and responsible California FFL dealer. You must ensure you’re updated on any changes or new regulations to continue operating legally within the state and federal guidelines.

Maintaining Your FFL in California

Maintaining your FFL in California involves more than just storing firearms properly. You must also abide by all federal government and California law, keep thorough records of all firearm transactions, and renew your license on time.

You’ll also need to handle various fees. Alongside the sales tax, California FFL dealers must manage DROS fees for background checks, storage fees for holding firearms, and transfer fees for processing sales.

The process of applying for an FFL can seem daunting due to its comprehensive nature, however, following the steps outlined above should put you in the position to succeed. While the application stage may not pose significant challenges to most FFL businesses, continuous compliance with the ever-evolving ATF rules can be demanding.

Already Have Your California FFL? FastBound is Your Ally

Electronic Form 4473

FastBound offers a streamlined solution to compliance for FFL dealers or businesses. The platform provides a guaranteed legal defense via FFLGuard to aid all FFL members in tackling any legal and compliance issues. Here are some of the features FastBound offers:

  • Comprehensive and Accurate A&D Forms: FastBound ensures the effortless and accurate completion of A&D forms, one of the most common causes of ATF sanctions due to paperwork errors. With FastBound, the submission of forms electronically is easy and accurate across most types of FFLs, be it for semi-automatic weapons, long guns, or pistols.
  • Form 4473: FastBound allows FFL holders to complete Form 4473 on any smart device for submission and electronic storage. This feature transforms your tablet, smartphone, or computer into a user-friendly workstation for clients and staff, without requiring any additional software or equipment.
  • Efficient Multi-Sales Reporting: FastBound streamlines the handling of multiple sales reports electronically, assisting in ensuring accuracy before submission. This feature also enables the correction of errors before they reach the ATF, offering a simple and accurate method of automating incoming transfer forms.
  • Electronic Bulk Changes: FastBound provides FFL License holders with the ability to correct errors in A&D forms electronically, ensuring accuracy and preventing further issues with the ATF.
  • Simple Automation: FastBound makes filling out Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and State forms straightforward by offering electronic form automation and population.

FastBound simplifies firearm sales transfers, ensuring that firearm dealers remain in compliance with local, California, and Federal laws. The platform works with your business, not against it, ensuring that your gun sales to private individuals continue to comply with regulations, even if sudden changes occur in ATF or California rules. Contact us today to see how FastBound can help your business.

June 30, 2023

Update: Enhanced Security and Improved Functionality

FastBound, the industry-leading electronic firearms acquisition, and disposition (A&D) record-keeping solution, has released a significant software update packed with exciting new features and improvements. We’re thrilled to share the details of this update, which includes enhanced security measures, streamlined API functionality, and improved user experience. Let’s dive into the highlights of this release!

New Security Features

  1. Network Locations: FastBound now offers an optional IP Firewall feature to provide an additional layer of security. This feature ensures that access to your account is only possible from authorized IP addresses, preventing unauthorized access and safeguarding sensitive data.
  2. Require Two Factor Authentication: FastBound has introduced a new account security setting to require two-factor authentication. When enabled for an account, any user accessing that account must be enrolled in two-factor authentication (2FA).

Improvements: API and Functionality Enhancements

  1. BulkVerify API Response: FastBound has added extra fields to the VerifiedItem in the BulkVerify API response, allowing for more comprehensive data retrieval and a smoother integration experience.
  2. Search Items via API: Users can now search for items using the API with PO, Invoice, or Shipment Tracking Numbers, making it easier to locate items in FastBound.
  3. 30-Day Hard Stop: FastBound implemented a hard stop when Q36 occurs more than 30 calendar days after Q27.a, ensuring compliance with regulations and avoiding potential errors.
  4. Additional Buyer Birth Date Checks: FastBound has added extra birth date checks to improve the buyer-facing 4473 form. This prevents users from entering a birth date that would make them over 100 years old, maintaining the accuracy of the data.
  5. Send OTSN/NTN to 4473 Cloud: FastBound now sends the OTSN/NTN directly to the 4473 Cloud, streamlining data transmission and ensuring compliance.
  6. Duplicate Serial Check: The FastBound account API call now includes which duplicate serial check an account uses, providing an extra layer of verification and preventing potential errors.
  7. Other API Enhancements: The Acquisition and Disposition Commit endpoints now return additional details, enabling a smoother API experience. Additionally, FastBound has improved the performance for accounts making large numbers of acquisition commit calls in parallel.

User Experience Improvements

  1. Pending Dispositions Link: FastBound has updated the Pending Dispositions link on the Contacts page, making it more accessible and user-friendly.
  2. Dispose License Expires Field: The Dispose License Expires field has been added to the Disposed Items Report, providing more comprehensive information for users.
  3. Updated Messaging for Denied Contacts: The messaging for denied contacts has been updated to no longer state that saving a terminated 4473 is not required, ensuring clarity and compliance.
  4. Improved Multiple Sale Report Check: FastBound has enhanced the check for previous Multiple Sale Reports (MSRs), streamlining the process and reducing potential errors.

FastBound’s latest software update is a testament to its commitment to continuously enhancing its platform, providing users with a secure, efficient, and user-friendly experience. With added security features, improved API functionality, and various user experience enhancements, FastBound continues to set the standard for electronic firearms A&D record-keeping solutions.

May 10, 2023

How to Get an FFL in Texas

If you’re looking to buy and sell firearms, manufacture weapons, or handle explosive devices, obtaining a Federal Firearms License (FFL) can be incredibly beneficial. There are 4 main types of firearm businesses:

  1. 01: Dealer (Buying and Selling)
  2. 02: Pawn
  3. 07: Manufacturing
  4. 08: Importing or Selling Domestically

These are the cornerstones of what an FFL or Federal Firearms License covers. The FFL process may seem intimidating at first, but it’s straightforward if you understand what the federal and state governmental agencies require. In this blog, we’ll cover the benefits of having an FFL in Texas, the steps to getting one, and everything else you should consider.

Benefits of Having a Texas FFL

As of the writing of this article, Texas has the most FFLs of any state because it is one of the largest markets for firearms, ammunition, and NFA items in the country. Further, the state is pretty kind to gun owners and dealers when compared to other states and even the federal government.

An FFL makes your gun buying and selling business legal, and you gain all of the tax incentives offered to those who own businesses. Additionally, your legal business has access to many of the gun and ammo manufacturers that a non-FFL would not have.

The biggest advantage of having an FFL in Texas is that you can store and ship guns or ammo directly to or from your place of business. This means that if you’re running a home-based business with an FFL, you can ship guns or ammo to your home.

The Steps to Get Your FFL in Texas

The state of Texas does not have any additional licensing requirements beyond those issued by the federal government and the ATF.

The short answer here is that the steps you need to get an FFL in Texas are those required by the ATF.

Before you get started on that process, it is a good idea to ask yourself if you can legally own a gun.

Step 1 – Getting your Texas FFL is a pretty simple process if you can pass a background check. For that, you’ll need the following:

  • to complete a fingerprint card and submit it to the ATF.
  • Physical address
  • Full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of birth
  • Former addresses
  • Personal information – height, eye color, gender, etc.

You’ll also need to answer a series of questions about your past experiences with former FFLs, revoked FFLs, firearms businesses, etc.

Provided that you do not have any felony convictions related to drug and alcohol or violent crimes, you don’t have any restraining orders in place, and you have no history of domestic violence, passing the background check should be a breeze. If you’re operating a corporation, every member of the management team will be required to submit a background check on the ATF form and provide their fingerprints. However, if you’re running a sole proprietorship or a business with only one owner or manager, you only have to submit one form.

Step 2 – Choose the type of business you are – sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, partnership, etc. If you are not a sole proprietor you will need to prove you have the authority to be an LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.

Step 3 – Add your business details – EIN numbers, address, responsible persons, etc.

Step 4 – Indicate the type of FFL, or FFLs, you are applying for.

Step 5 – Include your payment information.

Page 2 of the FFL Application

Part 2 of the application deals with business details. Since an FFL dealer is a recognized business, you will need to gather some legal information for this section.

Step 6 – You’ll need to provide the ATF with information such as your operating hours, whether the business is new or if you’ve taken over an existing one, any previous FFL numbers that may be associated with you or your business, details regarding local zoning, and information about the premises. This includes whether it is a single-family dwelling or a military organization. Additionally, the ATF will inquire about your business operations, like if you plan to run a brick-and-mortar store or have a mobile component for selling at gun shows and the like.

Page 3 of the Application – Chief Law Enforcement Officer

The Chief Law Enforcement Officer in your area is an important figure to know. This CLEO could be your chief of police, county sheriff, or even your local district attorney. Knowing who this person is and establishing a positive relationship with them can be beneficial in many ways for an FFL.

Step 7 – Identify your local Chief Law Enforcement Office. Although this person won’t have any significant control over your FFL application, the ATF will reach out to them to gather any relevant information that may block the approval of your application.

Step 8 – Finger Prints – You will need to attach a fingerprint card, a 2″x2″ photograph of the applicant – all if more than one is applying and also an additional Part B for each applicant.

The remainder of the form is a full list of instructions and a second copy of the application which would go to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer. If you are filling this out by hand, then you will need to fill out each set of applications.

Step 9 – Ensure that all applications are carefully proofread, that all required information is provided, and that all signature fields have been signed. Each individual named on the application must complete Form B in full. Verify the payment method and make sure you understand the associated fees for the application, as these will vary depending on the type of FFL. The completed application should be mailed to the address indicated on the form.

Alternatively, you can streamline the process by utilizing FastBound, which allows for automatic form filling and electronic submission.

Federal FFL Requirements

The federal requirements for an FFL holder are that:

  1. You are free of felony charges and convictions, especially those involving drugs, alcohol, and violent crimes.
  2. You are over the age of 21.
  3. You do not have any restraining orders, or domestic abuse charges pending, and you are an upstanding citizen of the United States.

Texas FFL Requirements

Texas does not require any licenses beyond the federal FFL application. However, this could change at the local level, so you should check with your local ATF bureau to see if any additional measures need to be taken.

Texas FFL Cost

The cost of an FFL on the federal application ranges from $30-$3,000 depending on the type of FFL you are applying for. You can apply for multiple FFLs as required for your business.

FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

FFL in Texas?

Although the FFL application process with the ATF is generally straightforward, it can present some difficulties, particularly due to its length and the fact that it must be submitted in duplicate. For most FFL businesses, completing the application itself is the least complicated part. The real challenge comes from the need to consistently stay in compliance with the ever-evolving ATF regulations.

FastBound Can Help

Electronic Form 4473

FastBound simplifies compliance for any FFL dealer or business. One of the biggest advantages of FastBound is its guaranteed legal defense against any ATF administrative actions related to our software. This is backed by FFLGuard, the country’s top attorney-backed firearms compliance program.

Other features include:

  • FastBound offers unlimited and accurate A&D form submissions electronically, making compliance across most types of FFLs a breeze. One of the most common reasons for ATF sanctions is paperwork issues, but FastBound simplifies the process, ensuring faster, more readable, and accurate submissions. Whether you deal with semi-automatics, long guns, or pistols, FastBound’s A&D features keep you compliant.
  • FFL holders can conveniently and securely fill out and store Form 4473 electronically on any smart device, thanks to FastBound. You can easily turn any smart device into a user-friendly workstation for both clients and staff, with no additional software or equipment required. FastBound simplifies and streamlines firearm transfers, ensuring ease and accuracy throughout the entire process.
  • Multi-sales reporting allows you to handle multiple sales reports electronically and easily check the form’s accuracy before submitting it. Mistakes on multi-change reports can lead to compliance issues, which is why FastBound helps you correct any errors before they reach the ATF. With FastBound, you can automate incoming transfer forms, making the entire process accurate and easy. Plus, electronic storage eliminates the need to keep stacks of paper forms around, keeping your workspace neat and tidy.
  • Our platform allows you to change thousands of items easily and efficiently with our Bulk Change feature. This saves you time, money, compliance issues, and headaches.
  • The automation tool makes filling out ATF and State forms a breeze, as it helps you automate and populate forms electronically. Whether you’re working on firearms transfer forms or A&D forms, the automated features offered by FastBound simplify and streamline the process while ensuring accuracy. With FastBound, you can save time and focus on other aspects of your business while enjoying a more efficient workflow.

While the state of Texas does have additional requirements beyond those of the ATF, it’s important to stay informed and prepared in case that changes. FastBound helps you stay ahead of the game by updating you on any relevant changes and keeping you in compliance with FFL practices at all times. The platform updates to account for all changes, so you can rest assured that your business is always up-to-date and in compliance.

FastBound simplifies firearm transactions for FFLs while ensuring compliance with local, Texas, and Federal laws. Unlike other platforms, FastBound is not in competition with your business but rather works with you. We ensure your transfers remain compliant, even when there are sudden rule changes from the ATF or Texas.

May 5, 2023

How to Get an FFL in Florida

An FFL in any state can be a valuable asset for anyone who wants to buy and sell firearms, make their own weapons, or handle explosive devices. There are 3 main types of firearm businesses:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Importing or Selling Domestically
  3. Buying and Selling

These are the cornerstones of what an FFL or Federal Firearms License covers. The process is not overly difficult if you understand what the federal and state governmental agencies need from you. In this blog, we go over the FFL process for the state and the feds. Here’s a closer look at what you will need and what the process entails.

Benefits of Having a Florida FFL

The biggest benefit of having an FFL in Florida is that you can store and ship guns or ammo directly to or from your place of business. That means if you are a home-based business with an FFL, you can ship guns or ammo to your home.

Because an FFL makes your gun buying and selling business legal you also gain all of the tax incentives offered to those people who own businesses. In addition, your legal business has access to many of the gun and ammo manufacturers that a non-FFL would not have.

The Steps to Get Your FFL in Florida

The state of Florida does not have any additional licensing requirements beyond those required by the Federal Government and the ATF. In Florida, you only need a Federally issued FFL to be able to buy and sell guns as a business.

The short answer here is that the steps you need to get an FFL in Florida are those required by the ATF.

Before you get started on that process, it is a good idea to ask yourself if you can legally own a gun.

Step 1 – Can you pass a background check? In Florida, obtaining an FFL is not difficult if you can pass the background check. What you will need is:

  • to Complete a fingerprint card and submit it to the ATF.
  • Physical address
  • Full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of birth
  • Former addresses
  • Personal information – height, eye color, gender, etc.

Additionally, you will need to answer a long list of questions about your past in relation to former FFLs, revocation of FFLs, businesses, etc.

If you are free of felony convictions for drug and alcohol or violent crimes, and if you do not have any restraining orders in place or a history of domestic violence, then you will likely pass the background check. If you are a corporation – then every member of the management team will be required to submit a background check on the ATF form along with fingerprints. For those businesses that are sole proprietorships or that have only a single owner or manager, then only one form is required.

Step 2 – Choose the type of business you are – sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, partnership, etc. If you are not a sole proprietor you will need to prove you have the authority to be an LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.

Step 3 – Add your business details – EIN numbers, address, responsible persons, etc.

Step 4 – Choose the type of FFL or multiple FFLs that you are applying for – dealer, manufacturer, importer, etc.

Step 5 – Include your payment information.

Page 2 of the FFL Application

Page two of the application returns to business details. An FFL dealer is a recognized business that buys, sells, or manufactures firearms, ammo, or explosive devices. You will need to gather the legal business information for this section.

Step 6 – The ATF will want to know your operating hours, whether or not this is a brand new business or one that you’ve purchased from someone else, any old FFL numbers that are associated with you or the business, local zoning information, and information about the premises such as if it is a military organization, single-family dwelling, They will also want to know how you plan to run your business – as a shop or with a mobile component such as selling at gun shows.

Page 3 of the Application – Chief Law Enforcement Officer

The Chief Law Enforcement Officer is the “big gun” in your area. It can be your local chief of police if you live in a city, the county sheriff if you live rurally, or the head of the state police. It can also be your local district attorney.

Step 7 – Name the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for your area. This person has no real control over your application, but the ATF will check with them to make sure they do not have additional information about you that may prevent the approval of your application.

Step 8 – Finger Prints – You will need to attach a fingerprint card, a 2″x2″ photograph of the applicant – all if more than one is applying and also an additional Part B for each applicant.

The remainder of the form is a full list of instructions and a second copy of the application which would go to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer. If you are filling this out by hand, then you will need to fill out each set of applications.

Step 9 – Proofread the applications, make sure that everything needed is provided, and every place that requires a signature is signed. Each person on the application must complete form B in its entirety. Double-check the payment method and that you understand your fees for this application. They will vary by FFL type. Mail the application to the address provided on the form. You can also use FastBound to fill out the forms automatically and submit them electronically.

Federal FFL Requirements

The federal requirements for an FFL holder are that:

  1. You are free of felony charges and convictions, especially those involving drugs, alcohol, and violent crimes.
  2. You are over the age of 21.
  3. You do not have any restraining orders, or domestic abuse charges pending, and you are an upstanding citizen of the United States.

Florida FFL Requirements

The state of Florida does not require any additional licenses beyond the federal FFL application. That can vary on a local level, so it is always a good idea to check with your local ATF bureau to see if there are local requirements.

Florida FFL Cost

The cost of an FFL on the federal application ranges from $30-$3,000 depending on the type of FFL you are applying for. You can apply for multiple FFLs as required for your business.

FFL TypeApplication FeeRenewal FeeYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

FFL in Florida? FastBound Can Help

Electronic Form 4473

While the FFL application to the ATF is fairly straightforward it can be challenging, especially because of its length and because it is required in duplicate. The application is the easy part for most FFL businesses. What is the most challenging is the continual compliance with ATF rules even as those rules change.

FastBound’s Features

FastBound simplifies compliance for any FFL dealer or business. The platform comes with guaranteed legal defense backed by FFLGuard to help every FFL member legally counter and compliance issues. Other features include:

  • Unlimited and Accurate A&D forms and submissions of forms electronically across most types of FFLs. One of the most common reasons for sanctions from the ATF is paperwork issues. FastBound makes the process simplified, faster, readable, and accurate. From semi-automatic to long guns and pistols, the A&D features offered by FastBound keep you in compliance.
  • Form 4473 – FFL holders can fill out form 4473 on any smart device to be submitted and stored electronically. You can turn a tablet, smartphone, or Desktop computer/laptop into an easy-to-use workstation for your clients and your staff all without any additional software or equipment needed. FastBound makes firearm transfers easy and accurate.
  • Fearless multi-sales reporting – FastBound handles multiple sales reports electronically and helps you check the form’s accuracy before you submit it. Erroneous multi-change reports rank near the top for noncompliance issues from the ATF. FastBound helps you correct those errors before they reach the ATF. You can automate incoming transfer forms making the process easy and accurate and with electronic storage, there is no need to keep those dusty piles of forms around.
  • Electronic Bulk Changes – As an FFL License holder, FastBound allows you to electronically correct errors from A&D with ease and accuracy without further issues from the ATF.
  • Automation made easy – Fill out Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and State forms easily as FastBound helps you automate and populate forms electronically. From firearms transfer forms to A&D forms, the automated features offered by FastBound not only make the process easy, but accurate as well.
  • Florida has no additional state requirements beyond those of the ATF. But that can change and when or if it does, FastBound will update and notify you of those changes. The platform works with all changes on the state and federal levels to keep you in compliance with FFL practices at all times.

For a firearm dealer, FastBound makes transferred firearm sales a snap while keeping you in compliance with local law, Florida law, and Federal Law. As a gun dealer, FastBound works with your business instead of competing with it. Your gun sales to private individuals remain in compliance even when the ATF or Florida changes the rules suddenly.

March 23, 2023

ATF Form 4473 (December 2022)

Hey there, fellow firearms enthusiasts and dealers! Today, we’ll dive into the latest FastBound release, packed with new features and improvements. As you know, FastBound is committed to keeping you up-to-date with changes in ATF forms, United States Federal Firearms laws, and more. This release is no exception!

So, let’s get started and explore the exciting changes made in this release. We’ll discuss the firearms transaction record, ATF Form 4473, improvements to the new forms for NFA, new API endpoints, webhook additions, and more.

New Feature: API Endpoints and Webhooks

FastBound has added new API endpoints to retrieve forms 4473 and reports of multiple sales. This means you can now access these forms more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Additionally, two new webhooks help streamline your workflows. These webhooks provide real-time notifications to applications when Form 4473 is completed and when a multiple-sale report is transmitted. These features are designed to help make your life as a firearms dealer easier and more efficient.

Improvements: ATF Form Updates

FastBound updated the ATF Form 4473 PDF to the revised December 2022 version. This revised form is essential for ensuring compliance with new statutory requirements introduced by the Biden Administration. The updated form incorporates significant changes that reflect the latest developments in federal firearms laws and regulations, helping dealers maintain legal and efficient transactions.

One of the critical updates to the revised ATF Form 4473 is the inclusion of the NICS Denial Notification Act. This act mandates that the FBI inform local law enforcement agencies when a prohibited person, such as someone with a disqualifying criminal record or history of domestic violence, attempts to purchase a firearm and fails a background check. This new measure aims to strengthen communication between federal and local authorities and enhance public safety across the United States.

The revised ATF Form 4473 now includes new questions relating to the Bipartisan Safer Community Act, which aims to prevent violent crime by strengthening background checks and addressing gaps in the current system.

FastBound’s updated ATF Form 4473 also includes an electronic form option, making it more convenient for dealers to collect compliant, complete, and correct 4473s from buyers. This feature streamlines the submission process, ensuring all necessary data is recorded accurately and efficiently.

Continuation Sheet and Seller’s View

The new December 2022 ATF Form 4473, released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in the United States, now includes a continuation sheet that FastBound has seamlessly integrated into its system. This continuation sheet is designed to help licensed firearm dealers manage their transactions more effectively while adhering to federal firearms laws.

Furthermore, FastBound has made significant enhancements to the seller’s view of the ATF Form 4473, which is crucial in ensuring that firearm dealers comply with the regulations set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the United States. When a warning is displayed, the box’s border color will now correspond with the warning text color, allowing users to easily identify potential issues during a firearms transaction, such as a possible disqualifying juvenile record or a false statement made by the buyer.

Buyer’s Age Warning and Response Options

FastBound has introduced a new feature to help licensed firearm dealers comply with the latest federal firearms laws regarding age restrictions for firearm purchases. This feature focuses on warning dealers about a buyer’s age when purchasing a receiver instead of a pistol, ensuring that all transactions align with the new statutory requirements set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the United States.

As a licensed dealer, it is crucial to be aware of the various regulations and requirements associated with ATF forms, background checks, and other aspects of firearms transactions. With the recent changes implemented by the Biden Administration, the NICS Denial Notification Act, and the final rule on waiting periods, it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date with these new laws and requirements.

FastBound’s new feature addresses this by integrating a warning system that focuses on the buyer’s age when purchasing a receiver instead of a pistol. This warning is designed to ensure that dealers remain compliant with the latest regulations, which include a mandatory waiting period for firearms purchases and specific age limits based on the type of firearm being bought.

FastBound has introduced a new feature to help licensed firearm dealers maintain compliance with federal firearms laws when selling firearms to buyers under 21. In line with the latest statutory requirements, this feature provides a crucial warning about a buyer’s age when purchasing a receiver instead of a pistol. This age-related warning ensures dealers comply with the latest regulations while promoting responsible firearm sales in the United States.

The revised ATF Form 4473, which reflects updates made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), now includes new response options for buyers under 21. These options have been carefully incorporated by FastBound, ensuring that all necessary information is accurately recorded in Section A and Section B of the firearms transaction record. By staying current with federal requirements, FastBound empowers licensed dealers to maintain compliance with the latest regulations, including the NICS Denial Notification Act, the Final Rule regarding waiting periods, and the Biden Administration’s recent initiatives in the firearm industry.

Minor Improvements to 4473 Items Search Results Page

FastBound implemented minor improvements to the 4473 Items Search results page, enhancing the overall user experience for licensed firearm dealers and making it more convenient for them to find crucial information they need for ATF Form 4473. As a result, dealers can more efficiently navigate the revised form, which includes new statutory requirements and additional questions.

Help Popups and Warnings

We updated the help popups on both the buyer and seller views for the new ATF Form 4473 Rev Dec 2022. This revised form, released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), includes several updates to comply with new statutory requirements introduced by the Biden Administration. These popups provide crucial information to guide you through the process of completing the form, ensuring you remain compliant with federal firearms laws in the United States.

We also added a helpful “you will lose unsaved changes” warning on a started ATF Form 4473, even when you click Cancel. This feature is designed to help prevent the accidental loss of essential information while completing the form, ensuring that you, as a licensed firearm dealer, remain compliant with federal firearms laws and regulations.

Clear Button for Mistaken Answers

Have you ever answered a question by mistake and wished there was an easy way to clear your response? FastBound has got you covered! They’ve added a clear button for question 27e on ATF Form 4473, making it simple to rectify mistakes and ensure accurate information is recorded.

Updated Background Check Browser Extension

Finally, FastBound has updated the 4473 URLs in their legacy browser extension. This update helps ensure that your browser extension remains functional and provides you with access to the latest version of ATF Form 4473.


This latest FastBound release offers a range of new features and improvements designed to keep you compliant with federal firearms laws and enhance your experience as a licensed firearm dealer. With updated ATF forms, new API endpoints, webhook additions, and helpful improvements to the user interface, you can be confident that FastBound is committed to providing you with the tools and support you need to succeed in the firearms industry.

As always, we encourage you to stay informed about changes in the firearms industry and federal firearms laws. Visit for the latest information and to access electronic forms, guidelines, and more. Remember, staying informed and up-to-date is critical to maintaining compliance with federal regulations and ensuring the continued success of your firearms business.

That’s it for now! We hope you find these new features and improvements helpful in streamlining your workflow and maintaining compliance with federal firearms laws. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback. Happy selling!

March 16, 2023

ATF Form 1: Everything You Need to Know

The ATF Form 1 (Form 5320.1) is the application that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms requires from any citizen of the United States who constructs a firearm. In addition to applying for a permit to make firearms, ATF Form 1 also allows you to register the form.

According to the ATF, Form 1 is an application “requesting approval to make an NFA firearm.” The form is 3 pages long and in triplicate and filling it out correctly is essential. There is a fee involved of $200, but certain applicants may request tax-exempt status under certain conditions. For example, the weapon smith is making the weapon for the United States – generally for one of the armed forces, police organization, etc. Regardless of the purpose of the manufacturing of the weapon, ATF Form 1 must be filled out and submitted. Errors on the form will cause the form to either be:

  1. Denied
  2. Delayed for clarification

A rejected form is often met with the requirement to start the process over with a new form and possibly a new $200 fee. ANY NFA item in the design phase must have an approved form before it is manufactured. The purpose of the form is not to let the NFA or ATF know that you have constructed a weapon, but to ask for permission to do so before the manufacturing begins.

Under normal circumstances, the manufacturing of a firearm would fall under the Federal Firearm License type 06 and type 07. Form 1 is for the responsible persons.

Why Does Form 1 Exist?

Form 1 is the result of the creation of the Federal Firearm License (FFL) program. It is specifically for those people who want to make a firearm that would fall within the NFA category that requires an FFL. FFLs are for businesses and Form 1 is for an individual. The application for an FFL to manufacture a firearm would be a burden on someone who wants to design a single gun or NFA-qualifying device. Form 1 solves that problem by limiting the number of firearms you can submit on the form. The process is very similar to the FFL process but opens up the option of designing new equipment or firearms while remaining compliant with ATF and National Firearms Act code. There are also exemptions to the tax stamp fees for those who design weapons for the US Government. Form 1 also helps to plug holes within the National Firearms Act by allowing the same FFL process to be applied to an individual.

NOTE: – While we discuss the manufacturing of a firearm, Form 1 also applies when you want to modify a firearm, so that it falls within the NFA categories requiring registration.

What is ATF Form 1?

ATF form 1 provides the ATF with the information needed to ensure that the person submitting the application is approved to own a firearm, notifies the ATF that the applicant is either manufacturing a firearm or part, and provides information on the manufacturing process. Form 1 also helps the ATF to separate applications into fee-based or tax-exempt,

In short, Form 1 documents the process of creating an NFA-listed (title 2) gun or part from material that is otherwise a title 1 gun. Two examples would be adding a pistol grip to an AR pistol or shortening or replacing a rifle barrel with one that is short enough to make the rifle a short barreled rifle (SBR.)

What Does ATF Form 1 Do?

One of the first things that ATF Form 1 does is ensure that an applicant is a responsible person. A US citizen that meets the responsible person profile is one that is free of felony convictions that involve violence or drug use or trafficking. That process means undergoing an NFA background check and sending in a fingerprint card with the application.

ATF Form 1 also uses the serial number of the gun or applies for a serial number so that the government or law enforcement can track the gun.

The Legal Requirements for Filling Out Form 1

Form 1 is an application to manufacture an NFA weapon or product, such as a silencer. An approved Form 1 keeps the process of making or converting a firearm legal and the process transparent. Failure to register a firearm or comply with the rules of the NFA and being convicted of such, is a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to ten years, or both.

The specific information that must be included on Form 1

There is a LOT of information that must be provided. The process works like this:

  1. Application type – Are you required to pay a fee or are you exempt? Exempt applicants will need to prove that they are exempt.
  2. Your Identity and contact information – For a person, that is your basic identifying data – legal name, physical address, mailing address, email, and telephone number. For applications from some entity other than a person like a corporation, trust, government organization, etc., you must prove that identity. This could be responsible parties, leadership, etc. For law enforcement, a CLEO notification and contact information are required in another part of the form.
  3. A complete description of the firearm – including the original manufacturer, type of firearm resulting from the manufacturing or modification, and gun details such as caliber, barrel length, size, and serial number. Plus, a description of the changes or details.
  4. Determine if you are making a gun or an explosive device – and the details of each. They also want to know information about whether the unit is being reactivated – a destroyed weapon that is being modified or if you are making something from scratch.
  5. FFL number, employer, and special occupational tax (SOT) information if needed.
  6. Chief Law Enforcement Officer Notification (CLEO notification) – This is page two of the application and a questionnaire. It will ask if the piece is to be sold or for private use, if you have convictions that might bar you from owning a firearm, if you have a history of drug use, etc. This information goes to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer who will review it and may provide information to the ATF if you fail the responsible person test.
  7. Page three of the form is where you put your full name and provide any payment information, such as a credit card number for paying your application fee. It will also provide a mailing address.

How to Fill Out ATF Form 1

Under the gun trust, Form 1 helps to ensure that people register any firearm they manufacture or modify – including add-on parts, such as a silencer – into an NFA-listed weapon

Step 1 – Print out and read the form from top to bottom.

Step 2 – Gather all of the information you will need. – Refer to page 6 – Complete the form – which goes over each question and provides information and instructions on how to fill out the form correctly. For example, if you are modifying an existing firearm, the ATF will want to know the data on that gun including its serial number, caliber, barrel length, etc.

Step 3 – Fill out your practice form and add additional pages of information as needed.

Step 4 – Review the practice form. Make sure that the information contained is accurate.

Step 5 – Make any corrections needed to the practice form.

Step 6 – Transfer the data from the practice form to the second form for submission. Be sure to go slowly and print each answer neatly. The ATF will not try to decipher handwriting that it cannot read.

Step 7 – Review the application for errors and fix any you find. Any type of missing information or unreadable handwriting will result in delays.

The ATF has an eForms process that allows you to file ATF Form 1 electronically. You will have to access the form from the ATF’s site and apply for a User ID.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Submitting incomplete data – Make sure each question is answered. If you do not know the answer you can call the ATF.
  2. Misrepresenting data on the form – Federal Law requires that you fill out the form correctly and truly. If you are not a person, but a legal entity, you will need to prove who you are. If you have a federal firearms license, you will need to provide that data. Make sure that manufacturer code information is correct – refer to the manufacturer for more information.
  3. Gun information – If you are converting a non-NFA weapon into a firearm that meets the definition of an NFA weapon, then you need to convey that – Examples would be converting a shotgun into a short barreled shotgun or a rifle or handgun into a short barreled rifle. If you are manufacturing your own suppressor or modifying one, you need to fill out form 1 completely.
  4. Trying to get around the law – The law is clear, and it requires that modification of manufacturing of an NFA-defined firearm undergo the permitting process before the start of the project. This includes making or modifying a firearm silencer, short-barrel shotgun, or short barrel rifle.

The Process for Submitting the Form

The form is not overly difficult to fill out. It requires that you gather all of the information ahead of time. The best way to fill out the form is to print out two copies and use one copy as your guide to assembling information. In spots where more information is needed a second sheet of paper is required. You will add any information to the additional pages as needed. it is helpful to label each additional sheet with the page number, question number, or letter so that the added information is clearly identified and matched to the question. The ATF will not go out of its way to decipher additional pages of information.

It is also helpful to go through your working copy of the form and make a list of any additional information areas where you think you will need to provide further documentation. The remaining pages of the form are very helpful for informational purposes.

ATF Form 1 Wait Time

The current wait time for Form 1 applications is 30 days for eForms and 45 days for written forms. The process can be a LOT longer – upwards of a year – if there are issues with the form. So, it’s important to make sure that you fill it out correctly the first time. Follow the steps and advice listed above, and you should make it out fine.

February 28, 2023

Can You Legally Buy a Gun for Someone Else?

Technically, it would depend on how you define the word “buy.” If you went to a gun dealer with someone, and they chose a gun, filled out all the paperwork, and you paid for the gun, there would not be much of an issue. The reason being is that the person whose gun you paid for is on record as the gun buyer. Federal Law does not say you cannot buy a gun and give it as a gift, only that you cannot purchase a gun and give it away to someone you suspect is not allowed to own a gun. When you buy a gun for a person who is prohibited from owning a gun in the United States, they call that type of gun sale a straw purchase. When you make a straw purchase of a firearm, you are breaking the law and if caught, you will be charged with a federal felony.

Also of note: Form 4473 requires that the transferee fill out the form – as a buyer who is gifting a gun, you cannot be the transferee.

A Straw Purchase occurs when someone buys a gun for another person, but the other person does not undergo a background check and whose background prevents the legal sale of a gun to that person. Any licensed dealer or FFL holder that identifies that type of purchase will stop the transaction. It is against federal law to purchase a gun for someone else when the person who will receive the gun has a criminal history and the purchase of the gun is to avoid the NICS background check. Straw purchasing is a federal crime.

The ATF does not prohibit the buying and gifting of a gun to a third party so long as the buyer of the gun is certain that the person receiving the gun is qualified under federal law to possess a gun. That rule; however, is just at the federal level. You will need to understand how that process works at the state level for both the state where you live and the state where the person receiving the gun lives. While this is legal, it is generally discouraged. A better practice is to buy a gift card so that the actual recipient of the firearm can complete the paperwork.

The ATF also makes it possible for a parent to buy a gun as a gift for a child so long as the child is 18 years of age or older. There is also a stipulation that the parent gives written permission and there are restrictions for what the gun may be used for – work, farming, ranching, etc. Also, a gun may not be given as a gift from a parent to a child if the child does not meet the criteria for being allowed to own a gun. 

How to Know if You Can Buy a Gun Legally for Someone Else

The laws vary between states. It is important that you know the laws of your state. The only time, generally, that you would need to purchase a gun for someone else is when the person you are purchasing the gun for is prohibited from owning a gun under state or federal law. Convicted felons – those with state or federal felony convictions – are often denied.

People who under the US gun law code are prohibited from owning a gun include but are not limited to:

  • Certain Felony Convictions
  • Criminal Convictions involving narcotics
  • Convictions involving violent crimes
  • Convictions involving spousal or child abuse
  • Being the subject of a restraining order
  • A history of narcotic abuse
  • Are recognized as having a mental illness
  • Certain categories of misdemeanors
  • Has prior firearm offenses

The alternative to a straw purchase is to buy a gift certificate or gift card and allow the person to go through the paperwork process to purchase a gun on their own.

The Process of Buying a Gun

The general process of buying a gun is a matter of transfer. The process checks that the person buying the gun is not prohibited from owning a gun. That is the background process by the FBI or state agency, depending on which state you are a resident of. The rest of the process moves the gun from the gun seller – the gun owner – to the buyer. That also means that once the transfer is complete you are the legal and responsible owner of the gun, and the FFL gun broker is released from legal responsibility and any criminal activity involving the gun that occurs after the date of purchase.

Those two actions are what is important in the gun buying and selling business.

The other way to buy a gun without going through all of the hoops is to buy the gun from a private party. You cannot buy a gun out of state and give it as a gift without the person receiving the gun undergoing a NICS background check. You will also need to understand the state laws involved. For example, you may not purchase an assault weapon in one state and transfer it to another state where assault weapons are banned. Doing so is a felony.

Brush Up on Your State and Local Laws

Going outside of your state to buy a gun may not make the transaction completely legal. If you buy from an FFL gun broker, they will check your address, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms will look at your physical address. If the gun you are buying is prohibited in the state you live, your application will be denied. For example, if you want to buy an assault weapon but they are banned in your state, you will not be allowed to purchase one out of state. The person to who you plan to give the gun will also need to undergo a NICS background check when you purchase out of state. Once you bring the gun back to your home, you will be in violation of state law.

Also of note is the responsibility of private sales of guns. The seller is still required to take reasonable cause into consideration before selling a gun. If the seller suspects that the buyer may be a person who does not meet the criteria for owning a gun, they should not sell the weapon. Since there is no way for an individual to be sure of someone’s identity or background, individuals should err on the side of caution and perform private sales at a licensed FFL or save themselves some money and get an FFL themselves to avoid being charged criminally with dealing without a license.

In-state transfers:

Certain states, such as California, require that all gun transfers occur through a Federally Licensed Firearm gun store. This is a very good example of why you need to understand the gun laws in your state and also at the federal level. The process is that the federal gun laws offer broad coverage or regulation, but the state laws not only differ but also can be much more restrictive. In states like Illinois, Chicago has even more strict regulations than the rest of the state.

Gift Giving

We do not recommend or condone giving guns as gifts outside of the family (parent-child or grandparent-child). Gifting a firearm to someone carries huge risks for everyone involved. Go for a gift card instead, as this is a much safer option.

Legally speaking, you can buy a gun and give it as a gift so long as the person receiving the gun is over the age of 18 and their criminal background does not prohibit them from owning a gun. Other considerations include mental health and narcotic use and convictions. If you are purchasing the gun from out of state, the person you give the gun to will still need to undergo a criminal background check. Again, we do not endorse this outside of one’s immediate family.

Straw Purchases

What is a Straw Purchase? – A straw purchase is when someone buys a gun for another person and the buyer knows that the person receiving the gun is not permitted to own a gun under federal or state law. In short, the purchase is designed to bypass the NICS background check which would otherwise prevent the sale of a firearm to the buyer. The actual transferee, in this case, is a straw dummy and they are at risk of federal felony charges should they be caught.

The forms ask specifically if you are the actual transferee or buyer and then add that if you are giving the gun to someone else you are not the actual transferee. The person receiving the gun is the transferee and they will need to complete form 4473 before an FFL can transfer the gun to them.

Simplify Compliance with FastBound

FastBound is an online cloud-based platform that makes the process of purchasing and managing gun transfers fast, accurate, and secure. FastBound helps gun buyers and sellers handle the process and paperwork needed to keep FFLs compliant. Our software is the only firearms compliance software that comes with an ATF compliance guarantee backed by attorneys. The system helps prevent false statements by buyers and is accessible from any device that can connect to the internet.

FastBound’s features and value props make firearm transfers easier. If you are worried about breaking the law or failing to stay in compliance, FastBound can help. It offers comprehensive coverage for both state and federal laws.

All FastBound subscriptions include a guaranteed legal defense, backed by attorneys who were also involved in the process of developing software. You will need basic information to use the form completion and submitting features, such as serial number, make, model, and buyer information including address. FastBound allows you to easily complete federal ATF forms for gun purchases and transfers and it helps you to include information about concealed handgun permits, compliant advice, and more. The process helps you avoid timely mistakes that can cause the application to be rejected. It works on your computer, phone, or tablet, so long as you have access to the internet.

For the Federal Firearms Licensee, FastBound help you create and store bound books, which you can now submit electronically to the ATF. You also have access to universal background checks for regular and concealed firearm permits.

While the laws of gun buying are complex and often seem to counteract each other, they are there to help reduce gun-related crime. Your licensed retailer is obligated to follow this long list of federal and state rules and that is where FastBound earns its keep. It is not only designed to help produce completed forms quickly and easily, but it will also help you check the accuracy of data, prevent false information, and keep you in compliance.

Learn more about how FastBound helps keep your gun store in compliance and as a tool to grow your business by reaching out to our team.

December 29, 2022

4473 Form December 2022 Revisions

Due to new statutory requirements outlined in the NICS Denial Notification Act and the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Safer Community Act (BSCA), and to reflect the implementation of subsequent ruling 2021R-05F, ATF Form 4473 has been revised for Firearm Dealers in the United States Firearm Industry.

The revised ATF Form 4473 will become mandatory for use on April 1, 2023.

The current revision of the ATF Form 4473 is still valid until April 1, 2023. Paper versions of the new forms will be available to federal firearm license holders through the ATF Distribution Center beginning February 1, 2023. If you’re using FastBound’s electronic form 4473, the new form will be available before April 1, 2023. Because the new statutory requirements are designed to enhance public safety and to ensure compliance with these provisions and Final Rule 2021R-05F, the United States Office of Management and Budget has provided emergency authorization for firearm dealers to immediately use the revised Form 4473.

Warning: As with any revision to the 4473, using a new revision obsoletes previous versions. If you have a firearm purchaser complete the new form in paper format and your electronic form 4473 software is not yet updated to the new revision, you can no longer use your electronic form 4473 software.

The revised firearm transaction record is available on ATF’s website and can be downloaded and printed by an FFL dealer. The process has not changed much: after the firearm dealer completes section A (serial number), a continuation sheet (if needed), the firearm purchaser must then fill out section B form completely with their personal information, including social security number, answering the unlawful user questions related to federal law, domestic violence. The firearm dealer must then print or save the completed form, including instructions and supporting documentation, and store all firearm transaction record paperwork together, either the paper format in boxes or electronic forms with electronic signatures. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms will be publishing the Revised Form for Notice and Comment Review in the coming months, which should be available on the Federal Government Register website

If a prospective buyer seems hesitant to complete a background check due to these changes, reassuring them their rights under the privacy act and other firearms owners’ rights have not been affected might be helpful.

The following items list the significant changes to the form. A detailed breakdown of all form changes can be found on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms website. 

  • Any firearm received by a federal firearms licensee (FFL), that was privately made (not manufactured by another federal firearms licensee) must now be recorded on the ATF Form 4473.  “Privately Made Firearm (PMF)” has been added to item 1, Section A. It now reads: “Manufacturer and Importer, if any or Privately made firearm (PMF) (If the manufacturer and importer are both different, include both).”
  • Question 10 is amended: The transferee/buyer is now asked to answer whether they “Reside in City Limits?” regarding their residence address. For example, if a prospective buyer lists their residence city/state as Phoenix, Arizona, but they reside outside of the city, they will answer “no” to this item.
  • The following two prohibiting questions have been added to Section A:
    • 21b: “Do you intend to purchase or acquire any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition, for sale of other disposition to any person described in questions 21(c)-(m) or to a person described in question 21.n.1 who does not fall within a nonimmigrant exception?”
    • 21.c.: “Do you intend to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition in furtherance of any felony or other offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than one year, a Federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking offense?” 
  • To comply with the BSCA 10-day waiting period on certain transfers involving transferees under the age of 21, Section C of the Form has been revised as follows: 
    • Prior to the NICS/POC information section which contains the NICS transaction number, an instructional header has been added stating: “Notice: If transferee/buyer is under 21, a waiting period of up to 10 days may apply where notification from NICS is received within 3 business days to further investigate a possible disqualifying juvenile record. A NICS check is only valid for 30 calendar days from the date recorded in question 27a.”
    • Item 27.c. was amended to show the date an FFL may transfer a firearm should NICS or the State agency (conducting the background check) not reply stating more time is needed for the check. It now reads next to the delayed check box: “The firearm(s) may be transferred on ____ if time period is not extended by NICS or the appropriate State agency, and State law allows (optional).” 
    • A box has been added to 27.d. should NICS background check or the appropriate State agency delay the check as more time is needed to conduct it on a transferee under 21 years of age. It now reads: “Notice of additional delay of transferee under 21 years of age received on  _______ (date), and may be transferred on _________ (date).”
    • Also added to 27.d. is a box for FFLs to check should no response be received from NICS or the appropriate State agency background check (for transferees under 21 years of age) within 10 business days after the initial delay was given. It now reads: “No response was provided within 10 business days after initial delay for transferee/buyer under 21.”

FastBound is designed to help federal firearms license dealers get and stay compliant. FastBound has processed more than one billion firearm transactions since 2010 and is used by thousands of licensed dealers to help manage firearms dealers electronic acquisition and disposition records, electronic ATF Form 4473, multiple sales, law enforcement serial number traces, and much more.

Try FastBound for free to see what you’ve been missing!

December 6, 2022

The Proper Disposal of Firearms: A Guide

 Disposing of a firearm seems complex since you cannot just throw your unwanted firearm in the garbage. What do you do with a gun you no longer want? In the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has a short list of options that you can use to find the best way to deal with unwanted firearms. 

Methods of Firearm Disposal

The ATF gives you four options for getting rid of any unwanted gun. They include:

  • Give it to the Police Department
  • Destroy it
  • Donate it
  • Sell It

Giving the Gun to the Police Station or County Sheriff’s Office.

You can take a gun or rifle to your local police department and any unwanted ammunition too and hand them over to a police officer or state police facility. It is a good idea to call ahead of time and ask them about their procedure for bringing a gun into their police station. They can get a bit irked if you just show up with a gun.

Destroying the Firearm

The ATF has a document that tells you how to destroy a firearm. It involves cutting the firearm into pieces so that the register is destroyed in a specific way. Thankfully, their document also contains illustrations for both handguns and rifles.

If you are a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), FastBound has a built-in process for disposing of destroyed firearms, including the required and recommended documentation for doing so. 

The ATF prefers that guns are smelted. Their goal is that the register is not recoverable. To the ATF, the lower receiver is the part of the gun that you must register with them. Sometimes, barrels or other parts of the firearm are required to be registered, but every lower receiver is to be registered.

If you decide to smelt the gun, be careful as some of the metals or finishes may produce hazardous waste.

If you choose to destroy the firearm by smelting it, you must understand that the ATF makes it very clear that an unserviceable firearm is still a firearm, and it must be registered with the ATF. Destroying a firearm and making a gun or rifle unserviceable are not the same things.

These rules are in place to keep prohibited people, such as those involved in controlled substances or crime, away from access to firearms.

Other methods of safe disposal of firearms approved by the ATF include:

  • Smelting
  • Crushing
  • Cutting – Further information about cutting a firearm to make it disposable is available on the ATF site.
  • Shredding

Additional information is available through the ATF about destroying a gun or rifle. If you do not have access to the tools needed to smelt, crush, cut, or shred the gun or rifle, you can take it to your law enforcement agency.

Donate the Firearm

You can check with your local municipal corporation to see if they have a governmental office that handles donated firearms. Some local or state-level museums may have the authority to accept donated guns, especially historical pieces.

Other types of businesses such as a licensed firearm dealer may also be able to accept your donated gun. So long as the gun fits the licensed dealer’s FFL, there should be little problem.

As the gun owner, you may have to fill out paperwork to transfer the gun out of your name and into the name of the licensed firearm dealer or that of their store.

Selling a Firearm

Under Federal Law, you only need an FFL to sell guns if selling or buying guns is your business. A private sale of a firearm does not require a background check or a Federal Firearms License. The ATF strongly suggests that private sales of firearms do not occur between the seller and someone who should not own a gun. That may be a person under the age of 18 or someone that the seller knows or would reasonably know has a felony record.

That may not be true at the state level, and state gun laws, when applicable, are more strict than federal laws. Depending on which state you live in, and where the sale occurs, state law may require that a background check be performed and that the sale of the firearm goes through a licensed firearm dealer with a valid FFL.

Since the ATF outlines several ways to dispose of a firearm, people who want to get rid of a gun can do so without fear of a criminal charge. Under federal law, you can dispose of a gun through a private sale as personal property, but it is better to go through an FFL. Guns are generally not permitted as items at waste disposal sites, though you can hand the gun over to a law enforcement officer or a federally licensed firearm dealer or take part in a private party sale. As part of the public safety bandwidth, firearm sales events can be a place for private party gun sales too.

Disposition for an FFL

Disposing of a gun at a gun dealer means that there is a record of the transaction. That can be very beneficial for anyone who wants to legally dispose of a firearm so that the weapon is no longer tied to the person who is disposing of the gun.

In terms of the disposition from the point of view of the FFL, it simply means the transfer of the gun within the bound books or from one party to another. That process means that the FFL must follow the firearm safety regulations required by the ATF.

Disposition Requirments

The ATF outlines the rules and requirements for all dispositions of firearms. The FFL must include data for:

  • The model of the gun or rifle
  • The serial number of the weapon
  • The type of weapon – handgun, rifle, shotgun, etc.
  • Caliber or gauge 
  • Date of the disposition
  • Business name, address of the person receiving the gun, and their FFL number if they are a federal firearm license holder
  • The date they take possession of the unit.
  • Their full name and not a repeat of their business name if they are in business and have an FFL.
  • Disposition information that includes the form name filed, such as 4473, or their FFL #, and the location of the sale, such as the address of a gun show, etc.

The Importance of Proper A&D Records

To maintain a gun selling and buying business or any other type of business under an FFL, the A&D records are critical. It is essential and your legal responsibility to maintain accurate A&D records with data that is truthful and meets the strict requirements issued by both the U.S. Federal government and your state government.

As a federal firearms licensee, you are required to run a background check if you are selling or buying a gun through your business. The rules can change slightly if you are buying a gun as a private party for your collection. If the gun you purchase through a private party transaction is to be sold in your FFL business, then the forms must be created and accurate.

People who want to donate a gun or dispose of a gun can contact their local law enforcement office, or sheriff’s department, or check with their local municipal corporation to see if there is a gun disposal facility within the county or state where they live. They can also donate the gun to an FFL, but unregistered firearms will require paperwork even though you are not purchasing the gun. That is for your benefit as you don’t want to accept a firearm that was used in a crime and that may be traced. The paperwork helps deter those kinds of transactions and helps you to identify the donating person in case there are legal questions later.

A&D Made Easy with FastBound

FastBound is a lawyer-backed software platform that is guaranteed to be compliant and help Federal Firearm Licensees maintain an effective firearms compliance program as they work with the acquisition and disposition of firearms within their business.

Gun dealers sell firearms to firearm enthusiasts, new gun owners, hunters, and people who are concerned about personal safety and home defense. Regardless of why someone is buying or selling a gun, the federal government and ATF maintain a strict list of protocols for the process of buying and selling firearms. When a gun dealer does not follow those rules, they can face criminal charges and the revocation of their FFL.

FastBound makes it easy to keep your gun business in compliance. It is always up to date when the ATF makes changes to the long list of regulations or as state laws change. Those frequent updates help you use the correct forms and obtain the correct data for those forms.

The ATF also has specific requirements for how A&D records and 4473s are stored. FastBound meets the requirements for electronic storage of all A&D forms.

Because FastBound is a comprehensive system, it will block or help you spot errors on the forms before you submit them. It will also help you fill out the forms so that the seller does not have to wade through multiple-page forms that have duplicate information.

FastBound makes it easy to access and fill out electronic forms to avoid delays in authorizations for sales due to handwritten form data and errors.

FastBound also can regulate and store your bound books. Plus, FastBound is a cloud platform, so you do not need to buy any special equipment to access the site. You can do so from a desktop computer, laptop, or smart device.

Learn more about how FastBound can help you remain in compliance even with recent changes by the ATF. Protect your FFL with FastBound.

November 22, 2022

How to Get a FFL

If you want to buy and sell modern firearms, you need an FFL – Federal Firearms License. You can download the application from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

You will need to determine what type of Federal Firearm License you need and there is a handful that breakdown into three basic groups – Manufacturing, buying/selling/collecting, and importing. They further break down into guns, ammo, and destructive devices.

Here is a list of the license types and their numbers.

  • Type 01 – Firearm dealer but not authorized to sell destructive devices.
  • Type 02 – Pawnbroker in firearms but not authorized to sell or buy destructive devices.
  • Type 03 – Gun Collectors of curios and relics
  • Type 06 – Manufacturer of ammunition but not for those ammo types that are armor piercing or for destructive devices.
  • Type 07 – Manufacturer of firearms but not for the creation of destructive devices
  • Type 08 – Importer of firearms but not for ammo or destructive devices
  • Type 09 – Dealer of destructive devices
  • Type 10 – Manufacturer of destructive devices, ammo for destructive devices, and ammo that is armor piercing.
  • Type 11 – Importer of destructive devices, ammo for destructive devices, and armor piercing ammunition.

A Federal Firearm licensee can hold several of these FFLs

The application process is not overly complicated. You mail in the completed application along with the fee. There are restrictions and not everyone can hold an FFL. Each applicant will undergo a federal background check and you must not be in any of the categories that are restrictive to the process.

Make Sure You Meet the FFL Requirements

Generally, when we are discussing FFL requirements, we are discussing the federal requirements. However, each state may have different requirements for holding an FFL.

For the federal portion of an FFL, the basic requirements for the government are that you will be law-abiding, free of felonies, free of drug and narcotic convictions,

The steps to get an FFL are as follows.

Step 1 – Download the application and read through it. Make sure that you meet the general requirements of an FFL holder and that you do not have a conviction that will bar you from being an FFL holder.

Step 2 – Choose Your FFL License Type. This can be tricky because the license types are restrictive, and one type may not cover all that you want to do in your business. FFLs are for businesses, though Type 03 is for collectors, and even it has some restrictions.

Step 3 – Apply for the FFL – Fill out the application. The form will ask you for your legal name, the type of IRS business filing you opt for, and the location of your business. For example, if your business is a sole proprietor, you would indicate that on the application. You may also be required to have a business license issued by your local county, city, or state. Additionally, your business will need to be free of any of the complex local zoning issues that pertain to firearms.

While the seemingly heavy-handed government regulations that you find within the initial application can be harsh, they are there to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals, those people who have felony narcotic offenses, who are mentally ill, and who may not be the person they claim to be on the application. Firearms licensing is a serious process and if you have all of your ducks in a row and are an upstanding citizen, you should have nothing to fear from the application.

You will choose your FFL type from their list on the form and note the fee for that type of FFL. The fees range from $30 to $3,000 and you can apply for more than one type. In the following section of the application, you would tally up all of your fees – each FFL has its own licensing fee, and then include the payment total for your total application fee along with either credit card info or you can insert a check or money order.

Information about Your Business and Residential Area

Before you fill out the application, you would need to know a lot about your firearm business such as how it was formed, if you purchased it from someone else and who the seller of the business is, if the business is new or if there was a different FFL number, etc. As you read through the form, you can gather the data they want. Printing out the application and using it as a worksheet may make the process easier.

Each Owner of the Business Will Be Investigated

The ATF form will have a space where every member of your business, including key workers, will need to supply personal information about themselves for a federal background check. The form follows the laws of the United States under the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The Application and Past History

The application will want to know your past addresses and will ask you questions to determine who you are if you’ve had a past FFL, even employment history where that history involved a corporation that held an FFL. For example, if you worked for Ruger, you would have to disclose that information whether you are applying to make your ammo and sell it or as an FFL dealer.

The Reputable Character

There are rules and regulations from the Gun Control Act of 1968. One of those is that you must be at least aged 21 to have an FFL.

Another set of questions will involve criminal history. It is still illegal to use marijuana on the federal level. If you live in a state where marijuana or cannabis is legal, and you are involved in a legalized cannabis business, you may be denied an FFL. Other narcotic use and a history of dealing or arrest can also cause you to lose your opportunity to be an FFL holder.

In addition to federal law, you will need to be an upstanding citizen on the local law level too.

Citizenship and FFLs

You do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the United States if you are importing guns to the US. Nationalized citizens are accepted if they meet all of the other rules and regulations. Certain members of the US here on a visa may also qualify. People who are a citizen of foreign countries but not US citizens may also be approved depending on the type of business they are establishing, how heavy the importation of firearms is, and what their country of origin is.


For each member of your business and significant non-owners, the Form B – questionnaire along with fingerprint cards and a photo, such as that used for a passport, will need to be submitted. There is also an additional fee involved for each fingerprint card you send in with your application. The exception for fingerprint cards and the photo is applications for a Type 03 collector of curios and relics.

The In-person Interview

Except for Type 03 FFL applications, an in-person interview will occur generally at your place of business where the field officer will go over all the regulations that apply to you. They will want to see that your business is set up and in compliance with all governmental agencies, including federal, state, and local laws before any sales or firearm transfers begin.

The Paper Trail

Part of being a responsible FFL holder, regardless of which type of FFL you hold, is understanding the paper trail involved with every transaction. Before 2022, all of the forms you would use, such as form 4473 were to be kept for 20 years. Recently the laws have been relaxed enough to allow for the electronic storage of 4473 forms so long as the electronic forms meet the storage and data safety standards issued by the ATF.

Final Thoughts

The application for an FFL is much easier if your business model is just you. You will only have to supply information on yourself and your business. When more people are involved, the process is much more time-consuming and costly.

Overall, the initial application is not overly difficult to complete if you have all of the information available. You want to make sure that all of your business facts are handy and in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

If you’ve started your own firearms business, we can help you run things much more smoothly. Our FFL software for A&D and 4473s has helped manage billions of transactions over the years. We are the only bound book software provider to offer guaranteed ATF compliance with an attorney-backed legal defense from our friends over at FFLGuard. Contact us today or start a free trial!

October 12, 2022

Form 4473 FFL Software Updates for October, 2022

FastBound firearms compliance software proud to announce a feature that Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders ask about all the time when discussing FastBound’s cloud-based software for firearms dealers.

Gun stores of all types, including pawn shops, retail stores, and personal FFL holders in the United States know that they must maintain A&D bound book records in accordance with ATF regulations.

Anyone who works with A&D bound book records daily knows that, at some point, you need to make the same change to tens, hundreds, or thousands of items.

  • FFL dealers have a legal requirement to record firearms compliance records correctly and completely with all required additional information using compliant software. Accordingly, FastBound ca FFL Software is proud to announce our long-awaited bulk change feature. Stay tuned for an upcoming training video and quick reference guide. 
  • We added a new FFL Software API based on a great suggested from a long-time customer, who built their own real-time inventory scanning mobile app to reduce the human error in his manual ATF audit and ATF compliance procedures and wanted an API to verify up to 1,000 serial numbers in near real-time with a single API call. This API allows you to set the location and last verified date.
  • We added an API to our cloud software to add an item to a pending disposition by searching for a UPC, MPN, or even model and other fields, which helps fill e-commerce orders that don’t have any knowledge of serial numbers. Integrated retail management software partners can now lock a 4473 and generate a buyer PIN via the API.
  • Last but not least and by popular demand, an FFL dealer using FastBound FFL software can now include an item’s acquisition date in their custom label designs.

As we always do, we include as many improvements as we can in a release. This release includes the following:

  • Improved Q7, Q21 on form 4473 for background check
  • Improved Safari autocomplete on 4473 background check
  • Always display all customer data columns on inventory reports (request this from technical support)
  • Switched from CSV to XLSX for item imports to prevent serials with leading zeros from being truncated
  • Add disposition ID in disposition committed webhook
  • Added expand/collapse icons to various screens
  • Drastically improved performance and compatibility of of filling PDF forms to reduce printing costs
  • Added FFL number to accounts list page to help disambiguate multiple gun stores
  • Include all items details when downloading cycle counts

FastBound Firearms Compliance Software continues to push the envelope for ATF compliance, reducing the manual work Gun stores of all types, including pawn shops, retail stores, and personal FFL holders spend properly maintaining records associated with firearm sales. While software products offered by competitors often struggle with basic legal requirements, FastBound’s integrated solution provide FFL holders with guaranteed compliant software, better service, technical support, and a customer experience that is second to none — all you need is a web browser and an Internet connection!

October 11, 2022

Most Frequently Cited ATF Violations In 2021

The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms released ATF records for Fiscal Year 2021, indicates that ATF inspectors conducted 15,181 application inspections. Of which 69% *(10,545) were approved and 20 were denied. 30% (4,616 applications) were abandoned or withdrawn.

U.S. ATF inspectors conducted 6,639 firearm compliance inspections. 64% of the ATF inspections resulted in no regulatory violations; 15% resulted in a report of violations (or a single violation); 12% of licenses were discontinued; 7% received warning letters; 2% resulted in a warning conference; less than 1% resulted in license revocation or other outcomes.

6,639 ATF inspections for 136,846 firearms licensees shows how limited resources are at ATF as it falls far short of the “compliance inspection, per federal firearms licensee, per year” goal set by ATF officials.

During the same time, the National Tracing Center (NTC) processed 548,000 firearms trace requests for 8,900 law enforcement agencies, including 49 agencies from 48 foreign countries.

The ATF recommended 16,497 defendants for criminal prosecution.

During gun dealer inspections, the most frequently cited violations include:

  1. 27 CFR 478.21(a) Failure to complete forms as prescribed moved up the list from third most common violation in 2020 to first in 2021. While Form 4473 is fairly straightforward, it’s not hard to make mistakes. Even with the best of intentions, gun dealers or buyers may inadvertently fail to follow directions as required by the ATF. It’s especially common for new firearms licensees or gun shops with high volume. That’s why it’s important to be thorough when filling out this form and double-check everything. FastBound’s Electronic Form 4473 can help here as well because it saves time on follow-ups for buyers who fill out information incorrectly and can identify a prohibited person (active restraining order, convicted felon, domestic abusers, buyer who makes a false statement, etc.) or help identify a possible straw purchase.
  2. 27 CFR 478.125(e) Failure to maintain an accurate/complete/timely acquisition and disposition (A&D) record of firearms dropped from first in 2020 to second in 2021. Federal regulations state that a dealer is required to record each receipt and disposition of firearms, noting the date, name and address or name and license number of who’s purchasing the firearm, the manufacturer, serial number, and so on. You can find full information under section (e), firearms receipt and disposition by dealers. FastBound electronic A&D is the most compliant available and its use is backed by guaranteed legal defense. 
  3. 27 CFR 478.123(a) Failure to maintain an accurate/complete/timely manufacture or acquisition record is also up two spots from fifth in 2020 to third in 2021. The ATF states that “Each licensed manufacturer shall record the type, model, caliber, or gauge, and serial number of each complete firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired, and the date such manufacture or other acquisition was made.” Further, the information should be recorded within seven days of the date of the manufacture or acquisition.” Once again, being thorough with your record-keeping is critical, and you need to be sure you’re keeping track of all required information. 
  4. 27 CFR 478.124(c)(1) Failure to obtain a completed ATF F 4473 moves from second down to fourth most common. Properly completing Form 4473 is a critical part of selling firearms. Given its recurrence on the most frequently cited list proves that many gun dealers need help with this process. FastBound’s Electronic Form 4473 allows buyers to submit complete, correct, and compliant Forms 4473 using any desktop, tablet, or smartphone. There are no special hardware requirements, and it comes with digital signature support and electronic storage support. Besides ensuring compliance, this can also streamline customer service, helping you complete the information you need so you can move on to the next sale, confident than nothing on the form was missed.
  5. 27 CFR 478.124(c)(3)(iv) Failure to record NICS contact information on an ATF F 4473 is down one spot from 2020 at fifth. Keeping accurate record of the buyer’s contact information and performing a background check is crucial to public safety and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands or from being used in a violent crime. Unfortunately, being the fifth most commonly cited violation measure there are a lot of failures to do so. With a series of questions on form 4473 used in the background check process, you must be diligent about each field.
  6. 27 CFR 478.123(b) Failure to maintain an accurate/complete/timely licensee disposition record is up three spots from ninth in 2020. This is another ATF violation that simply boils down to improper record-keeping. And it’s understandable. Even seasoned firearms sellers make mistakes from time to time. Software like FastBound has so many time-savers built right into the software to help along the way.
  7. 27 CFR 478.124(c)(5) Failure by transferor to sign and/or date an ATF F 4473 didn’t make the top ten violations in 2020. This is one thing a FastBound firearm dealer doesn’t have to worry about because our compliant, electronic form 4473 doesn’t even allow this.
  8. 27 CFR 478.124(c)(3)(i) Failure to verify or record identification document on ATF F 4473 keeps its eighth place. ATF regulations state “After the transferee has executed the Form 4473, the licensee shall verify the identity of the transferee by examining the identification document presented and shall note on the Form 4473 the type of identification used.” Simply put, to avoid this violation, make sure you verify the buyer’s identity and immediately record it on the 4473. 
  9. 27 CFR 478.126a Failure to report multiple sales or other dispositions of pistols and revolvers moves up one spot from tenth in 2020. This final regulation can, admittedly, be a little confusing. Because of the rise in firearm trafficking, law enforcement and the ATF are very particular about how they require a firearms dealer to report multiple sales, so things can get murky in a hurry. FastBound has the most compliant multiple sale reporting available.
  10. 27 CFR 478.124(c)(4) Failure to record firearm information on an ATF F 4473 is down from seventh place in 2020. “The licensee shall identify the firearm to be transferred by listing on the Form 4473 the name of the manufacturer, the name of the importer (if any), the type, model, caliber or gauge, and the serial number of the firearm,” the ATF states. This is pretty straightforward information, but it’s not hard to overlook a piece of it. So it’s important to familiarize yourself with all of the information requirements and check them off one by one. 

ATF field divisions, ATF inspectors, and ATF agents have a lot of discretion at their disposal. A Federal Firearms Licensee who takes the care to implement controls to mitigate risks before even a single inspection has taken place is heavily considered. Absent extraordinary circumstances, this precaution can sometimes make all the difference when ATF inspectors, and ATF agents exercise that discretion to recommend a corrective actions or cite for a willful violation, or criminal activity with serious punishment.

October 3, 2022

Do Pawn Shops Have an FFL?

No. The only time a pawn shop needs an FFL is if they take in guns or sell guns. If they do not deal in guns or accept guns as a hold, then they do not need an FFL.

Per the Federal and state laws, a Federal Firearms License is required for businesses that deal – buy and sell – firearms. Each time a pawn shop takes in a gun an FFL transfer is required. A pawn shop can do a background check before accepting a gun from a private party. They are also restricted from returning the gun to the private party if that person is not eligible to receive the gun under federal laws. As an FFL dealer, the pawn shop must also notify law enforcement if they accept a gun from a person who is not able to own a gun under the definition of the firearms act.

Like all licensed dealer businesses, pawn shops must follow the guidelines for the legal firearm transfer from the private party to the pawn shop and from the pawn shop to the private party even if the private party is not the same person.

What Type of FFL do Pawn Shops Use?

Pawn Shops that are a licensed firearm dealer use Type 2 FFL. A gun store or business would use a Type 1 FFL.

There are many categories of Federal Firearm License Types from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. They are divided into three categories, which include:

  • Dealers – which may include an ammunition vendor, sellers of parts including lower receivers. It also includes collectors even those who collect long guns
  • Manufacturers
  • Importers

Pawn Brokers fall into the dealer category but are separated from other types of United States gun dealers under Type 1 FFL and have their own FFL category – Type 2.

Can a Pawn Shop Offer Online Firearm Purchase Options?

Because the Type 1 and Type 2 FFLs are so similar, all of the abilities under the Type 1 FFL are available to pawn shops. The big difference is the ability to accept guns as collateral for loans. That option is reserved for Type 2 FFLs within the United States. Both are expected to be firearm experts and to understand the rules and regulations of running a legal firearms business under federal law and laws that are required by the state in which their business is located.

Why Do Pawn Shops Need an FFL?

If you read the Type 1 FFL and Type 2 FFL rules, you find they are identical. So, why is there a separate FFL for pawnbrokers? The reason is not spelled out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. However, it becomes more apparent if you consider what a pawn broker does as it compares to another firearm dealer or FFL holder

If you own a gun, you can take it to a pawnbroker, and they will give you a collateral loan. You are using the gun as collateral for the loan. You have a certain amount of time to repay that loan and collect your collateral. A gun shop is not going to lend you money or offer you a collateral loan. They will simply buy your gun if they are interested in it.

Another part of what makes a pawnbroker different from a Type 1 FFL is that the pawnbroker may own the gun you used as collateral for your pawn loan if you default on the loan. A gun is different from a musical instrument. You don’t need a NICS background check to buy a guitar from a pawnbroker.

So, the reason why a pawnbroker needs a separate FFL is due to the differences in how they run their gun business.

Guns and Parts and Type 2 FFL

Pawn Shops can purchase gun parts or hold them as collateral for their loans. Those can include lower receivers, long guns, and antique guns, but not destructive devices.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 FFLs are not permitted to deal with destructive devices. That requires a separate FFL.

What is the Difference Between a Type 1 and Type 2 FFL?

The difference between a Type 1 FFL and a Type 2 FFL is that under a Type 2 FFL you can accept certain types of guns as collateral for a pawn loan.

You can think of a Type 2 FFL as an enhanced Type 1 FFL. A Type 2 FFL can do anything that a Type 1 FFL can do. There may be some restrictions at the state level, but otherwise, they are very similar. Some pawn shops also have firearm sales of brand new guns, and they may buy a gun as part of their firearm sales collection rather than hold them for collateral.

The difference between the two types of FFL is the ability to handle guns as part of the pawn loan process. You will still have to undergo a NICS background check and fill out all of the necessary paperwork required from firearms dealers. Your criminal history will come into play before the pawn shop can return your gun to you. If you do not pass the NICS background, your gun will not be returned to you. In addition, the pawn shop is required by law to report all transactions that involve a firearm to the local law enforcement agencies if you fail your background check. You will need a government-issued I.D.

How FastBound Can Help

FastBound helps all FFL license types including Type 2 pawn shops to process the required paperwork from the ATF quickly, accurately, and online.

FastBound is lawyer backed and designed to remain in compliance even as the rules and requirements change. FastBound allows you to electronically submit forms, store forms electronically, and also to conduct the transfer background check online and generally with results back in about a minute.

Because FastBound is set up to handle all FFL types – sporting goods stores, pawn shops, gun dealers, etc. – It fits nicely into the business models of type 1 and type 2 FFLs. FastBound works with local FFL holders and gives you access to the ATF Form library so that each required form is available to you in an online format.

The FastBound process makes it easier for businesses that hold Federal Firearms Licenses to function quickly and accurately.

The NICS Background process is important for pawn shops. Under Federal Law, pawn shops that are also gun shops must run a background check on private parties that want to use firearms as collateral for a pawn loan.

It is also important to understand that process because the pawn may accept the gun without a background check but then before the gun can be returned to the private party at the end of the loan, a background check must be performed. If that individual does not fit the rules for owning a gun, the gun cannot be returned to that party.

Generally, the party offering the gun as collateral will have the choice of undergoing the background check at the time, they offer the gun or when they come to pick it up after their loan is complete. FastBound makes that process simple and fast.

Fast, Accurate, and Electronic

FastBound is fast. It helps you fill out licensed firearm dealer forms. It will duplicate repeated data, such as the purchaser’s names so that you do not have to type all that data over and over.

FastBound is Accurate. It will highlight areas of the form that are not correct. Errors or omissions are one of the biggest reasons why FFL forms are denied. With FastBound, you gain more assurance that the forms are correct and that the data matches what the ATF is looking for – even with background forms.

FastBound is an e-Form library. All of the forms that an FFL business needs, like Form 4473, are available through the FastBound Library. The system walks you through purchases and sales of firearms and makes the transfer of each gun accurate, easy, and fast.

FastBound was designed to make the transfer of firearms easier. If you have ever filled out the FFL forms by hand, you know what a pain that is. Because FastBound is designed with legal experts on board, the forms easily meet the requirements of the ATF. The fast and accurate methodology of FastBound is a selling point for your buying community.

Best of all, you do not need to purchase specialized equipment to access the power of FastBound. It is an online platform that you can access through a PC or smart device. Plus, when it comes to storing all of the FFL forms in an e-Format, FastBound can help. It is designed to meet the exacting criteria of the ATF for electronic storage of all FFL forms. That means you no longer have to store paper forms for 20 years. You can save space and the hassle of caring for paper forms.

Learn more about the power of FastBound as it applies to your FFL business and the luxury of being able to create, submit, and store all of the FFL forms in e-Format.

September 27, 2022

How Many Guns Can You Put on a 4473?

In the United States, some firearm purchasers are put off from buying firearms due to the complex requirements set down by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF.) One of those complexities is form 4473, which is a Firearms Transaction Record. The form has the design of ensuring that whoever is buying the firearm is authorized and that whoever is selling the firearm is conducting the sale in conjunction with the federal and state requirements set in place by the ATF. Here is a closer look at what form 4473 does and why it is important. 

What is a 4473?

A 4473 is a federal form issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) that contains all the information needed by the ATF to confirm that the buyer is approved for a firearm purchase under federal law and or state law. It is also called form 4473 or ATF Form 4473. The purpose of the form is to fully transfer the gun or guns that you purchase under the form from the seller to the buyer. The gun shop from which you buy the firearm will require a 4473 form, which initiates the firearm transfer from the seller to the buyer with some pre-sale checks. The NICS background check will search for any prohibited person – those with certain convictions, such as felonies, misdemeanors, and convictions that involve a controlled substance. The form is also designed to prevent a straw purchase from occurring – the sale of a firearm to someone who is eligible, but that person will give the gun to someone who is not eligible to buy a gun. 

The 4473 form lists:

  • The buyer’s name
  • Address
  • Government ID numbers
  • National Instant Criminal Background Check System number is also known as a NICS number
  • The form will ask for the firearm information, such as make, model, gun type – handgun, long gun, shotgun, etc., and serial number for each gun that you list on the form. 

An ATF form 4473 can list one gun or multiple guns. Keep in mind that the form’s primary use is to transfer each gun that you buy from the seller to you the buyer. That means that you can list multiple guns on one ATF form 4473 – but there are restrictions. 

A special section of the form asks about gun shows and there is a process that the FFL holder must undergo for purchases of firearms at a gun show or online, even if the purchase is for recreational purposes. 

Why do I have to fill out the 4473 Form?

In some cases, you may not need to file a form 4473. That situation occurs when you buy a gun from a non-licensed seller, such as via a private party, or in some cases when the transfer is to a law enforcement officer. Form 4473 is required when you buy a firearm from a licensed manufacturer, gun importer, or a dealer (gun shop.) One of the tasks of form 4473 is to move cataloged guns from under the seller’s license to the buyer. When a gun dealer buys a gun, it is registered to them. Form 4473 moves the gun from the seller’s list of registered serial numbers to the buyer. In that way, Form 4473 creates a trail of ownership for that gun, or all the guns listed on the ATF Form 4473. 

Form 4473 and You, the Buyer

A Firearms Transaction Record, or ATF Form 4473, is a six-page form prescribed by the ATF and must be completed when a person proposes to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder such as a gun dealer. The FFL will review the form and initiate a background check with NICS or the appropriate point of contact in that state.

NICS is a list of persons prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Those can include felony convictions or court processes that are not yet complete or that are newly rendered. The NICS or an appropriate state agency will either approve the transfer, deny it, or cancel it. Filling out form 4473 with false information is a felony. If approved, the transfer will continue. If denied, then information about why the form was denied will be sent to the buyer. One reason stated by the NICS for firearm denials is that the buyer is an “unlawful user” which often means they have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Sometimes if the form is not filled out correctly the form may be canceled by NICS or if the sale falls through, then the seller can cancel the form. When the form is denied or canceled, the guns listed on the form remain in the BoundBook of the seller as their property. When the form is approved the serial number of the firearm and its description will pass from the seller to the buyer as part of the data housed by the NICS. 

How Many Guns Can I put on one 4473?

Interestingly enough, you can purchase multiple guns at once on a 4473 form. The form provides space for three items, but continuation sheets may be used. The 4473 is not so much about the gun you buy, as the transaction itself. What this means is that information collected on form 4473 is used to make sure you’re not prohibited from owning a firearm, not specifically the gun you want to purchase. For that reason, you can purchase multiple guns at one time as permitted in your jurisdiction. Once the transaction is complete, you must file a new 4473 form to purchase another gun. 

The reason for this technicality is that once you file a 4473 and the dealer verifies that you are eligible for a gun purchase, once the transaction is done, a new verification is needed. On the ATF site, they give the example that you buy a gun on one business day – January 1 and pay for it, once the 4473 verification is complete. That transaction and transaction number are also completed. On January 2 you want to purchase another gun, but you must fill out a new 4473 form because you have paid for and completed the transaction of the previous 4473 from the day before. Because the first transaction is complete, you cannot add a new gun to it. It is done. The form and it’s associated background check is expired, and the firearm dealer (Federal Firearm License holder) must retain that form indefinitely. Once the transaction is completed, any authorization given by a background check expires and does not remain as a valid permit or means of adding additional guns. 

As far as how many guns you can put on your open transaction form 4473, there is no federal limit. This varies by state. Keep in mind that:

  1. In accordance with state law, you can put multiple guns on the same form 4473 if the transaction is not closed. Once you pay for your gun, the transaction closes. 
  2. Different purchases at different times require multiple 4473s – Once you pay for a gun or guns, the transaction closes and a new form 4473 must be filled out and filed, even if it is the same day. 
  3. While the ATF does provide e-Form 4473 software, the software is regarded as cumbersome and does not integrate with other systems you may be using which can lead to mistakes and errors because everything has to be re-typed into their software. If the gun owner (seller) or licensee has FastBound you can fill out the form electronically in their shop. FastBound makes it easy to fill out 4473 forms and also electronically file them. For the licensed dealer, FastBound will store the form digitally for as long as needed. Since FastBound’s 4473 is tightly integrated with the A&D, data entry errors that plaque other “4473 only” solutions are a thing of the past.

How FastBound Can Help

We make it easy to complete form 4473 because FastBound is an e-filing platform for gun dealers, sellers, and importers, background checks take seconds and reduce the odds of delays or denials because of incomplete or incorrectly entered information. Three of the top five ATF violations cited are related to failures to complete Form 4473 correctly. Don’t become a statistic!

Fill it Correctly the First time

FastBound is qualified to the exacting requirements issued by the ATF for gun transfer and sales. For that reason, the platform will alert you if the form is filled out incorrectly, and it will autofill the form where appropriate. Form 4473 is six pages long and there are many areas where information, such as the buyer or seller’s name is repeated. If filling out the form with a pen, you would need to handwrite that information repeatedly.

The short version of how FastBound helps with firearm sales and transfers is that it:

  • Auto fills the form for you
  • Verifies that the information is correct based on the form’s box and requirements. 
  • It prevents delays due to forms that are filled out incorrectly
  • Initiates the background check with results returned in as little as 30 seconds. 
  • Maintains a compliant BoundBook under the guidelines of the ATF. 

Learn more about FastBound and how it helps smooth out the gun buying process while keeping the entire transaction legal and current. 

August 18, 2022

ATF Ruling 2022-1 Form 4473 Electronic Storage

On August 17, 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) have signed and released a new ATF ruling for United States Firearms Dealers, ATF Ruling 2022-1 regarding Electronic Storage of Forms 4473.

Electronic storage of Forms 4473 has many benefits for both FFLs and the ATF, including saving valuable retail space, time, and money in record keeping and auditing expenses. Electronic storage improves firearms tracing efforts, promotes efficient compliance inspections, and provides secure storage in case of environmental damage, loss or destruction.

For these reasons, ATF found there was good cause to authorize an alternate method or procedure from the federal firearm requirements relating to the retention of Forms 4473.

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Flag, ATF Flag, 3D Render

Why the Change?

This new rule started out as a proposed regulation opened for public comment and is in response to the United States Federal Government receiving numerous inquiries from firearms dealers of the regulated firearms industry seeking to store completed ATF Forms 4473 electronically at the licensed business premises or on a remote server (e.g., cloud storage provider) rather than printing the electronically completed forms and storing them.

What’s on a 4473 and Why is it Important?

ATF Form 4473 contains the purchaser’s name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, and a short affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. ATF Form 4473 is a vital part of making sure that firearms don’t end up in the hands of persons prohibited by law enforcement or the justice department. Violent crimes reported by police officers or law enforcement are the most common reason for a person to be prohibited.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 18 U.S.C. 923(g)(1)(A), provides, that each licensed importer, manufacturer, and dealer shall maintain such records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms at their place of business for such period, and in such format, as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.

The retention system must retain the Form 4473 in alphabetical, chronological, or numerical order. The retention system must allow for searches or queries to be made by transferee/buyer name, transfer date, transaction number (if any), firearm type, model, manufacturer/importer, caliber, size, or gauge, and serial number.

The regulation at 27 CFR 479.131 requires each manufacturer, importer, and dealer in firearms as defined by the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C., Chapter 53, to keep and maintain records regarding the manufacture, importation, acquisition (whether by making, transfer or otherwise), receipt, and disposition of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms as described by 27 CFR Part 478 which include assault weapons, solvent traps, short barreled rifles, and pistol braces to name a few.

New Regulations & Final Rule

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure from the provisions of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 478.121478.124478.129, and 27 CFR 479.131 that require Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to retain the ATF Firearms Transaction Record, Form 4473 (5300.9)(Form 4473), in a paper format. Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to retain an electronic version of each ATF Form 4473 created pursuant to ATF Ruling 2016-2 (or subsequent ruling), instead of the paper format, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met. Additionally, ATF authorizes digital scanning and electronic retention of certain paper ATF Form 4473, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met.

ATF has received numerous inquiries from members of the regulated firearms industry seeking to electronically retain completed ATF Forms 4473 on a physical electronic storage device at the licensed business premises or on a remote server (e.g., cloud storage provider) rather than printing the electronically completed forms and retaining them as required.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 18 U.S.C. 923(g)(1)(A), provides, in part, that each licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, and licensed dealer shall maintain such records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms at his place of business for such period, and in such format, as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.

The regulation at 27 CFR 478.121 states that the records pertaining to firearms transactions prescribed by this part shall be retained on the licensed premises in the manner prescribed by subpart H of Part 478 and for the length of time required by 27 CFR 478.129. The regulation at 27 CFR 479.131 requires each manufacturer, importer, and dealer in firearms as defined by the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C., Chapter 53, to keep and maintain records regarding the manufacture, importation, acquisition (whether by making, transfer or otherwise), receipt, and disposition of NFA firearms as described by 27 CFR Part 478.

FFLs may seek approval to retain Forms 4473 in an electronic format. The regulations at 27 CFR 478.22 and 27 CFR 479.26 provide that the Director may approve an alternate method or procedure in lieu of a method or procedure specifically prescribed in the regulations when it is found that: (1) good cause is shown for the use of the alternate method or procedure; (2) the alternate method or procedure is within the purpose of, and consistent with the effect intended by, the specifically prescribed method or procedure and that the alternate method or procedure is substantially equivalent to that specifically prescribed method or procedure; and (3) the alternate method or procedure will not be contrary to any provision of law and will not result in an increase in cost to the Government or hinder the effective administration of 27 CFR Part 478 or 479.

ATF understands that using an electronic system to retain completed Forms 4473 saves space, time, and money in recordkeeping and auditing expenses for members of the regulated firearms industry. Many businesses have moved to a paperless environment to store important documents and business records. Electronic storage of Forms 4473 is convenient for FFLs, improves firearms tracing efforts, and promotes efficient ATF compliance inspections. Electronically retained forms may be more secure from environmental damage, loss, or destruction and easier to access, sort, and review. Electronically retained forms will also mitigate storage space concerns for many FFLs as well as the ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC), which is the repository of all out-of-business records. For these reasons, ATF finds that there is good cause to authorize an alternate method or procedure from the requirements of the Federal firearms regulations as they relate to retention of the Form 4473.

ATF also finds that, provided certain conditions are met, the alternate method set forth in this ruling is consistent with the provisions of 27 CFR 478.121478.124478.129, and 27 CFR 479.131 because the same required information will be captured on the electronic Form 4473 and retained electronically. Further, this alternate method is not contrary to any provision of law, should not increase costs to ATF, and should not hinder the effective administration of the regulations.

Held, pursuant to 27 CFR 478.22478.121478.124, and 27 CFR 479.26, ATF authorizes an alternate method or procedure for the retention of the Form 4473 (5300.9). Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to retain electronically completed Forms 4473 in an electronic format provided all the following requirements are met:

Licensees must provide written notification to their local ATF Industry Operations Area Office 60 days prior to implementing an electronic Form 4473 retention system.

Transactions must first be completed using an electronic Form 4473 in accordance with ATF Ruling 2016-2 (or subsequent ruling) and all forms must be retained in an electronic format.

The Form 4473 must be saved in an unalterable format. The original electronic Form 4473 must be retained and may not be deleted, amended, replaced, or otherwise altered. Consistent with the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions on the Form 4473, if errors are found on a Form 4473, corrections may be made to a copy (electronic or paper) of the original Form 4473 and the corrected copy should be electronically attached to the original electronic form and retained as part of the FFLs permeant records.
All supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition) must be electronically attached at the end of Form 4473 as required by 27 CFR 478.124(c)(3)(iii) and 478.126a.

ATF must be provided uninterrupted access to the database in which the electronic Forms 4473 are stored to facilitate a compliance inspection, complete a trace request or conduct a criminal investigation of a person other than the licensee per 18 U.S.C. 923(g)(1)(B). ATF access to the Forms 4473 must be in a “read only” capacity.

ATF must be provided access to the database in which the electronic Forms 4473 are stored with a minimum of one electronic access point or computer terminal for every 500 Forms 4473 executed over the previous 12-month period. An FFL who offers computer terminal access is not required to provide more than five terminals regardless of the number of Forms 4473 executed during the 12-month period.

The retention system must allow the Form 4473 to be printed and the FFL must print any Form 4473 upon request from ATF.
The retention system must retain the Form 4473 in alphabetical, chronological, or numerical order. The retention system must allow for searches or queries to be made by transferee/buyer name, transfer date, transaction number (if any), firearm type, model, manufacturer/importer, caliber, size, or gauge, and serial number.

The retention system must backup the Form 4473 upon the completion of a transaction or when a transaction is stopped, and the Form 4473 must be retained in the system.
The retention system must allow access to the Form 4473 and the acquisition and disposition (A&D) record simultaneously (i.e., the ability to toggle back and forth).

The retention system must have the ability to flag or set aside Forms 4473 in order to save for further review during inspections.
The retention system must allow or provide sorting of Forms 4473 during ATF compliance inspections.

Whenever a transaction is stopped, put into a pending status, or completed, the Form 4473 must immediately be downloaded and saved to a computer hard drive, server, Universal Serial Bus (USB) Flash Drive, or other similar electronic storage device located at the licensed premises. If the licensee utilizes a contract host facility such as a remote server or cloud storage provider, all Forms 4473 must also be electronically saved to an onsite electronic storage device that is updated on the day of any change to, or addition of, database record(s) to protect the data from accidental deletion or system failure. In all cases, electronically retained Forms 4473 must be downloaded in a format that is unencrypted with the required information readily apparent and retained on a device that is located at the licensed premises in accordance with 27 CFR 478.121(a) for the length of time prescribed by 27 CFR 478.129.
ATF recognizes there may be circumstances where a licensee’s electronic system may fail, be unavailable, or otherwise not utilized, and paper Forms 4473 may be completed. Licensees must retain any original paper Forms 4473, unless digitally scanned per the conditions of this ruling, for the period specified in 27 CFR 478.129(b). Upon absolute discontinuance of business, all retained paper forms must be delivered to ATF pursuant to 27 CFR 478.127. When a licensed business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, all retained paper forms shall be delivered to the successor, or to ATF pursuant to 27 CFR 478.127.

Upon absolute discontinuance of business or when a licensed business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, any Forms 4473 retained in electronic format in accordance with this ruling must be delivered in electronic format to the NTC’s Out of Business Records Center in a format suitable for imaging such as a TIFF, JPEG, or PDF. If the forms will be submitted in a PDF or TIFF format, the licensee must ensure that Optical Character Recognition and Intelligent Character Recognition are turned off/disabled, and images are flattened and not electronically searchable. The forms, retained alphabetically by name of purchaser, chronologically by disposition date, or numerically by transaction number, must be delivered on a media device such as a USB drive, CD, DVD, etc.
Held further, pursuant to 27 CFR 478.22, 478.121, 478.124, and 27 CFR 479.26, ATF authorizes an alternate method or procedure for the retention of Forms 4473 (5300.9). Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to digitally scan paper Forms 4473 and retain in an electronic format provided all the following requirements are met:

FFLs who have paper Forms 4473 completed prior to, or after this ruling, may elect to digitally scan Forms 4473 older than 3 years from the date the firearm transfer occurred, the date the transaction was denied or cancelled, or the last date of entry where no sale or delivery of the firearm occurs, including supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition). The Forms 4473 must be scanned in an expeditious manner, and retained in the same manner as required in conditions 3-5, 7-8, 13, and 15 set forth for FFLs retaining electronically completed Forms 4473 in an electronic format.
An FFL electing to digitally scan and electronically retain paper Forms 4473 older than three years from the date the firearm transfer occurred, the date the transaction was denied or cancelled, or the last date of entry where no sale or delivery of the firearm occurs, must ensure all electronic documents are an exact image of the paper form, include all pages of the paper Form 4473 and any supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition); is incapable of being altered without tracking of the alterations; and is saved to an onsite electronic storage device. Only after a paper Form 4473 is converted, saved in an electronic format in accordance with the requirements of this ruling, and verified to be complete and correct, may the paper Form 4473 be destroyed.
When submitting files to the Out of Business Records Center, the file names for digitally scanned and electronically retained paper Forms 4473 must not contain personally identifiable information (e.g. name, address, date of birth, social security number, etc.).
Held further, if the licensee fails to abide by the conditions of this ruling, uses any procedure that hinders the effective administration of the Federal firearms laws or regulations, or any legal or administrative difficulties arise due to complications from electronic retention, the licensee is no longer authorized to utilize electronic retention of ATF Forms 4473 under this ruling and must revert back to retention of paper forms compliant with 27 CFR 478.121 and 478.124.

Held further, this ruling supersedes all previously approved alternate methods or procedures (i.e. variances) covering the use of electronic storage of electronic ATF Form 4473.

August 17, 2022

NSSF SHOT Show 2023 Las Vegas Jan 17-20

The shooting sports and firearms trade association, National Shooting Sports Foundation® will hold SHOT Show 2023 on Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, January 20 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Exhibit Halls and Supplier Showcase for firearms, tactical products & accessories, shooting sports, outdoor recreation open at 8:30 AM and close 5:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday and 4:00 PM on Friday. The Law Enforcement ballrooms open at 8:00 AM every day. 

SHOT Show, the world’s premier exposition for shooting sports and largest hunting, Law Enforcement, tactical products, outdoor recreation, and outdoor trade show in the United States is open to law enforcement industries, industry professionals and commercial buyers only. No background check is required to exhibit or attend, but unlike a gun show, it’s not open to the general public. SHOT Show is an excellent opportunity for sellers, commercial buyers, and other industry professionals to get together and network.

Is FastBound an exhibitor at SHOT Show 2023?

Definitely. You can find FastBound on Venetian Expo Level 1, at booth 41126 on the official attendees floorpan map. As you can see on the map, the show floors are filling up fast. 2022 had a great turnout and 2023 looks like it’s going to be even better. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have never been to this comprehensive trade show, or you haven’t been since the Caesars Forum expansion, NSSF published an interactive tour map which covers Caesars Forum and the Sands Expo. Exhibitor registration closed months ago but booth changes are always possible up to the last minute because cancellations and booth changes create a perfect opportunity for other exhibitors to move around and upgrade their booths.

Hotels & Travel

SHOT Shot is held at the Venetian Expo Convention Center and Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas, so booking at the Venetian or Palazzo is the probably the most convenient hotel option if you do not want to deal with the hassle of parking a vehicle.

In partnership with onPeak, NSSF has secured discounted rates at a selection of Las Vegas hotels. NSSF knows plans change, so to help ease your travel planning, onPeak, the only official hotel provider for 2023 SHOT Show, offers convenient hotel options with flexible change and cancellation policies. They encourage you to book through them early for the best selection and price.

The NSSF warns exhibitors and attendees to be vigilant if you are approached by any other companies or service providers other than the official NSSF travel partners that imply or claim to be an official travel or housing provider of the NSSF or SHOT Show 2023. 

NSSF has been made aware of other housing companies and travel agencies that may be aggressively pursuing exhibitors and attendees, or your company, to book your guest rooms through their company at supposedly significantly discounted rates. Reservations that are made through an agency other than Venetian / Palazzo or onPeak will be made at your own risk.

Some of the companies reported to NSSF for this type of soliciting in the past, yet are not affiliated with the SHOT Show include:

  • Book My Rooms, LLC
  • Convention Housing Management
  • Convention Expo Travel
  • Elite Corporate Planners
  • Expo Housing
  • Global Housing Corporation
  • IEP Group
  • International Events
  • NHA Hotel Deals
  • Premier Connections
  • TradeShow Housing

August 1, 2022

Common FFL Scams to Watch Out For

Sadly, there are already a lot of hoops to jump through when you are buying or selling a firearm. There are also many opportunities for scammers to hinder the process further. There are scams on both sides of the fence – buying and selling – and many end in the loss of hard-earned money and scammers getting away with criminal behaviors that prey on innocent people. They also prey on those of us who should know better, but that fault is due to the sophistication that some scammers employ. These include presenting realistic FFLs and other key safeguards. Here is a closer look at how this process works. 

Common Gun-Selling Scams

Some scammers who try to sell guns offer a few variations on scams that you can spot if you look carefully. Most gun scams revolve around a price point that is in reality, too good to be true. They may offer you a common gun at a great price or something so popular that the price is out of your budget until you find these “angels” who are selling at an unbelievable price. That is the first thing to look for when you are shopping for a gun; “is the price too good to be true”. Many times, they pair a great price with some kind of sad story as to why they are selling the gun so cheap. It is usually a crisis and requires that you act quickly before someone else snatches up “this amazing deal.”

High-Pressure Scams

A high-pressure scam occurs when the seller tries to make you act before you can think. They may let you know that they have a few offers on the gun but will let you have it at X price if you buy it today. They may try to get you to make the purchase fast before someone else buys it. It is an excellent deal, and they need the money badly because of [insert tragic event.] 

Any time there is pressure to buy quickly, there should also be a red flag. High-pressure scams play on your need to act fast, and before you can slow down and recognize that you are being scammed. Remember that a crisis on the part of the seller is not your crisis. While your desire to buy a firearm at a great price is recognizable, the eagerness you present may make you a target. Most fast-paced sales are likely scams. You should:

  • Slow down
  • Ask the important questions. 
  • Research the seller – Do they have an FFL license and is it valid? Have you checked FFL eZ Check?
  • Are they willing to accept payment through a valid and protected source? 
  • Have you verified that they have the gun?

These questions help you to protect yourself from scams that are designed to make you act before you can think better of the deal. Some good deals are too good to be true and that is the bait that a scammer will use to get you on the hook.  

Selling Guns They Do Not Have

Many credit card companies do not allow their cards to be used for gun purchases making it difficult for legitimate businesses to conduct business over the internet. It also opens the door for a scam artist to sell a gun that they do not possess. Sending a check or paying with a money order or wired cash means that you are buying the gun blindly and trusting that the seller will do their part and send the gun to you once payment has arrived and cleared. Some online gun sites and auction houses offer a buyer protection feature, but those too can be risky as they still rely on an honest transaction. Gun Tab is an option that can help you avoid scams. As a buyer, you should insist on a payment platform that does not rely on the seller to send the gun once payment is received. To help you avoid scams, be sure that the payment method has a reliable safeguard that protects you and your money. 

Thanks to modern photo manipulation software, they may even provide you with photographs of the gun you are buying. The key to avoiding scams is to be investigative. Look closely at the photo or photos and make sure it is the same gun. Avoid situations where the seller is only able to offer you a photo provided by the gun’s manufacturer. There will probably be a good story about why they only have that photo. 

Selling Guns Illegally

You need a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to sell or transfer most guns in the US. The actual list of guns that require an FFL is set by the federal government – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – and will differ from one state to the next. Without an FFL you are not permitted to sell modern guns. 

Scammers will try to use FFLs that are tampered with or altered giving buyers the impression that the transaction is legitimate and legal. The easiest way to spot altered FFL forms is to run the license number through eZ check which will help you see that the license is valid, where it is valid – state, address, etc., and who it is linked to. If the name of the person you are dealing with is not on the license, then you are likely being scammed. Also, if the FFL is listed in one state, but the seller is in another state, it is likely a scam. If you are a dealer or someone who sells firearms, you must reapply for an FFL when you move. There is a process that allows you to update some information, such as your address, if your shop moves from one address to another in the same state. Any information that comes up in eZ Check should match the FFL that the seller is providing. The same is true for buyers who present documentation that allows them to buy a gun. If the FFL is not valid, neither is the sale nor transfer of the gun. This process also means that buyers may lose the money they have sent to the seller. 

In some cases, the intent is not fraudulent, but some issues can occur with FFLs and gun transfers that are initiated by software that the seller may not be aware of during the sale or transfer. 

“Set-it-and-Leave-It” FFL Software Programs

Set-it-and-leave-it software programs are notorious for producing errors that result in fines by regulatory agencies. The problem is that regulations change and if the software program you use does not automatically upgrade its abilities to match those changes, then you are no longer in compliance. Sadly, you may not even be aware that changes have occurred and therefore unaware that your gun transfer or bound book is not in compliance. The number of licensees who find out via Report of Violations (ROV) or a Warning Conference that their software vendor is not a firearms compliance expert is disturbing.

How FastBound Can Help

FastBound drastically reduces the time and effort required to maintain accurate acquisition and disposition records: making sure required forms are filled out completely and correctly and that FFLs are genuine and valid. Scammers can take a legitimate FFL and alter it, then use it to scam buyers out of money while posing as a gun seller. The eZ Check link via FastBound helps you identify altered FFL documents and those that are no longer valid. If you are filling out the FFL for the first time, FastBound will check the document to make certain that the form is complete and correct before you file it. 

The integrated eZ Check tool makes it faster to fill out new FFL documents and saves time by helping to ensure that the FFL transaction is valid. It can prevent delays in transfers due to incomplete forms or forms that are erroneous. Plus, it helps you quickly spot forged FFLs and those that are altered. The process is easy, and the many benefits can help keep your business in compliance and work with you to build a stronger and safer firearm business. 

Buying a firearm is complicated, but it does not need to be dangerous or high risk. If you follow the steps required by law, you will eliminate many gun buying or selling scams. The first step is always to verify that you are dealing with a business or person who is legally permitted to sell or buy firearms. That process is made easier thanks to FastBound and the link to eZ Check. The second part that helps prevent scamming is to make sure that the seller will accept payment from a protected source. Never send money orders or checks as these are easy to steal and with checks, you are giving the scammer all the details needed to drain your bank account. 

As mentioned, not all illegal gun sales are scams. Some occur because the forms are not filled out correctly or there are errors with the automated software that help firearms brokers complete the bound books or other required forms. Can you protect yourself from gun selling or buying scams? You can. Learn to recognize the signs of scams by looking for legitimate sellers with active and valid FFLs. Avoid being pressured into buying a gun quickly or with sellers that are only willing to take payment by money order or check. 

July 29, 2022

How to Get an FFL Without a Business

Can you get a Federal Firearms License (FFL) without a business? The question is not uncommon, but the answer is somewhat complex. The short answer is yes, you can get an FFL without a business, but the question is somewhat misleading. 

With all things FFL and ATF, the rules and regulations can be complicated and circular in nature. What the ATF, under the Gun Control Act, is looking for beyond your background check is that you are:

  1. Active in buying and then selling firearms for commercial purposes, which defines you as a business. Even hobby buying and selling is a business. 
  2. You have some semblance of a storefront in which you buy or sell firearms and related products, especially those that require an FFL. 

The only exception to having an actual business is if you are a collector of antique firearms. The light at the end of the tunnel is restrictive. In fact, the Federal Firearms License comes in a few formats that define what you can and cannot do with the license. 

The FFL is issued as a “type.” There are nine types of FFLs that divide the business of firearms into specific categories. The type of FFL you have defines what your firearms business can and cannot do. Before you apply for an FFL you need to consider why you need an FFL.

Why do I need an FFL?

Most guns and gun-related products are regulated. An FFL is designed to check the character and background of any person who wants to buy or sell a gun [legally.] However, not all guns require the use of an FFL. Antique guns and most muzzleloaders do not need an FFL. For newer guns and firearms that are 50 years or old, an FFL is likely needed. 

  • Firearms Dealer and Gunsmith – If you want an FFL because you want to buy and sell guns or do gunsmithing, then you need a Type 1 FFL. This level of firearms license allows you to do basic transactions and repairs on all firearms. It’s appropriate for a home-based FFL dealer. 
  • FFL Dealer – If you are a pawnbroker or strictly a firearms dealer, then you need a Type 2 FFL – which allows you to buy and sell guns and parts that require an FFL. 
  • Collector – For those who asked about getting a Relics FFL without a business, then the Type 3 FFL is for you. If you are a collector of C&R guns (firearms that are very old and are mostly limited to muzzleloaders), then you can apply for a Type 3 FFL. 
  • Ammo Manufacturer – if you want to make and sell ammo, then you need a Type 6 FFL. 
  • Firearms Manufacturing – For both gun making and ammo building you need a Type 7 FFL
  • Firearms’ Importer – Importing firearms from outside the United States means you need a Type 8 FFL.
  • Destructive Devices – If you want to buy and sell destructive devices, you need a Type 9 FFL. 
  • Armor Piercing Ammo and Destructive Devices – For those who want to manufacture destructive devices, make ammo for destructive devices, or manufacture armor-piercing ammunition, you need a Type 10 FFL. 
  • Import Destructive Devices – For anyone who wants to import destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices, or ammo capable of armor-piercing, you need a Type 11 FFL. 

With the long list of variations in FFL types, it is important to understand exactly why you need an FFL. For most people, a Type 1 FFL is sufficient. That brings us back to the question, “Can I get a Federal Firearms License without having a business?”

Can I get an FFL Without a Business?

Yes, you can get an FFL without owning a business. The only type of FFL available to you without a business or storefront is the Type 3 FFL which allows you to collect antique and relic guns and the ammo that goes along with them. There are some limitations, however, and you should definitely read the fine print. 

What you are allowed to do with a Type 3 FFL is collect relics and guns that are antiques over 50 years old and with some limitations. The guns in your collection are not for public sale and your collection must be private. That does not mean you cannot sell a gun on occasion so long as you are following the guidelines of your FFL. 

Business Intent

Business intent is a critical consideration. As you can see, having an FFL does not give you blanket permission to do, make, sell, or swap all things gun or gun related. While there are a lot of FFL types, they tend to divide into those who make or sell guns, those who import guns and gun-related parts or ammo, and those people who want to add to their antique and private collections. 

Collector’s FFL – Type 03 FFL 

Under the Type 3 FFL, you cannot buy guns with the intention of reselling them. Guns are for personal use. This is not a license that allows you to deal with guns, even those that are relics or antiques. The purpose of the Type 3 FFL is to make the process of buying certain guns for your private collection easier and nothing more. If you want to deal in guns, then you need a different type of FFL – either a Type 1 or Type 2 FFL.

What About Gunsmithing Without an FFL?

Gunsmithing without an FFL is not permitted. Gunsmiths need a Type 1 FFL and sometimes a Type 6 or Type 7 FFL for the manufacturing of ammo. If a gunsmith wants to produce specialized ammunition – armor-piercing rounds – then they also need a Type 9 and Type 10 FFL. 

Can I Buy a Gun Without an FFL?

You can buy a gun without an FFL, but it must be a muzzleloader and generally one that is manufactured before 1898. The muzzleloader cannot have been modified to accept modern ammunition. There are other restrictions, but the point is that while you can buy a gun without an FFL you are very limited to the type of guns you can buy. 

If you want to add more to your private collection than muzzleloaders, you can apply for a Type 3 FFL which will expand the types of guns you can buy for your collection. 

How FastBound Can Help with Your FFL

FastBound is a software solution to correctly filing an FFL online. The benefits of using FastBound include guaranteed ATF compliance and being backed by an attorney’s legal defense. 

While the process of correctly completing an FFL application can be difficult and overwhelming, FastBound makes the process simplified, safe, and secure. Plus, it keeps you informed as the rules and regulations change. It will prompt you if errors occur. 

Benefits include:

  1. FastBound is accessible on your smart device or computer. It is an online program that you access over the internet which means you don’t have to buy any special equipment to access FastBound. 
  2. Low cost – fees are based on subscriptions and there are many options that match the size of your business. For example, a small gun broker may pay only $8 a month. 
  3. The software was designed with a firearms attorney making it 100-percent compliant with the legal requirements provided by the ATF, even as those rules change. 
  4. Secure date is part of the core requirement of FastBound. Once you enter data into the system, it remains secure and protected. 
  5. Removes the dangers of “Set It and Leave It” software. FastBound alerts you to changes in the ATF laws so that you can address those changes as they apply to your business. 
  6. Offers a robust set of options for creating bound books, even for consignment sales, transfers of ownership, and the sale of firearms. 
  7. 100% electronic 4473’s including digital signature support.

When you need an FFL, take advantage of the power and ease of compliance that FastBound offers. 

We started with the question, “How can you get an FFL without a business?” The answer is restricted to those who want to build a personal collection of relics and antique guns. If that definition does not cover your intent of handling guns, then you will need to apply for a different type of FFL.

FastBound can help make that process smooth and simplified and will work with you to keep your gun business in compliance so you can focus on the aspects of your business that you enjoy.

June 22, 2022

Is an FFL Needed for a Muzzleloader?

A muzzleloader, as the name implies, is a gun that is loaded through the muzzle rather than through a chamber. Examples of muzzleloaders include powder guns, Parrot rifles, ordnance rifles, 7-pounder mountain guns, etc. These guns began in the mid-1800’s and required powder, projectile, and primer to fire a single shot. Muzzleloaders, AKA muskets, stopped being used by 1870 and were replaced by the single-shot, bolt-action rifle.

The U.S. Civil War was largely fought with muzzleloader rifles. 

FFL stands for Federal Firearm License. Most muzzleloaders do not require an FFL, but the keyword here is “most.” There are some that do with the basic distinction between a muzzleloader that requires an FFL and one that does not is whether the rifle can receive a cartridge barrel. Some examples of Muzzleloaders that do require an FFL include:

  • Traditions NitroFire Muzzleloader
  • Remington 700

Both can be upgraded to receive a cartridge barrel. The upgrade turns the muzzleloader into a rifle that will accept rounds rather than plugs or balls. 

Modern muzzleloaders may also be subject to the Gun Control Act – A quote from the ATF:

“In-line muzzle-loading rifle using #209 shotgun primers for ignition was not an antique firearm and was subject to all provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA)”

Many in-line muzzleloaders are considered to be antique firearms and fall outside the Gun Control Act.

Further, the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) defines what determines if a muzzleloader requires an FFL or whether it falls outside the definition of a firearm. 

Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18, U.S.C. offers the official definition of what “antique firearm” is: Those guidelines include:

“(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898 “

The key takeaway is the manufacturing date of 1898. Was the muzzleloader manufactured before or after 1898? Does the muzzleloader have an antique ignition system – matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, etc.? 

If the answer to these questions is yes, then the muzzleloader will not require an FFL as the gun is not controlled by the legal power of the Gun Control Act

There is, however, a “but” section that deviates from the above definition. 

“(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica — 

  • (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or 
  • (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or”

Section B begins to define ammunition and how the change from traditional muzzleloader powder, primer, and cap evolves into modern bullets that feature a rimfire or centerfire ignition making them fixed ammo. 

If the muzzleloader uses rimfire or centerfire ammunition or any other type of fixed ammo, it will require an FFL. Those that do not fall under the following quote from the ATF:

“(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.”

The key is whether the gun will only accept black powder or a substitute as the propellant – If that is the case, the muzzleloader does not require an FFL unless it can be modified to accept fixed ammunition. That process includes the replacement of the barrel, bolt, or breechblock. If the gun has been modified by replacement of the barrel, bolt, or breechblock it will require an FFL. 

An exception includes modern in-line and antique firearms that can be modified by switching the muzzleloader to a breechblock and are considered to be a firearm and will require an FFL. 

The key is whether the firing mechanism is antiquated and whether the gun can fire modern ammunition, or whether it can be modified to fire modern ammunition. Even the new silencer muzzleloader will not require an FFL. Modern manufactured muzzleloaders that cannot be modified to accept a modern round are outside of the Gun Control Act. 

When you need an FFL for muzzleloaders or other types of firearms, there is help available. 

Trust FastBound for your FFL Bound Book Needs

FastBound began in 2010 as an FFL firearms software platform for A&D and 4473’s. Since 2010, FastBound has facilitated thousands of FFLs for a wide array of firearm sellers and accepters. FastBound works well across the firearm industry and fits into business models such as those offered by: 

  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Distributors
  • Importers
  • Pawnbrokers

FastBound offers guaranteed compliance, and the platform constantly updates so you have instant access to the latest ATF rulings, and an attorney-backed legal defense. Speaking of attorney-backed, FastBound is the only FFL software platform integrated with attorney-backed support to ensure legal compliance.  

Options Include:

The Creation of Electronic FFL Bound Books

When you add FastBound to your business model you gain the ability to quickly and accurately create unlimited bound books for your business model and especially for:

  • Consignment
  • Transfers
  • Gun Smithing 
  • NFA
  • Pawn
  • And other business types. 

Each Bound Book you create is guaranteed to comply and comes with an attorney-backed legal defense. In short, FastBound has your back. The software is so compliant that issues that arise are easily handled. You no longer have to rely on set it and leave it bound books and the risk they carry. With full electronic automation, your compliance with FFL has never been easier, more secure, and more efficient. 

Turn your 4473 into Electronic Format

You can safely and accurately create 4473s from any computer or smart device including tablets and cell phones. Even electronic signatures are easy to create and all without modifying the computer or smart device. Further, you gain instant 4473s without a transaction fee and the process is free of hardware requirements. 

Compliance that Carries Legal Defense

When you use FastBound you are using a software platform that is easy to use and backed by a guaranteed legal defense that covers the use of the software and the compliance of the forms created. This is a game-changer for anyone who sells in the firearms industry.

What is the Biggest Failure of Selling Firearms?

Revocations of permits to sell or to remain and FFL dealer is non-reporting of multiple sales. FastBound makes it easy to create Bound Books for every sale, every seller, and every buyer that passes through your business. 

FastBound makes reporting multiple sales a snap even for large-volume sales. The software has a manufacturing module that makes the process simple and automated to remain in compliance with A&D record keeping whether you are manufacturing from raw materials or modifying existing stock. 

Handle Multi-State Background Checks with Ease

FastBound automates the entire NICS process across multiple states. Even for those states that require phone-in interviews. The state background process has never been easier. Plus, the process is lightning fast making your FFL and other documents available faster. 

FastBound Makes the Process Easy and Efficient 

FastBound is the leader in FFL electronic transfers making creating, reviewing, and submitting FFL fast and efficient. The entire process is automated, and the software fills out the FFL for you including adding license numbers, addresses, and expirations, and alerts you when a license is expired.  

The modern design of FastBound includes integration components that make it easy to produce, scan, and read barcodes, and improve inventory control processes, all while keeping your business in compliance. More importantly, FastBound is not designed to compete with you. It is a software platform that works with you, supports your business, and enables you to safely ford the murky waters of compliance within the firearms industry. 

The power of FastBound includes compliance warnings, so you never have to worry whether you missed a small detail. The system will alert you. Further, All FFL logbooks are secure and fully in compliance. The software platform goes beyond the standards of ATF and enables you to exceed AFT standards all with an electronic format that is fully secured and kept safe behind multiple layers of security and digital protection. 

Whether you are selling muzzleloaders that do not require an FFL or firearms that do, the support and ease created by FastBound make running an FFL business easy, safe, and efficient. 

If you undergo an ATF inspection you have the legal defense created by the software which is recognized by ATF helping to not only keep you in compliance but to do so easily and with exceptional record keeping. 

If you have questions or would like deeper information, reach out to our team. We are happy to provide you with quality answers that are specific to your business or FFL transaction. 

May 24, 2022

Bill C-71 in Canada

Former Bill C-71 received Royal Assent in Canada on June 21, 2019. You can read the full details at Former Bill C-71 – What you need to know. FastBound meets the requirements of this bill.

Since 2010, FastBound’s leading FFL software has processed over one billion transactions for thousands of FFLs in the United States with guaranteed US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives compliance and an attorney-backed legal defense.

Former Bill C-71 – Effective on May 18, 2022

Canadian individuals and businesses will be required to obtain a reference number from the Registrar of Firearms confirming the validity of the transferee’s (buyer’s) firearms license before transferring a non-restricted firearm. 

A reference number can be obtained through Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police Individual Web Services or Business Web Services portals.

Firearms businesses will also be required to retain sales and inventory records related to non-restricted firearms for at least 20 years. The records created by businesses will be held by businesses — not the government — and the police will require judicial authorization to access them.

May 11, 2022

FFL Meaning: What is it?

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a license given by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that allows individuals to do business involving the manufacturing, importation, and interstate/intrastate sales of firearms and ammunition. Since the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, having an FFL has been a legal requirement in the United States, as governed by Title 27, Part 478 of the Code of Federal Regulations (27 CFR 478).

The FFL is for businesses that trade in weapons and ammunition, as well as those that collect, manufacture, and import them. On the license given to the firm, each employee that has the authority and power to direct firearm compliance decisions and operations for an FFL must be designated as a responsible person.

Businesses must use the Federal Firearms Licensing Center to apply to the ATF (FFLC). The FFLC thoroughly examines the application and any accompanying documentation, such as fingerprint cards and pictures. If the application is approved, the next step is that an IOI (Industry Operations Investigator) from the nearest ATF office will conduct an in-person interview with the applicant to confirm that all federal, state, and local licensing requirements are satisfied. The FFLC then completes the application process and awards a license, once the IOI submits a report authorizing the candidate.

Why do You Need an FFL?

A Federal Weapons License is required for everyone who imports, manufactures, or deals in firearms, as well as those who import or manufacture ammunition (FFL).

The license is for anyone who “engages in the business” as defined by federal law. The license is not for anyone who wants to add to their own collection or ship weapons over state lines.

Although there is considerable ambiguity as to what “involved in the business” entails, individuals or businesses who get money or other remuneration because of the sale or brokering of weapons should carefully consider whether they need to be licensed before proceeding.

It’s important to know that an ATF violation can result in administrative action, the loss of your business and be a crime punishable with a fine with jail time, as well as forfeiture of any firearms implicated in the crime.

Who Needs an FFL?

If you want to purchase, sell, manufacture, or import firearms, you’ll need an FFL.

The phrase “involved in business” is crucial, although it does not imply that a firm or organization is necessary. Individuals do not need to own a business in order to qualify for an FFL to engage in the firearms business. For example, if you sell firearms at a tradeshow, flea market or something similar, you need an FFL.

However, to purchase or sell personal firearms, you do not need an FFL. You also don’t need an FFL to create your own guns. But you will need an FFL if you acquire or create a firearm with the intention of selling it. Examples of FFL types include:

  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Distributors
  • Importers

How to Get an FFL

Once you’ve decided to apply for a Federal Firearms License (often referred to as an “FFL”), mail the application form, Application for License (FFL) – ATF Form 7/7CR, to the ATF post office box provided. The application fee, which can be paid by cheque, credit card, or money order, must be submitted with the application (cash is not accepted).

Background Check

The Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC) will put your application information into its database and begin a comprehensive evaluation of your application after the application fee has been received. Required supporting documentation, such as fingerprint card(s) and photograph(s), will be evaluated for all licensing categories except type 3.

The FFLC will next perform a computerized background check on all the Responsible Persons you have included on your application, as required by law. A Responsible Person (RP) is defined by the ATF as a sole proprietor, partner, or anybody with the authority to supervise the administration, policies, and practices of a firearms-related company or activity. Corporate officials, stockholders, board members, and any other employee with the legal power stated above fall under this category in a corporation. Each responsible person must complete their own ATF Form 7/7CR Part B – Responsible Person Questionnaire.

The FFLC will then transmit the applications to the nearest ATF field office with authority for the area where the company is situated, except for type 03 (onsite inspections are not necessary for Collector of Curio and Relics FFLs).

Final Evaluation and Interview

An Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) will be assigned by the field office supervisor to conduct an in-person interview with you. The IOI will go through your application with you to confirm that all the information is valid and up to date, as well as discuss federal, state, and local regulations.

The IOI will then write a report based on his or her interview and inspection findings and make a recommendation to either grant or refuse your application. Failure to comply with state or municipal legislation (such as zoning restrictions), proof of past willful breaches of the Gun Control Act, or fabrication of the application are all possible causes for refusal.

The report will be reviewed by the field office supervisor, who will subsequently make a recommendation to the FFLC.

The FFLC will finish the application processing and grant you the license assuming all background checks have been completed and your business address and anticipated business operations are in accordance with state and local law. From the time a fully completed application is received, the procedure will take around 60 days.

How Does FastBound Help With FFLs?

FastBound supports businesses with industry-leading software to exceed compliance requirements by the ATF. FastBound includes an attorney-backed ATF compliance guarantee, which no other ATF compliance software vendor does. Firearms compliance experts and attorneys are retained during the design and development of all FastBound software.

1. Bound Books

FastBound’s Electronic Acquisition and Disposition records allow users to manufacture an infinite number of bound books for the purposes of firearms consignment, transfer, gunsmithing, NFA, pawn, and more at no additional cost.

2. Electronic 4473

Electronic 4473 (E4473) can provide a completely digital solution. With digital storage, there’s no need to print, sign, and store hard copies of paperwork for decades when using E4473. There is no need for faxing, scanning, or mailing. Everything is in one convenient location. FastBound’s E4473 converts any computer device, tablet, or even the buyer’s smartphone, into a compliant 4473 that supports digital signatures and requires no transaction fees or specific hardware.

3. eZ Check Integration

One of the most valuable integrations included with FastBound compliance software is the eZ Check integration. This integration swiftly and seamlessly verifies the FFL number, without errors. Viewing any contact in the FastBound software interface allows the user to verify the FFL almost instantaneously. Furthermore, new contacts can be added simply by entering the FFL number. The rest of the details are auto-filled from the eZ Check database. Finally, if a user enters an incorrect FFL number that is expired, the FastBound software will suggest the non-expired FFL number.

4. Automated ATF Form 3310

One of the most common reasons for revocations is incorrectly reporting multiple sales. The ATF Form 3310 is for the report of multiple sales or dispositions of handguns. FastBound was the first in the industry to automate the filing of Form 3310. This feature is included with FastBound software at no additional charge and is the most compliant multiple sales reporting software available.

5. Attorney-Backed Legal Defense

As it stands, FastBound is the only FFL compliance software company to provide guaranteed, attorney-backed legal defense. This comes into play when or if there is a violation of the ATF. If a user incurs a violation from an ATF inspection, there is a streamlined and well-planned process that guarantees legal defense for the user. The attorney-backed legal defense is offered via FFLGuard, a partner of FastBound.

6. Support

FastBound provides live phone and chat support with an average response time of fewer than five minutes. The company also provides self-help documents and virtual software tours that can be accessed 24/7.

7. Open API and Integrations

FastBound integration helps programs to share data, transfer information, and develop processes more quickly, allowing them to get more done. Because of our open API and expanding number of connectors, your POS, e-commerce, or ERP software can evolve, but your gun compliance software won’t.

8. No Contracts

FastBound plans are affordable and paid on a monthly basis, with no contract commitment required. Users can cancel, upgrade or downgrade at any time.

FastBound is committed to keeping its software users in full compliance with ATF laws, state laws, and local laws. The software is built with layers of safeguards in place to ensure that transactions are error-free and in compliance 100% of the time. For more information about FFLs and FastBound, please contact us today.

April 20, 2022

5 Simple Ways to Streamline Firearms Inventory

Keeping tight control of inventory is important in all industries. But in the compliance-centric firearms industry – where failing to do so can potentially result in an ATF violation – it’s downright essential. 

Of course, this is often easier said than done, and keeping a close eye on inventory counts can be time-consuming. So for this post, we’ll share our top five strategies to streamline firearms inventory and which tools can save you time.

1. Use FFL Software for Inventory Control 

FFL software has a multitude of practical uses for gun sellers, including ensuring accurately filling out A&Ds and 4473s, performing multi-state background checks, and electronically storing records. But it’s also ideal for inventory control, with many platforms having built-in features to help you maintain quantity counts, know where every item is at all times, and identify any aberrations. FastBound, for example, allows you to quickly and easily verify your inventory to A) maintain a bird’s-eye view of firearms, ammunition, and accessories and B) ensure you’re fully compliant with recent ATF rulings. 

Streamline firearms inventory

Simply upload information like item manufacturer, serial number, and model, and maintain total control of what you have in stock and what’s been sold. It’s also helpful if you need to go back, later on, to look for a particular transaction or perform an audit. If you’ve been managing firearms inventory the old-fashioned way with paper documents or using basic spreadsheets, this can drastically simplify operations so you can focus on your core business rather than being burdened by administrative tasks.

Besides that, it can also have a dramatic impact on your overall accuracy. And given the average US retailer only has an inventory accuracy of 63%, that’s extremely important.

2. Integrate FFL Software with a POS System

Another way to streamline firearms inventory with FFL software is to use it in conjunction with a point-of-sale (POS) system. Whenever a customer purchases an item at the checkout, a POS system will automatically report the sale and provide information like the item(s) sold, the quantity sold, and the dollar amount. In turn, it will generate comprehensive reports while also syncing the information with your FFL software. 

That way you can identify micro and macro trends on earnings and purchase patterns while at the same time keeping a close eye on your firearms inventory. 

This has several benefits, including: 

  • Saving you time at checkout so you can quickly move onto the next sale
  • Creating a more fluid customer experience 
  • Helping you stay compliant
  • Simplifying inventory
  • Allowing you to identify patterns so you’ll know which items sell the best – and when to reorder

With FastBound, you can easily connect your current POS system to save time, reduce errors, and streamline firearms compliance. If your POS doesn’t already integrate with FastBound, there’s an API that allows you to add it to your available software application. 

This brings us to our next point. 

3. Leverage Real-time Data for Decision-making

Firearms sellers of the past were often limited by the lack of technology where they had to make decisions based on outdated data (e.g. a spreadsheet that’s been sitting stagnant for weeks). This made it difficult to perform accurate sales forecasts, decide which items to order, and how much to order. But with modern tools, there’s now a wealth of data available that offers a snapshot of inventory in real-time. 

Streamline firearms inventory

Using FFL software and a POS system, for example, should give you a steady supply of data that’s continually updated. And that’s yet another reason why it’s so important to utilize cutting-edge tools like these as opposed to traditional paper documents and spreadsheets. By leveraging real-time data, you’ll be able to efficiently monitor inventory levels, manage costs, and make accurate forecasts without a ton of manual effort. This, in turn, should help you run your business more effectively and set the stage for higher profitability while also saving time.

4. Set Up Automated Reorders 

Here’s the scenario. You’ve got a particular firearm that sells consistently well and is always popular among customers. You go to check your inventory one day only to realize you’re nearly out, and the supplier won’t be able to get any more stock until it’s too late. As a result, you end up missing out on sales, and it creates friction with customers who come to you looking for that particular item. 

This is a situation many gun sellers have encountered at some point, and it’s almost always the result of doing “people-managed inventory.” When you rely upon manually checking stock and reordering, there’s always the potential for human error, and it sets the stage for issues like this. Using automated reordering, however, a feature available on many modern inventory software systems, can ensure you never run into this problem again. With it, you can configure the software to either notify you whenever you’re getting low on items (if you want to confirm before officially reordering) or have it automatically reorder for you if (if you’re more comfortable with that). 

Using this feature shaves hours off your week and gives you peace of mind that key products will always be stocked. Note that some software systems also feature backorder alerts so you’ll know when to use an alternate supplier. You can find a list of the top inventory management software products — many of which have the automated reorder feature — in this guide

5. Organize Your Stockroom By Category 

The last point in this post involves stockroom organization. Another integral part of streamlining firearms inventory is ensuring you can find what you need quickly and easily when restocking. Although most brick-and-mortar gun sellers don’t have the same high volume of products as larger retailers, you still need an efficient system in place so that your stockroom doesn’t descend into chaos. A good way to go about this is to organize your stockroom by category, and there are two main options for doing so. 

Either organize your inventory by sales frequency or item value. A simple example for organizing by sales frequency would be dividing your stock into two categories — products you sell most often and require frequent reordering (Group A) and products you sell less frequently and require less frequent reordering (Group B). As for item value, you would divide your stock into more expensive items that are above a specific price point (Group A) and less expensive items that are below a specific price point (Group B). 

That way you can easily access the inventory you need, and it should take less time to assess inventory levels. Not to mention it can prevent unnecessary headaches that occur when there’s no rhyme or reason to stockroom inventory. 

Streamline Firearms Inventory with the Right Tools and Strategies

Effective inventory management is critical for firearms sellers. First, it’s important for maintaining proper inventory counts and ensuring timely reordering. Second, and even more importantly, it’s necessary for compliance. Keeping detailed records of firearms is essential for keeping operations above board and avoiding ATF violations.

Handling firearms inventory can be time-consuming without the right processes in place. Using the tools and strategies outlined above will streamline efficiency, help you stay on top of firearms inventory, and save you a significant amount of time.

April 4, 2022

Are you using a Password Manager?

While FastBound has never had a security breach, you have undoubtedly heard of sites that have. As of July 2018, Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) site has collected more than 11.7 billion compromised (aka pwned) accounts compiled from 588 website breaches and more than 114 thousand pastes of more than 222 million accounts alone. Data breaches have taught us 1) that most people don’t use a password manager and 2) humans love to reuse their passwords. Reusing passwords is extremely risky. It’s so prevalent because it’s really easy to do, and people aren’t aware of the potential impact.

Credential Stuffing Attacks 

Attacks such as credential stuffing take advantage of reused credentials by automating login attempts against systems using known emails and password combinations.

Consumers have no control or insight into how companies store their passwords. When they have a data breach, the email addresses and passwords are then made available for attackers to try at other sites and apps.

Password Manager

Using a password manager like 1Password or BitWarden to Generate long, strong, and unique passwords for each site you have a login for will significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to a credential stuffing attack.

Complexity adds unnecessary complexity

Current NIST password guidelines suggest that you focus primarily on password length instead of the complexity when creating passwords. Ironically, using complex passwords (adding special characters, capitalization, and numbers) makes it easier to guess your password. Complex passwords are harder to remember, which means users may need to update their passwords more often, making minor changes, making them easier prey for cyber attacks. NIST requires an 8-character minimum for passwords.

Don’t allow previously breached passwords

In August 2017, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released guidance recommending that user-provided passwords be checked against existing data breaches. The rationale for this advice and suggestions for how applications may leverage this data are detailed in Troy Hunt’s Introducing 306 Million Freely Downloadable Pwned Passwords blog post.

Accordingly, when you set a password for the first time, change your password, or reset your password, we check to ensure that your password is not among the 11.7+ billion Pwned Passwords. If your password has been seen in a data breach, FastBound asks you to pick another one. FastBound also checks if your password has been breached when you log in to FastBound. If you log in with a breached password, we’ll let you know and guide you through changing it. If you use that same password on other websites, you should be changing it there, too. It would be best to use a random password generated by your password manager.

If you are curious about how we check your password against billions of breached passwords without breaching your password, protecting the privacy of searched passwords, check out Troy’s blog post about Cloudflare, Privacy, and k-Anonymity. It gets a little technical, but it’s worth the read.

March 29, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Gun Show Selling

2022 has seen the return of many large gun shows and 2023 is shaping up to be promising as well. If you’re attending one of these events, you may be wondering what the best strategies are for selling, buying, and trading guns at a gun show. 

Getting started can be tricky and a little overwhelming for some sellers. This post will offer strategies and tips about gun show selling to help you get started on the right foot. Let’s jump right in. 

Start with Learning Rules and Regulations

Because of the inherent dangers that come with having numerous firearms in one location, most gun shows have detailed rules and regulations to keep everyone safe and sales above board. So, before attending, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what’s expected of sellers at the specific gun show you’ll be at. 

Take the Premier Gun Show Pasadena in February 2022, which had some extensive show rules (outlined below). 

Gun show selling

They mention that gun sellers “who sell firearms for a portion, or all, of their livelihood must possess an FFL.” However, private sellers who simply sell from their personal collection and “who do not derive their livelihood from the sale of firearms nor make a profit on sales, are not required to have an FFL.” Note that if you’re a serious seller and running a business, you’ll almost always need to register for a federal firearms license before you can sell at a gun show. 

They also say: 

  • Loaded firearms aren’t permitted unless it’s from someone in law enforcement
  • Loose cartridges, loaded weapons, and magazines aren’t allowed
  • All ammunition must be sealed in a box, bag, or container
  • Etc. 

A show’s rules are usually found on the registration page. Browse through that information and make sure you’re totally clear before attending to prevent any issues that could harm your reputation.

Follow ATF Guidelines

Besides the specific rules at a gun show, it’s also essential to follow ATF guidelines just as you would if you were selling at a brick-and-mortar store. For example, a licensed dealer for the state they’re selling in must display their license at the gun show and must comply with the necessary recordkeeping requirements of ATF regulations regarding A&Ds, where they maintain accurate records of each sale. The ATF also states that firearms dealers may only sell handguns to state residents who are at least 21 years old and who meet eligibility requirements where they pass a background check. 

Here’s a full overview of gun show guidelines you can find on the ATF’s website

Gun show selling

As you can see, they’re fairly extensive and vary from FFLs licensed within the state, FFLs not licensed within the state, and non-licensed residents from a different state. Therefore, review the specific requirements that apply to you to avoid ATF inspections or subsequent violations. This brings us to our next point. 

Streamline Recordkeeping with FFL Software

What’s the best way to ensure ATF compliance with gun show selling AND streamline transactions? Use FFL software! This has several key features that help you stay on top of things from a compliance standpoint while also making sales go smoother. FastBound, for instance, allows you to turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant Form 4473  with digital signatures and electronic storage, with no transaction fees or special hardware requirements. 

Rather than having to meticulously fill out paper forms like in the past, you can swiftly move through the recordkeeping process while saving everything digitally for easy retrieval. FastBound is continuously updated to ensure Form 4473 reflects current ATF rulings, which means you always gather the exact information you need without the hassle of having to keep up with rule changes yourself. You simply add the firearm you want to sell, and the buyer completes and electronically signs their 4473 on a digital device. From there, you perform a background check and fill out your section. As long as everything checks out, you can then finalize the transaction, and you’re on to the next sale. 

This makes for smooth, convenient transactions, and you don’t have to deal with heaps of paperwork that can get cluttered, lost, or stolen. All you need is a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Because all the information is digital, you spare yourself the frustration of trying to decipher poor handwriting and sift through piles of documents later on. 

Focus on Presentation

Most gun shows have numerous vendors. And while there’s a certain level of camaraderie, everyone’s competing for the business of attendees. That’s why it’s essential to have a great presentation that 1) instantly grabs the attention of passersby and 2) conveys professionalism. It’s all about creating a great first impression to pull in the maximum number of attendees and piquing their interest. Otherwise, it’s going to be a struggle even if you have some of the best inventory around. 

There are three key components of gun show presentation. First, you want a great-looking sign with plenty of contrast between the background and foreground images and text. You can see what we’re talking about in this image below from the Florida Gun Show that took place a few years back. Notice how the yellow and red signs in particular grab your attention. 

Gun show selling

Next, you want a clean, organized table where firearms are neatly arranged on a tablecloth that jives with the color scheme of your sign. In the image above, for example, you’ll notice the vendor on the far right uses a yellow color scheme for the sign and tablecloth and the vendor on the far left uses a red color scheme. 

Third, always display the price of each firearm so they’re easily visible to attendees. This may sound like basic common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many gun sellers fail to show the price and, as a result, miss out on potential gun sales. Here’s a good example of a vendor at the Norfolk Gun Show in Norfolk, Nebraska who has an organized layout with the cost of each firearm clearly labeled.

Gun show selling

Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

Finally, there’s payment. While cash is still king at many gun shows and many customers will use it, it’s ideal to offer several forms of payment, such as debit, credit, and mobile payments like Google Pay, Apple Pay. Fortunately, getting set up has never been easier, and mobile point-of-sale systems are easy to transport to shows. All you need is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. 

This can give you a tremendous edge over other vendors who only accept cash and should help give you a better payday when the event is over.

Succeeding at Gun Show Selling

The resurgence of gun shows after the pandemic is exciting news and should be instrumental in many firearms sellers growing their businesses. But to thrive, it’s important to understand things like rules and regulations, ATF compliance, record-keeping, presentation, and payments. Whether you’re just starting or “shaking off the rust,” the tips and strategies listed above should help you get your bearings and increase your chances of success.

March 28, 2022

ATF Form 4473 Enhancements

The team at FastBound has released another free update with some noteworthy enhancements to the most-compliant Electronic ATF Form 4473 available. The new enhancements to ATF Form 4473 include:

FastBound will now create an audit trail entry when a user deletes a disposition attached to a completed 4473.

Form 4473 Question 27.c.

On the seller’s view of Form 4473, we have added a button to clear out section 27.c., which is the response initially provided by NICS or the appropriate State agency was.

When viewing a non-licensee, FastBound now provides you with a convenient list of Form 4473s completed by the buyer.

On the buyer’s view of Form 4473, we show the full state name after the abbreviation (i.e., CA-California instead of just CA).

These time-saving enhancements are always available immediately to all FastBound subscribers at no additional charge, with no downtime or upgrades required.

March 23, 2022

6 Ways to Create a Better POS Experience for Customers

Having a smooth, streamlined point-of-sale (POS) experience is vital for firearms dealers. Research has found 62% of customers are less likely to return after a poor store experience, and 49% would tell a friend if they had a negative experience. In this post, we’ll discuss six key strategies for creating a better POS experience for customers and mention specific tools for improving the process. 

1. Start with Staff Training

Above all else, start with proper staff training. Why? It will ensure that staff handling customer checkout knows what to do and can keep things flowing. Due to the compliance-heavy nature of gun selling and everything that’s involved with A&Ds and 4473s, this is often more difficult in this industry than in many others. Not only must staff be able to succinctly move customers through the checkout process, they must ensure they’re filling out the right information, properly performing NICS and state background checks, and so on. Failing to do so can potentially result in an ATF inspection and a subsequent violation if this isn’t done according to recent rulings.

That’s why you never want to hire someone and immediately “throw” them into handling complex firearms transactions. Rather, you should invest the time into training them on: 

  • The legalities of gun selling
  • What information is required for A&Ds and 4473s
  • How to correctly use your POS system
  • The nuances of your system
  • Customer service to prevent negative experiences
  • How to prioritize customers’ needs during stressful situations

This alone can go a long way in creating a better POS experience and significantly increase your customer satisfaction rate. 

2. Offer Multiple Payment Options

In the past, many firearms sellers accepted three types of payment — cash, card, or check. But today’s customers don’t want to be limited to only these payment methods, especially when you’re talking about high-value purchases like guns. According to digital firearms and outdoors resource Backfire.TV, the average cost of a gun as of 2021 was $500, so the more payment options your customers have, the better. Not only does this offer more convenience, it also speeds up the checkout process to help avoid long lines and disgruntled customers. 

Besides cash, debit, and credit payments, for instance, you should consider accepting mobile payments. Research has found “three out of five US smartphone users have a mobile wallet, but as of October 2018, only half of retailers accepted mobile payments.” Doing so can give you an instant competitive advantage over many other firearms sellers and should help you win over more customers. 

You may also want to consider contactless payments where users tap-and-pay rather than having to swipe their card or use a chip and PIN code. This really caught on when COVID reached its peak, but it’s still nice to have post-COVID and makes for a nice in-store payment option. Beyond that, consider PayPal and even cryptocurrency, as this is becoming increasingly common in retail settings. 

3. Integrate FFL Software

As you’re probably well aware, maintaining your FFL bound book is not easy but is required to stay compliant and essential for keeping a good relationship with the ATF. For the disposition part of your bound books, you must include several pieces of important information from form 4473, including the disposition date, name, address and form 4473 serial number if filed numerically(TTSN).

If you’re doing this the “old-fashioned” way with paper forms, it can be slow-going where you get so caught up trying to complete one transaction, you end up neglecting other customers and creating friction in the checkout experience. That’s why a growing number of firearms sellers are now integrating FFL software into the POS process. 

Rather than meticulously filling out paper forms, FFL software allows you to do everything digitally while ensuring full compliance based on recent ATF rulings. FastBound, for example, lets you create unlimited bound books with ease in an electronic format so you can accurately record information and rapidly move through the checkout process without clogging it up. 

And for 4473s, FastBound lets you turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant 4473 form and comes with digital signature support and digital storage. 

Better POS experience

You simply add the firearm, the buyer fills out their portion of the 4473 and electronically signs it. You then perform the background check and complete your sections, and you’re on to the next sale. That way you can keep the checkout moving and can avoid creating unnecessary friction points for your customers. And because of the digital font, you can avoid handwriting legibility issues that were so common in the past. 

4. Automate Background Checks

Another helpful feature of FFL software is that it can be used to automate the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and many state background checks. With FastBound, for instance, you can conveniently check the federal NICS to verify the buyer doesn’t have a criminal record and is eligible to buy a firearm. 

You can also easily check multiple state background systems, including phone-in states like Nevada to move through the process quickly and efficiently. In turn, you’re able to ensure full compliance and guns don’t end up in the wrong hands while at the same time streamlining what has historically been an onerous part of the POS process. 

5. Use Compliance Warnings

Besides streamlining A&Ds and 4473s and automating background checks, some FFL platforms like FastBound also feature built-in compliance warnings that will alert you whenever there’s a potential issue during dispositions. Some of the most common reasons for violations are failing to complete forms as prescribed or failing to maintain accurate transaction records. 

Better POS experience

It’s understandable, given all the information you need to record and the fact that ATF regulations are continually changing. With built-in compliance warnings, however, FastBound detects any aberrations in the system that could be out of compliance and will instantly let you know. That way you can make the necessary adjustments to avoid problems without having to manually sift through the details. 

6. Leverage POS Analytics 

Studies have found a clear correlation between using business analytics and long-term success. According to McKinsey, “companies that effectively use analytics are 6.5 times more likely to retain customers, 7.4 times more likely to outperform their competitors, and nearly 19 times more likely to achieve above-average profitability.” 

Today’s analytics can be applied to nearly every aspect of operations, and POS is no exception. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Monitoring peak sales times to ensure you’re always adequately staffed to keep up with customer demand
  • Identifying which firearms and other types of inventory have the most demand to fine-tune ordering
  • Determining which forms of payment are the most popular
  • Tracking staff performance to ensure you’ve got the right people working for you

You can find a list of the top POS analytics platforms here for quick reference and a breakdown of their key features. 

Final Thoughts: Creating a Better POS Experience

A smooth, streamlined checkout for firearms sellers is essential.  

Because of the need for accurate record-keeping and diligent ATF compliance, it’s easy for friction to occur. But using the six strategies outlined above and using innovative technology like FFL software and POS analytics should help you dramatically reduce inefficiencies and keep your checkout flowing.

March 21, 2022

The Benefits of Cloud-based ATF Record Storage

Maintaining accurate records of firearms transactions is essential to ATF compliance. According to ATF eRegulations, these records must be retained for no less than 20 years after the date of a sale or disposition. In the past, this was typically done by storing paper documents in cardboard boxes or file cabinets — a strategy that comes with several issues like the potential for damage, theft, or misplacement. 

In this post, we’ll explain what cloud-based ATF record storage is, how it differs from traditional storage techniques, and the key benefits it offers firearms sellers. So, by the end, you’ll know if it’s right for your business. 

What Exactly is Cloud-based ATF Record Storage?

TechTarget defines it as “a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, managed, and backed up and made available to users over a network — typically, the internet.” With it, you can store records like A&Ds and 4473s in a digital environment where the data can be accessed from any Mac, PC, tablet, or smartphone that has a web browser and internet. 

Here’s what the model looks like. 

Cloud-based ATF record storage

Notice how regardless of where the data comes from, it all goes to the same place — “the cloud,” which is a network of servers. 

How Does it Differ from Traditional Storage?

For many years, most gun sellers kept transaction records on paper files that were stored in a physical office. Cloud-based ATF record storage, however, is fundamentally different from this traditional technique because everything is done electronically where there’s no need for paper documents. Instead, A&Ds and 4473s are filled out digitally and the data is saved digitally in the cloud. 

Whenever you need to retrieve information, you simply search for it by entering criteria such as licensee name or address, firearm serial number, or manufacturer. Within seconds, it pops up and you can find all the information you need, and the record is backed up securely in a virtual environment so that it’s kept on file to stay compliant with ATF rulings. 

Note that cloud-based storage also differs from storing records using more basic digital techniques like saving files on physical software. A few years back, for instance, you could download software to your in-office computer and save records on it. The only problem is that you could only access your data on that exact computer, and you also had to routinely back it up manually to keep the information intact and up-to-date. 

That meant you couldn’t retrieve data from, say, your smartphone while you’re on the go. And if you forgot to back up your data, files could potentially be lost. With innovative cloud-based records, however, there’s no software to install or maintain.

Key Benefits

There are five primary advantages to using this technology rather than traditional storage techniques. 

1. Compliance

As a firearms seller, you’re probably well aware of the importance of compliance. The ATF performed 5,827 firearm compliance inspections in the 2020 fiscal year. A majority (43.8%) resulted in a violation, Hopefully, it’s not a situation you want to find yourself in. The great thing about cloud-based ATF record storage is that the interface you use to input records is continually updated to ensure compliance with the latest ATF rulings. In turn, you don’t have to worry whether you’re inputting the correct information or not. 

Cloud-based ATF record storage

Because everything is saved in a secure digital setting, the data stays on file for the 20-year minimum. That way you can focus more on running your business rather than getting bogged down in compliance-related tasks. 

2. Convenience

As we mentioned earlier, you can access records from wherever and whenever you want as long as you have an internet connection. With FastBound, for example, you simply log in from any web-enabled device, with any browser. That means you’re not tethered to a single physical location like a brick-and-mortar store. With this technology, you can just as easily locate records while you’re on the other side of the country as you could if you’re in your office. 

Plus, the search function is simple, saving you time from sifting through piles and piles of documents. 

3. Automation

If you’ve ever had to backup information manually on a hard drive, you know how onerous it can be. You have to remember to do it at planned intervals. If you forget, the consequences can be disastrous if you can’t access an important record. But with cloud-based ATF record storage, there are automatic backups that exceed ATF compliance requirements. 

FastBound auto-saves your data every 15-20 seconds like clockwork so you never have to think about backing it up. Not only that, our system syncs with other cloud-based storage systems like Dropbox to make your life even easier, and you don’t have to manually transfer data from one system to another. 

4. Security 

Any time you’re storing critical records like A&Ds and 4473s, it’s important that they’re safe and secure and stay out of the wrong hands. While some firearms sellers have reservations about using the cloud because of the perceived risk of documents being intercepted, today’s technology is incredibly safe. 

With FastBound, there are multiple layers of protection where data is stored using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. And when it’s moving from your web browser to servers, it uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) which creates an ultra-secure tunnel that’s protected by further encryption. Besides that, FastBound enables HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to prevent cyber attacks and has an overall security rating of A. 

Cloud-based ATF record storage

When compared to storing documents in cardboard boxes that can easily be stolen, damaged, or misplaced, this is a far safer option. 

5. Disaster Recovery 

Finally, storing ATF records in the cloud gives you peace of mind that they can be recovered even in a worst-case scenario. Like we just said, one of the biggest problems of storing traditional paper files in cardboard boxes or a file cabinet is that they can be lost, stolen, or destroyed. But with cutting-edge technology like the cloud, this isn’t a concern. 

“While there may be no way for you to prevent or even anticipate the disasters that could potentially harm your organization, there is something you can do to help speed your recovery,” explains Salesforce. “Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios, from natural disasters to power outages.” Because data is backed up across multiple servers, copies are always saved. So, even if there’s a collapse where a server goes down for a while, all your information can still be recovered — something you don’t get with traditional storage techniques. 

Leveraging the Full Benefits of Cloud-based ATF Record Storage

Storing records is integral to ATF compliance. Firearms sellers need an efficient system of keeping A&Ds and 4473s on file. Cloud-based record storage is one of the best methods. It offers a host of benefits like improved compliance, convenience, automation, security, and disaster recovery to make the process more streamlined without drowning in administrative tasks. If you’ve ever felt anxious or overwhelmed with your current record-keeping system, this is definitely an option to consider. 

To learn more about storing ATF records in the cloud and get a free 14-day trial, check out FastBound.

March 14, 2022

How Firearms Sellers Can Create a Foolproof Audit Trail

During the 2020 fiscal year, the ATF conducted 5,827 firearm compliance inspections. This situation is stressful – so being able to quickly find A&D records and 4473s is essential. In this post, we’ll explain how to create a foolproof audit trail so you don’t have to sweat it even if the ATF comes knocking at your door. 

The Old Way of Doing Things

First, let’s break down the way gun sellers often went about storing and archiving firearms transactions. Typically, they would store paper records in cardboard boxes and place them in the back of their store, or if they were a small-time collector, at home. If they ever needed to find a particular record, they would have to sift through those boxes.

Assuming they were relatively organized or didn’t have a vast stash of records, this may have been fairly straightforward. If, however, they were unorganized or had a huge pile of documents in boxes (records of transactions are supposed to be kept for at least 20 years), this was often a frustrating, meticulous process. And if they were in a situation where an ATF special agent or investigator needed them to produce a specific record, they were in a bind. 

Not to mention storing records the “old-fashioned” way created other issues like having the potential for records to be lost, stolen, or damaged. While this was understandably the way FFLs went about it back in the day because it was the only option, it created problems for countless firearms sellers. 

The New Way of Doing Things

Fortunately, technology has evolved significantly in recent years, and there are now robust solutions that can help gun sellers manage nearly every aspect of their business, including their audit trail. FFL software like FastBound, for example, is designed to not only make it simple to complete A&Ds and 4473s while ensuring compliance but also make it easy to retrieve them when needed. 

Here are a few key features that allow you to create a foolproof audit trail. 

Electronic Storage

Rather than filling out A&Ds and 4473s on paper by hand and storing them in cardboard boxes, FFL software lets you process transactions digitally through electronic, cloud-based storage. Most gun sellers find this to be drastically better than traditional methods because A) you can record the information you need without having to manually fill out paperwork while ensuring everything is 100% legible and B) everything can easily be archived for convenient retrieval. 

Audit trail

If you’ve ever searched through mountains of documents to find a specific transaction, you know how painstaking it can be. But with FFL software, everything is saved electronically so you don’t have to print and store documents. And because these solutions are continually updated based on the most recent ATF rulings, you know you’re always including essential information. 

FastBound provides instant alerts of potential compliance violations if anything looks incorrect and has autocomplete which automatically fills out license numbers, expiration, and address. It will even suggest the current license number to help save time. This can come in handy when it’s busy and you’re trying to move a customer through the point-of-sale without holding up the line and need to tend to other customers. 

Because data is stored in the cloud, it means you can retrieve transactions from any Mac, PC, tablet, or smartphone. That way you’re not tethered to a single physical location like your office or home, and you can locate information from anywhere in the world with a web browser and internet access. So even if you’re traveling, you can still find the information you need just as easily as if you were in your office. 

Smart Searches

To streamline the retrieval process, there are Smart Searches which allow you to quickly perform custom searches to find the exact information you need. Say there’s a particular file you’ve saved but you have no clue where you put it. With Smart Searches, it’s easy to find with zero frustration. All you have to do is enter information like contact name, license number, or firearm serial number, and you’ve got it. When compared to sifting through mountains of paperwork scattered throughout cardboard boxes, this is a serious game-changer. 

Audit trail

Smart Lists

And to streamline the search process even more, there are Smart Lists that let you organize your data so that you see the information you use most frequently. Say, for example, you only need to save a few manufacturers. You can select them and archive everything else and even hide contacts you don’t usually acquire or dispose. This can be a huge time saver and helps filter out irrelevant information. 

Smart Contacts

When it comes to finding particular contacts, this feature simplifies that without having to dig through cluttered lists or having to re-enter information again and again. With it, you can conveniently store attachments with your contacts’ information along with copies of licenses, identifications, or anything else you need. That way you don’t have to worry about lost paperwork, and you can even condense contacts if you’ve created multiple records. 

Automated Backups

Another way FFL software creates a foolproof audit trail is with automated backups. Unlike older software that had to be periodically backed up manually to keep records intact, newer solutions like FastBound automate the process. So rather than taking time out of your day and expending cognitive energy, everything is taken care of for you while not only meeting but exceeding ATF compliance requirements. That way you can focus on core operations and growing your business rather than dealing with backups. 

Although not offered by all FFL software systems, it should be noted that FastBound comes with guaranteed legal defense. So if you receive an ATF inspection that results in administrative action, you have instant access to a legal professional who specializes in firearms compliance for FFLs(Related to the use of our software). These subject matter experts know the ins and outs of the firearms industry and will represent you for unlimited legal defense with no hidden hourly fees. As a result, you have complete peace of mind that you’re covered even in a worst-case scenario. 

Foolproofing Your Audit Trail

Given the compliant-centric nature of gun selling, the threat of an ATF inspection is a constant source of anxiety for many people. Firearms dealers get inspected each year, it’s certainly something to take seriously. If you even find yourself in this situation, you need a surefire way of locating A&Ds and 4473s in a hurry.

Fortunately, innovative technology like FFL software makes it simple to create a foolproof audit trail. By leveraging features like electronic, cloud-based storage, Smart Searches, Smart Lists, and automated backups, you can find what you need at a moment’s notice. You can learn more about FastBound and the full range of features here.

February 28, 2022

Spanish ATF Form 4473

If you have Spanish-speaking buyers looking to purchase a firearm, FastBound now offers full support for the Spanish ATF Form 4473 (Registro de Transacción de Armas de Fuego). Our Spanish ATF Form 4473 matches with the paper forms provided by ATF, making it easy and familiar for Spanish-speaking buyers to use. To switch between English and Spanish, click on the dropdown in the upper right-hand corner. We hope your buyers find our Spanish 4473 helpful and easy to use!

Viewing in English
Viewing in Spanish
Spanish ATF Form 4473

In addition to the new ATF Form 4473, we have also made several workflow improvements to our 4473 Cloud integration if you’re utilizing Digital Storage of ATF Form 4473.

Finally, we also improved the display of firearm(s) from Section A on the buyer’s view of ATF Form 4473 and updated 3310.4 to the latest revision.

As always, these updates are free and available for all customers–we never charge for updates or support.

February 24, 2022

7 Simple Ways to Streamline ATF Compliance

ATF compliance and the associated paperwork are vital to firearms selling. 

But it can also be a major administrative burden. If you’ve ever found yourself bogged down with paperwork or sweating the threat of an ATF inspection, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Fortunately, there are several simple ways to streamline ATF compliance to ensure you’re above board while also maintaining maximum efficiency. Here are our top seven.  

1. Stay Informed of ATF Regulations

As you’re probably aware, ATF regulations, as well as local laws, are continually changing. So a great starting point for streamlining ATF compliance is staying up-to-date on the most recent happenings. While you may not always know every last detail, this should ensure you’re at least familiar with major rules and regulations so you can run daily operations with less friction. 

There are two main resources we recommend for staying informed. One is this resource from the ATF which covers the essentials, including federal regulations, the rulemaking process, ATF rulings, and much more. It also contains helpful links to help you stay in the know. The other is the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. Here you’ll find a breakdown of state gun laws for all 50 states so you always know what’s happening in your specific locale. 

2. Perform Regular Inventory Checks

Next, it’s important to always know exactly what you have in your inventory, especially if you’re a mid-sized or large gun seller. Experts recommend checking inventory and verifying serial numbers with the A&D records at least every three months. Also, any time you make a purchase at a gun show, you’ll want to update your inventory right away because it’s easy to forget about it if you don’t. 

Doing this should make inventory management a lot easier to handle, and you’ll know what you have on hand at any given time. It also dramatically reduces your odds of running into ATF compliance issues. 

3. Use Electronic Bound Books and 4473s

Technology has advanced significantly in recent years, with one of the biggest innovations being FFL software. It has several applications, but one of the most notable is digitizing FFL bound books and 4473s to streamline ATF compliance in a way that simply wasn’t possible in the past. With FastBound, for example, you can create unlimited bound books for consignment, transfers, gunsmithing, NFA, pawn, or anything else you want. It can also be used to turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant 4473 with robust cloud storage and automated backups. 

Streamline ATF compliance

Rather than having to fill out traditional paperwork that’s meticulous, time-consuming, and stored in cardboard boxes, FFL software lets you seamlessly process transactions and keep information securely stored for easy retrieval. With it, you can move through transactions quicker and ensure text is legible because of the digital font. It also allows you to automatically fill out information like license numbers, expirations, and addresses, and will even suggest a current license number if the one you entered is expired. So instead of spending a ton of time sorting through paperwork with one customer, you can move through transactions more efficiently while upholding the highest possible level of compliance. 

Keep in mind that FFL software is continually updated to reflect the latest ATF rulings, and platforms like FastBound are even backed by legal defense. This means if you ever run into an issue, you have peace of mind that you’ll have instant access to a legal professional to help you resolve it. FFL software also allows for easy multiple sale reporting, which is one of the most common reasons for revocations among gun sellers. 

4. Use FFL POS Integration

Another way to leverage FFL software is to integrate it with your point-of-sale (POS) system. Here’s the scenario. You’ve got a customer who’s ready to buy and you’re about to ring them up. In the past, you would have to complete the transaction and handle the paperwork separately — something that can be time-consuming and hurt the customer experience, especially if you have other customers. 

With FFL POS integration, you can process the transaction and take care of compliance paperwork at the same time. You simply sync the software with your existing POS system. When a firearm is sold, the item is automatically pushed over as a pending sale. And whenever you acquire a new gun, the item automatically flows into your inventory system. In turn, this can drastically reduce the time you spend on manual paperwork and ensure you maintain accurate records at all times. 

On top of that, it can also improve the overall quality of your customer service because you can smoothly move from one transaction to another. Note that FastBound works with most POS systems. But even if it’s not compatible with your current system, FastBound has a comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API), which means your current software application can be easily added. 

5. Automate NICS and State Background Checks

Performing a background check through the National Instant Criminal System (NICS) or through a state contact is critical for verifying that the buyer doesn’t have a criminal record or is otherwise ineligible to purchase a gun. It’s an important part of keeping firearms out of the wrong hands and ensuring public safety. That said, it’s something that takes time and is another aspect of compliance that can slow you down. 

Fortunately, this is something that can now be automated through FFL software. Many of today’s platforms allow you to instantly contact NICS and perform many state background checks, even if you’re located in a phone-in state like Nevada. So if you’ve ever felt frustrated doing it the “old school” way, it’s another reason to consider FFL software. This brings us to our next point. 

6. Use Integrated EZ Check

When it comes to verifying an FFL number, this is something you streamline with an integrated EZ Check. It’s a feature that lets you quickly ensure an FFL is valid without having to do it manually. While this feature is beneficial for firearms sellers of all sizes, it’s especially helpful for larger ones that make multiple transactions per day. And because it’s done digitally, you don’t have to worry about the threat of human error.

Streamline ATF compliance

7. Set Up Automatic Compliance Warnings

Even if you’ve been in the firearms industry for years and are highly familiar with the administrative side of things, you still need to have your head on a swivel when it comes to compliance. As we mentioned before, even if you’re an expert, mistakes can happen and rules are always changing. One final way to streamline ATF compliance and prevent needless headaches is by setting up compliance warnings to alert you whenever there are issues, including improperly acquiring or disposing of an item. This too can be found on many FFL platforms such as FastBound. 

Streamline ATF Compliance and Reduce Your Administrative Burden

5,827 compliance inspections were performed in the 2020 fiscal year, which means nearly 16 sellers are inspected every day in the US. Given how common ATF inspections are, it’s crucial to remain diligent about keeping your business above board without drowning in paperwork. 

Following the seven tips listed here should allow you to do that while dramatically cutting back on manual tasks to reduce your administrative burden.

February 14, 2022

Top Upcoming Gun Shows in 2022

2020 and 2021 weren’t great years for gun sellers and gun enthusiasts. With COVID locking down much of the U.S. and widespread event/travel restrictions, many gun shows were canceled. But things are looking up in 2022. As COVID restrictions ease and life gets back to normal, people are starting to attend gun shows again. 

In this post, you’ll find a list of the top gun shows in 2022 along with key information including location, date, event details, and more. 

Premier Gun Show Pasadena

Gun shows in 2022

Location – Pasadena, TX

Date – February 12 – 13

This is one of the earliest gun shows in 2022 and will take place during back-to-back days in Pasadena, TX. It marks the 50th anniversary of the event, and there will be over 300 tables featuring “guns, ammo, knives, shooting supplies, and militaria.” Gun sellers, collectors, or anyone looking to buy, sell, or trade is welcome to attend. 

There’s already a lot of buzz about the event throughout Texas and surrounding areas. The event promoter runs a large-scale marketing campaign to bring in even more attendees, and there’s a growing attendance each year. 

You can find detailed registration information here for this event, as well as info for other shows that will be run by Premier Gun Show in 2022. 

Tanner Gun Show

Location – Aurora, CO

Date – February 18 – 20 and March 18 – 20

This is Colorado’s oldest and largest gun show. It will take place on multiple dates throughout 2022, but these events are the closest on the horizon. Every show is buy, sell, and trade, so it’s an excellent event for firearms dealers of all sizes to network and make money. And they’re expecting a big turnout this year.

“Not only are we 4X as large as any other gun show in Colorado, but we’re obsessively committed to advertising,” the promoter writes. “We advertise on TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, magazines, internet, and roadside signs. We also have an extensive email list (50,000+) of people to whom we send show reminders and coupons.”

You can find a comprehensive list of vendor information here

And you can find a full list of calendar dates throughout 2022 here

Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show

Location – Tulsa, OK

Date – April 2 – 3 

If you’re looking for a large-scale gun show with variety, this event is right up your alley. Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show has been putting on gun shows for 65 years, and this event will take place in a single, 11 acre, climate-controlled room. Here you’ll find the “world’s largest selection of antique, collector, and modern firearms, knives, and accessories.” The promoter also notes that “secretary-treasurer Joe Wanenmacher travels all over the country to find the best exhibitors with the nicest displays,” and “most exhibitors bring their best and most unusual merchandise to Tulsa because it sells.”

Here you can expect to see a wide range of firearms from top-level exhibitors for amazing networking opportunities. It’s also popular with foreign gun enthusiasts, meaning there’s also the potential for international networking. Besides the earlier event in April, Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show will be putting another one on later in the year from November 12 – 13. This is a big one and an event we highly recommend attending if you can. 

You can find everything you need to know about the event here

And you can get exhibitor information here

The Nation’s Gun Show

Location – Chantilly, VA

Date – April 23 – 25 and June 17 – 19

This is another gun show that will be hosting multiple events in 2022. The two dates listed above will be coming up the earliest, but there will also be shows in July, September, and November. It will be taking place at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA, and is one of the most popular events in the mid-Atlantic region. 

There’s an emphasis on diversity with the Nation’s Gun Show featuring handguns, shotguns, rifles, ammo, training, and holsters, as well as antique pistols, swords, knives, coins, early Indian and Western Americana, and militaria of all wars. They feature a wide array of exhibitors with a deep passion and knowledge of firearms, making it the perfect networking opportunity. 

You can find in-depth information on exhibitors here

And you can find contact information here

Florida Gun Shows – Orlando

Gun shows in 2022

Location – Orlando, FL 

Date – June 9 – 10 and August 20 – 21

Florida Gun Shows is the largest promoter in the state of Florida. Though many of their events were canceled in 2020 and 2021, they’re making up for lost time in 2022. They’ll be featuring numerous events throughout the year, with two of the biggest being during the summer in Orlando. 

“Our shows are your one-stop shop where you will enjoy an enormous array of new, used, and antique firearms, ammunition, shooting supplies, knives, shooting accessories, scopes, clips, reloading supplies, holsters, carry cases, range bags, hunting gear, concealment products, concealment furniture, gun apparel, and so much more.” This promoter has built up a strong reputation over the years and features top-of-the-line merchandise, making their events extremely popular in the south. 

You can find a full list of their 2022 schedule here

And you can find exhibitor information here

Crossroads of the West Gun Show Reno

Location – Reno, NV

Date – July 23 – 24

Crossroads of the West is a massive promoter in the region and puts on numerous events each year in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. They’ve been around since 1975 and are simply known as “the big one.” During an average year, their shows attract more than half a million guests, making them one of the most popular promoters in America. 

They’ll be hosting gun shows throughout the West in 2022, but this late July event is definitely one to mark on your calendar. Here you can meet up with avid gun collectors and gun enthusiasts, and have an excellent opportunity to expand your business. They’re expecting a solid turnout with several thousand prospective customers. 

You can find information on the Reno gun show along with a full list of all Crossroads of the West events in 2022 here

And you can find detailed vendor information here

Wyoming Sportsman Gun Show – Cheyenne

Location – Cheyenne, WY

Date – September 10 – 11

Cheyenne, Wyoming is a true frontier town with a rich history and many historical attractions. And it’s the perfect location to finish up the amazing list of gun shows in 2022. While this event won’t have the scale of some of the others mentioned above, it should be a lot of fun, and the promoter, Wyoming Sportsman Gun Show Circuit L.L.C., has earned a reputation for putting on some of the best gun shows in the state. 

There will be new and used guns, accessories, survival supplies, and much more. New vendors are welcome, and they even offer a first-time vendor discount for some of the lowest prices around. 

You can find everything you need along with contact information here

Attending the Top Gun Shows in 2022

COVID created a ton of challenges for gun sellers over the past couple of years. But fortunately, things are looking up, and gun shows will be happening all over this year. The events listed here are some of the top upcoming gun shows in 2022 and are perfect for growing your business and connecting with customers and potential business partners.

Want to streamline your firearms transactions and keep your business ATF compliant? See how FastBound can help.

February 7, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About FFL Bound Book Software

An essential part of being a firearms dealer is staying compliant with ATF rules and regulations. But as most gun sellers in this industry can testify, that’s not always easy. Between continuously changing laws, the administrative burden involved with processing firearms transactions, and the general upkeep of running a business, compliance can be difficult. 

In fact, failure to report multiple sales and maintain accurate records is one of the leading reasons for ATF violations. Here we’ll explain why FFL bound book software is an effective solution to this problem and tell you everything you need to know about it. 

What is FFL Bound Book Software?

Simply put, this is digital software that allows you to create unlimited bound books for consignment, transfers, gunsmithing, NFA, pawn, or anything else you want. It serves the same function as a traditional bound book for A&D records with physical pages, but records are stored electronically. With cutting-edge platforms like FastBound, ATF records remain in the cloud and can be accessed on any Mac, PC, or tablet with a web browser and Internet access. That way you can retrieve them 24/7 from any location and aren’t bound to a single physical office.

FFL bound book software

What Are Its Applications?

As we mentioned before, failing to properly report or maintain accurate records is one of the main reasons firearms dealers get in trouble with the ATF. Here’s a list of the 10 most frequently cited violations from the 2020 fiscal year. 

FFL bound book software

The main application of FFL bound book software is to help you maintain accurate records and ensure compliance. Whether you’re operating on a small scale as a collector and only process a handful of records here and there or you’re running a large-scale business, this software allows you to conveniently process transactions and stay above board with the law. Because this software is continually updated based on the latest ATF rulings, you know you’re handling transactions the right way. 

Besides that, it’s integral to streamlining operations and allows you to move from sale to sale without taking an exorbitant amount of time. A common issue for brick-and-mortar gun sellers is getting customers through the point of sale efficiently without creating a bottleneck that hurts the experience for other customers. If you’ve ever dealt with a long line of people getting irritable because you’re wrapped up with one customer at the point-of-sale, you know what we’re talking about. 

With traditional paper bound books, you had to meticulously fill out paperwork, which was time-consuming and created friction where other customers were left waiting. Everything is done electronically with FFL bound book software, so transactions are completed more quickly. 

This brings us to our next point. 

Key Features of FFL Bound Book Software

First off, platforms like FastBound have several time-saving features that allow you to process transactions smoothly and efficiently while ensuring compliance. The multi-state background check, for example, automates NICS data entry in all states, including POC states and phone-in states like Nevada. As you’re probably aware, this can be meticulous, but with FFL bound book software, it makes it quick, easy, and most importantly, compliant. 

Another notable time-saving feature is FFL Autocomplete. As the name implies, this automatically fills out information such as license numbers, expiration, and address so you don’t have to do it manually. If you make a mistake like entering an expired license number, the software will suggest the current license number for you. 

Smart Searches offer an ultra-streamlined way to find the information you need by searching for key criteria and saving custom searches to use again. If you’ve ever had to sift through piles of paperwork trying to find one particular record, you know how big of a pain it can be. But with Smart Searches, you can dramatically expedite the process and save yourself a ton of frustration. 

With Smart Lists, you can organize your data so you only see what you actually use. This lets you quickly sort through information with dropdown lists so you can locate what you’re looking for and move on. 

Besides that, there’s Integrated EZ Check which lets you verify an FFL number quickly, securely, and accurately. This makes staying compliant a breeze and can shave a significant amount of time off your day. 

To ensure you’re processing transactions correctly according to the latest ATF rulings, FFL bound book software offers compliance warnings. FastBound, for instance, continuously tracks changes and lets you know whenever there’s a potential issue so you can correct it right away. And if you need to perform an audit and reference a particular transaction, you can follow a simple audit trail to find it in a hurry. 

The Primary Benefits

There are five main advantages to using FFL bound book software as opposed to a traditional paper-based bound book. 

First, going this route makes it much easier to stay compliant. The combination of this technology being consistently updated as rules and regulations change and the built-in compliance features allows you to run your business with maximum peace of mind. Also, note that FastBound is backed by a guaranteed legal defense. So even in a worst-case scenario, you know someone has your back. 

Second, using an electronic bound book is far more efficient than doing things the “old school” way. In the past, handling A&Ds and 4473s was notoriously time-consuming and often got in the way of regular business operations. This, in turn, was detrimental to customer service and a hindrance to growth. But because of the time-saving features we talked about earlier, you can swiftly move through transactions without it taking any more time out of your day than it should. Besides that, it also frees up manpower so you and other team members can devote more time to customers, answer their questions, and help them find the right products. 

Third, you can access records any time you need from wherever you’re at as long as you’ve got a web browser and Internet connection. That means you’re no longer tethered to a single physical location and can access information while at home or on the road. 

Fourth, FFL bound book software records are stored electronically in the cloud with multiple layers of protection to ensure your information stays secure at all times. This is always preferable to simply storing information in cardboard boxes, which can be misplaced, stolen, or damaged. Note that platforms like FastBound also keep records on file for a minimum of 20 years which meets ATF record-keeping requirements. 

Finally, backups are automated. This means your records will always be available without having to manually back them up yourself as you would in the past with a non-cloud-based solution. That way you can focus on your business, not backups. 

Using FFL Bound Book Software in Your Business

Technology has created a ton of possibilities in the firearms selling industry. Rather than processing records the old-fashioned way (which was time-consuming with a high potential for error) this solution allows you to do it quickly and efficiently while staying compliant. If you’ve been considering making the shift, now is the perfect time to do so.

Want to try out FFL bound book software for free with no obligation? Get your free 14-day FastBound trial with no credit card required.

January 24, 2022

Check Out FastBound at 2022 SHOT Show

See our post about SHOT Show 2023

We’re excited to announce FastBound will be participating in the 2022 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show that will take place from January 18 – 21. The event is so big it will be happening at two different venues — the Venetian Expo Center and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. Although the event was unfortunately canceled in 2021 due to COVID, it’s back and better than ever. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 SHOT Show and how to find FastBound there. 

Event Overview

This is the nation’s largest professional event in the firearms, hunting, and outdoors industry. It’s called “the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

It happens once a year in Las Vegas. And this year, 2022, marks the 43rd annual SHOT Show. As we just mentioned, it didn’t take place in 2021. Fortunately, it’s officially back in 2022 and is shaping up to be an amazing event. 

It’s a time when brands can interact with their customers face-to-face, share industry knowledge, check out the latest innovations, and just have a good time with like-minded professionals. There’s also a must-see new product center that features cutting-edge technology. If you’re interested in seeing the most recent firearms innovations, this is definitely an event you don’t want to miss. 

Here’s a list of the different product and service categories you’ll find at 2022 SHOT Show, along with the number of new exhibitors. 

2022 SHOT Show

In total, there will be over 2,500 exhibitors this year! Here’s a supplier directory, along with what the layout looks like. 

2022 SHOT Show

Note that because 2022 SHOT Show will be taking place at two convention centers — Caesars Forum and the Venetian Expo — there will be a shortcut for convenient access to both.

Event Details 

Here’s a breakdown of the schedule:

  • Tuesday, January 18 – The Supplier Showcase and SHOT Show Exhibit Halls, SHOT University, and the Law Enforcement Education Program
  • Wednesday, January 19 – The Supplier Showcase and SHOT Show Exhibit Halls, Export Training Sessions, SHOT University, and the Law Enforcement Education Program
  • Thursday, January 20 – SHOT Show Exhibit Halls, SHOT University, and the Law Enforcement Education Program
  • Friday, January 21 – SHOT Show Exhibit Halls

As for the Exhibit Hall hours, they are as follows. 

From Tuesday, January 18 – Thursday, January 20:

  • The Venetian Expo will be open from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • LE Ballrooms at the Venetian Expo will be open from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Caesars Forum will be open from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

On Friday, January 21:

  • The Venetian Expo will be open from 8:30 am – 4 pm
  • LE Ballrooms at the Venetian Expo will be open from 8:00 am – 4 pm
  • Caesars Forum will be open from 8:30 am – 4 pm

Note there will be some additional events prior, including the NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic on Sunday, January 16, and a Supplier Showcase and LEEP Meet-Up Networking Event on Monday, January 17. You can find a full outline of the schedule along with answers to FAQs here

Finding FastBound at 2022 SHOT Show

This year, we’ll be located at multiple booths. You can find us at:

11255 on SHOT Level 2

2022 SHOT Show

70309 on SHOT Level 2

2022 SHOT Show

70639 on SHOT Level 2

2022 SHOT Show

VL133 on SHOT Level 1 (Main Lobby, bottom of the escalator)

70639 on SHOT Level 2

You can find more information and easy navigation to our booths in the SHOT Show Planner

Be Sure to Stop By! 

We’re passionate about what we do and love being able to provide our customers with cutting-edge FFL software to ensure ATF compliance while making their lives easier. We also value the relationships we have with our customers. With SHOT Show back in full force in 2022, it’s the perfect time to stop by, learn about FastBound, and have a chat. 

So if you plan on attending this event, be sure to visit one of our booths and say hello. We would love to meet you! 

Health and Safety Precautions 

Given the current situation with COVID, many people understandably have concerns regarding health and safety during the event. And this is something the National Firearm Industry Trade Association (the organizers of the event) have addressed on the website. 

In terms of COVID vaccination records, no proof is required to attend. However, “in accordance with current Nevada state requirements, as of December 1, 2021, face masks will be required at both the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum. The SHOT Show has procured face masks for all individuals attending the show in case you arrive without one.”

They also note that they’re taking every measure possible to keep attendees and exhibitors safe during the event, including:

  • Installing hand sanitizing stations at key locations throughout the area
  • Thoroughly cleaning high-traffic areas such as doorways, elevators, and escalators
  • Collaborating with the Venetian Expo, Venetian Resort, and Caesars Entertainment in their advancements to be among the first in the nation to pursue certification for safety measures aimed at outbreak prevention through actions such as sanitizing the facility nightly.
  • Asking attendees to frequently wash their hands and practice social distancing when possible

The bottom line: there’s a strong emphasis on keeping everyone safe during 2022 SHOT Show. And you can find full details on health and safety precautions here.

Registering for the Event 

Getting registered is easy. You can do it online here and find other helpful information like registration costs, attendee FAQs, how to become an NSSF member, and more. For quick reference, here’s a table that breaks down the costs of attending this year’s event.

70639 on SHOT Level 2

Other Details to Know

There are a few last things to address before we wrap up. One question many people have is, “Can you bring personal firearms or ammunition to the event?” The answer is no.

NO personal firearms or ammunition is allowed. Only firearms on display by exhibitors whose firing pins have been removed (and have been inspected by SHOT Show Safety Advisors) will be permitted on the show floor.”

In terms of age limits, no one under the age of 16 (including infants) can be admitted, and daycare is not provided. So this should be kept in mind if you were planning on bringing any children along. 

Also, due to being located on the Las Vegas Strip, parking is extremely limited. Therefore, the organizers suggest using the shuttle bus from partner hotels, the monorail, UBER, or LYFT. 

We Hope to See You There!

Having 2021 SHOT Show canceled was disappointing. But we’re very excited that it’s back in 2022 and can’t wait to meet other professionals in the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industries, and of course our customers! Again, if you’re planning on attending this event, please stop by one of the FastBound booths. We’d love to get to know you.

Want to learn more about FastBound FFL software and see how it can help you run your firearms business more efficiently while ensuring ATF compliance? Check FastBound’s full list of features.

January 17, 2022

FFL Compliance Slowing You Down? How BoundBooks Software Can Simplify the Process and Ensure Compliance

Firearms selling is one of the most compliance-centric industries on the planet. To keep your business above board and firearms out of the wrong hands, you need to be diligent about FFL compliance and ensure you’re following proper protocol that aligns with current rules and regulations. 

But this is often easier said than done, and many gun sellers struggle with efficiency and experience frustration trying to stay compliant. There is, however, an innovative technology that can help greatly with the process — BoundBooks software. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most frequently cited violations and discuss how this solution can dramatically boost your efficiency while ensuring FFL compliance. 

Common Violations 

In a recent post, we went over the 10 most common ATF violations in the 2020 fiscal year. Since we already covered it, we won’t go into details, but here’s a table that breaks it down nicely. 

FFL compliance

As you can see, most of the violations involve failing to properly fill out and record A&D records and 4473s. In other words, most firearms dealers get in trouble for not correctly keeping sufficient records of transactions. Although the majority of ATF compliance inspections (56.2%) don’t result in a penalty, 22.1% do. Regardless of the outcome, it’s not a situation you want to find yourself in. 

This brings us to our next point. 

How BoundBooks Software Simplifies the Process

If you’re unfamiliar, BoundBooks software allows you to create unlimited bound books for consignment, transfers, gunsmithing, NFA, pawn, or anything else you need. With it, you can turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant 4473 with digital signature support and electronic storage to quickly fill out forms digitally without the need for traditional paperwork. This software streamlines the process in a few different ways. 

First, platforms like FastBound have an autocomplete feature that will fill out license numbers, expiration dates, and addresses. And if you accidentally enter an expired number, it will suggest the current one. That way you can swiftly move through forms without having to perform redundant data entry like in the past. Also, because everything is digital, you don’t have to strain your eyes looking at poor handwriting struggling to figure out what something says. 

Next, BoundBooks software automates NICS and state background checks. Rather than spending a block of time doing this manually, you can conveniently conduct a background check and verify the buyer doesn’t have a criminal record or anything else that would disqualify them from making a purchase. This works in both non-point-of-contact (POC) states as well as full POC states and partial POC states. Even if you’re in a phone-in state like Nevada, BoundBooks software will help streamline your background checks, which can save a ton of time. 

There’s an integrated EZ Check that integrates with the ATF FFL EZ Check database. This allows you to quickly and securely verify an FFL number to ensure it’s accurate with ease. 

There are also automated backups of your Bound books. As you’re probably aware, “federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to maintain records of gun sales for at least 20 years, including information about the firearm(s) being purchased, as well as the purchaser.” But if you’re doing this the “old school” way of storing paper records in cardboard boxes, it can be incredibly inefficient and difficult to track down information when you need it. Also, critical documents are susceptible to damage, theft, or misplacement. Not to mention you can only access them from one physical location. 

But with automated backups, everything is stored safely on file in the cloud where it can be accessed on any desktop, tablet, or smartphone with an internet or data connection. That way there are no worries about keeping records on file and you have a straightforward audit trail. 

FFL compliance

Finally, software like FastBound makes it super simple to search through your database. Smart searches, for instance, allow you to narrow it down by specific criteria, and dropdown lists let you organize data so you only see the information you use the most. 

How BoundBooks Software Ensures FFL Compliance 

As for compliance, this technology makes this aspect of firearms selling a breeze. These platforms are continuously updated based on ever-changing federal and state regulations. If you’ve been a firearms seller for any length of time, you know the industry has a lot of changes. It’s not always easy staying on top of everything. But with BoundBooks software, you can rest assured that your A&Ds and 4473s are fully compliant based on the latest ATF rulings. 

FastBound will even warn you about potential compliance violations so you can instantly identify any problem areas and promptly address them. So rather than meticulously looking over a form and trying to spot issues manually, you can move through the process quicker and know for sure if you’re missing information or if something isn’t filled out correctly. 

One of the standout features of FastBound that you won’t find with any other software is our guaranteed legal defense. If for any reason there’s an issue involving a compliance inspection or violation, you’ll get attorney-backed legal defense for total peace of mind. 

Streamline the Buyer Experience: An Example 

Here’s a common scenario. A customer found the firearm they’re looking for and is ready to make a purchase. To make the transaction and ensure everything is done legally, you need to take care of the A&D and 4473, perform a background check, and so on. But let’s say you also have several other customers in your store, with some wanting to make a purchase and others having questions. 

If you’re meticulously moving through the paperwork to meet compliance requirements the old way without BoundBooks software, it’s probably going to be sluggish. While you’re attending to the customer who’s checking out, you’re unable to give other customers the attention they deserve, which creates friction. In some cases, this may even result in lost sales if customers get so frustrated they walk out. 

By using FastBound, however, you can streamline the process dramatically. You can conveniently fill out what you need and gather the necessary information from the buyer. You can use the autocomplete features to avoid repetitive data entry. And because everything is done digitally, you don’t have to deal with formatting issues and hard-to-read handwriting. You can also seamlessly perform a background check to ensure the buyer is eligible to purchase a firearm. All the while, the software ensures you’re entering the right information and everything is done correctly based on current ATF guidelines. 

The end result is you’re able to efficiently complete the transaction and move on to the next sale while avoiding unnecessary stress and keeping customers happy. 

Final Thoughts: Expediting Sales While Staying FFL Compliant 

As a gun seller, you need to stay compliant without it creating chokepoints in the sales process. And that’s not easy! Doing things the traditional way with paperwork and storing documents in cardboard boxes is filled with inefficiencies that can create compliance issues and diminish the customer experience. 

But with BoundBooks software, you can keep sales 100% legal while eliminating inefficiencies and speeding up the process significantly. That way you can keep operations flowing smoothly and grow your business while always having peace of mind. 

Want to learn more about FastBound’s full range of features? Get the details here.

January 10, 2022

How to Automate NICS Data Entry for POC States with the FastBound Browser Extension

As a gun seller, you know how important it is to contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before the transfer of a firearm. Failing to comply carries serious consequences, and you want to ensure you’re always 100% above board. That said, NICS data entry can be tedious for gun store owners in point of contact (POC) states and slow down daily operations. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the details of the POC process and how the FastBound Browser Extension can automate it to make NICS data entry far more efficient. 

A Quick Overview

First, let’s discuss why this is such a critical part of selling firearms. 

“On November 30, 1998, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) was signed into law,” explains the Nevada State Police. Under the Act, FFLs must contact the NICS prior to the transfer of a firearm to an unlicensed individual in order to receive information on whether the individual is disqualified by federal or state law from possessing a firearm. FFLs will contact the NICS via either a POC established within their respective state or through the NICS Operation Center at the FBI depending upon whether the state is a POC for the NICS. The POC Firearms Program staff will proceed with the sale or delay it pending further investigation.”

As of mid-2021, there were 13 full POC states including:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Utah 
  • Virginia

And there were six partial POC states including:

  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina

Here’s what that looks like on a map. 

FastBound Browser Extension

So, if you’re selling firearms out of one of the POC states, full or partial, you’re required to contact the NICS through a POC. This ensures transactions are legal and firearms don’t wind up in the wrong hands. 

A Time-Consuming Process

Although filling out a firearm transfer application is fairly straightforward, it can still be time-consuming. This is problematic for larger firearms dealers selling at volume, completing the process multiple times per day. Not only is it an administrative burden where you get bogged down in paperwork, it can potentially hurt the customer experience. 

Say, for example, you’ve got a line of customers in your store that have questions and need to be served. However, you’re wrapped up with one customer filling out a firearm transfer application, trying to ensure you gather all the necessary information and put it through correctly to a POC. This can quickly create friction if customers are left waiting for an extended period of time. It can even harm your reputation if this happens consistently because enraged customers may feel inclined to leave negative comments about your business online. 

That’s why you need an effective means of streamlining NICS data entry and contacting your state’s POC Firearms Program so that you’re fully compliant but without it disrupting normal operations. In the past, gun sellers had to do data entry the old-fashioned way with manual entry. But fortunately, there’s a new technology that can accelerate this process dramatically while still ensuring full compliance.

How the FastBound Browser Extension Can Help

The FastBound Browser Extension is an innovative solution for automating NICS data entry for POC states — full and partial. 

FastBound Browser Extension

Rather than going through the painstaking process of manually entering information by hand, FastBound automatically fills out license numbers, expiration dates, addresses, and more, allowing you to quickly move through the process with ease. It will even suggest the current license number if you put in an expired one by accident. If there’s an issue, you’ll receive a compliance warning for prohibited users, incorrect entries, and more. This makes entering details into state portals far more simple, streamlined, and most importantly, compliant. 

Laws and regulations are always changing. It can be a struggle for dealers to stay up-to-date. One of the main advantages of using the FastBound Browser Extension is that it’s continually updated with the most current laws and regulations in all 50 states. So besides being able to swiftly move through the NICS data entry process, you know you’re in full compliance regardless of what the latest regulatory changes may be. The end result is dramatically quicker data entry for gun sellers in POC states, which means you can save time on every sale and move on to the next one. If paperwork is getting in the way of running your business and providing great customer service, this tool can be a tremendous help.  

Additional Benefits

Besides streamlining data entry, there are other advantages of using this tool. 

First, FastBound makes searching for information much easier. Say, for example, you need to quickly find the record of a particular transaction. Rather than having to sift through piles of forms in cardboard boxes, there’s a Smart Search feature that allows you to search by specific criteria so you can find what you need in a hurry. And with Smart Lists, you can organize your data so that you see the information you use most frequently.

Next, FastBound is completely cloud-based, which is a highly effective way to store transaction records these days. That means you can access records 24/7 without being tethered to a single location. With automated backups, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of continually saving your records. Instead, everything you need is at your fingertips so you can focus wholeheartedly on running your business. 

Finally, FastBound is the only company in the industry that’s backed by guaranteed legal defense. So if there’s ever a problem when using our product, you have peace of mind that we’ve got your back. Given that the ATF performed over 5,800 firearm compliance inspections in 2020 fiscal year, this is a great feature to have. 

How to Install the FastBound Browser Extension

Getting set up is simple. You can find the FastBound Browser Extension in the Google Chrome store here

Once you’re there, just click the “Add to Chrome” button.

FastBound Browser Extension

Then, click the “Add Extension” button that pops up.

FastBound Browser Extension

You’ll then see this message letting you know that the FastBound Browser Extension has been successfully added to Chrome. 

FastBound Browser Extension

That’s it! You’re all set and can start using this powerful tool to automate NICS data entry in your POC state. If you run into any trouble, you can find full installation details here, along with troubleshooting tips. 

Streamlining Data Entry with the FastBound Browser Extension

Contacting NICS through a POC within your state prior to the transfer of a firearm is a mandatory part of the gun selling process. And it’s crucial for ensuring public safety. But as many dealers will agree, entering the details into state portals can be meticulous and time-consuming. Even worse, it can hinder your ability to run your business and serve other customers. 

But with innovative tools like the FastBound Browser Extension, you can automate this process to dramatically streamline data entry so you can move on to the next sale. The end result is less frustration on your end and a better overall customer experience. 

You can learn more about this tool along with the other range of features it offers here.

January 3, 2022

FFL POS Integration: How to Dramatically Streamline A&Ds and 4473s

As you’re probably well aware, maintaining acquisitions and dispositions (A&D) records and properly filling out 4473s are essential for ATF compliance. According to the ATF’s 2020 compliance fact sheet, not doing these things correctly was one of the most common reasons for violations that year. 

But let’s be honest. This is often easier said than done. It’s difficult for firearms sellers of all sizes to be fully compliant at all times — even small-scale collectors. It can be tricky for large-scale dealers who make hundreds or even thousands of transactions each month. Besides the issue of compliance, lacking a streamlined system for handling A&Ds and 4473s can create bottlenecks during check-out that can hurt the customer experience.

Here’s how FFL POS integration can make this process more efficient, while simultaneously ensuring compliance and creating a better overall customer experience. 

What is FFL POS Integration?

Simply put, it’s an electronic A&D and 4473 software specifically for FFLs that integrates with your point-of-sale (POS) system. Its main purpose is to simplify and streamline firearms transactions while ensuring complete ATF compliance. Rather than having to handle transactions and compliance paperwork separately, you can knock them both out in one fell swoop. 

FFL POS integration

How Does it Work?

After choosing an FFL software, you simply sync it with your existing POS system. Note that platforms like FastBound are compatible with most POS systems. Even if it’s not, FastBound has an expansive Application Programming Interface (API) that can be added to your current software application. 

Whenever you acquire a new firearm, the item will automatically flow into your inventory with an FFL POS integration. When a firearm is disposed of, the item will automatically be pushed over as a pending sale. That way you spend less time performing redundant manual paperwork and can keep accurate A&D records every step of the way. 

As for 4473s, an FFL POS integration allows you to turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant 4473, offering digital signature support and cloud-based storage. That way both you and the buyer can conveniently fill out your sections of the form, you can run a background check, and promptly move on to the next sale. With this setup, there’s no need to deal with double-entry because FFLs conveniently sync with POS systems, which means you can devote more time to core business operations. 

What Are the Benefits?

There are three key benefits to FFL POS integration. 

First, it ensures you keep accurate A&D records and that 4473s are filled out correctly while eliminating much of the manual hassle of the process. Many firearms sellers love their job and are passionate about it. However, the administrative aspect can be quite burdensome. Given the compliance-heavy nature of this industry, it’s easy to get bogged down in paperwork and administrative tasks. Not only is it time-consuming, it’s stressful when you know your business is on the line. But with FFL POS integration, you can greatly simplify this part of firearms selling, freeing you up to focus on core business operations rather than paperwork. 

Second, it’s a game-changer for improving compliance. Earlier we mentioned that failing to maintain (A&D) records and properly filling out 4473s are some of the top reasons for ATF violations. But to truly understand just how problematic this is for firearms sellers, here’s a table of the most frequently cited violations from 2020.

FFL POS integration

Notice that 27 CFR 478.125(e) “Failure to maintain an accurate/complete/timely A&D record of firearms” is number one overall, and 27 CRF 478.124(c)(1) “Failure to obtain a completed ATF F 4473” is number two. 

Notice how issues involving A&Ds and 4473s pop up multiple other times lower down in the table. With 39,449 criminal investigations initiated in 2020, it’s incredibly important for gun sellers to take compliance seriously.

FFL POS integration ensures the absolute highest level of ATF compliance. These platforms are always up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations and are designed to process thousands of transactions while keeping everything 100% above board. That way you have peace of mind that your business is compliant without having to meticulously double-check everything manually. 

Third, it can create a much better customer experience. Here’s a common scenario. 

You’re at a peak time of busyness during the day where you’ve got a spike of customers in your store. You’ve got customers checking out products who need answers to their questions and you’ve got a growing line of customers who are ready to check out. If you’re using “old school” techniques of handling A&Ds and FFLs through traditional paperwork at the point of sale, it’s going to clog up the line where customers become increasingly impatient. In some cases, this can result in lost sales where customers walk out and even harm your reputation if customers share their bad experiences with others. 

FFL POS integration streamlines the process, prevents long queues, and ensures compliance. This makes for much happier customers where they can move throughout the check out with minimal friction, and you can also tend to others who have questions. 

To recap, FFL POS integration:

  1. Saves you time and reduces paperwork
  2. Keeps your business fully ATF compliant
  3. Provides a better customer experience

What Product Should I Use?

While there are multiple products on the market, hands down one of the best is FastBound. As we noted earlier, it’s a high-quality product that syncs with an ever-growing list of POS systems. So, odds are, it’s compatible with the POS you’re currently using. 

However, if you’re using a system that we don’t already integrate with, FastBound has a robust API that enables you to easily add it to your available software application. This means you won’t have any issues syncing FastBound with your POS system, and you can get it up and running with ease. 

One of the main reasons why firearms sellers prefer FastBound over other products is because it offers guaranteed compliance and an attorney-backed legal defense. Currently, no one else on the market offers this, and having built-in access to a legal expert gives you peace of mind that you’re covered even in a worst-case scenario.  

Besides that, FastBound offers an array of other great features including the following:

  • FFL autocomplete to automatically fill out license numbers, addresses, and expiration dates to expedite form filling
  • Multi-state background check to automate NICS and makes it simple to sell in multiple states (this includes phone-in states like Nevada)
  • Integrated EZ Check to verify an FFL number quickly, accurately, and securely
  • Compliance warnings to proactively alert you about potential compliance violations 
  • Smart search to quickly and efficiently locate the information you’re looking for 
  • Automated backups so you don’t have to worry about retaining records (they can be kept on file for at least 20 years, as is mandated)
  • High-level digital security so you know your firearms records information is fully protected

Making Your POS System Smooth and Compliant

The point of sale has historically been a source of friction for many firearms sellers. Without a streamlined system, it can lead to bottlenecks which creates stress for business owners and annoyances for customers. Using an FFL POS integration, however, can make the point of sale far more efficient while simultaneously providing the highest possible level of compliance.

When you choose a reputable provider like FastBound, you also get guaranteed legal defense. You can learn more and get the full details here.

December 20, 2021

11 Features to Look for in FFL Software

As a firearms seller, you have a lot on your plate. Besides the nuts and bolts of running your business, you have to remain compliant with ATF rules and regulations, keep accurate records of transactions, and stay on top of administrative tasks — all while trying to remain organized.

And this can be a Herculean effort, especially when you’re selling at volume, handling hundreds or even thousands of firearms transactions each month. Fortunately, there have been some major advances in FFL software in recent years, and there are a wide array of features that can help you run your business more efficiently. 

Here are 11 specific features of FFL software that are complete game changers that you should look for when considering a platform. 

1. A Secure, Cloud-based Infrastructure

First off, you only want to use a product that’s fully cloud-based and that comes with high-level security. As you’re probably well aware, gun sellers are required by law to maintain records for at least 20 years. Using a cloud-based infrastructure makes it easy to keep records on file for an extended period of time and allows you to conveniently access your database 24/7 on any desktop, tablet, or smartphone with internet access. 

Note that all updates will automatically be initiated (something we’ll discuss in more detail later) so you don’t have to worry about it like you would with a traditional hard drive that requires manual updates. This, in turn, frees up more of your time and makes your database location independent. 

2. Electronic FFL Bound Books

If you’re used to managing traditional bound books to maintain A&D records, you know how painstaking it can be. As the ATF states, bound books “must follow the format prescribed in the regulations and the pages must be numbered consecutively.” Using physical bound books like was done in the past can be meticulous and time-consuming, and records being lost or misplaced is always a concern. 

Electronic FFL bound books, however, allow you to conveniently process transactions and store them digitally for easy reference. Ideally, an FFL software will have the option of creating unlimited bound books for transfers, consignment, pawn, or whatever you want. This makes it incredibly simple to store and retrieve records and can free up a ton of store space. 

3. Electronic 4473

According to the ATF 2020 fact sheet, some of the most common reasons for violations had to do with either not completing Form 4473 or not filling it out correctly. 

FFL software

And it’s understandable. There’s a lot of room for error on this form, and there’s plenty that can go wrong when storing traditional paper documents in cardboard boxes. But choosing FFL software with electronic 4473 means you can transform any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a fully compliant 4473 without any special hardware requirements. 

You can use it to capture digital signatures and store everything electronically so you don’t have to sift through mountains of documents. Besides that, it saves money on printing because you don’t have to continually buy paper and printer cartridges, which can add up in a hurry. 

4. Automated Backups

Like we touched on earlier, storing forms digitally tends to be the best move for most of today’s businesses. But there’s a caveat. You only want to use a system that offers automated backups.

Otherwise, it can quickly become laborious (and mentally draining) if you have to remember to manually perform backups on your own. Automating the process helps you stay compliant and allows you to focus on more pressing matters like growing your business. 

5. Autocomplete

I think we can all agree that filling out info like addresses, licenses, numbers, expirations, and so on can be a little exhausting. This is especially true for larger firearms sellers who record a huge number of transactions. That’s why autocomplete is such a nice feature in FFL software. It will automatically fill out key information and will even offer suggestions if, for example, you enter an expired license number.

6. Streamlined Background Checks

Given how essential background checks are to firearms selling, you definitely want an FFL platform that automates the process and keeps you compliant. FastBound, for example, automates NICS and many state background checks, making your life much easier, while providing peace of mind that it’s done correctly. Even if you live in a phone-in state like Nevada, you’re covered. 

7. EZ Check Integration

Another helpful feature to have in FFL software is integration with the ATF FFL EZ Check database. As you probably know, this tool lets you enter an FFL number to quickly verify that it’s valid and makes the process quick, secure, and accurate. Choosing a software that offers EZ Check integration saves you a step and lets you conveniently check the ATF’s database without having to jump from platform to platform.

8. Built-in Compliance Warning

In 2020, the ATF performed 5,827 firearm compliance inspections. Of those inspections:

  • 22.1% resulted in a report of violations
  • 13.8% resulted in a warning letter
  • 5.3% resulted in a warning conference
  • 1.6% resulted in a seller’s license being suspended or going out of business

Here are the full details. 

FFL software

Although the majority of inspections (56.2%) didn’t result in any violations, it’s certainly not a situation you want to find yourself in. That’s why you want an FFL software that warns you about potential violations right away. This can spare you from unnecessary headaches and keeps you above board with compliance.

9. User-Friendly Search

If you’ve ever had to search through an extensive database, you know how big of a pain it can be without an efficient search function. It can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, many of today’s FFL products include user-friendly search so you can zip through your database with no problem. 

FastBound’s smart searches, for instance, allow you to quickly find a 4473 based on criteria like:

  • Name
  • Address
  • License 
  • Serial number

You can also save custom searches to customize the process exactly the way you need it.

10. Audit Trail

Say you’re concerned that you forgot to log something in your database and need to see a list of changes. Or, say you’ve recently hired some new team members so you can focus on core business operations and need to make sure they’re inputting information correctly. With an audit trail, you can easily see who did what to your books for a complete bird’s-eye view. 

If anything was input incorrectly or something seems suspicious, you can trace it back to the source to ensure you’re always compliant. 

11. Guaranteed Legal Defense

Let us wrap up our list by saying being backed by legal defense isn’t a common feature offered by most FFL platforms. In fact, FastBound is currently the only one on the market that offers it. That said, it’s an incredibly important feature because it guarantees that an FFL law firm has your back in the event you ever need it. 

As we mentioned earlier, the ATF performed their fair share of inspections in 2020, averaging over six a day across the US. And while staying on top of your bound books and being organized should keep you on the right side of the ATF, it’s nice to know there’s guaranteed legal defense in place just in case. 

Choosing the Perfect FFL Software for Your Business

Today’s firearms sellers have it much easier than those in the past because of the robust technology that’s now available. In particular, FFL software streamlines what have historically been tedious tasks and leverages cloud-based storage to maintain a highly organized database. While there are countless features that can be helpful, the 11 we’ve mentioned here should be top priority and should help you run your business at a high level.

November 22, 2021

FastBound Partners with 4473 Cloud to Offer the Most Efficient 4473 Storage Solutions

As a gun seller, you’re probably well aware of how important it is to keep an accurate record of ATF Form 4473. 

After all, some of the most frequently cited violations involve failing to properly complete and maintain a record of 4473s. But let’s be honest. This is often easier said than done, and it can be a real headache for gun sellers.

Getting everything filled out accurately, both on your end and your customer’s, and saving the information can be burdensome, especially when you’re doing it at scale. If this is an area you’ve ever struggled with, you’ll be excited to hear about FastBound’s new partnership with 4473 Cloud to provide the most efficient 4473 storage solutions yet. 

What is 4473 Cloud?

4473 Cloud is the firearm industry’s leading ATF-approved, attorney-backed compliant, digital storage solution.” And their goal is simple. To give all FFLs the ability to digitally store 4473s in the Cloud, while simplifying operations and saving time and money. They cater to businesses of all sizes — everyone from small-scale collectors and independent gun shops to pawnbrokers and nationwide chains. 

4473 storage

This platform offers convenient, secure cloud storage for 4473s that’s fully compliant with the ATF and offers an attorney-backed compliance guarantee. It’s highly flexible and comes with a variety of pricing options that tailor to the needs of each individual gun seller. Whether you need to complete less than 100 forms a year or thousands, you can find a plan that can grow along with your business. 

In terms of company background, 4473 Cloud was developed by Silencer Shop, a company known for streamlining NFA paperwork for both dealers and customers. Chairman and CEO Dave Matheny — and Vice President of Business Development and Sales Travis Glover have over 40 years of combined experience in the firearms industry and are continually looking for new ways to make operations easier and more innovative for gun sellers. That’s why they branched out to developing this software. 

Partnership Details

The partnership between FastBound and Cloud 4473 began back in July 2021. Travis Glover said “We’re excited to be partnering with FastBound to provide the most efficient 4473 storage solutions. Together, FastBound and 4473 Cloud bring FFLs the benefit of a fully digital compliance solution that is both ATF-approved and FFLGuard ASP certified.” 

Since then 4473 Cloud has become fully integrated with FastBound, and a seamless digital storage solution is now available to gun sellers nationwide. “With the integration to 4473 Cloud, our clients will now have a truly digital experience that is backed by the same 100% compliance guarantee. This will save FastBound customers real money on printing costs and on-site storage,” writes Jamison Collins, VP of Sales at FastBound. 

The purpose of forming this strategic partnership is to provide our customers with an ultra-efficient solution to securely storing 4473s in the Cloud. FastBound provides the electronic form and 4473 Cloud allows them to conveniently store it and have access during audits to simplify the process. Rather than having to deal with mounds of paperwork, which is costly, prone to inaccuracies, and easy to misplace, this solution makes it simple to organize and store these forms in a secure digital storage vault. This means no more messy paperwork and piles of documents stored in boxes. 

Besides the overall quality and user-friendliness of the 4473 Cloud platform, one of the reasons we decided to partner with them is because they’re ATF approved, and through using Fastbound, offer the same compliance guarantee through FFL Guard.

And that’s incredibly important given there were 5,827 firearms compliance inspections and 39,449 criminal investigations involving firearms cases initiated in 2020. We know when our customers’ compliance is on the line, they want a company they know has their back if there’s ever an issue, and 4473 Cloud offers that peace of mind.

4473 Cloud Features

For starters, there’s 4473 Easy Search, which makes it super simple to search through your database. There are a few different ways to look through your 4473s, including by name, address, TSN, or serial number. If you’ve ever spent too much time sifting through paper documents, you’ll really be able to appreciate this feature. This can literally shave hours off your week so you can spend less time searching for documents and more time on what’s really important — running your business. 

Next, this platform offers maximum security in a Tamper Evident file format. In a world where digital security is of the utmost importance, especially in an industry like firearms, this is the most secure digital format available today and is far more secure than storing paper 4473s in cardboard boxes.  

And as we mentioned earlier, 4473 Cloud is fully compliant and automatically retains documents to ensure they meet Federal Regulations and surpass the ATF’s minimum requirements. This means there’s no wondering if your 4473s meet compliance standards. With this software, you know for sure they do. 

4473 Cloud also provides you with 24/7 access to your documents from any device. Because it’s cloud-based and uses a digital infrastructure, your 4473s are always available regardless of your location. With paper documents, on the other hand, you’re stuck retrieving them from a single brick-and-mortar location. So there’s far more convenience with this efficient 4473 storage solution. 

Finally, this software comes with built-in analytics for a comprehensive overview of key information, including:

  • Active employees
  • Total number of users
  • Number of active users 
  • Total number of documents
  • Flagged documents
4473 storage

That way you always have a birds-eye view of what’s happening, with the data presented with easy-to-read visuals. 

Key Benefits of 4473 Cloud

We’ve touched on the advantages of the partnership between FastBound and 4473 Cloud, but let’s wrap up by highlighting the key benefits you’ll want to know as a gun seller. 

First, you get a highly efficient 4473 storage solution that dramatically streamlines the overall process. Forms are easy to upload, and by securely storing documents in a digital environment, you free up time and operational space. Rather than having to manually search through heaps of documents, you can conveniently find exactly what’s needed. This makes audits as quick and painless as possible. 

Second, you increase both your compliance and security. Instead of handling 4473s the old way, where forms are subject to human error, misplacement, damage, and even theft, this software ensures they’re fully compliant, and they’re stored on the firearms industry’s most secure, cloud-based digital vault. As you may know, 4473s, by law, are required to be retained for up to 20 years. And with this platform, all documents are saved for 20 years+ so there are never any worries if there’s ever an issue in the future.  

Besides that, Cloud 4473 can help you save significantly on printing costs, where the more firearms you sell, the more you save. If, for instance, you sell 500 guns a month, you would save $62.50, which would total $750 a year. As you can see, the savings can add up in a hurry. 

4473 storage

Getting Efficient 4473 Storage for Your Business

Securely storing 4473s is a vital part of running any gun business. But it can also be tricky and time-consuming. Using traditional paper forms and physical storage are meticulous to sort through and take up a lot of space. The recent partnership between FastBound and 4473 Storage is a breath of fresh air for gun sellers and provides simple, user-friendly digital storage, while also offering attorney-backed compliance for maximum peace of mind.

November 11, 2021

FFL Software Reviews & Feedback

FFL Software Reviews are a great way to help you decide which FFL Software is right for your business, but what about your feedback and ideas after making your selection?

While many software companies prioritize product ideas and feedback by customer revenue, this all too often creates an imbalance in product features, meaning that customers who spend more are in control of the product. In contrast, customers who spend less have little or no say. It’s rare to find FFL Software Reviews that discuss how an FFL software company handles feedback and ideas after the sale. In many cases, it may take months or even years before you have an idea worth sharing or that you feel passionate enough about to write up.

Since 2010, FastBound has focused on customer service, customer support, and customer feedback. FFLs that review our software prove our commitment in this area. Early on, we used UserVoice to collect and prioritize ideas from our customers. The first few years of feature development in FastBound were driven solely by feedback provided through UserVoice.

A few thousand customers ago, we tried capturing feedback manually (how hard could it be), but as we have grown, we realized that manual capture and prioritization don’t scale very well. It’s not the most efficient way to meet our long-standing commitment to continuous improvement.

So, we are re-introducing UserVoice to collect and prioritize ideas from our customers. From within FastBound, click the person icon in the top right and click Feedback.

Once you’re there,

  • Choose a relevant category for your idea
  • Check to see if other FFLs have submitted a similar idea before creating one–it’s also entertaining reviewing software ideas from other FFLs and the number of votes different ideas have gathered.
  • Whenever possible, you should always upvote existing ideas instead of creating multiple similar requests, as having two very similar ideas will split the votes.
  • Try to be clear with your suggestion, provide examples and solutions to the problem you are posing.

Note: Suggestions and ideas are viewable by anyone with a FastBound account, so please do not use UserVoice as a support forum. Do not share account information or personal information in your ideas or comments.

If you need help, please check out our help portal. If you still need help, you can call, email, or chat with us right inside FastBound.

November 9, 2021

FastBound Announces New Partnership with 4473 Cloud

Folsom, CA – FastBound is excited to announce a new partnership with 4473 Cloud.

4473 Cloud is the firearms industry-leading, ATF-approved digital storage solution. Their mission is to make digitally stored 4473s available to all FFLs with an approved variance. Whether you’re an independent shop or a nationwide chain, they have the plan for you. With flexible storage options based on FFL volume, 4473 Cloud is scalable to grow as your FFL business grows.

“We’re excited to be partnering with FastBound to provide the most efficient 4473 storage solutions,” said Travis Glover. “Together, FastBound and 4473 Cloud services bring FFLs the benefit of a fully digital ATF-approved compliance solution.”

“Since 2010, FastBound has managed almost a billion firearms transactions with its leading Electronic A&D and Electronic 4473 for thousands of FFLs,” said Jamison Collins. “With the integration to 4473 Cloud, we will be able to provide our customers the ability to digitally store the 4473 with approved variance and a more efficient compliant process.”

Silencer Shop, who is best known for streamlining the NFA paperwork completion and submission process for dealers and customers alike, developed 4473 Cloud to add to their suite of services. Dave Matheny, CEO, and Travis Glover, VP of sales and business development, have more than 40 years of combined experience in the firearms industry. Both Matheny and Glover are dedicated to providing the most innovative, secure, and user-friendly digital storage solutions nationwide.

Some of 4473 Cloud’s convenient features include full digital onboarding and tamper evident tracking of changes to any 4473s, which provides the most secure format available on the market for digital storage. 4473 Cloud also provides the ability to complete ATF trace requests in a matter of seconds. Users are able to quickly access any uploaded 4473 by using the name, address, TSN, or serial number search fields.

Included in 4473 Cloud’s services are inherent money and space savings. For example, a dealer completing 5,000 Form 4473s per year will save up to $780.00 on printing costs, storage solutions, and protection of their paperwork which, as required by law, must be kept for up to 20 years. FFLs will also benefit from their operational space being freed up from this digital storage solution.

With 4473 Cloud, FFLs save time, space, and money all while increasing their compliance, security, and efficiency.

Find the perfect plan for your business with 4473 Cloud. Get started with a free plan today. There are no setup fees, no contracts, and no penalties for cancellation.

July 13, 2021

FastBound Wins a 2021 Leader Award in Compliance Software

FastBound is honored to be recognized as a best-in-class category leader by SourceForge, the world’s largest software reviews and comparison engine.

July 13, 2021–FastBound, today announced that it has been awarded a Summer 2021 Leader Award by SourceForge, the world’s largest software review and comparison website. This award recognizes companies and products with outstanding user reviews that puts them in the top fifth percentile of highly reviewed products on SourceForge.

“I’m very excited to announce the Summer 2021 Top Performers on SourceForge. FastBound has been recognized as a Top Performer this Summer in the Compliance category, and their outstanding user reviews are proof of the top-notch firearms compliance solution they provide to their customers. Congratulations and keep up the good work!” said SourceForge President, Logan Abbott.

To win the Summer 2021 Leader award, each winner had to receive enough high-rated user reviews to place the winning product in the top 5% of favorably reviewed products on SourceForge, which demonstrates the utmost quality that FastBound delivers to customers.

At FastBound, we’re excited to accept the SourceForge Summer 2021 Leader Award. Since 2010, we have worked hard to provide best-in-class software and industry-leading support, and we’re honored to see our users rewarding us with great reviews. We’re truly honored to be valued by our customers and to be recognized by SourceForge.

About FastBound

Since 2010, FastBound FFL Software and Electronic 4473 have processed over a billion transactions for thousands of FFLs with guaranteed ATF compliance. Because ATF doesn’t verify or validate software, FastBound in partnership with FFLGuard, the leading ATF compliance program in the country, pioneered the guaranteed legal defense related to the use of firearms compliance software.

About SourceForge is the world’s largest software comparison directory, serving over 30 million users every month and featuring user reviews, product comparisons, software guides, and more. SourceForge’s mission is to help businesses find the best software to fit their needs and their budget. There are a variety of software tools available to businesses, and there are tools in almost every category and niche, each serving a slightly different purpose.

July 13, 2021

E4473: ATF Form 4473, Online

E4473, also known as ATF Form 4473 Online, or Electronic 4473, means different things.

The ATF has provided a fillable PDF copy of Form 4473 (sometimes referred to as E4473) for years now. But, this is a trap, especially for new FFLs, because the fillable form does nothing to ensure that the form is complete or correct. Yes, the resulting forms are easily readable, but just like the paper form, you may not know how many hundreds of thousands of forms have been filled out incorrectly until your first or next inspection.

Since 2010, FastBound Firearms Compliance software has processed hundreds of millions of firearms transfer transactions for thousands of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). In the same way that our Electronic FFL Bound Books give thousands of FFLs the peace of mind knowing that their Acquisition & Disposition Records are complete, correct, and compliant, our Electronic 4473 is no exception. 

How Do I Know FastBound E4473 Is Compliant?

When the ATF doesn’t verify or validate compliance software, how do you know any software is compliant? Because the person trying to sell it to you say’s it is? Because they say they “have never had a problem?” Because they say “customers have passed countless audits?” It’s never true (ask FFLGuard), but even if it was, that logic is like saying that pointing a muzzle in an unsafe direction is acceptable because you’ve never had a negligent discharge. It’s not acceptable for firearms safety, and it’s not acceptable for firearms compliance, especially when FFLs are under more scrutiny than ever.

FastBound retains firearms attorneys and subject matter experts, like the ones at FFLGuard. During the design and development phase of developing FastBound (100% in the United States), FFLGuard reviews FastBound to ensure our software is correct and compliant before any FFL ever uses it. 

Attorney-Backed Compliance Guarantee

In addition to retaining FFLGuard during design and development, FastBound also retains FFLGuard to manage its Protection Plan Plus program, which provides FastBound customers with a guaranteed legal defense related to the use of FastBound–you won’t find this anywhere else. 

May 9, 2021

NFA Form 4 & NFA Form 5 Updates For 4473

One of our customers had a great idea: on a Pending NFA Form 4 & NFA Form 5 Disposition, if the Contact has a Special Occupational Tax (SOT), EIN Number, SOT Class, or a Business Type set, show them on the pending NFA Disposition and the FastBound NFA Disposition Receipt page after they complete the Pending NFA Form 4 & NFA Form 5 Disposition.

As per usual, we also made several other small enhancements including:

  1. Improved the FastBound Settings screen for configuring Reporting Multiple Firearms Sales
  2. Improved the webhook sent when a 4473 is deleted from the FastBound API.
  3. Added separate GetByExternalId endpoints for Acquisitions, Contacts, Dispositions, and Items.
  4. Updated support for California Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) entry.
  5. Added additional text to the empty screens for Items, Bound Book, and Acquisitions to help new users figure out where to go next.

May 3, 2021 and FastBound launch free integration is very excited to announce that in partnership with FastBound, we have launched a free integration that allows FastBound dealers to accelerate their listing and selling processes through, one of the largest ecommerce sites used by FFL dealers nationwide. Dealers that connect with through FastBound will be able to list firearms, maintain accurate inventory and process sales in just a few clicks. Better yet, this will allow dealers to list as much of their inventory as they wish in a matter of seconds.

Zane Wagner, of Sharp Shooters Safe & Gun in Lubbock, TX had this to say about the partnership: “Integrating FastBound with has completely changed the way we sell online. Guns that were sitting in our store not selling are now online and moving quickly. It takes the guesswork out of what products to upload!”.

“We’re very excited to be working with the FastBound team – what we have built is truly beneficial to any dealer that uses FastBound and wants to grow their online sales channel. Having a wide selection of inventory is key to being successful selling online and in just a few clicks a dealer can list all of the inventory they wish. By cutting down the time it takes to list and maintain accurate inventory, the dealers can focus on shipping orders and managing their retail store front. This will truly be a game changer for dealers with FastBound!” says Jeff Tesch, Director of Business Development

“For years, many of our thousands of customers have been crystal clear about two things: listing firearms online is important to their business, and listing firearms online is time-consuming and painful. We are excited to announce this comprehensive integration with Since 2010, FastBound’s proven track record with delivering firearms compliance solutions, including the leading electronic A&D and electronic 4473 to thousands of FFLs, puts FastBound in a unique position to help FFLs quickly and accurately list firearms online and unlist them when they sell online or in-store. FastBound’s new integration with is, hands down, the quickest and easiest way to sell firearms online.” says Jason Smith, CEO of FastBound.

Starting today, customers can try FastBound 14 days for free at customers already using FastBound can automatically list inventory on by navigating to the Partners page under Settings in their FastBound account and click Configure under

To learn more about and how to sell more firearms online the most Gunbelievably easy way possible, contact us at 888-585-4867 or click to sign up now!

April 8, 2021

Form 4473 Rules & ATF Form 3310.12 March 2021 Revision

This week, we added even more Form 4473 rules and compliance checks to our electronic Form 4473 software to ensure that your buyers fill out their Form 4473s correctly and in a compliant manner!

These newly-added Form 4473 rules mean that FastBound will now ensure that the date entered for “firearm(s) may be transferred on” and the date entered for “Prior to transfer the following response(s) was/were later provided by NICS or the appropriate State agency” do not occur before the entered “date the transferee’s/buyer’s identifying information in Section B was transmitted to NICS or the appropriate State agency” date. These dates not being correct is very commonly overlooked and can result in a violation.

Is it all too simple to overlook a date on a crowded government form, like Form 4473. To help make the seller’s job a little bit easier, FastBound will now indicate that a buyer’s identification has expired by showing a warning when the date entered in Question 29, “Expiration Date,” occurs in the past. Also, another very common source of violations. 

FastBound has also been updated to the latest available March 2021 revision of the Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Certain Rifles (ATF Form 3310.12) form. We also added some additional date range compliance checks to warn sellers about carefully reviewing Multiple Sale Reports to ensure that you are not transmitting unnecessary reports to the ATF.

April 8, 2021

ATF Trace, NFA Form 3, NFA Form 4

ATF Trace, NFA Form 3, NFA Form 4

In this release of FastBound, we’re excited to announce our new ATF Trace Report. Many of our customers have asked for one, so we reached out, collected feedback (thank you to everyone who reviewed and gave us feedback), and have added a quick and easy Trace Report under Inventory in FastBound. We have also updated NFA Form 3 and NFA Form 4 to the latest versions available from ATF.

We have also added a new partners page to showcase our beloved partners. We will eventually have all of our partners proudly listed on this page.

Other Improvements

Here is a list of the other improvements and changes:

  • We upgraded to the latest version of the Topaz Signature Pad software library.
  • FastBound will now only show the MPN/UPC warning message if you have an API key on your account. 
  • We added a link to remove the API key from your account, disabling API access to your FastBound account.
  • We improved the MPN and UPC warning messages during manufacturing.
  • We have added additional compliance checks around the Generate Transferor’s Transaction Serial Number (TTSN) checkbox.
  • Added Transferor’s Transaction Serial Number (TTSN) warning for ATF Form 4473 transactions.
  • Added a new API for setting the External Identifier of many FastBound items in a single request instead of setting one External Identifier per request.
  • We improved the overall consistency of rendering of certain non-standard characters in various tables/screens.
  • We improved the display of the Washington State Background Check page when viewed on devices with smaller screens.
  • We have added the location verified date and time to the inventory.location.verified webhook.
  • We improved FastBound contact merging behavior when there is no country specified in one of the contacts.
  • We added additional compliance checks to various pages throughout FastBound, so you don’t accidentally click the back button or otherwise navigate away from a page, potentially losing your unsaved changes.
  • Added a check to make sure that email addresses in the multiple sale settings contain a valid email domain.

March 24, 2021

The 2021 FFLGuard Symposium & Firearms Industry Thought Leadership Forum For All FFLs

Begins June 2, 2021

Clients-Only Meeting – Educational Seminars – Peer Insights – Breakout Sessions

FFLGuard – known throughout the firearms industry as the gold standard for legal services, compliance solutions, and technology guidance – is proud to present a virtual, multi-day symposium beginning on June 2nd highlighted by its 13th Annual Clients-Only Meeting.  For the first time, FFLGuard will invite EVERY federal firearms licensee (FFL) to its yearly proceedings by adding an unprecedented line-up of “thought leadership” presentations and seminars delivered by firearms industry experts.

Headlined by strategic partnerships with Gearfire and FastBound, this re-imagination of the traditional firearms industry symposium delivers a flexible, schedule-friendly, cost-effective event for FFLGuard clients and non-clients alike.  Any FFL, as well as their entire staff, can attend FFLGuard’s multi-day, virtual symposium to gain unmatched knowledge of firearms law and compliance, input into FFL specific operational challenges, and insights around cutting-edge firearms technology utilized by business leaders in the industry for less than $99 per organization… and at ZERO COST to FFLGuard clients!

With speakers scheduled from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the National Rifle Association (NRA), the American Suppressor Association (ASA), the National Association of Sporting Good Wholesalers (NASGW), and many other firearms organizations, EVERY FFL – whether an FFLGuard client or not – will have the unique opportunity to interact with the experts from these organizations right from the comfort and safety of home, and without interfering with work schedules or personal life.  In addition, an array of firearms business trailblazers across the nation will be available to talk after their sessions as they share their personal playbooks for success.

This year’s event is also powered by support from notable, industry leaders such as EPICORBRINK’SHECKLER & KOCHIWICELERANTLIPSEY’SGUNS.COM and TRIDENT 1.  Best of all, participation in this one-of-a-kind, dynamic learning experience is unquestionably affordable.  This year, there’s no need for any FFL to waste hard-earned dollars at other conferences that are saddled with exorbitant participation fees, additional travel expenses, potential scheduling conflicts, repetitive material, unabashed sales-pitches, and possible public heath risks, all jeopardizing the attendees’ well-being and budget.


Invited symposium speakers include:

  • Leadership of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF)
    • Office of the Director (Acting ATF Director and/or Deputy Director)
    • Alphonso Hughes (Assistant Director, Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS))
    • Tom Chittum (Assistant Director, Field Operations (FO))
    • Megan Bennett (Deputy Assistant Director (Industry Operations), FO)
    • Andy Graham (Deputy Assistant Director, EPS)
    • Marianna Mitchem (Chief, Firearms and Explosives Services Division)
    • Earl Griffith (Chief, Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division)
    • Steve Rosenthal (Chief, National Firearms Act Division)
    • James Vann, Esq. (Associate Chief Counsel, Firearms and Explosives Law Division)
    • Chris Chiafullo (National Coordinating Counsel, FFLGuard) (Chair, Law and Compliance Track)
  • Alexis Tunell (Chief Strategy Officer, Gearfire) (Chair, Technology Track)
  • Hank Yacek (CEO, Point of Impact, LLC and current FFLGuard Subject Matter Expert) (Chair, Business Operations Track)
  • Jim Zammillo (Former Deputy Assistant Director/Industry Ops – ATF and FFLGuard Subject Matter Expert Emeritus)
  • Michael Bouchard (Former Assistant Director – ATF, and current FFLGuard Subject Matter Expert)
  • Rick Vasquez (Former Acting Chief, Firearms Technology Branch – ATF and current FFLGuard Subject Matter Expert)
  • Chuck D. Michel, Esq. (Partner, Michel & Associates)
  • Larry Keane, Esq. (SVP and General Counsel, NSSF)
  • Chris Conte, Esq. (Litigation Counsel, NRA)
  • Stephen Halbrook, Esq. (Noted Attorney and Second Amendment Scholar)
  • John and Chris Renzulli, Esqs. (Partners, Renzulli Law Firm)
  • Scott Allan, Esq. (Senior Associate, Renzulli Law Firm and current FFLGuard HelpDesk Subject Matter Expert)
  • Owen Miller (Director of Outreach, ASA)
  • Kenyon Gleason (President, NASGW)
  • Jason Smith (CEO, FastBound)
  • Jarad Haselton (COO, FastBound)
  • JW Shultz (CEO, GearFire)
  • Chad Seaverns (COO, Gearfire)
  • Sam Kirkland (National Business Development Strategist, EPICOR)
  • Steve Urvan (Outgoing CEO,
  • Jeff Perry (Director of Firearms, Equipment and Regulatory Compliance, Brink’s)
  • Jake Newbold (Former Navy SEAL and CEO/President, Trident1)
  • Jamison Collins (VP of Sales, Trident1)
  • Brandon Maddox (CEO, Dakota Silencer and FFL 1-2-3)
  • Richard Sprague (Owner, Sprague’s Sports in Yuma, AZ)
  • Laurie Aronson (President, Lipsey’s)
  • John Whitehall (CEO, Sandler Training)
  • Jeff Tesch (Director of Business Development,
  • Mark Finnerty (Principal, DL Exports)
  • Ismail Amin, Esq. (Partner, The Amin Law Group)
  • Trent Yager (Principal, Firearms Insurance Agents)
  • Doug VanderWoude (Managing Director, Range Systems)
  • Bob Aronson (Chief Revenue Officer and ERP Specialist, Cre8tive LLC)
  • Joe Chiarello (Principal, Joseph Chiarello & Co. Insurance Agency)
  • Jerry Rivera (Former NYPD Detective 2d Grade – Computer Crimes Division, Current CEO of Trident Blue Investigations)

FFLGuard will conduct its main track virtually on June 2, 2021 with its Welcome, a to-be-announced Keynote Speaker, and various LIVE, interactive meetings with ATF personnel.  It will conclude the day with its annual, attorney-client privileged Clients-Only Meeting for all FFLGuard clients, and simultaneous NSSF-run public service and value-add seminars for non-FFLGuard clients.

On June 3-4, 2021, FFLGuard will showcase over 20 different educational seminars over 3 dedicated tracks: Law and Compliance (hosted by FFLGuard National Coordinating Counsel, Chris Chiafullo), Business Operations (hosted by Point of Impact CEO, Hank Yacek), and Firearms Technology (hosted by Gearfire Chief Strategy Officer, Alexis Tunell).  These offerings will be broadcast live and then available on demand 24/7 for the remainder of the week.  Of course, the initial live broadcast of every seminar will be open for Q&A while underway, with the opportunity for breakout meetings and “fireside chats” to be scheduled between speaker and attendees at the end of each session.

“Our Annual Clients-Only Meeting has always been well-attended for the past decade plus, so surrounding it this year with other talks from experts, as well as educational opportunities, seemed to be a great value-add,” stated Chris Chiafullo, Founder and National Coordinating Counsel of FFLGuard.  “When notables at ATF, NSSF, Gearfire, and elsewhere indicated they’d be interested in participating in our event, it all just fell into place.  We don’t usually open our doors to those outside our clientele, but it seems as though the firearms industry at-large remains hungry to utilize the expertise that we have provided our clients for decades.”  Chiafullo went on to note that “FFLGuard attorneys and experts in the field have long been considered the best-of-the-best to lead the way, and this is simply a reaffirmation of that fact.”

Chiafullo also noted that having the NSSF on board for the 2021 FFLGuard Symposium would act as for the perfect bookend to the NSSF’s “Range & Retail Business Expo” later in the summer, where FFLGuard personnel would be appearing live and in person.  “With the danger that faces the firearms industry and Second Amendment under the current administration, it’s important that those of us who actually know what we are doing – including the NSSF and other notable speakers at our Symposium – be on the same page to assist all FFLs, big and small.  If not, this way of life that we’ve all supported and embraced will be dismantled and destroyed quickly.”

Registration for the 2021 FFLGuard Symposium opens on April 1, 2021 at both and right from the home page on  Schedules and Agenda/Seminar Topics to be released soon after on April 15, 2021.

For more information, visit or call FFLGuard at 888-335-4731.

March 15, 2021

Washington Firearm Transfer Application, Webhooks, and more

Washington Firearm Transfer Application

FastBound now fills out your Washington Firearm Transfer Application (source) using the information entered and contained in FastBound.


Several of our integration partners have been asking for webhooks for some time, and we are excited to now offer support for webhooks in FastBound. 

Webhooks are useful for keeping your integrated software up to date with FastBound in near real-time, with asynchronous events to let your app know when someone commits an acquisition, creates or edits a contact, or changes an item in your FastBound account, for example.

Other Improvements

As always, we like to sneak in as features and improvements for our customers, including:

  • We added beta support for an exciting new integration — watch for an upcoming post on this integration that you won’t want to miss.
  • FastBound now supports moving inventory to a blank inventory location.
  • We removed the item location column from the item details and item search results to make more room for relevant columns.
  • We added a new button to make it faster to generate the Transferror’s Transaction Serial Number (TTSN) when you are on the Edit 4473 page.
  • Improved the flow and user experience when using FastBound’s manufacturing module for manufacturing items from existing items in your inventory.
  • Improved the flow and user experience when you use FastBound’s manufacturing module to manufacture new items from scratch.
  • We have added additional compliance checks around the 4473 question 30, and 4473 question 31 re-sign and re-certification.
  • Improved the performance of generating a new Multiple Sale Report.
  • Added additional compliance checks for NFA Form 4 confirmation dialogs in FastBound.
  • Added multiple improvements to the contents and format of the Multiple Sale Report continuation sheet provided by the ATF.
  • Improved FastBound’s NFA Form 4 process by completing even more of the fields that appear on the registrant and CLEO copies.

February 25, 2021

FastBound Announces Partnership With Gearfire

Folsom, CA – December 15, 2020 – FastBound is pleased to announce a new partnership with Gearfire. Since 2012, Gearfire has been the leading eCommerce provider to the shooting and outdoor sports industry, offering customers up to $1 billion in available inventory that they never have to stock.

Creating an online store costs thousands of dollars in website development. Eliminate the guesswork with Gearfire. Their team will quickly guide you through the steps to start selling online, even if you don’t currently have a website. On average, retailers who use Gearfire see a 65% increase in their online sales.

Join the thousands of shooting sports retailers who trust Gearfire to take their sales to the web. All you need is your FFL and at least one account with any of our partnering distributors.

Key Features That Set Gearfire Apart

  • No Dev Skills Required – Instantly turn your website into a 24/7 selling machine. Already have a great site? Gearfire can still add an eCommerce engine to it.
  • Streaming Inventory – Offer your customers all available products from up to 11 partnering distributors, and keep your terms and pricing with them. How easy is that?
  • Responsive Design – Your Gearfire website can be browsed from a desktop computer or mobile device—capture sales at any time, from anywhere with more than 20 website templates.
  • Dedicated Support – From day one, Gearfire’s support team is there to get your website set up fast. Have questions? Contact us anytime, at no charge to you.
  • Sell Your Own Products – The Gearfire eCommerce website platform makes it easy to manually add and sell in-store products, specialty or niche items, collectibles, and more.
  • Set Your Own Prices – Easily set pricing for individual products. Or adjust profit margins by product Department or Category. Adjust prices by gross profit percentage or dollar amount.
  • Exclusive Industry Data – Get an exclusive shooting sports movement report with real-time national data on the top-selling shooting sports products throughout the nation.

Incredible Value – Gearfire eCommerce websites start at just $100 per month. There are no setup fees, no contracts, and no penalties for cancellation.

What are you waiting for? Get started with Gearfire today!

December 15, 2020

New Form 4473 (Revised May 2020)

We’re excited to announce the release of FastBound, which incorporates the new Form 4473 (Revised May 2020) mandated for use by FFLs on November 1, 2020.

Form 4473 Changes For May 2020

We have been working hard on this release for a few months. The new Form 4473 (Revised May 2020) not only drastically changes the form it also drastically changes the workflow associated with the new 4473. Some of the improvements made to just the 4473 include:

  • With the addition of the Non-Binary gender, the multiple sale process needed to be updated as well.
  • The changes in the 4473 process now allow you to attach any existing disposition to a 4473.
  • Prevent the creation of duplicate 4473s.
  • E-signature completion dialog now reflects proceed/denied/etc.
  • Linking Q36 Transfer Date with the Number of Items.
  • Improving the usability of the 4473 pages on phone-sized displays.
  • When items are attached to a pending disposition, we added a convenient link to the pending disposition.
  • Update contact details with 4473 details when assigning a contact to a 4473.

FFL Software Updates Based On Customer Feedback

As per usual, we made a few other updates based on customer feedback, including:

FastBound’s leading FFL Bound Book Firearms Compliance Software includes free upgrades and updates for all plans.

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

October 26, 2020

Software Update: ATF Form 4473, e-signature, Multiple Sale Reports 3310, NFA 5320 Form 3, 4, 5

We are proud to announce another regularly scheduled update of our leading FFL Bound Book Software with a lot of great improvements and additions, including the following:

  • Improved item search performance.
  • Added additional date checks to ATF Form 4473 Q22/Q37.
  • Updated Topaz signature pad library to the latest version.
  • Added support for New Hampshire State Police background checks.
  • Changed State text boxes to dropdowns.
  • Added FFL Expiration to import file format.
  • Refined workflow criteria for creating a pending acquisition on disposition commit.
  • Add Uzbekistan as a country in our country lists.
  • Notify account owner if multiple sale reports delivery to the CLEO fails for any reason.
  • If your cloud storage is full when we attempt to upload your bound book, we will email you and disable your cloud storage, which will cause the “You Need To Download” warning on your dashboard.
  • Added a new API endpoint for adding multiple items to an existing acquisition in a single API request.
  • Improved 4473 e-signature complete dialog to reflect Proceed/Denied/etc.
  • Improved the 4473 edit-display contact flow.
  • Improved the printed version of the cycle count report.

We have also updated the following ATF forms:

  • Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers (ATF Form 3310.4)
  • Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/Loss Report (ATF Form 3310.11)
  • Form 3 – Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearm and Registration to Special Occupational Taxpayer (National Firearms Act) (ATF Form 5320.3)
  • Form 4 – Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.4)
  • Form 5 – Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.5)

FastBound’s leading FFL Bound Book Firearms Compliance Software includes free upgrades and updates for all plans.

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

September 30, 2020

Acquisition and Disposition Date Range, And Type Updates To API

We are proud to announce another regularly scheduled update of FastBound, the leading Acquisition & Disposition Record Software, since 2010. We Added API parameters for acquisition and disposition date range and added acquisition and disposition type and contact identifiers to the response.

Firearm Acquisition Date

  • acquiredOnOrAfter is a new, optional query parameter that you can use to query by acquisition date, for firearms acquired on or after the date and time specified in the account’s time zone. Passing a search parameter will disable the acquiredOnOrAfter parameter.
  • acquiredOnOrBefore is a new, optional query parameter that you can use to query by acquisition date, for firearms acquired on or before the date and time specified in the account’s time zone. Passing a search parameter will disable the acquiredOnOrBefore parameter.

Firearm Disposition Date

  • disposedOnOrAfter is a new, optional query parameter that you can use to query for items disposed on or after the date and time specified in the account’s time zone. Passing a search parameter will disable the disposedOnOrAfter parameter.
  • disposedOnOrBefore is a new, optional query parameter that you can use to query for items disposed on or before the date and time specified in the account’s time zone. Passing a search parameter will disable the disposedOnOrBefore parameter.

Firearm Item Records

We also added more fields to the item search endpoint API’s response to reduce the number of API calls needed for many users. These new fields include:

  • Acquisition Type tells you the type of acquisition, also known as the bound book type in FastBound. 
  • Acquisition Date is the date and time the firearm was logged in to your electronic A&D record.
  • Acquisition Contact Identifier is the FastBound internal identifier for the acquisition contact.
  • Disposition Type is the type of disposition.
  • Disposition Date is the date and time the firearm was logged out of your Electronic A&D record.
  • Disposition Contact Identifier is the FastBound internal identifier for the disposition contact.

FastBound’s leading FFL Bound Book Firearms Compliance Software includes free upgrades and updates for all plans.

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

August 20, 2020

API, 4473, and e-Signature Improvements

FastBound will now suggest non-expired FFL numbers when you enter an expired one.

We made several minor improvements to Theft/Loss dispositions, electronic FFL transfer logic, transferee contact cautions, and Q19 rules on Form 4473.

Our API now provides additional search capabilities and an endpoint for merging duplicate A&D contacts. 

We added a SmartLists API for accessing acquisition and disposition types, manufacturers, caliber, conditions, country of manufacture, importers, item types, and more.

We have added additional APIs for deleting dispositions, and associated items, by External Identifier.

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

July 9, 2020

COVID-19 Gun Sales & Challenges

COVID-19 gun sales in the month of April alone are up 36.8% compared to January of this year. While this boost in sales is undoubtedly welcomed, most jurisdictions have implemented varying degrees of restrictions on business operations, which creates an entirely unique set of challenges.

Since 2010, FastBound Firearms Compliance Software has provided thousands of FFLs including manufacturers, retailers, distributors, importers, and pawnbrokers with guaranteed compliance with the latest ATF rulings, and a guaranteed, attorney-backed legal defense from the ATF legal experts at FFLGuard.

We recently received a great testimonial from a customer of ours that we want to share:

I would like to say that I have absolutely nothing but high praise for your software.

Due to the whole COVID-19 issue, we had to transition to curbside pickup. Running paper in and out to customers would have been absolutely impossible. FastBound streamlined the process and made what would have been a nightmare an honest cakewalk.

You have a customer for life!

If you’re not familiar with FastBound, our integrated electronic 4473 software solution presents a QR code for printing and display, typically in your store or event (like a gun show). Pointing a smartphone at the FastBound QR code allows the buyer to complete and sign ATF Form 4473 right on their mobile device without even downloading an app.

If you are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19 and your gun sales are now happening curbside, then you can show your buyers the QR code, and let them scan it with their smartphone so that they can fill out and sign their 4473 in the comfort of their own vehicle.

Our loyal customers never cease to amaze us with their ingenuity, whether it’s mechanical engineering, manufacturing, logistics, or creative solutions to changes in our industry, the market, and maybe even the world.

May 1, 2020

Form 4473 Mistakes & Eliminating The Common Ones

We made several updates to the Bound Book and Electronic 4473 areas of FastBound with a focus on Eliminating Common 4473 Mistakes. We are proud to announce another regularly scheduled update of FastBound, the leading Acquisition & Disposition Software, since 2010. 

Bound Book Software Updates

  • Firearms that are Destroyed or Reported as Theft/Loss on ATF Form 3310.11 can now be searched for more easily from the item search page.
  • We improved the validation of the Transferor Transaction Serial Number (TTSN) generator format found under the Dispose tab of your Account Settings.
  • We improve the validation of the Item Number generator format found under the Acquire tab of Account Settings.
  • We improved support for Utah BCI Instant Web Gun Check System.
  • We improved support for California DROS Entry System (DES).
  • We improved the content of error messages returned by the API related to External Identifier conflicts.
  • Added Cuba and Afghanistan to the Country Code list.

Eliminating Common 4473 Mistakes

  • We have improved the performance of generating ATF Form 4473.
  • We made several improvements to the background check button on a pending 4473.
  • Added a check for when a buyer is completing the 4473 who might misread County as Country and enter “US” or “USA,” which is a prevalent mistake.
  • We improved the logic for enabling and disabling Print and Terminate buttons for an electronically signed 4473.
  • We have added a ton of additional date checks for ATF Form 4473.
  • Added support for Topaz Electronic Signature Pads.
  • Improved question number and the question overlap when viewing the buyer 4473 on specific screen sizes.
  • Bypassed the print warnings if Question 20 or Questions 21 have been checked.

FastBound’s leading FFL Bound Book Firearms Compliance Software includes free upgrades and updates for all plans. Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

What are the 3 Most Common Form 4473 Mistakes?

1. Questions 10(a) and 10(b). These questions pertaining to ethnicity and race were added back in 2012 and requires answering both parts correctly. The wording can be a bit confusing as 10(a) asks whether you are Hispanic/Latino. 10(b) expands on this by asking you to clarify further with various racial identity options.

Correctly answering these questions is simply a matter of paying close attention to what is being asked and then checking both of the correct boxes.

2. Question 11(a) asks the question if you are whether or not you are the person receiving or taking possession of the firearm. Some confusion can arise if you are purchasing a firearm as a gift for someone else. You might think that since the firearm is going to end up with whoever you give it to, you are not the person receiving/taking the firearm. Therefore, you should check “No.” This is where the trouble starts.

Here’s what the ATF has to say about it:

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).

In simple terms, if you are buying a firearm through legitimate methods, even as a gift for someone else, you are the actual buyer/transferee and should check “Yes.”

3. Finally, we have Question 11(e), which refers to the use of illegal drugs. In the United States, it is illegal for a person using illicit drugs to own a firearm. Where the confusion starts is that some states have legalized marijuana use, recreationally and medically. However, on a federal level, marijuana is still illegal. The ATF has clarified that even if you are in a state that has legalized marijuana, drug use will disqualify you from owning or buying a firearm. While there is no drug test when purchasing a firearm, it should be noted that lying on a 4473 form is a felony offense.

April 28, 2020

New APIs and changes for 4473s, acquisitions & dispositions, and items!

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

  • Added a Dispositions API to return only 4473 dispositions
  • Add External ID parameter to Get All Items API
  • Add additional filters to the Get All items API
  • API: return created Dispositions in the 201 response body
  • API: return created Acquisitions in the 201 response body
  • Return MPN and UPC on the Get All Items API response
  • Add API to set just the external ID on items

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

February 7, 2020

2019 SHOT Show – Booth 3003

Celerant — the premium Retail POS Software for gun stores, shooting ranges, and e-commerce serving the firearms industry for over a decade — recently partnered with FFL Law Experts FFLGuard and us to provide dealers with peace of mind by offering integrated, secure and most importantly, guaranteed ATF compliance solutions.

Celerant has invited FastBound and FFLGuard to their booth #3003 to answer questions about this partnership, and the seamless integration between Celerant, FastBound, and FFLGuard.

Celerant, FastBound, and FFLGuard are also sponsoring SHOT University this year. If you are attending, please stop by our tables in the main hall between sessions.

January 15, 2019

Improved ATF Form 3310 Multiple Firearms Sales Reporting

Back in 2010, FastBound was the first electronic A&D system to automate the filling of ATF forms 3310, and now FastBound is pleased to announce the release of the most compliant Report of Multiple Sales system available.

We worked with the ATF and FFL law and subject matter experts at FFLGuard to create the best Report of Multiple Sale system available to date which automates the electronic transmission of Report of Multiple Sales to the ATF with compliant delivery confirmation tracking.

This release also includes 35 other minor changes and improvements.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

January 14, 2019

ATF 4473, TTSN, NICS proceed, integrated A&D POS ERP improvements

Current customers can take advantage of these great new features immediately.

  • Third-party software can now automatically sign you into FastBound.
  • Streamlined the trial experience for new customers.
  • Improved 4473 TTSN preview and item number preview in settings.
  • Improved “you have unsaved changes” warnings on pending acquisitions and dispositions.
  • Improved 4473 proceed process transfer date to disposition process.
  • Fixed an issue where some account invites sent in mixed case couldn’t be accepted.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

September 6, 2018

ATF E-Form 4473 (5300.9) has fields where text can become cut off

The October 2016 revision of ATF E-Form 4473 (5300.9) has fields where text can become cut off. You can’t simply limit the length of the text because the 4473 uses a monospaced font. In other words, you can fit way more “i”s than you can “W”s. Because this can result in a violation from an overzealous IOI, FastBound now makes sure the text you entered won’t be cut off.

Current customers can take advantage of this great feature immediately.

New customers can try FastBound, the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

August 8, 2018

A&D Bound Book 11×17, Virgina Background Check, API Improvements

Current FastBound customers can immediately take advantage of these great new features and improvements.

New customers can try FastBound, the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books) for free (no credit card required), or schedule a live demo at your convenience.

July 5, 2018

ATF Compliant Undelete, Save to Dropbox, API Improvements, Florida Background Check

FastBound is proud to announce another release of FastBound — the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

In addition to the improvements listed below, we also made thirteen internal, performance, back-end or non-user-facing fixes or improvements.

  • Undelete Items
  • “Save to Dropbox” button
  • Add ability to link to pictures in API
  • Improve Florida Background Check
  • Commit acquisition now supports many, many more items
  • Force users to enter note when undisposing item
  • Item Import now handle .CSV files with a UTF-8 BOM
  • UPC Barcodes do not print on labels

May 2, 2018

Firearm Import & Multiple Serial Improvements, ATF Audit Trails

FastBound — the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance is proud to announce the release of the following features and improvements.

  • Show Serial Number when Adding a Note to an Item
  • Add Column Showing If an Item is Disposed to the Anomalies
  • Create Audit Trails on a Contact when Licensing Information is Added, Removed, or Modified
  • Set item number during acquisition
  • Add Fields to Import. Cost, Price, MPN, UPC, Condition, Barrel Length, Overall Length.
  • Multiple Serial Search should warn when the same serial was entered twice
  • On the Multiple Serial Search review page add a back link button
  • Keep All Open Items, Unverified, and No Location at the top of the Cycle Count table no matter the sort. Update the default sort

April 4, 2018

FFL Trade Name, A&D Search For Contacts, 4473 Transferors Transaction Serial Number (TTSN)

FastBound is proud to release the following updates to the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

  • Add Setting to change what items show by default in the items list
  • Show trade name on Contacts shared view
  • Add link to acquisition and disposition contact when viewing an Item
  • Download Cycle Count Items as CSV
  • Add All Open Items to Cycle Count
  • Hide Change Plan Links if not Account Owner
  • Change Disposition Contact
  • TTSN should be generated when proceeding with a 4473
  • Remove the Picking up gun for another person from the buyer view 4473, Do not require Q11A, Clear Q11a

March 21, 2018

Firearm Serial Number Range Improvements

The team here at FastBound is proud to announce another release of FastBound — the best FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

  • Improved firearm serial number ranges
  • Show [Add New] at the top of smart lists as well as the bottom
  • Updated FastBound help links to quick tips

February 20, 2018

5 Ways Software Can Improve Your Firearms Business

Software is an essential component of any modern business. It can be used to improve the efficiency and ATF compliance of your firearm’s business.

Having an FFL and a storefront isn’t enough to drive profit. You should constantly be working on your own business. That means gathering resources, improving processes, and building systems that make work easier so you can spend more time selling.

These days, it’s smart business to use software anywhere you can.There’s no reason to waste your time or energy doing something that can be automated with a computer.

There’s no reason to waste your time or energy that can be automated with a computer.

Further, your problems are largely similar to other firearms businesses. You all have the same regulations to obey (with some variance by state). You also have similar accounting, payroll, billing, and marketing needs.

This means you don’t require custom-made software solutions. In most cases, you can greatly improve the performance of your business with an off-the-shelf tool. Here are some ways that software makes your business stronger.

1. Staying Compliant

FFLs spend a lot of time worry about their compliance with complex ATF regulations. A mistake here or there is forgivable, but serious omissions or errors are not tolerated. If you’re caught with erroneous documents, your business can face serious consequences.

On top of that, regulations are constantly changing. Who knows what rules you’ll be forced to obey next month? You don’t have time to keep abreast of the government’s fickleness. You’re trying to run a business.

Software Helps You Avoid Compliance Issues in the First Place

Software makes it easy to avoid compliance issues. The best bound book software uses a task-based workflow. This process prompts you for information in a logical order. You can’t move forward without providing an answer to the question.

Further, the software will catch simple errors that would normally invalidate your data. For example, if your serial number is one digit short, the software will alert you of the error. On paper, it would be the investigator who found the mistake and you would have to accept the violation.

Recent changes to ATF regulations have made bound book software more accessible to FFLs. The ATF Rul. 2016-1 now permits FFLs to use cloud-based technology and leased servers for bound book software and ATF Rul. 2016-2 permits electronic submissions of Forms 4473 with e-signatures.

Software Updates When Regulations Change

Don’t stress yourself about keeping up with the ATF. When regulations change, the software will update accordingly. If a new document or piece of information is required, you’ll be presented with that field going forward. If certain data is no longer necessary, you won’t be prompted for it again. This will enhance your accuracy.

(Important note: The ATF “does not endorse ANY software program or any manufacturer of such a program. Be wary of any firm that says its software is endorsed by ATF.”)

2. Saving Time

Time is money, right? Every minute you spend handling some tedious task is a minute you could spend growing your business.

As you process a sale, you’ll inevitably fill out the same information over and over, like the customer’s name, address, and the firearm’s serial number. Bound book software reduces the amount of time you spend completing paperwork by pre-filling out this redundant data and populating it in the appropriate places.

Not only does this speed up your workflow, but it also improves the customer experience. Even though we can’t avoid the compliance documentation, the customer will feel like you offer a service without the red tape.

If you ever need to recall information, your data is instantly searchable with just a few keystrokes. You’ll never dig through filing cabinets again.

Furthermore, there are software solutions that can minimize or eliminate the amount of work required for other tasks. There’s no reason to expect yourself to be an expert at accounting, payroll, or marketing.

Use software to control your inventory for compliance purposes and business operations. At any time, you should have a perfectly accurate picture of the inventory on premises. Between sales, trade-ins, consignment, gunsmithing, and NFA firearms, you have a lot of categories to track. This will help you manage your ordering and promotions. You’ll know if inventory is being misplaced, lost, or stolen by staff or customers.

If you don’t use an accountant (and I don’t blame you; they are expensive), use accounting tools to manage revenue, expenses, taxes, and payroll. QuickBooks is one of the most popular. Use marketing software to maintain customer lists, email marketing, promotion schedules, an online store, and even your social media accounts.

You should spend your time doing what you do best: selling firearms.

3. Data Security

Staying compliant with ATF regulations means maintaining certain information. You’ll have to provide this information during inspections or in the event law enforcement needs to investigate a crime.

But if you lose your data, you can’t provide it. In the eyes of the ATF, it’s like you never it had it at all. Data security is your responsibility. Similarly, the loss of payroll, tax or accounting data, employment records, or customer records can be costly.

When you work solely with paper, your data is vulnerable. That includes fires, floods, or other extreme weather. Even more likely, however, are coffee spills, ink stains, or torn pages.

Theft is a possibility as well, though I admit it’s unlikely. But it’s not uncommon for you or an employee to misplace paperwork, take it home by mistake, or unknowingly knock it into a trash can.

Whatever software you use should take the security and confidentiality of your information seriously. Your data should be reliably backed up every day so it will never be lost, but it should also be accessible at any time. This is why you need more than a clunky spreadsheet.

Furthermore, a software application locks your data behind a username and password (you can give each employee a login so you can track their work). This prevents prying eyes from snooping. Your customers will be pleased to know that their information stays with you.

4. Responding to an ATF Inspection

Inevitably, the ATF will come to inspect your business. This can happen as often as once a year, but many businesses only see an investigator once every three to five years.

Investigators are people. Their job affords them a moderate amount of discretion. If you create a pleasant experience for the investigator, they’ll be less likely to come down hard on mistakes. If you can manage to not be the cause of their bad day, they may let you slide on an error that typically calls for a harsher penalty. I’m not suggesting that you need to carry their bag and serve snacks, just make their job easy and efficient.

When the investigator arrives, you have no choice but to help them locate any information they need. They have the right to inspect your bound books, inventory, and premises. You’re obligated to show them around and provide any paperwork they need. This can be a time sink that keeps you away from your regular duties and customers.

Bound book software for firearms dealers makes searching for information simple. By entering a name, serial number, or other piece of data, you can quickly pull any record. You can also allow the investigator to browse through your account or give them printed documents. (It’s recommended that you keep a printed version of your bound books on hand for safe-keeping.)

You wouldn’t believe how often crucial data is considered missing because the investigator can’t read the handwriting in forms or in bound books. Since your documents will be printed by a computer, there will be no issues of illegibility.

5. Legal Protection

I’m a bit biased, but I think my company, FastBound, is the best bound book software for gun dealers. The biggest benefit we offer all of our users is legal support.

In the event of a software related ATF violation that results in administrative action, we guarantee a legal defense to fight your case. To provide this, we have partnered with FFLGuard. Their ProtectionPlus PlanTM is a unique service developed by expert firearms attorneys and compliance specialists.

While other software solutions for tasks like accounting, payroll, inventory management, and customer relationships may not offer a guaranteed legal defense, they will help in the event of litigation. You’ll have all the records you need to mount your defense in an easy-to-find location.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you to adopt some software solutions to improve your business. With some new tools, you’ll have more time to help your customers, sell more guns, and make more money

January 20, 2018

5 Consequences of an ATF Audit You’ll Want to Avoid

Inevitably, the ATF will inspect your firearms business for regulation compliance. These are the consequences you may face for any violations.

As a federal firearms licensee, you’re bound to get audited by the ATF at some point. The Gun Control Act permits inspections that are at least twelve months apart, but truthfully, they only happen every few years.

The goal of the audit is more benign than most expect. The job of an ATF Industry Operations Investigator is to ensure that the firearms industry is generally complying with firearms statutes. The process does not have to be antagonistic.

These inspectors are not law enforcement personnel. They may have badges, but they have no authority to serve subpoenas or warrants. They certainly may not confiscate your inventory or records, and they may not place you under arrest. If investigators discover criminal evidence, they only have authority to refer that information to the ATF’s criminal division (the special agents).

The investigators are looking for errors and discrepancies in your paperwork. If the errors are deemed accidental, they won’t harass you too much. If they feel the errors are willful violations, you may end up in hot water.

If the ATF inspectors feel your errors are willful, you may end up in hot water.

The most common mistakes are failure to verify the buyer’s eligibility to own a firearm, inability to account for firearms that were received or disposed, failure to report sales of multiple handguns, failure to document firearms transfers, and failure to properly record transactions to ensure each firearm can be traced. These mistakes are often the result of careless recordkeeping or the use of non-compliant bound book software.

Caption: Most errors are found in your bound book.

The investigator can visit your business anytime during posted hours without prior notice. They will review your records, your inventory, and your place of business. They’ll go through your bound book and check the serial numbers of firearms in your possession.

You are required by law to maintain and submit for inspection the following forms:

Your acquisition and disposition book (your bound book)
Original ATF Forms 4473
Original ATF Forms 5300.35 (Statement of Intent to Obtain a Handgun)
Firearms Transaction Records for each firearm you’ve sold
Your retained copies of ATF Forms 3310.4 (Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers)
If your state requires you to maintain any additional documents, the ATF does not have jurisdiction over these items. They cannot compel you to produce them during an inspection.

The Consequences of an ATF Compliance Violation

The investigator’s goal isn’t to punish you for failing to dot an “I” or neglecting to cross a “T.” He’s there to help you maintain compliance. He’ll provide any instruction or education you may need so you can meet the requirements of the law. They even bring pamphlets!

In most cases, the ATF works with dealers to correct poor practices. They would rather bring a business into compliance than begin administrative proceedings. No one wants to shut down a business.

Nevertheless, the consequences of violating regulations can be serious.

1. Report of Violations

If the ATF inspector finds any violations, he records in them in a document called a Report of Violations. This document is delivered to FFL license holders. It outlines the rules they violated and what the store can do to correct them.

For minor infractions, this is the end of the process. For example, if you forget to write down the buyers’ gender or zip code, the ATF won’t hassle you much.

Keep in mind, however, that you aren’t off the hook. The ATF saves this paperwork and consults it on their next visit. (Granted, their next inspections could be several years away.) If they find a violation that you’ve made repeatedly in the past, they may move to a more serious consequence.

2. Warning Letter

A warning letter is similar to the Report of Violations, but it’s considered a formal response from the ATF. Here, you’ll be notified of your specific violations and cautioned to improve your business practices. They’ll also spell out the penalties of further mistakes.

Think of this consequence like the warning you would receive from a police officer on the road. You aren’t penalized in any way. It’s simply a formal reminder that someone has spoken to you about your practices before. If similar violations are found in the future, you won’t get the benefit of a warning letter.

3. Warning Conference

A warning conference is a formal meeting at an ATF location. You would appear before representatives from the ATF who would explain the seriousness of your violations, the specific regulations you violated, and the consequences of continuing your poor practices.

At the conference, the ATF would ask you to supply some actionable steps to prevent further mistakes and steps to measure the effectiveness of your plan.

It’s best to appear with something on paper that shows you’ve carefully considered the issue. It can be as simple as a checklist you vow to hang in your store or wherever you perform transactions. The ATF will keep a copy of your plan and hold you accountable to it if your next inspection turns up similar violations.

If you fail to provide a strategy to improve or the ATF feels your strategy won’t be effective, they’ll offer some coaching and education to help you avoid future violations.

4. Fines and Suspensions

There’s a misconception that the ATF can impose monetary fines or suspend a firearms dealer’s FFL for any violation. Since 2004, they’ve lost much of this authority.

Today, the ATF can only fine a seller or suspend the seller’s FFL in a single, specific circumstance: If the seller fails to conduct a NICS background check, and only if the check would have discovered that the buyer was prohibited from owning a firearm. (The buyer being prohibited isn’t enough to meet the standard of the fine or suspension; the background check would have had to undoubtedly discover it.)

5. License Revocation or Renewal Denial

An overwhelming majority of firearms dealers strive to comply with regulations, but occasionally the ATF encounters a dealer who continually fails to cooperate with the Gun Control Act.

If the ATF feels the seller isn’t committed to improving their business practices, they can deny a seller’s license renewal or revoke the license outright. This only happens after the seller has collected severe or repeated violations.

It takes a while to get to this point, but once the investigator submits a renewal denial or revocation recommendation, the process is quick.

If the Area Supervisor (who manages the local inspectors) approves the recommendation, it will fall on the desk of the Director of Industry Operations. This is the executive who oversees the ATF’s dealings with business owners.

The DIO will consult with the Division Counsel (the ATF’s attorneys) and decide whether to issue an Initial Notice of Revocation. The notice gives the seller 15 days to appeal and request a hearing. (Make sure to check your mail often as this is a tight window.) At this point, the seller needs legal support.

Hearings are held in the field (at your place of business, home, or a mutually agreed upon location). Hearing Officers (inspectors with specialty training) conduct these proceedings. The Hearing Officer will examine facts and listen to testimony from the FFL and the ATF. Afterwards, they’ll send their findings back to the DIO.

The DIO can allow the seller keep their license or issue a Final Notice of Revocation. If the final notice is issued, the seller has 60 days to appeal to the U.S. District Court. If the seller is willing to fight it in court, a federal judge will hear the case.

(In order to continue selling firearms during the judicial process, the seller has to petition the ATF. If the ATF says no, the seller can request permission from the court.)

If the seller loses in the district court, he would follow the normal judicial flow: First an appeal to the Court of Appeals, then an application to appeal before the United States Supreme Court.

I don’t mean to sound bleak, but the ATF has a 95% success rate in the District Court and a 100% success rate in the Court of Appeals. It’s best to avoid ever going that far with your case.

Avoiding the Consequences

Naturally, the smartest way to avoid any of these consequences (and keep your FFL) is to diligently maintain your records. You can prevent all of the above problems by ensuring that there are no violations for investigators to discover.

Check out our bound book software, which helps you eliminate errors and stay compliant.

January 14, 2018

The ATF’s Requirements for Electronic A&D Books

Now that the ATF permits electronic records of A&D books, it’s important to understand the regulatory changes and the new requirements.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires FFLs to keep and maintain acquisition and disposition records throughout course of business. The type of information an FFL needs to keep and the duration for which they need to keep it depends on the type of license. An importer must maintain different information than a standard dealer, for instance.

As a firearms dealer, you are expected to provide information to the ATF and other law enforcement officials in regards to the traceability of the firearms you sell. This means that you are required by law to provide information to police officers and special agents if they need to track the buyer of a gun in a criminal investigation.

Traditionally, dealers like yourself collect this information at the sale in an Acquisitions and Dispositions book (or “bound book” because of their signature spiral binding).

Image credit:

Your Acquisitions and Dispositions (A&D) book is the most important tool you have to stay in compliance with ATF regulations. Every single firearm you take in from manufacturers, vendors, private sales, trades, consignment, and gunsmithing should be recorded in the Acquisitions section. Any firearm you sell or trade should be records in the Dispositions section.

Your Acquisitions and Dispositions (A&D) book is the most important tool you have to stay in…

But like anything that’s kept on paper, this method presents a number of challenges. First, there’s a possibility of theft, loss, or destruction of the book. Unless you photocopy every page, it can’t be backed up. All it takes is a careless employee or leaky roof to ruin your compliance.

Second, simple mistakes are too common. If you failed to record all the digits of a serial number, you wouldn’t know until the ATF investigator pointed it out. Can’t read your handwriting? That’s a problem when law enforcement shows up to track a firearm.

The New Rulings

2016 brought significant changes to the ATF’s regulations. (The National Shooting Sports Foundation breaks them down nicely.) These changes strongly favor small businesses, because it gives FFLs more options in terms of their operations.

If you prefer the pen-and-paper bound book and physical forms, you can continue doing business as you please. Software, however, is undoubtedly the most effective way to modernize your business and improve efficiency.

Before these rulings, some use of electronic recordkeeping was permitted, but FFLs had to request a variance from the ATF’s Director of Industry Operations. These were not simple to obtain. Now FFLs can use electronic systems to ease some of the burden of the ATF’s requirements.

Here are the three rulings that have changed everything for A&D recordkeeping.

1. ATF Ruling 2016-1 Permits Electronic A&D Books

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure to the firearms acquisition and disposition recordkeeping requirements contained in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 478.121, 478.122, 478.123, 478.125(e), 478.125(f), and 27 CFR 479.131. Specifically, ATF authorizes licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors to maintain their firearms acquisition and disposition records electronically instead of in paper format provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met. This ruling supersedes ATF Rul. 2013-5, Requirements to Keep Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Records Electronically.” Read the full ruling.

This was a significant rule change. Essentially, it grants firearms dealers the ability to use contracted or leased servers to store their data, including cloud-based technology. For instance, when you use FastBound, we store your records in a safe, secure, regularly backed up data center. Our FFL customers don’t have to worry about storing their own records because we handle it.

This overrules Ruling 2013-5, which banned the use of cloud-based technology for A&D records. There are a few conditions, however.

  • The A&D records must be readily accessible through a computer/device that is available on the business premises during regular hours.
  • The servers with the records must be located within the United States.
  • The ATF encourages FFLs to ensure there are strong security measures in place.

2. ATF Ruling 2016-2 Permits Electronic Forms 4473

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure from the provisions of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 478.102(d), 478.121, 478.124, and 27 CFR 479.131 that require licensees to complete ATF Form 4473 (5300.9), Firearms Transaction Record, on a hard-copy and entering in the required information by hand. Specifically, ATF authorizes licensees to use an electronic version of Form 4473, instead of the paper format, provided the conditions set forth in this ruling are met. This ruling supersedes ATF Rul. 2008-3, Electronic Version of Form 4473.” Read the full ruling.

The first ruling gave us the ability to store our A&D records electronically, so it makes sense that the ATF would permit the use of electronic Forms 4473 as well. This form is required for every firearm sale, so they can pile up quickly. You can even accept electronic signatures, so you never actually need a paper form on site.

There are 22 requirements in the ruling that you are provided to obey, but they’re similar to the requirements of the ruling this supersedes (ATF Ruling 2008-3) for handling paper forms. You’re likely following them all anyway, but I recommend you read the full ruling to be sure. Our software, FastBound, is compliant already.

3. ATF Ruling 2016-3 Permits the Consolidation of Acquisition and Disposition Records

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes an alternate method or procedure from the firearms acquisition and disposition recordkeeping requirements contained in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 478.123. Specifically, ATF authorizes licensed manufacturers to consolidate their records of manufacture or other acquisition of firearms with their separate firearms disposition records, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met. This ruling supersedes Ruling 2010-8, Consolidation of Records Required for Manufacturers.” Read the full ruling.

Before this ruling, the ATF required licensed manufacturers to keep records of manufacturing or acquisition of firearms separate from their records of dispositions to non-licensees. The new ruling allows for the consolidation of these records, but with a few requirements.

The most notable change relates to changes of firearm characteristics. If a licensed manufacturer makes an alteration to a gun (the mode, type, caliber/gauge, receiver, frame or assembly), they have to log the firearm out of their A&D book as a disposition (transfer) to themselves using their name and license number. This is so law enforcement can easily track a weapon if it was changed at some point.

Ammoland has a great breakdown of the other conditions.

Electronic A&D Bound Books

Using software for your A&D records significantly reduces the likelihood of a mistake. The task-oriented workflow asks for information in a calculated order so you collect everything you need and don’t fill out repetitive information (like the serial number of the firearm or the seller’s name), which saves time.

Just like your spiral bound books, software is required to collect the same information. Whenever there is an acquisition or transfer, you need:

  • The model of the firearm
  • The date you received it
  • The date you transferred it
  • The serial number
  • The manufacturer or importer
  • The number of Form 4473
  • The type of firearm
  • The gauge or caliber
  • The name, company name, address, and FFL number of transferee
  • The dispositions of any lost, destroyed, or stolen firearms

Some FFL’s attempt to make their own system with Excel, but that’s full of problems. Salesforce found that 88% of Excel files have human errors. Who knows if the creator built it properly? Furthermore, an Excel file won’t update when regulations change.

Whatever software you use must format your data according to all regulatory requirements for the required information. For instance, Form 4473 requires the use of “NMN” in the middle initial box if the buyer doesn’t have a middle name. Your electronic software must follow this format as well. It couldn’t just leave the box blank.

Your software must be self contained. If you use electronic records, no part of your process may be on paper. You could not, for example, record your acquisitions electronically and your dispositions manually. All parts of your system must be electronic.

The software must have the capacity to be queried by serial number and date (for fast lookups). It also must have a printing feature so any record can be made physical.

A Word of Warning

The ATF does not certify any electronic solution. Any program or provider that claims to be endorsed by the ATF is misrepresenting themselves. Software can be an invaluable tool to stay compliant, but you should take compliance seriously by understanding the regulations.

Do you prefer to keep manual records or do you use an electronic solution?

January 10, 2018

How to Avoid Common Compliance Mistakes

Failing to comply with ATF regulations can put your FFL in jeopardy. Here are the most common compliance mistakes and how to avoid them.

When you’re running a business, you have enough to worry about. You have overhead, employees and inventory to manage, and, most importantly, customers to serve.

But dealing with ATF regulations creates an additional set of complex problems for FFLs.

Staying compliant with those regulations can mean staying in business. Some violations can even land you in jail (although those infractions don’t usually stem from carelessness).

The range of possible compliance mistakes is broad. On one end of the spectrum, you could neglect a field on a form. On the other, you may sell a gun to a disqualified person. In between are countless potential mistakes.

Often, ensuring compliance is at odds with running your business. When you’re worrying about paying rent, directing your employees, and providing quality service, preparing endless paperwork seems tediously unimportant.

Unfortunately, regulators don’t catch mistakes as they happen. According to the ATF, there were 139,000 FFLs in 2015, but only 8,696 of them were inspected (about half a percent). In fact, the Gun Control Act of 1968 prevents the ATF from inspecting the same dealer more than once a year.

Some firearms dealers mistakenly assume their practices are compliant because they’ve never been audited. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Even though the odds of an inspection are low, the delay between them means a simple mistake you’ve been making for years could compound into large penalties.

6 Common Compliance Mistakes FFLs Make

Here are some of the mistakes you’re likely to make. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the most common.

1. Failing to collect complete information of the purchaser or firearm.

This is the most common mistake dealers make. It’s busy, you’re tired, and you figure you’ll check your receipts later and fill in the missing data. But you never do.

2. Failing to report missing or stolen firearms to the ATF.

This is a serious violation for the seller because it obstructs the ATF’s ability to track and locate firearms. It’s important that you report missing firearms immediately, even if it means halting your normal business for a few minutes while you prepare the forms.

3. Failing to follow NICS procedures.

Examples of this include transferring a firearm to a disqualified person or transferring a firearm before the delay has elapsed.

4. Selling a firearm to a person who is secretly purchasing it for a disqualified person.

The ATF’s “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign teaches you how to spot this.

5. Failing to log sales properly.

Incompletely preparing form 4473 is also an extremely common mistakes dealers make. If you don’t properly complete all the necessary paperwork, you’re leaving yourself open to ATF warnings, citations, renewal problems, suspensions, license revocation, and possibly criminal prosecution.

6. Failing to maintain an organized bound book.

The ATF requires an orderly arrangement of your sales transactions (that bound book you use every day). Having the data isn’t enough. It has to be arranged in manner that lends to easy investigating.

Avoiding Compliance Mistakes

Michael Saechang/Flickr

Like most industries, it’s always easier to stay out of trouble than dig yourself out of trouble. Here are the most effective ways to make sure your business stays compliant (so you keep your FFL).

1. Make your employees part of your compliance process.

In many cases, forms are improperly prepared because of lazy, careless, or busy employees. Failing to check a single box can make a form incompliant. The AFT won’t accept “we were busy that day” as an excuse for invalid forms.

The AFT won’t accept “we were busy that day” as an excuse for invalid forms.

Every employee who works beneath you should take compliance seriously. Make it clear to them how important it is to adhere to ATF regulations, for the sake of the business, their jobs, and your livelihood.

Make sure your employees are properly trained and know how to complete the appropriate paperwork. When regulations change (as they inevitably do), train them on the changes at a time when they can focus on your instructions.

Encourage them to take their time and finish each step before helping the next customer. Most customers understand the obligations that come with selling firearms and won’t be upset about a short wait.

You should periodically review the regulations and your procedures with your employees, even when nothing has changed. Spot check their paperwork from time to time to find errors and keep your staff following the rules.

2. Build a relationship with your ATF agent.

Your local ATF agent is a human who (just like the rest of us) can become an ally or an obstacle. They can overlook minor mistakes, help fix your process, and give insight into the ATF and the industry. Or they can hold you accountable for every missed form or field. You should take great care to make this person your friend.

The most common mistake FFLs make that frustrates their agents is an inconsistent filing process of their forms, especially form 4473. If your agent feels like you are disorganized with your paperwork, they’ll assume that carelessness extends into your sales and information-gathering process.

Organize your forms in a consistent, meaningful way to make inspections easy. The type of process you use doesn’t matter as long as it’s easy to understand and you stick with it. Our compliance software for gun stores ensures organization.

3. Don’t believe everything you hear.

Since there are more than a hundred thousand FFLs in the United States, there’s quite a community. Like all communities, there’s lots of intermingling and sharing of ideas and news. In all that noise, it’s easy for bad information to grow and even become mainstream.

I don’t suggest that other firearms dealers are dishonest, but there’s too much to lose by trusting another seller’s word. He may be your buddy or mentor, but if he tells you to “just ignore that field, they don’t care about it,” or “you can do that form monthly, not at the point-of-sale,” he may be mistaken.

If you’re unsure how to operate or if something doesn’t feel right, the safest course is to investigate the ATF’s resource center, speak with your local ATF agent, or call their main number.

4. Don’t rely on traditional bound record books.

Typical bound books had their place at one time, but they aren’t the best way to maintain information anymore. They come with some pretty undesirable disadvantages.

  • They can be misplaced, stolen, or damaged.
  • Handwriting the information is tedious, takes time, and may be illegible.
  • They can become noncompliant if regulations change.
  • You can’t tell who entered which pieces of information.

A cloud-based A&D software solution is the best way to maintain accurate records and prevent mistakes. The software asks all the right questions and prompts you to enter the correct information, without skipping fields or forms.

The software will also prevent you from filling out incomplete information. For example, if you fail to enter the entire serial number of a firearm in your physical bound book, you would never know at a glance. Software, however, would warn you that you’re missing a digit.

Furthermore, bound book software helps you avoid compliance mistakes by updating when the regulations change. If the ATF decides to ask for an additional piece of information, that question or field will become available in the software’s workflow. This means you don’t have to stay up-to-date on the ATF’s rules and you don’t have to rely on the potentially incorrect information of your industry peers.

Keep in mind that not all A&D software is created equal. There are many bound book software options available, but few of them remain compliant over time. (They may even be non-compliant the day you download them.) If you’ve ever downloaded an Excel template, know that these are even less reliable. Ensuring regular updates was one of our must-haves when we built FastBound.

Going Forward

If you take one thing away from this article, know that taking the ATF’s regulations seriously is the best way to avoid compliance mistakes. If you respect the process, you’ll avoid the penalties.

How do you stay compliant? Let us know in the comments or tweet at us.

January 6, 2018

The ATF Is at Your Door, Now What?

When the ATF knocks at your door it can be quite nerve-wracking. We show you how you can better prepare and make it through.

When the ATF shows up at your door, it’s only natural to get a little nervous. Even if your books are fully compliant you may still feel a little anxious due to the power the ATF can have regarding the future of your business.

Just know, an audit isn’t something to be afraid of.

Especially, if you’ve already done the proper groundwork.

Below we’ll walk you through the audit process, so you know what to expect, and offer a few suggestions if it’s already too late and you don’t have time to prepare for an audit.

What Happens During an Audit?

The audit process will vary depending on if it’s your very first audit, or if you’ve received any infractions in the past. Typically, if you have a clean record the process will run much more smoothly, than if you have a stack of infractions.

Still, the process follows a fairly predictable process, which we highlight below. Knowing what to expect can help to ease any anxieties during your audit.

1. Check Your Bound Books

Your inventory will be checked against your bound books to ensure that they match up. If there are any discrepancies in your inventory and your Acquisition and Disposition logs, then those will be inspected further.

Your books need to have a 100% match with your inventory. This means that every single item in your store must have an open acquisition log. Your disposition records must also match any firearms you’ve sold, or that have been disposed of, or stolen.

2. Review Your 4473 Forms

Next your 4473s will be reviewed. The goal of this is to make sure your records have been kept in a timely manner. These forms are very easy to fill out, but for that reason the process gets rushed and there are unintentional errors.

Your 4473s must be filled out completely and properly and match the information that’s recorded in your bound books.

3. Review your 3310 Forms

Your 3310s are recorded when you’ve sold multiple handguns to a single individual. If you have a large staff then it’s easy for 3310s to not get filled out and filed. To prevent this from happening, it’s helpful to have employees ask customers if they’ve previously purchased any firearms, before completing a purchase.

4. Have a Closing Conference

After all of your documents have been reviewed and checked against your firearms inventory, there will be a closing conference where you’ll be informed of any violations that might have occurred. If you have been cited, it’s important to fix these errors in your inventory and processes as soon as possible.

How Can I Prepare?

The best way to ensure you’re fully prepared for an audit is to ensure your books and processes are always 100% compliant. However, this is easier said than done. Using software like FastBound will help you keep your records accurate and compliant, and having the power of a legal team like FFLGuard behind you will help keep you up with the latest legal standards.

The best way to avoid any negative outcomes from an audit is to have the proper processes in place to ensure you’re following the law before you’re audited. These processes should include routine inventory audits, paperwork audits, process audits, and you should stay current with the ever changing laws and regulations of the firearms industry. The best way to do this is to use software like FastBound for your Acquisition and Disposition records and to have a legal team like FFLGuard in place.

It can always help to have a second set of eyes look at your books before you forget about them. This will help to catch any additional typos you might have overlooked.

Avoiding the Negative Consequences of an Audit

If you’re in the firearms business, then you will get audited at some point. The goal isn’t to never experience an audit, but instead to have everything in order, so an audit doesn’t derail your business.

Getting audited may not negatively affect your business the first time your cited. But repeat offenses can lead to violations or administrative action against your license (warning letters, warning conferences, denied renewals or revocations). All of which may severely damage your business.

If you have been cited following an audit, then do your best to fix any errors as soon as possible. If you haven’t been audited yet, then make sure your books and records are completely compliant and you have processes in place to always double check your records.

If you want a hassle-free way to help you keep your bound books compliant, then give FastBound a try today.

January 4, 2018

Best Practices for Keeping Accurate Records

These recordkeeping best practices will streamline your workflow and prevent inaccurate errors.

As a federal firearms licensee, you have an obligation to track the serial number of every firearm that passes through your business. In the event of criminal activity, law enforcement will trace the serial number of a firearm from the manufacturer, through any vendors, and hopefully to the person who committed the crime. There is no national firearm registry, so without the help of the FFLs, law enforcement would struggle to find suspected criminals.

It’s imperative that you accurately record all of your transactions. The primary purpose of the ATF inspection program is to ensure all FFLs are maintaining accurate records so the data is available for law enforcement.

If your information is inaccurate when law enforcement comes for it, you may inadvertently help a…

Recordkeeping Best Practices

You’re A&D book isn’t a process. It’s just a report. It captures the information that people collect. If the people who operate the business don’t take their recordkeeping seriously, the A&D book (or any recordkeeping tool) won’t be accurate. These best practices will ensure your information is as accurate as possible.

1. Complete your records at the time of the sale.

It’s important to input all of your information while the customer is in front of you. This is the only time you’ll be able to request additional information or clarification from the buyer.

A common mistake that sellers make is not verifying that the information the buyer has entered in Section A of form 4473 matches the information provided by the buyer.

Your goal is to quickly process the customer, so you assume that the information matches and you continue on with the sale. Here are just a few ways that can go wrong:

  • The buyer handwriting is illegible
  • The copies of the buyers documents are illegible
  • The address on the documentation provided by the buyer and what was
    written on the Form 4473 do not match
  • The buyer failed to fully complete the Form 4473

Double check every field, no matter how trivial.

Verifying and double checking all of the buyers information before they leave will improve accuracy and reduce errors.

2. Keep accurate inventory.

When you receive and check in new firearms you should always verify that the information on the packaging matches what is marked on the firearm inside the box. When you receive new firearms you are required to add them to your A&D record no later than the close of the next business day. Part of this information includes the manufacturer, importer, model, caliber, type, and serial number. All of this information should be found on the firearm.

All unsold firearms that you have acquired should be in your possession. All unsold firearms should also be in your A&D records. If a firearm is missing from either you need to figure out what happened immediately. If the firearm turns out to be lost or stolen then it must be reported to the Bureau of ATF National Tracing Center on Form 3310.11. If it turns out a mistake was made you need to fix it immediately as well.

Keep track of where your firearms are. It’s a good idea to implement locations. For example, designate Display Case 1, Display Case 2, Safe 3, Rack, 3, Shelf 2, etc. Use whatever works for your business. You can manually keep track of these locations or you can use software like FastBound to help do this for you.

3. Use a checklist to control your workflow.

Often, the simple, boring solution is the most effective.

Even though you’ve sold hundreds of firearms in the past and your employees are well trained, mistakes an inevitable. You will skip steps, process your records in a different order, or say “I’ll come back to this later.” These deviations from your usual workflow are the points that most likely cause errors.

A checklist isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done. It prevents you or an employee from skipping steps in your process. It’s a simple way to map out the flow of each transaction so each form is completed and every piece of information is included. Once you’ve completed a transaction, a quick read of the checklist will remind you of any areas you skipped, missed, or put off until the end.

Checklists are so powerful, in fact, that nurses at hospitals in Michigan have saved 1,500 lives with just one five-step checklist to treat infections. These were veteran nurses who knew the procedure, but were regularly skipping steps before they had a checklist.

Think about that for a second: no technological improvement or cutting-edge procedure was developed. All they used was a checklist. It would be silly to not use such a powerful tool for your recordkeeping process.

4. Use electronic payments as much as possible.

An excellent way to strengthen your recordkeeping is to collect payments electronically as much as possible. Accept credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers whenever you can.

The intermediary financial institutions will create their own records of each transaction. It’s more difficult for a person to inaccurately represent themselves to a bank than a firearms dealer, so the information found with the electronic payment is likely accurate.

If you have reason to think that the information in your bound book or A&D software is incorrect, you can compare it against the payment record. Of course, you’ll want to confirm any discrepancies with the customer before considering the matter settled.

I am not, however, suggesting that you should turn away sales from anyone who wants to pay in cash. Business is business and you have to take every sale you can get. Electronic payments only serve as a backup in case your other records are incomplete or inaccurate.

5. Spot check your employees.

Photo credit:

Employees are a necessary part of growing a business. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to achieve a higher volume of sales. But employing people who will act on behalf of your federal firearms license comes with its own challenges.

No matter how trustworthy, honest, and hardworking your staff may be, no one will respect your compliance as much as you. If an employee fails to record a key piece of information, you will pay the consequences.

First, everyone should use the same workflow to sell or receive a firearm so the process is simple and questions can be answered by anyone.

Second, regularly monitor your employees as they go through the sales process. Are they asking the right questions? Are they following your checklist? Have they skipped any steps or created any potential errors?

Third, spot check their records occasionally without their knowledge. Go through the bound book and supplementary forms to make sure every piece of data is completed. Make a few comparisons. Does the information match the buyer’s license? Have any questions been answered that should have prohibited a sale? Is there a copy of the background check on file?

Even the best employees make mistakes. Regular checking keeps everyone thorough and honest.

6. Replace your bound books with software

Acquisition and disposition software for gun stores replaces all of your other compliance solutions. With a single piece of software, you can take control of your workflow and ensure that you collect all of the necessary information. This is the single most effective way to keep accurate records.

A&D software offers unlimited bound books, so you can track your inventory, trade-ins, purchases, consignment, gunsmithing, and NFA firearms separately if you choose. It uses a streamlined, task-oriented workflow to prevent mistakes. Those checklists I mentioned earlier won’t be necessary.

The software is always up to date, so you don’t need to stay abreast of regulation changes. No A&D software is approved or certified by the ATF, although many claim to be.

If your paper bound book were to fall into the trash, be mistakenly left with someone, or find itself covered in coffee or ink stains, your records would be lost. Bound book software, however, is backed up every day, so there’s no chance of losing your data.

(It’s worth noting that our A&D software, FastBound, comes with a guaranteed legal defense if the ATF takes administrative action for any violates related to the software.)

Going Forward

Accuracy is key to staying compliant with regulations and off the ATF’s radar. It’s dependent upon the controls you put in place; the process that you and your employees go through each time you make a sale or take in new inventory. Hopefully you’ll use these practices to tighten your process.

December 29, 2017

Import Firearms With Custom Item Numbers

The team here at FastBound is proud to announce another release of FastBound — the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

  • Allow Custom Item Numbers on Import

December 27, 2017

How Can I Simplify My Record Keeping Process?

Use a simplified firearms bound book record keeping process to ensure you complete your records quickly, without sacrificing thoroughness and accuracy.

As a firearms dealer, you have a hundred tasks to complete each day. Like any other retail or wholesale business, you have inventory to count and stock, employees to direct, finances to manage, customers to help, and a store to maintain.

On top of all of that, you have to comply with a bevy of complex government regulations if you want to keep your Federal Firearms License.

Keeping it all together can be tough. Even the owner, who knows the ins and outs of the business, can forget something from time to time. If you fail to sweep the floor before closing, no one cares. If you forget to run to the bank, you can make it tomorrow.

But what happens when you forget something serious? What happens when, for example, you forget to record a serial number of a firearm? Or forget to run a background check? These types of mistakes can cost your business.

Humans aren’t perfect. We forget things, misremember, and occasionally get lazy. Just because we’ve been doing something for a long time, or just because we’ve never been caught, doesn’t mean we won’t make a mistake in the future.

Smart businesses use processes to simplify their work and ensure things get done properly.Processes are the meat of your business; the glue that hold your assets (like employees, equipment, and customers) together.

Processes are the meat of your business; the glue that hold your assets together.

A well-designed process removes the human element. Yes, it’s always good to have loyal, skilled, and competent people. But processes manage the mundane so those types of people can thrive and help grow your business.

A process prevents you from missing steps.

If you reduce a task to a series of steps, they become easier to complete. For example, you could put together a “Closing Process.” This document would guide an employee through everything they need to close your store. It might list steps like “count the firearms,” “lock the cases,” “count the till,” and “turn off the lights.”

You can hold employees accountable to this document by having them initial each step. Not only will the document prompt your employees to address each step, but the act of attaching their name will inspire them to do good work.

A process makes it easier to train employees.

Occasionally you’ll have to hire an employee. Even though employees are necessary, the time, energy, and money spent training them can be burdensome. If detailed processes are developed, documented, and made accessible, new employees can use them as a resource. They’ll train faster, bother you less, and make fewer mistakes.

One of the most important places to develop and employ a process is for your record keeping. As a firearms dealer, the regulations you’re subject to can be arduous and complex. You’ll want a simple, easy-to-follow process that gets you through your record keeping tasks as quick as possible without sacrificing thoroughness.

1. Adopt an electronic record keeping system.

There’s no sense doing work if software can do it for you.

Electronic record keeping helps you complete transactions faster. Instead of tediously recording information by hand, you can use a computer or laptop to quickly type each field. This makes your life easier and improves the customer’s experience.

When you need to recall a piece of information, you won’t have to dig through filing cabinets of old bound books. With a few keystrokes, you can pull up any piece of information you need. This makes ATF inspections a breeze because everything is in one, easy-to-find location. (It will also make a friend of the investigator, which is never a bad thing.) Just make sure you’re using compliant software.

Furthermore, electronic systems boil your record keeping down to a simple, step-by-step workflow. A workflow is how you ensure that pieces of information are never forgotten.

If you were to fill out a form by hand, there’s a chance you could miss a field. Maybe you are in a rush. Maybe your hand was covering the space. Maybe the form is laid out poorly and you just didn’t see it. Electronic workflows, however, prompt you question-by-question and don’t let you proceed unless crucial information is present. (By “crucial,” I mean the things that can land in you in hot water with the ATF.)

2. Back up your records often.

I know what you’re thinking: “That doesn’t simplify my process. That adds an extra step!”

That may be true, but backing up your records will save you from a big headache when you inevitably misplace or ruin them. It will happen at some point. You’ll knock your bound book into the trash, stain it with spilled coffee, or perhaps find yourself the victim of a fire or flood.

The ATF expects you to maintain your own records. Even if you genuinely misplaced or accidentally destroyed them, investigators won’t accept excuses. You’ll be penalized as though you never prepared them.

Create a process for photocopying your records. I recommend doing this at the end of every day. Take copies home with you so they are in a separate location (in case of fire, flood, theft, etc.).

If you’re keeping records electronically, make sure you’re using a system that regularly backs up your data. At a minimum, this should happen once per week, but the best software backs up your information every day. In fact, that’s exactly how FastBound’s system works. We make data security a priority by using the best US servers with diligent protections. This is for your protection.

3. Put everything in one place.

Everything you need to prepare your records should be in a simple place. When you begin filling out paperwork to service a customer, you shouldn’t have to find different forms or make copies. Check each morning to make sure your record keeping station is stocked for the day.

This is another reason it’s best to maintain your records electronically. You’ll never have to scurry around your office or store looking for that obscure form, and you’ll never battle with an out-of-ink printer or an uncooperative photocopier. The simpler, the better.

4. Build a workflow.

If you insist on completing your records manually, you’ll need a process that ensures you fill out the right forms. A workflow is a step-by-step roadmap that takes you through your record keeping from beginning to end.

Ideally, this should be a graphical document that outlines each step of the process. Make it clear and easy to read for everyone. Post your workflow near the place you process transactions.

For example, a typical process begins with Form 4473. While the customer fills out this document, you might ask to see identification and proof that he/she is authorized to purchase a firearm in the state. Then you would begin the background check process through the NICS. Finally, you would begin entering the appropriate information in your acquisitions and disposition bound book.

You’ll have to personalize your workflow. It will likely be similar to other dealers, but there are bound to be some differences.

To meet your business goals, you might try to upsell the customer by offering them additional firearms or ammunition. If you convince the buyer to purchase an additional handgun, for instance, you would need to complete the Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers. Include this on your workflow document.

Furthermore, each state has their own regulations. Some require additional paperwork that you’ll have to organize into your workflow.

(It’s worth noting that this is another problem that’s solved with electronic software: the workflow is built right in.)

5. Outsource whatever you can.

Depending on the size of your business, you may have the option of paying someone else to handle your record keeping. In many cases, this is simpler than spending the time doing it yourself. While you can’t allow someone else to prepare your firearms bound book, you can outsource other tedious record keeping tasks.

Payroll is a common task businesses push on to paid contractors. Managing tax withholding, sick days, vacation time, retirement accounts, and writing paychecks can drain your time; time you can better spend drumming up business and serving customers. You’ll have to determine if the time you save by eliminating these record keeping tasks is worth the expense.

Furthermore, you could outsource your accounting and human resource tasks. Each of these spheres require unique records that can be handled by separate providers. Naturally you would keep copies of any outsourced paperwork on hand, but let the service provider handle the forms and records.

Do it Right the First Time

Remember, the beauty of a process is that you only have to make it once (allowing for the occasional tweak). If you build it well, it will save you time, energy and money forever.

December 22, 2017

The Importance of Keeping Accurate Records (and How to Do So)

Keeping accurate records will help to speed up the eventual inspection process. Learn what you need to do in this post.

As a Federal Firearms Licensee you probably have a lot on your mind. Not only do you have to make sure everything gets taken care of for your business to run on a day-to-day basis, but you also have to plan for the future to ensure you stay in business for the long run.

Unfortunately, things like keeping proper records tend to slip through the cracks. It gets put off until later and sometimes later never comes. If you want to avoid putting your business at risk, then keeping accurate Acquisition and Disposition records is something you need to get right.

No one wants to receive a warning letter, have an audit take longer than it needs too, or have their license revoked. Keeping bound books that are 100% accurate will keep you in compliance with the law and help you pass your inspections.

Below we dive into the importance of keeping accurate records, and the common elements you’ll need to cover.

It’s Much More Complex Than Just a Transaction

The ATF is very clear on what information your bound books must contain and how long you have to record that information before you are in violation.

Your bound books must be consistently maintained to ensure that all of the information in them is accurate and entered in a timely manner. You should review the entries in your bound books and make changes to any mistakes on a regular basis. If you want to minimize the amount of time required to do this, then consider giving FastBound a try today.

It can be helpful to ask yourself the following question on a daily basis: If the ATF showed up today for an inspection, is the information in my bound book current and accurate?

If the answer is no, then you have some work to do.

The Four Main Disposition Types

When a gun changes hands—or has been lost or stolen—your work has just begun. It’s vital to accurately enter the disposition information into your bound books, but the steps you must complete can vary widely depending on the type of transaction.

When a gun changes hands, or has been lost or stolen, your work has just begun.

Below we illuminate the four main types of disposition records you’ll need to maintain and what each one entails.

1. Sale of a Gun to a Non-Licensee

When you sell a gun to a non-licensee, the transaction information must be recorded in your bound book.

You are also required by law to complete a background check (rules on this vary by state so check with your local ATF branch and law enforcement agencies) and to complete an ATF form 4473.

This form must be filled out and signed by the customer and have all of the information on the firearm(s) they are purchasing in this single transaction.

You have 7 days from when the firearm(s) leaves your store to enter the disposition information into your records. The information you’ll need to include in your records for the sale of a gun to a Non-Licensee are as follows:

  • The date of the disposition
  • The name and address of the firearm purchaser
  • The TTSN if one was used

2. Licensee to Licensee

When one licensee transfers to another licensee, the transaction information must be recorded in your bound book. When you engage in these types of transactions, the ATF requires you to exchange valid and signed copies of your FFLs and keep them on file.

When transferring firearms to another licensee it is a good idea to verify that the licensee’s FFL is current and valid using the ATF’s FFLeZCheck system before the transaction is completed.

You have 7 days to enter the accurate disposition information into your records. The information you need to input is highlighted below:

  • The date of the disposition

And either:

  • The name and FFL number of the licensee


  • The name and address of the licensee

3. Theft or Loss

Sometimes unfortunate incidents do occur and some of your inventory might get lost or stolen. When such an event occurs, you’ll need to fill out an ATF form 3310.11 (Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report) and submit it to the ATF. They will respond to you with an Incident Number, and you will need to enter this number into your bound book when disposing of the firearm.

When you receive the incident number from the ATF you must log the information into the dispose fields in your bound book. You will need to enter the following information:

  • The date the firearm was reported as lost/stolen
  • The name field should read Lost/Stolen
  • The address field should list the ATF Issued Incident Number

4. Gunsmithing

The fourth most common type of disposition a licensee will face is returning a firearm to a customer that brought it in to have work done on it.

There are two common scenarios that occur with these types of transactions. The first is when a customer brings the firearm to be worked on and waits for it to be repaired or modified. In this type of transaction there is no need to enter or log anything into or out of your bound book.

The second type is when a customer leaves a firearm to be repaired and will return at a later date/time to pick it up. This type of transaction requires you to log the firearm into your bound book and to log it out when the customer picks it up. There is no need to complete a 4473 when this occurs.

When the second type of transaction occurs the disposition information you include in your records is as follows:

  • The date of the disposition
  • The name and address of the customer

Keeping accurate Acquisition and Disposition records is something you signed up for. By following the steps above you’ll be able to keep your records in check, and be able to speed up the inspection process when it occurs.

If you’re currently overwhelmed by the record keeping process, then we recommend utilizing our ATF 2016-3 compliant software to simplify the process for you. Learn more about our software here.

December 18, 2017

FFL Software Contact License Tracking Improvements

The team here at FastBound is proud to announce another release of FastBound — the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

  • Allow Licensing info to be added without an expiration date


December 18, 2017

FFL Software POS Integration, API Enhancements, Tennessee Background Check, Nevada Background Check, ATF EZ Check Improvements

The team here at FastBound is proud to announce another release of FastBound — the leading FFL Software for firearms acquisition and disposition (A&D Bound Books), firearm compliance.

In addition to the new features and improvements listed below, we also made sixty-eight internal, performance, back-end or non-user-facing fixes or improvements.

  • Add Lightspeed Point of Sale (POS) integration for retail gun dealers
  • Add more API endpoints
  • Add Time Zones
  • Add Organization Name to Contacts
  • Improved ATF Electronic Bound Book download user experience
  • Update the dashboard information automatically
  • Add create date to pending acquisition and disposition lists
  • Improve Tennessee background check functionality
  • Automatically focus fields on the login screen
  • Improve Nevada background check functionality
  • Improve disposition multiple serial search
  • Prevent disposing of items to an 06 FFL (Manufacturer of Ammunition)
  • Restyle the user profile page
  • Add a column for TTSN to the Items list
  • Add Trade Name to the import file format
  • Warn user about potentially missing TTSN
  • Notify users when serial numbers contain characters not approved by ATF
  • Notify users that 03 FFLs cannot be updated via eZ Check
  • Notify users that 06 FFLs cannot be updated via eZ Check


December 14, 2017

FastBound Launches Updated Software

FastBound today announced the launch of the first major update to the leading and most compliant electronic bound book software since the company’s start in 2010. The update boasts new features including POS Integration, electronic 4473 forms, and a clean, responsive dashboard with a modern workflow.

FastBound ATF ruling 2016-1 complaint acquisition and disposition software

The software was designed by Jason Smith, a Silicon Valley developer with more than eighteen years of integration experience designing and building software compliance solutions for banking, healthcare and other regulated industries. FastBound’s co-founder Jarad Haselton, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), brings his real-world experience with other FFLs to create a top-of-the-line software that serves FastBound’s customers by automating processes and keeping compliance with the ATF, while also being easy to use.

“FastBound saved my business! We were struggling with our log books and the ATF was threatening to take our FFL. With FastBound we were able to straighten it all out and pass our audit 100%. Our agent is very pleased with the way we turned our business around.” – R. Shelton

“[the new] FastBound raises the bar for firearms acquisition and disposition software,” said Jason Smith, co-founder of FastBound. “We have taken everything we have learned from thousands of customers since we started in 2010, thousands of hours of spent with the top firearms compliance attorneys in the country, and built not just a log book, but a real platform on which the leading acquisition and disposition software can run, as well as serve the next generation of innovative solutions to drive the firearms industry forward.”

Headquartered near Sacramento, California, FastBound is trusted by thousands to fulfill their FFL bound book requirements including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, importers, pawn shops, collectors, and law enforcement. FastBound is the most compliant electronic bound book system in the country and guarantees legal defense for customers against the ATF with FFLGuard ATF ProtectionPlan Plus.

About FastBound:

Since 2010, FastBound has been a trusted leader in electronic ATF Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) software solutions, used by thousands of FFLs including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, importers, pawn shops, collectors, and law enforcement. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

Katie Perrine, Primer, LLC, 4805508762,

December 13, 2017

Excel is for TPS reports. Not your logbook!

Excel, so useful for running a business but such a nightmare to use. Sure the happy little columns keep data neat and you can sort if you need to, even do a basic search. But while a great tool for some things, Excel should not be your boundbook solution.

We used to record every transaction by hand in paper form, hence the term boundbook. These paper nightmares were large, time consuming and ripe for compliance issues. Enter computers! While excel was a great option in 1999 contemporary FFL boundbook software is leaps and bounds a head of excel for automation features, ease of use, and most importantly compliance.


ATF Excels… or do they?

Any software worth anything, as FastBound of course is, will be complaint with ATF Ruling 20016-1. The new ruling permits federal firearms licensees to use software systems to maintain their A&D books, but they must meet certain standards. A big one being: all software must create an audit trail. Systems like FastBound do this automatically so you never even have to thing about the process, while a system like excel track changes would be noted manually and allow room for compliance errors and issues with the ATF.

Spreadsheets don’t update!

If you create your own Excel spreadsheet, you have to manually add columns for each piece of information. That includes:

  • The model of the firearm
  • The date you received it
  • The date you transferred it
  • The serial number
  • The manufacturer or importer
  • The number of Form 4473
  • The type of firearm
  • The gauge or caliber
  • The name, company name, address, and FFL number of transferee

But what happens when the ATF changes a regulation? For instance, maybe the ATF changes the A&D requirements to include the birth date of the transferee. Unless you are up-to-date with the ATF’s changes, you wouldn’t know. Hopefully a fellow business owner (or maybe a customer) would inform you, but that isn’t a strategy to rely on.

Cloud based software systems like FastBound automatically update to keep you up to date on new ruling, changes, or better compliance practices  at all times, without giving it a second thought.

Blue screen of death. Microsoft error!


In the age of computers we’ve all had one die. Now imagine your ATF logbook was on that computer. Sorry mister ATF inspector, but computer crashed! How will that work? About as effective as ‘the dog ate my homework’. Files become corrupt, so you may have a second location but how often do you check it? At FastBound we focus on Ease of Use, Automation and Compliance. Nothing seems to be more time consuming, cumbersome, or open for errors than transferring around multiple excel files, making sure they all match, and deciding where to store your precious date.

We could go on and on on why Excel should haunt your sleep, but since there is a simple solution, hint hint it’s FastBound, we won’t. So get started. Save time, stay compliant and stop worrying about that blue screen of death  – Try FastBound for free.



December 13, 2017

The Dangers of Using Non-Compliant Bound Books Software

Did you know that the bound books software you’re using could be putting your business at risk? We illuminate the reasons why in this post.

You can’t expect to keep your business up and running if you’re relying on low-quality and non-compliant bound books software. Not all bound books software is created equal. With the ever-changing guidelines from the ATF, as well as the legislation and requirements that keep on changing, you need software that can keep up.

A lot of software on the market doesn’t stand up to its promises. The bound books software space isn’t regulated by any third-parties, so often you’re not quite sure what you’re getting. Unfortunately, putting your trust in a third-party software provider can be very risky for your business.

Making the jump to using software, instead of doing your books by hand, is a great choice for your business. But you need to make sure you’re utilizing compliant software.

Below we illuminate some of the most common pitfalls you’ll face when you’re using non-compliant bound books software.

1. You Put Your Business at Risk

As a business owner it’s your job to make sure that your business actually stays in business. One crucial, yet often overlooked aspect of this, is keeping your books up to date to the latest industry standards. Keeping your books up to date isn’t that complex of a process, but even if you make a tiny clerical mistake you could be putting your business at risk of an audit.

Remember, the bound books software you use can make or break your business.

Worst of all, using a non-compliant software will only make matters worse. You believe you’ve been keeping your books in order, but really you’re setting yourself up for a potential audit. Using non-compliant software is the same as hiring a shady accountant to keep track of company finances. Everything might seem fine on the surface, but down the road you’re in for a real wake up call.

2. You Make Avoidable Errors

Maintaining compliance is tricky. After all, you’re running a business and don’t have time to constantly update yourself on the latest practices and updates to the Gun Control Act. So, you’ve decided to use software to help you manage your inventory and employ better tracking. This is a step in the right direction, but only if you’re using the “right” kind of software. Not every bound books software is created equal.

In order to keep the state of your license in good standing you need to be in 100% compliance. 90% might have been good enough to get an A in school, but not when it comes to your compliance record.

Plus, other kinds of software can be riddled with errors. These errors in the code can turn into big time headaches in your books and reporting.

Or maybe you’ve run up against a wall with your current software and aren’t able to process your high level of inventory? A lot of other software isn’t equipped to handle high volumes of inventory.

Our software was designed with all business types in mind. From people who own large gun stores, to weekend hobbyists who take pride in their gun collections. Our software is flexible enough for all sorts of FFL licensee needs, while offering you the peace of mind knowing that your books will be completely error-free.

3. More Difficult Inspection Process

If you’ve ever been through the traditional inspection process, then you know just how complex the process can actually be. If you haven’t been audited, or think you’re in the clear, then you might want to examine that belief too. Like we mentioned in our previous post, just because you haven’t been audited doesn’t mean you’re safe.

Your best bet is to avoid the inspection process in the first place, especially since the process is already stacked against you. The ATF does things by the book, and as a result they have extremely high expectations for the standards your books must be kept at.

If you haven’t been keeping detailed and meticulous records, then the process is going to be incredibly painful and lengthy. When you use our software you’re backed with a legal guarantee. That way, if the worst does happen, you can let the legal team at FFL Guard handle your claims and interactions with the ATF, so you can get back to work.

4. You Don’t Know Until It’s Too Late

Maybe you ended up picking some random software to manage your inventory after trying to do it on your own for so long. Or, you could have been forced into using a certain kind of software by a lawyer, or concerned friend who runs their own gun shop.

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re compliant, because you’re using some kind of software, only