FFL software has been a true game-changer for many firearms sellers. Today’s solutions have robust features such as electronic bound books and 4473 forms, smart searches, and FFL autocomplete, just to name a few.
This technology is vital for allowing sellers to run their businesses more efficiently and for providing a better customer experience. But most importantly, it helps them stay compliant.
That said, it’s still possible to run into trouble with the ATF, which is why you need guaranteed legal defense with FFL Software.
Recent ATF Statistics
We all know how critical it is to stay compliant with the ATF and stay above board with gun sales. At the end of the day, their mission is to ensure transactions are done legally and firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands — something that’s integral to public safety.
To achieve this, the ATF has a large team that’s devoted to overseeing firearms transactions. In 2020, they had 2,653 special agents, 760 industry operations investigators (IOIs), and 1,669 administrators, for a total of 5,082 full-time employees. As for the number of firearms compliance inspections, 5,827 were performed in the 2020 fiscal year.
Of those inspections, most (56.2%) didn’t result in any violations. However, 22.1% led to a report of violations, 13.8% led to a warning letter, 5.3% led to a warning conference, 1.6% led to a license being surrendered and a gun seller going out of business, and 0.7% led to revocation.
You can see the full details in this chart.
In terms of the specific reasons for violations, most involved failing to obtain accurate/complete/timely A&D records or 4473s or failing to properly fill them out. This table outlines the top 10 most frequently cited violations from 2020.
While FFL software goes a long way for making gun sellers more compliant, and they have statistically much lower odds of facing inspections or violations from the ATF, you can’t rule out the possibility completely. That’s why it’s important to have guaranteed legal defense with FFL software. This brings us to our next point.
Only One Software Offers Guaranteed Legal Defense
Unfortunately, this isn’t a common feature you’ll find with most products. In fact, there’s only one FFL software provider that currently offers guaranteed legal defense — and that’s FastBound. We were the first to engage an FFL law firm to back their software, which means even in a worst-case scenario where the ATF comes knocking at your door, you have access to a professional attorney with expertise in the industry. FastBound retains the number one legal and compliance service in the Firearms Industry, FFLGuard. They’ve been around since 2007 and are the gold standard in legal services and compliance solutions.
Here’s a bit about them in their own words.
“FFLGuard is a flat-fee legal defense service and compliance program run by the country’s best attorneys in the field, alongside various subject matter experts, professionals, and para-professionals hand-selected from the highest ranks at the ATF. The FFLGuard Program protects its clients’ licenses by delivering an unlimited legal defense — with no hidden hourly fees normally billed by lawyers — against ATF administrative action at a flat rate each month. These REACTIVE services are managed by a Client Relations Team trained to deploy FFL Guard’s legal counsel and ATF experts anywhere in the country on a moment’s notice.”
This level of service is unheard of until recently with the partnership between FastBound and FFLGuard. These combined services mark the beginning of a new era that not only allows gun sellers to operate their businesses more efficiently but with total protection.
Giving Your Business Peace of Mind
If an issue arises with other vendors, they’ll usually say something like, “We’ve never had a problem” or “Our customers have passed countless audits.” But as we just discussed, problems do flare up from time to time. Even the most comprehensive FFL software isn’t 100% foolproof. Having instant access to a legal professional gives firearms sellers peace of mind that they’re covered.
If you’ve ever felt anxiety about an ATF inspection, or have ever dealt with one firsthand, FastBound is a software solution you’ll definitely be interested in. This brings us to our final point.
Other Helpful Compliance Features of FFL Software
Besides guaranteed legal defense, FastBound comes with several other great features to help your business stay compliant. One is a multi-state background check where FastBound automates NICS entry. Whether you’re in a point-of-contact (POC) state, a non POC state, or a partial POC state, this software streamlines the process, making it quick, easy, and compliant.
For easy reference, here’s a current list of POC states, non POC states, and partial POC states.
Another helpful feature is Integrated EZ Check. FastBound’s contact manager conveniently integrates with the ATF FFL EZ Check database which allows you to quickly verify an FFL number securely and with complete accuracy.
This software also has built-in compliance warnings any time there could be a potential violation you’re unaware of. Say, for example, you’ve entered the wrong serial number on a firearm or an expired license number by mistake. FastBound will instantly notify you of the issue so you can promptly correct it. This ensures you’re able to catch problems before you complete a transaction, which drastically reduces the odds of compliance issues with the ATF.
Also, note that the data you store is saved in the cloud and doesn’t require any software to install or maintain. This means you have access to information 24/7 from any location on a Mac, PC, or tablet with a web browser and internet. No longer do you have to be tethered to a single physical location and sift through piles of documents to find what you’re looking for. And because FastBound automates backups using a process that exceeds ATF compliance requirements, you don’t have to worry about continually performing manual backups, and instead, you can focus on core business operations. As for backup length, FastBound retains records for at least 20 years which is the minimum required by the ATF.
Finally, FFL software features sophisticated log book security and compliance including multiple levels of protection to ensure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. We all know how critical robust cybersecurity is these days. But this isn’t something you have to worry about with a platform like FastBound because files in transit between web browsers and servers are completely protected with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and 128-bit or higher Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. As for stored data, it’s encrypted with cutting-edge 256-bit AES. So there are no worries about a data breach.
Choosing a Solution with Guaranteed Legal Defense
There are a lot of FFL software products on the market today. And nearly all have strong capabilities that help make your gun-selling business more efficient and compliant. That said, no one can guarantee there will never be a compliance issue. Given there were 5,827 compliance inspections performed in 2020 alone, this shows the importance of choosing a platform with guaranteed legal defense.
Having immediate access to expert legal counsel at any time and from anywhere in the country provides peace of mind that you’re in good hands even in a worst-case scenario. Click here to learn more about FastBound, the only FFL software that offers guaranteed legal defense.