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.
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.Failing to properly report or maintain accurate records is one of the main reasons firearms dealers get in trouble with the ATF. Click To Tweet
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.