ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record has been revised.

In this article, are all the significant changes that were made to the form. We highly recommend you review the entire revised version of the form, including all Notices, Instructions, and Definitions. After January 16, 2017, the previous edition of Form 4473 will no longer be in use, making it obsolete.

You can see a copy of the new form on the ATF website, and read all the changes below:

The significant changes to Form 4473 for 2017 include:


  • Form Title: Removed “Part I-Over-the-Counter”
  • Warning Statement: Clarifies that the form is to be completed at the licensed premises unless the transaction qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922(c).

Section A

  • Question 1: Clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains an initial only should record “IO” after the initial. Also clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains a suffix (e.g., Jr, Sr, II, III) should record the information with their last name.
  • Question 2:  Incorporated State of Residence information from former Question 13.
  • Question 6: Changed “Gender” to “Sex”.
  • Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Clarifies that both questions must be answered.
  • Question 11.e: Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.
  • Questions 12.a – 12.d and 13: (Formerly Questions 11.k – 12 and 14 – 15): Regrouped and revised the citizenship and immigration status questions to make them easier to follow.
  • Transferee/Buyer Certification: Clarifies that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is violation of Federal law.

Section B

  • Question 18.b (Formerly Question 20.b): Changed to “Supplemental Government Issued Documentation (if identification document does not show current residence address)
  • Question 18.c (Formerly Question 20.c): Changed to “Exception to the Nonimmigrant Alien Prohibition: If the transferee/buyer answered “YES” to 12.d.2. the transferor/seller must record the type of documentation showing the exception to the prohibition and attach a copy to this ATF Form 4473.”
  • Question 19.d (Formerly Question 21.d): Added a check box for “Overturned” transactions.
  • Question 19.g (Added to Form): “Name of FFL Employee Completing NICS check. (Optional)”.
  • Question 20 (Formerly Question 22): Clarifies that a NICS check is not required if the individual receiving the firearm was subject to a background check as part of the NFA approval process.

Section D

  • Header: Added instruction that the firearm information must be recorded even if the firearm(s) is/are not transferred.
  • Question 24 (Formerly Question 26): Changed to “Manufacturer and Importer (If any)” to reflect the language in 27 CFR 478.125(e).
  • Question 24 – 28 (Formerly Question 26 – 30): Removed line 5 and added line numbers.
  • Multiple Sale: Added “REMINDER – By the Close of Business” to the beginning of the sentence for clarification.
  • Question 29 (Formerly Question 30.a): Clarifies that “zero” should be recorded if no firearm(s) is/are transferred.
  • Question 30 (Formerly Question 30.b): Changed to a check box and added an instruction to record the line number(s) involved in the pawn redemption.
  • Question 32 (Added to Form): A check box to indicate that the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Question 33 (Formerly Questions 31 – 32): Combined the two questions.
  • Transferor Certification: Revised language to certify that the form was completed at the licensed business premises unless the transaction meets the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 922(c) and the transaction complies with State or local laws that are applicable to the firearms business. Clarifies that unless the transaction has been denied or cancelled the transferor/seller certifies that it is his/her belief that it is not unlawful for him/her to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise dispose of the firearm(s) listed on this form to the person identified in Section A.

Notices, Instructions, and Definitions

  • Purpose of the Form – Paragraph 2 (Added to Form): “Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises only if the transferee/buyer meets certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in section 922(c), 27 CFR 478.96(b), and ATF Procedure 2013-2.”
  • Purpose of the Form – Over-the-Counter Transaction (Formerly Paragraph 4): Removed from form.
  • Purpose of the Form – State Laws and Published Ordinances (Formerly Paragraph 5): Removed from form. Information incorporated into Paragraph 1.
  • Purpose of the Form – Exportation of Firearms: Added “Warning: Any person who exports a firearm without proper authorization may be fined not more than $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than 20 years See 22 U.S.C. 2778(c).”
  • Instruction for Section A: Formerly instructions for Question 1.

  • Instruction for Question 2: Clarifies that a rural route (RR) may be accepted provided the transferee/buyer lives in a State or locality where it is considered a legal residence address. Also clarifies that the State of residence for members of the Armed Forces on active duty is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located.

  • Instruction for Question 9: Clarifies that the licensee should provide the UPIN when conducting background checks through the NICS or the State POC.

  • Instruction for Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Added to form.

  • Instruction for Question 11.a: Clarifies when a gift is considered “bona fide” and provides examples.

  • Instruction for Questions 11.b – 12 (Formerly Questions 11.b – 11.l): Added a new paragraph between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs. “A member of the Armed Forces must answer “yes” to 11.b. or 11.c. if charged with an offense that was either referred to a General Court Martial, or at which the member was convicted. Discharged “under dishonorable conditions” means separation from the Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal adjudged by a General Court-Martial. The term does not include any other discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.”

  • Instruction for Question 11.b: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Questions 11.b – 12.

  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCPTION to 11.c. and 11.i.): Clarifies that persons subject to this exception, or who receive relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. 925(c), should answer “no” to the applicable question.

  • Instruction for Question 11.d: Added to form. Provides the definition of “Fugitive from Justice”.

  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCEPTION to 11.f): Clarifies when a person is not prohibited under the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. Language revised and additional information added.

  • Instruction for Question 12.d (Formerly Question 11.l.): Clarifies which aliens must answer “yes” to this question and provide the additional documentation required under Question 18.c.

  • Former Instruction for Question 11.l: Paragraph 2 removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 12.a.-12.d.

  • Former Instruction for Question 12: Removed from form. Information from Paragraph 1 incorporated into Question 18.c. Information from paragraph 2 incorporated into Questions 12.a.-12.d.

  • Former Instruction for Question 13: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 2.

  • New Instruction for Question 13: Added to form. Clarifies where U.S.-issued alien and admission numbers may be found. Also clarifies that U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals should leave the question left blank.

  • Instruction for Question 16 (Formerly Question 18): Clarifies that frames and receivers cannot be transferred to anyone who is not a resident of the State where the transfer is to take place.

  • Instruction for Question 17. (Formerly Question 19.): Added the definition of “Qualifying Gun Show or Event”.

  • Instruction for Question 18a (Formerly Question 20.a): Clarifies that licensees may accept electronic PCS orders to establish residency.

  • Instruction for Question 18.b. (Formerly Question 20.b.): Clarifies that a valid electronic document from a government website may be used as supplemental documentation provided it contains the transferee’s/buyer’s name and current residence address.

  • Instruction for Question 18c. (Formerly Question 20.c.): Clarifies the exceptions to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition and acceptable documentation.

  • Instruction for Question 19 (Formerly Question(s) 21, 22, 23): Clarifies for purposes of this form, contacts to NICS include State agencies designated as points-of-contact (“or POCs”) to conduct NICS checks for the Federal Government.  Provides instructions for completing the form when a transaction was denied and later overturned.

  • Instruction for Questions 20 and 21 (Formerly EXCEPTIONS TO NICS CHECK): Clarifies that the exception includes transfers of National Firearms Act firearms to an individual who has undergone a background check during the NFA approval process. Also clarifies that a NICS check must be conducted if an NFA firearm has been approved for transfer to a trust, or to a legal entity such as a corporation, and no background check was conducted as part of the NFA approval process on the individual who will receive the firearm. Additionally clarifies that individuals who have undergone a background check during the NFA application process are listed on the approved NFA transfer form.

  • Instruction for Question(s) 24-28 (Formerly Question(s) 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30): Clarifies that these blocks must be completed with the firearms information. Also clarifies that all firearms manufactured after 1968 by Federal firearms licensees should be marked with a serial number.

  • Former Instruction for Question 32: Removed from form.

  • New Instruction for Question 32: Added to form. Provides instructions for completing the form when the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.

  • Former Instructions for Questions 33-35: Removed from form.


Image courtesy ATF website

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11 thoughts on “ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record, Has Been Significantly Revised

  1. you all know that hillary and that so called preident both had something to do with this junk. the democrats can not leave well enough alone, they always have to break something that was working just fine

  2. It’s clear they mean to complicate the form to discourage the common man or woman from purchasing firearms. This is another power grab by liberal progressives meant to disarm the people and negate your second amendment rights. We have a new administration coming in and these democrats are going to cause as much trouble as they can between now and January 20th. The new congress and president will not be affected by their disruptions and corruption – they will simply eliminate their efforts because WE, The people have sent them to do just that.

    Those leftists recognize no limitations or restrictions of their powers, but they are in for a rude awakening very soon.

    Remember when Obama was elected the first time? He set up shop the day after election day in 2008, creating “The Office of the President Elect”, including a seal for the podium he spoke from. The utter disrespect of that act alone was a message to all who did not vote for him was extreme and distasteful. No one said anything about it then because to do so would bring strident accusations of racism. He’s been using that lable to beat up a large portion of the people of this country, many of which he spent the last 8 years alienating. His first public statements included these gems, “Elections have consequences”, “I won”, “I’ve got a pen and a phone”, “we will reward our friends and punish our enemies”; all of which were to gloat and extract payback from those he deemed his enemies.

    We’ve had enough of this and it was made clear this past election day. He used his power – or should I say abused the power of his office and the people have put it to an end. Now he is desperate to save his legacy – a legacy of bullying a nation with threats of being accused of racism if any dare oppose him or his policy. Now he’s got Schumer threatening the new administration before they even have been sworn in, and it smacks of desperation. They know their time is dwindling and they will soon be powerless to affect policy and it scares the hell out of them to be powerless.

    We must enjoy this and build on making Congress filibuster proof in the upcoming congressional races in two years. They have proven that we cannot allow them to have power because they are not worthy to lead and can’t govern without disrespecting or oppressing the people they were elected to serve. Maybe the left needs to drown in regulation and executive decrees to feel validated and protected by the government, but we on the right have no such needs. We thrive where the power of government is limited and the size of it is small. The democrats must have huge bureaucracies to keep their boot on the neck of the people, but we conservatives believe in self sufficiency and a personal responsibility instead of nanny state cradle to grave regulations policies that force compliance in ways more akin to feudal european kingdoms did in the middle ages, instead of living in the modern world and not restricting personal liberty unless an individual proves they lack the necessary responsibility to be truly free and a member of a free society.

  3. Trump and Congress should move to overturn the 1968 GCA and force the ATF to focus on catching gun smugglers to the cartels, or lose their funding.

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