According to the ATF website, during their fiscal year 2015 the ATF conducted 8,696 firearms compliance inspections.
When an IOI’s (Industry Operations Investigator) conducts an inspection, the FFL holder’s ATF bound book is often the first place they look. The ATF wants to see that licensees are properly keeping track of their sources of firearms, when they are received, and who they are sold to.
Here are the 5 most common violations ATF IOI’s find during their inspections:
#1 Failure to timely record information in bound record (A&D record)
Putting off record keeping tasks is the most common reason that FFL’s get cited. Of course, when you’re writing out each transaction by hand, it’s easy to understand why the books get out of date. Unfortunately, ATF IOI’s don’t seem willing to accept that as a reasonable excuse.
#2 Transferee did not properly complete Section A of Form 4473
Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record, is the form used to record the most common firearms transactions between buyer and seller (like in a retail store). Section A requires the transferee (buyer) to enter detailed personal information and answer a series of questions used to affirm that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. Copies of these forms must be kept in ATF bound books for 20 years after a purchase.
Lying on Form 4473 is a federal offense punishable by fines and jail time. Not surprisingly, improperly recording or failing to complete this section of the form can have serious consequences in the case of an investigation that requires federal law enforcement to request the record. Making it easy to accurately complete this form reduces a licence-holder’s risk of receiving incomplete or inaccurate forms.
#3 Failure to complete forms as indicated in instructions
A handy catch-all, this violation is often cited when the licensee failed to properly complete a form, but there is not a separate regulatory citation addressing the omitted or misdocumented item. Minor discrepancies or other errors in ATF books may be cited in this way.
#4 Licensee did not record on F 4473 the date on which NICS was contacted
All transferee’s must be checked against the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before a firearms transaction can be legally completed, unless otherwise exempted from NICS as is the case when a buyer holds a valid permit from the State where the transfer is to take place among other situations. Failure to include the date of the check, or the NICS background check transaction number on the file creates suspicion that the check was never performed – a situation that most Licensees would rather avoid.
#5 Licensee failed to obtain and/or document purchaser’s ID
A valid government issued photo ID is required along with recording the Issuing Authority and Type of Identification, the Number on Identification, and the Expiration Date of Identification (if any) on the 4473. Failure to obtain a purchaser’s valid ID calls into question the other information submitted on the form.
To summarize, the most common ATF violations are all related to record keeping. Keeping timely, accurate ATF books keeps you and your business out of trouble. Recording forms electronically ensures that transferee information is properly included in your ATF bound book. This is just one of the many ways that FastBound reduces firearms dealers’ ATF audit risk while saving your business time and money. If you want to keep your business ATF compliant, check out FastBound: See our plans