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.
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.
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.
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.