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Thread: Form 4473: Serial Numbers

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Form 4473: Serial Numbers

    This may end up moved, but I'll start it here.

    The big news lately is universal background checks. On the face of it, they don't sound too bad, until you learn that the feds have been taking the make, model and serial numbers of the guns purchased. If there is ANYone stupid enough to believe that they follow the law and do not keep this information, well, that's why they invented Velcro.

    Here's my question: If one were to not fill in the serial number on the Form 4473, what would happen? Would a dealer (I realize some would not, but would any?) submit the form without the number? I assume if it were submitted, would the submission be rejected as incomplete? That is my suspicion.

    Is there a basis in the law that justifies the serial number be a required element of the background check?

    I wouldn't lobby for it, but a background check that was truly just that, with no identifying gun information, would not be as bad as what they are pushing for now. Of course, without tying the background check to a specific gun, there is no way to prove that the check was done for any gun you have in your possession, so it becomes rather useless for the government with regard to enforcement.

    Thoughts?

    TFred

    ETA: I think I have just outlined the proof that a universal background check is indeed actually a universal gun registration!
    Last edited by TFred; 02-08-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: ETA

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    You make a solid case - that's my thinking too.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You make a solid case - that's my thinking too.
    My thoughts as a former FFL holder and devout hater of paperwork.

    It would probably go through the initial check and you would be approved.....but,

    When there is a non background related error on the paperwork, the dealer gets a certified letter from the ATF telling him to correct it.

    The dealer (and I think this is mandated procedure now) will send the buyer a certified letter stating there was an error and they are required to come in and correct it.

    If you don't comply, the dealer notifies the ATF who come and knock on your door.

    In the case of the serial number being omitted, I expect the dealer can fill it in himself and send it to the ATF.

    It's a good plan but I don't think it'll work.

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    As I recall, you can buy several guns on a single 4473.... I think they'll only require one serial #

    Roscoe
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    My take on a FFL omitting serial numbers in large numbers would be a good way for the ATF to shut it down as a willfull error. One such error has been enough to shut a store down, many multiple errors is jailtime.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/56151651/F...iolations-Memo

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roscoe13 View Post
    As I recall, you can buy several guns on a single 4473.... I think they'll only require one serial #

    Roscoe
    Nope, the form specifically says you must list each and every firearm, even if it takes extra paper.

    http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

    I doubt you would find any dealer willing to knowingly submit the form without the number. I wonder why nobody has ever pushed this? I can't think of any reason the information is required for a background check.

    TFred

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    Form 4473: Serial Numbers

    Dealers do not submit 4473s to ATF. They stay at the dealer. Any traceability is through the manufacturer, to a distributor, and then a dealer.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameisgood View Post
    Dealers do not submit 4473s to ATF. They stay at the dealer. Any traceability is through the manufacturer, to a distributor, and then a dealer.
    That's right but they submit all the information to the background check. Any omission or error will be submitted to the ATF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    That's right but they submit all the information to the background check. Any omission or error will be submitted to the ATF.
    Actually the Virginia State Police do not receive any information about the firearm other than typr ie pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle. Now for the states that use NICS only well thats another story. Another good reason i would rather have Virginia do my background than let the Feds have the chance to.

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    4473 must have all of that info in. Anything left off will be noticed by the ATF and you will receive a nasty letter telling you to fix it. Too many of those and you will be face to face with an ATF agent explaining why you think you should keep your FFL.


    As stated, the background check is very vague. The 4473 stays at the FFL dealer. The ATF can come and inspect your forms at their will.

    Whats the problem here anyways? You sold the firearm in question, right?

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    Form 4473: Serial Numbers

    No, it went down when my boat capsized in heavy swells.
    Reminder to self: buy a boat.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkd2006 View Post
    Actually the Virginia State Police do not receive any information about the firearm other than typr ie pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle. Now for the states that use NICS only well thats another story. Another good reason i would rather have Virginia do my background than let the Feds have the chance to.

    You're probably right (Don't relax yet)

    When I had my FFL, all I did was sell it, put it in "The Book" and file the form. That was well before the B&B (background and BullSh&t) started.

    On to modern times...

    My wife bought a gun at Gander Mountain when they opened. Two weeks later she got a certified letter from Gander telling her she made a mistake and had to come in by X date.

    That made me mad especially since Gander basically filled in the form for her.

    I went in to have a tactful discussion with them. The Gun manager was a fat, loudmouth that thought it would be fun to bully me and tell me he was ex law enforcement. We had a meaningful discussion about ex law enforcement, active law enforcement his parents and their relationship as brother and sister.

    After that he showed me the Certified Letter they had gotten from the ATF pointing out the error and requiring they correct it.

    Now if no one sends in the information..... the ATF must have a team of telepathic lesbians immersed in a hot tub, with mind reading electrodes attached to their shaved heads.
    Last edited by peter nap; 02-09-2013 at 11:14 AM.

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    Form 4473: Serial Numbers

    Quoting from Wiki, quoting the CFR:

    "The Act also forbade the U.S. Government agency from keeping a registry directly linking non-National Firearms Act firearms to their owners, the specific language of this law (Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926) being:
    --
    "No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameisgood View Post
    Quoting from Wiki, quoting the CFR:

    "The Act also forbade the U.S. Government agency from keeping a registry directly linking non-National Firearms Act firearms to their owners, the specific language of this law (Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926) being:
    --
    "No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."
    OK...it's shaved headed lesbians in a hot tub then

    There is an easy way to test this. Don't fill in the serial number.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    You're probably right (Don't relax yet)

    When I had my FFL, all I did was sell it, put it in "The Book" and file the form. That was well before the B&B (background and BullSh&t) started.

    On to modern times...

    My wife bought a gun at Gander Mountain when they opened. Two weeks later she got a certified letter from Gander telling her she made a mistake and had to come in by X date.

    That made me mad especially since Gander basically filled in the form for her.

    I went in to have a tactful discussion with them. The Gun manager was a fat, loudmouth that thought it would be fun to bully me and tell me he was ex law enforcement. We had a meaningful discussion about ex law enforcement, active law enforcement his parents and their relationship as brother and sister.

    After that he showed me the Certified Letter they had gotten from the ATF pointing out the error and requiring they correct it.

    Now if no one sends in the information..... the ATF must have a team of telepathic lesbians immersed in a hot tub, with mind reading electrodes attached to their shaved heads.
    As I read the rules (and associated forms) for an Over the Counter Transfer, the firearm serial number only gets recorded one place, and that's on the Federal 4473, which remains in the FFL's custody.

    Not knowing when Gander Mountain opened, it would appear that any "erroneous info" requiring purchaser correction via notification by a Certified Letter from the ATF would be due to a visit and records inspection by an ATF agent. It's also possible that a VSP inspection of dealer records identified the "erroneous info". I'd be surprised if the VSP inspection didn't also include a review of related 4473s.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameisgood View Post
    Dealers do not submit 4473s to ATF. They stay at the dealer.
    That's correct .... the forms are turned over once the bus. closes .. I don't think the ATF does anything other than file them away under the dealer's ID..

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    At some point, we Americans started to trust our Government. Once they figured that out, they had a hearty chuckle and started taking advantage of that development.

    Sometimes I think we Americans are the stupidest people on the face of the Earth.

    It's quite disappointing.

    TFred

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    Well... we can sit here and bicker about it or we can take action. What is your productive suggestion?

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    Buyers don't fill in the gun information in the first place. Or at least, they're not supposed to. After the personal info comes the buyer's affidavit and signature, and everything from that point on is filled in by the dealer.

    I would laugh at any big box store that told me I had to come in to correct the 4473. Sorry, bozo -- I did my part correctly. The ATF sent a letter to you telling you to correct the errors. Not my problem.

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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    This may end up moved, but I'll start it here.

    The big news lately is universal background checks. On the face of it, they don't sound too bad, until you learn that the feds have been taking the make, model and serial numbers of the guns purchased. If there is ANYone stupid enough to believe that they follow the law and do not keep this information, well, that's why they invented Velcro.

    Here's my question: If one were to not fill in the serial number on the Form 4473, what would happen? Would a dealer (I realize some would not, but would any?) submit the form without the number? I assume if it were submitted, would the submission be rejected as incomplete? That is my suspicion.

    Is there a basis in the law that justifies the serial number be a required element of the background check?

    I wouldn't lobby for it, but a background check that was truly just that, with no identifying gun information, would not be as bad as what they are pushing for now. Of course, without tying the background check to a specific gun, there is no way to prove that the check was done for any gun you have in your possession, so it becomes rather useless for the government with regard to enforcement.

    Thoughts?

    TFred

    ETA: I think I have just outlined the proof that a universal background check is indeed actually a universal gun registration!
    BINGO! Everything the government is doing here leads to UNIVERSAL GUN REGISTRATION!

    Bitka Sve Rešava!
    B-2-10 SFG(A)/ A-2-11 SFG(A) 1977-1994

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    You're probably right (Don't relax yet)


    My wife bought a gun at Gander Mountain when they opened. Two weeks later she got a certified letter from Gander telling her she made a mistake and had to come in by X date.

    That made me mad especially since Gander basically filled in the form for her.

    I went in to have a tactful discussion with them. The Gun manager was a fat, loudmouth that thought it would be fun to bully me and tell me he was ex law enforcement. We had a meaningful discussion about ex law enforcement, active law enforcement his parents and their relationship as brother and sister.

    After that he showed me the Certified Letter they had gotten from the ATF pointing out the error and requiring they correct it.

    Now if no one sends in the information..... the ATF must have a team of telepathic lesbians immersed in a hot tub, with mind reading electrodes attached to their shaved heads.
    I can only identify 3 situations where ATF could identify a deficiency in Virginia:

    1) Multiple handgun sale - information from the FFL is sent directly to the ATF.

    2) ATF compliance inspection reveals deficiency in Gander Mountain recordkeeping and/or 4473 paperwork.

    3) ATF gun trace revealed a deficiency in the 4473 paperwork.

    I assume this was not a multiple handgun sale, and that there was not a gun trace (1 & 3 above), so ATF saw that Gander Mountain did not record the serial # in either the bound book or the 4473. It may have been more serious, selling the firearm (could be multiple firearms to multiple buyers) before logging into the bound book.

    Does anybody know if Gander Mountain uses an actual bound book or an electronic system? The electronic system was designed to eliminate problems, but gross errors, such as selling firearms before they are put in the electronic system can cause this sort of problem.

    Live Free or Die,
    Thundar
    Last edited by Thundar; 02-10-2013 at 02:08 PM.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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  22. #22
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    the forms are turned over once the bus. closes
    The dealer can destroy them when they are twenty years old.

    The entire idea of "universal" registration is flawed, as crooks certainly won't register guns, and felons are Constitutionally protected against failing to do so as it would be self incrimination.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Numenor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom6zoom View Post
    The dealer can destroy them when they are twenty years old.

    The entire idea of "universal" registration is flawed, as crooks certainly won't register guns, and felons are Constitutionally protected against failing to do so as it would be self incrimination.
    Wasn't that the reason SCOTUS tossed out most of the NFA back in the 60's?

  24. #24
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I did a little digging into our Gander Mountain experience today and it looks like Thundar hit it dead on.

    From what I understand, Gander Mountain was in hot water with the ATF over their record keeping before the Glen Allen store opened.

    Their Grand opening paperwork got audited and there were a lot of errors.
    This came from a former Gander Employee.

    I was not the first person to have a friendly chat with the Gun Area Manager from what I'm told.
    Last edited by peter nap; 02-11-2013 at 10:58 PM.

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