- 📅 Effective Date: January 31, 2023
- 📑 Published: Federal Register on January 31, 2023
- 🎯 Purpose: Clarify when a rifle is designed for shoulder firing
- 🧐 Evaluation Criteria: Factors for determining “rifle” or “short-barreled rifle” status
- 🔍 Definition Clarification: “Designed, redesigned, made, or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” includes certain attachments like “stabilizing brace”
- 🚫 Exemption: “Stabilizing braces” designed for individuals with disabilities, not for shouldering
- 🗓️ Registration Deadline: May 31, 2023, for short-barreled rifles
- 📋 Compliance Options:
- Remove short barrel and attach a 16-inch or longer rifled barrel
- Permanently remove, dispose of, or alter the “stabilizing brace”
- Turn firearm into local ATF office
- Destroy the firearm
- ⏰ Registration Option Discontinuation: May 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) in the eForms System
- 🎯 Affected Parties:
- Unlicensed Possessors
- FFLs not under NFA Class One Importer or Class Two Manufacturer SOT
- FFL Importers or Manufacturers under GCA qualified under NFA Class One Importer or Class Two Manufacturer SOT
- Certain Governmental Entities
- 🤔 Need to Know:
- Affected parties have compliance options
- Quick reference sheet and FAQs provided
- 🛠️ Resources:
- FAQs, SBA Compliance Guide, PowerPoint Training, Regulatory Impact Analysis, NFA Form 1 Submission Guidance
- 📚 Related Information:
- Gun Control Act of 1968, National Firearms Act, Rules and Regulations
- 📞 Contact Information:
- Firearms Industry Programs Branch: FIPB@atf.gov
- Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division: Fire_Tech@atf.gov
- Office of Regulatory Affairs: ORA@atf.gov
- eForms Account Registration
The notice below was sent out by the ATF on December 8th, 2022. More information can be found here: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/atf-form-4473-firearms-transaction-record-revisions
Due to new statutory requirements set forth in both the NICS Denial Notification Act and the Bipartisan Safer Community Act (BSCA), and to reflect the implementation of ATF Final Rule 2021R-05F, ATF Form 4473 has been revised. Because the new statutory requirements are designed to enhance public safety, and to ensure compliance with these provisions and Final Rule 2021R-05F, the Office of Management and Budget has provided emergency authorization to ATF to immediately use the revised Form 4473. ATF will be publishing the Revised Form for Notice and Comment Review in the coming months.
ATF encourages all federal firearms licensees (FFLs) to begin using the Revised Form immediately. The Revised Form is available on ATF’s website, and can be downloaded and printed for immediate use. Please note that the entire Form, including instructions, must be printed, and stored together. Hard copies of the Revised Form will be available through the ATF Distribution Center beginning February 1, 2023. The ATF eForm 4473 application is also being revised and notification will be sent when it is ready for use.
Significant changes in the Revised Form are as follows:
- Any firearm, received by a FFL, that was privately made (not manufactured by another licensee) must now be recorded on the ATF Form 4473. “Privately Made Firearm (PMF)” has been added to item 1, Section A. It now reads: “Manufacturer and Importer, if any or Privately made firearm (PMF) (If the manufacturer and importer are both different, include both)”.
- Question 10 is revised: The transferee/buyer is now asked to answer whether they “Reside in City Limits?” regarding their residence address. For example, if a transferee lists their residence city/state as Phoenix, Arizona but they actually reside outside of the city, they will answer “no” to this item.
The following two prohibiting questions have been added to Section B:
- 21b: “Do you intend to purchase or acquire any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition, for sale of other disposition to any person described in questions 21(c)-(m) or to a person described in question 21.n.1 who does not fall within a nonimmigrant exception?”
- c.: “Do you intend to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition in furtherance of any felony or other offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than one year, a federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking offense?”
To comply with the BSCA 10-day waiting period on certain transfers involving transferees under the age of 21, Section C of the Form has been revised as follows:
- Prior to the NICS/POC information, an instructional header has been added stating: “Notice: If transferee/buyer is under 21, a waiting period of up to 10 days may apply where notification from NICS is received within 3 business days to further investigate a possible disqualifying juvenile record. A NICS check is only valid for 30 calendar days from the date recorded in question 27a.”
- Item 27.c. was amended to show the date an FFL may transfer a firearm should NICS or the State agency (conducting the background check) not reply stating more time is needed for the check. It now reads next to the delayed check box: “The firearm(s) may be transferred on ____ if time period is not extended by NICS or the appropriate State agency, and State law allows (optional).”
- A box has been added to 27.d. should NICS or the appropriate State agency delay the check as more time is needed to conduct it on a transferee under 21 years of age. It now reads: “Notice of additional delay of transferee under 21 years of age received on _______ (date), and may be transferred on _________ (date).”
- Also added to 27.d. is a box for FFLs to check should no response be received from NICS or the appropriate State agency (for transferees under 21 years of age) within 10 business days after the initial delay was given. It now reads: “No response was provided within 10 business days after initial delay for transferee/buyer under 21.”
A detailed list of all changes can be found at ATF – Revised 4473. The revised form will become mandatory for use on April 1, 2023. Please contact your local ATF Industry Operations office should you have any questions regarding the changes to the form.
The ATF understands that using an electronic system to retain completed Forms 4473 saves space, time, and money in recordkeeping and auditing expenses for members of the regulated firearms industry. Many businesses have moved to a paperless environment to store important documents and business records. Electronic storage of Forms 4473 is convenient for FFLs, improves firearms tracing efforts, and promotes efficient ATF compliance inspections. Electronically retained forms may be more secure from environmental damage, loss, or destruction and easier to access, sort, and review. Electronically retained forms will also mitigate storage space concerns for many FFLs as well as the ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC), which is the repository of all out-of-business records.
Further, this alternate method is not contrary to any provision of law, should not increase costs to ATF, and should not hinder the effective administration of the regulations.
Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to retain electronically completed Forms 4473 in an electronic format provided all the following requirements are met. We have the requirements summarized below but, just know EZ Online FFL is fully compliant with all requirements!
- Licensees must provide written notification to their local ATF Industry Operations Area Office 60 days prior to implementing an electronic Form 4473 retention system.
- Transactions must first be completed using an electronic Form 4473 in accordance with ATF Ruling 2016-2 (or subsequent ruling) and all forms must be retained in an electronic format.
- The Form 4473 must be saved in an unalterable format. The original electronic Form 4473 must be retained and may not be deleted, amended, replaced, or otherwise altered. Consistent with the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions on the Form 4473, if errors are found on a Form 4473, corrections may be made to a copy (electronic or paper) of the original Form 4473 and the corrected copy should be electronically attached to the original electronic form and retained as part of the FFLs permanent records.
- All supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition) must be electronically attached at the end of Form 4473
- ATF must be provided uninterrupted access to the database in which the electronic Forms 4473 are stored to facilitate a compliance inspection, complete a trace request or conduct a criminal investigation of a person other than the licensee . ATF access to the Forms 4473 must be in a “read only” capacity.
- ATF must be provided access to the database in which the electronic Forms 4473 are stored with a minimum of one electronic access point or computer terminal for every 500 Forms 4473 executed over the previous 12-month period. An FFL who offers computer terminal access is not required to provide more than five terminals regardless of the number of Forms 4473 executed during the 12-month period.
- The retention system must allow the Form 4473 to be printed and the FFL must print any Form 4473 upon request from ATF.
- The retention system must retain the Form 4473 in alphabetical, chronological, or numerical order. The retention system must allow for searches or queries to be made by transferee/buyer name, transfer date, transaction number (if any), firearm type, model, manufacturer/importer, caliber, size, or gauge, and serial number.
- The retention system must backup the Form 4473 upon the completion of a transaction or when a transaction is stopped, and the Form 4473 must be retained in the system.
- The retention system must allow access to the Form 4473 and the acquisition and disposition (A&D) record simultaneously (i.e., the ability to toggle back and forth).
- The retention system must have the ability to flag or set aside Forms 4473 in order to save for further review during inspections.
- The retention system must allow or provide sorting of Forms 4473 during ATF compliance inspections.
- Whenever a transaction is stopped, put into a pending status, or completed, the Form 4473 must immediately be downloaded and saved to a computer hard drive, server, Universal Serial Bus (USB) Flash Drive, or other similar electronic storage device located at the licensed premises. If the licensee utilizes a contract host facility such as a remote server or cloud storage provider, all Forms 4473 must also be electronically saved to an onsite electronic storage device that is updated on the day of any change to, or addition of, database record(s) to protect the data from accidental deletion or system failure. In all cases, electronically retained Forms 4473 must be downloaded in a format that is unencrypted with the required information readily apparent and retained on a device that is located at the licensed premises.
- ATF recognizes there may be circumstances where a licensee’s electronic system may fail, be unavailable, or otherwise not utilized, and paper Forms 4473 may be completed. Licensees must retain any original paper Forms 4473, unless digitally scanned per the conditions of this ruling. Upon absolute discontinuance of business, all retained paper forms must be delivered to ATF. When a licensed business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, all retained paper forms shall be delivered to the successor, or to ATF.
- Upon absolute discontinuance of business or when a licensed business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, any Forms 4473 retained in electronic format in accordance with this ruling must be delivered in electronic format to the NTC’s Out of Business Records Center in a format suitable for imaging such as a TIFF, JPEG, or PDF. If the forms will be submitted in a PDF or TIFF format, the licensee must ensure that Optical Character Recognition and Intelligent Character Recognition are turned off/disabled, and images are flattened and not electronically searchable. The forms, retained alphabetically by name of purchaser, chronologically by disposition date, or numerically by transaction number, must be delivered on a media device such as a USB drive, CD, DVD, etc.
Held further, ATF authorizes an alternate method or procedure for the retention of Forms 4473 (5300.9). Specifically, ATF authorizes FFLs to digitally scan paper Forms 4473 and retain in an electronic format provided all the following requirements are met:
- FFLs who have paper Forms 4473 completed prior to, or after this ruling, may elect to digitally scan Forms 4473 older than 3 years from the date the firearm transfer occurred, the date the transaction was denied or cancelled, or the last date of entry where no sale or delivery of the firearm occurs, including supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition). The Forms 4473 must be scanned in an expeditious manner, and retained in the same manner as required in conditions 3-5, 7-8, 13, and 15 set forth for FFLs retaining electronically completed Forms 4473 in an electronic format.
- An FFL electing to digitally scan and electronically retain paper Forms 4473 older than three years from the date the firearm transfer occurred, the date the transaction was denied or cancelled, or the last date of entry where no sale or delivery of the firearm occurs, must ensure all electronic documents are an exact image of the paper form, include all pages of the paper Form 4473 and any supplemental ATF forms or documents from a transaction (multiple sale forms or documentation showing the exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition); is incapable of being altered without tracking of the alterations; and is saved to an onsite electronic storage device. Only after a paper Form 4473 is converted, saved in an electronic format in accordance with the requirements of this ruling, and verified to be complete and correct, may the paper Form 4473 be destroyed.
- When submitting files to the Out of Business Records Center, the file names for digitally scanned and electronically retained paper Forms 4473 must not contain personally identifiable information (e.g. name, address, date of birth, social security number, etc.).
Held further, if the licensee fails to abide by the conditions of this ruling, uses any procedure that hinders the effective administration of the Federal firearms laws or regulations, or any legal or administrative difficulties arise due to complications from electronic retention, the licensee is no longer authorized to utilize electronic retention of ATF Forms 4473 under this ruling and must revert back to retention of paper forms. Held further, this ruling supersedes all previously approved alternate methods or procedures (i.e. variances) covering the use of electronic storage of electronic ATF Form 4473.
Your comprehensive guide to navigating the manufacturing, sale, and purchase of NFA items. Before we start, it is important to note that this guide is written from the perspective of an FFL holder.
In order to deal in or manufacture NFA items Short barreled rifles (SBR), short barreled shotguns (SBS), suppressors, and machine guns.
Special Occupational Tax
You will need to pay the Special Occupational Tax (SOT), type 1, 2, or 3 depending on your plans. Applying for an SOT is done by completing and returning ATF form 5630.7: Special Tax Registration and Return – National Firearms Act.
The SOT is $500 and must be paid once every federal fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th). The fee is not prorated, this means you pay the same amount if it is granted on July 1st or April 1st and it is always due for renewal on July 1st.
There are three classes of SOT, these are always held in conjunction with an FFL.
SOT Class 1 – Import / Sale of NFA items
SOT Class 2 – Manufacture / Sale of NFA items. The SOT 2 is typically paired with an FFL07
SOT Class 3 – Sale of NFA items. an SOT Class 3 is the typically paired with an FFL01
As a dealer, it is important to quickly distinguish between the 6 NFA forms
Form 1 – Application to Make and Register a Firearm or Suppressor (ATF Form 5320.1)
Form 1 is used when an entity without an SOT want to make a firearm
Form 2 – Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported (ATF Form 5320.2)
Form 3 – Application for Tax-Exempt Transfer of Firearm and Registration to Special Occupational Taxpayer (ATF Form 5320.3)
Form 4 – Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.4)
Form 5 – Application for Tax Exempt Transfer and Registration of Firearm (ATF Form 5320.5)
Some elements of this ruling have been superseded by ATF Ruling 2022-01
In the ATF ruling 2016-1, the ATF authorizes an alternate method or procedure to the paper bound firearms acquisition and disposition recordkeeping requirements.Specifically, the ATF authorizes licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, and licensed collectors to maintain their firearms acquisition and disposition records electronically, provided all of the following conditions are met:
- The licensee records in the computer system all of the acquisition and disposition information required by 27 CFR 478.121, 478.122, 478.123, 478.125(e), 478.125(f), and 27 CFR 479.131, as applicable. Required information includes a record of both the manufacturer and the importer (if any). Additional columns can be utilized to capture certain additional information (e.g., inventory number, new/used, etc.), so long as the additional information is separate from the required information and the required information is readily apparent. An ATF Form 4473 serial number may be used instead of the address for recording the transfer of a firearm to a non-licensee if such forms are filed numerically.
- The electronic acquisition and disposition bound book software must track corrections and changes utilizing one of the following methods of tracking changes: a. The system must retain any correction as an entirely new entry, without deleting or modifying the original entry. When the software generates the bound book, the system must be able to quickly and easily change views of the bound book as follows: 1. Only view the original entries; 2. Only view the corrected entries; and 3. View both the original and corrected entries in the same bound book. OR b. The system must be able to print the corrections as a separate report containing the same parameters as are required for a paper bound book, including the firearm information, acquisition details, and disposition details. The format of the correction report may follow the traditional bound book format, or may be presented in any column format as long as the necessary information outlined above exists in the report (which may include a notes column). OR c. If a spreadsheet program (e.g., excel) is being utilized, the system must be able to track any edits/corrections/amendments in a “notes” column. Any edits/corrections/amendments may overwrite the original entry so long as the “notes” column explains any edits/corrections/amendments and/or tracked changes (i.e., what was changed, who made the change, and why the change was needed).
- The system cannot rely upon invoices or other paper/manual systems to provide any of the required information. Also, if a licensee chooses to use an electronic recordkeeping system for any of its required acquisition and disposition records, then all acquisition and disposition records, regardless of type (e.g., gunsmithing, sales, NFA), must also be in the electronic format as prescribed by this ruling.
- The system must allow queries by firearm serial number, acquisition date, name of the manufacturer or importer, name of the purchaser, address of purchaser or other transferee, and ATF Form 4473 transferor’s transaction serial number (if any).
- The licensee must download all records from the system to a physical storage device (e.g. hard drive, Compact Disc (CD), Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), or Universal Serial Bus (USB) Flash Drive) at the licensee’s business premises, or print and maintain them at the licensee’s business premises:
- a. at least semiannually; however, if the records are downloaded, from a host facility (e.g., remote server or cloud storage provider) contracted/leased by the licensee as provided in condition #9, they must be downloaded at least daily. In all cases, the records must be downloaded in a format that is unencrypted with the required information readily apparent;
- b. upon request of an ATF officer (must be provided within 24 hours);
- c. prior to discontinuance or change of: the software (program); the database system, whether or not maintained by a host facility (e.g., remote server or cloud storage provider); and/or the host facility (if applicable); and
- d. prior to discontinuance of the licensee’s firearms business. The downloads/printouts must include all firearms in inventory, as well as all firearms transferred during the period covered, sequentially by date of acquisition, and must be limited to display only the information required by the applicable regulations. The downloads/printouts may contain additional columns capturing certain additional information, provided that the required information is readily apparent.
- If a licensee downloads the records onto a physical storage device (e.g., hard drive, CD, DVD, or USB Flash Drive), the download must be retained on the physical storage device until the next download is prepared. Additionally, the licensee must be able to present the most current version of the requested records in a printed format at ATF’s request.
- If the licensee prints out the records, the printout must be retained until the next printout is prepared.
- Downloads/printouts may include antique firearms, but cannot include other merchandise. However, antique firearms must be identified as such in the “firearm type” column.
- Electronic firearms acquisition and disposition records may be stored on a computer server or device owned and operated by the licensee, or contracted/leased by the licensee through a host facility (e.g., remote server or cloud storage provider), provided that: a. The firearms acquisition and disposition records are readily accessible through a computer or device located at the licensed premises during regular business hours; and b. The licensee’s server is located within the United States or its territories, or if a host facility is used, that facility must have a business premises within the United States or its territories, and must be subject to U.S. legal process. Licensees are strongly encouraged to ensure that there are proper and robust security protection measures in place (e.g., encryption) to ensure all data is protected.
- If the licensee contracts with, leases from, or changes a host facility (e.g., remote server or cloud storage provider), the licensee must, within 30 days, notify his/her respective ATF Area Office of the name and address of the host facility.
- 11. Each licensee must maintain its firearms acquisition and disposition records on a separate/partitioned database that cannot be intermingled with the records associated with another license.
- 12. The storage system must back-up the firearms acquisition and disposition records on at least a daily basis to protect the data from accidental deletion or system failure.
- 13. Licensees must retain all records in accordance with 27 CFR 478.129, ATF Rul. 2010-8, Consolidation of Required Records for Manufacturers, and ATF Rul. 2011-1, Consolidation of Required Records for Importers (as applicable). It is strongly recommended that upon reaching 20 years, those electronic firearms acquisition and disposition records be either permanently maintained by the licensee or forwarded to the ATF Out-of-Business Records Center for preservation.
- 14. Upon discontinuance of business, the licensee must send required records to the ATF Out-of-Business Center in accordance with 27 CFR 478.127. The licensee must print out the required records or download them to a physical storage device (as defined in paragraph 5) or, at the discretion of the licensee, both. The complete printout or download must provide an American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) text file (in conformity with industry standards) containing all acquisition and disposition records, and a file description. The complete printout or downloaded ASCII text file (and file description) must contain all information prescribed by regulation. The NTC converts these files into image files not searchable by name.
All laws, regulations, rulings, procedures, and policies applicable to the paper form of the firearms acquisition and disposition records also apply to electronic versions. Licensees are not required to use an electronic acquisition and disposition record, and may continue to use a paper record in the format prescribed by regulation. Licensees are reminded of their responsibility to ensure accuracy and completeness of all of their required records. Held further, if the licensee fails to abide by the conditions of this ruling, uses any procedure that hinders the effective administration of the Federal firearms laws or regulations, or any legal or administrative difficulties arise due to the use of an electronic acquisition and disposition record, the licensee is no longer authorized to maintain acquisition and disposition records electronically under this ruling until all conditions of this ruling are met. Held further, this ruling supersedes all previous rulings regarding alternate methods or procedures for electronically maintaining firearms acquisition and disposition records, including ATF Rul. 2013-5, Requirements to Keep Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Records Electronically, approved December 17, 2013. Any reference to ATF Rul. 2008-2, Records Required for Firearms Licensees, approved August 25, 2008, in ATF Rul. 2010-8, Consolidation of Required Records for Manufacturers, approved December 6, 2010, and ATF Rul. 2011-1, Consolidation of Required Records for Importers, approved January 26, 2011, are hereby replaced to reference this ruling. Date approved: April 29, 2016 Thomas E. Brandon Deputy Director
Looking for the non-ffl guide? Click here!
If you have an FFL, you are probably familiar with GunBroker, if not check the non-ffl guide above to get started.
Unless you have a retail location or are excited to have a bunch of strangers coming to your house, GunBroker is probably your best bet for getting started selling as a new FFL.
The first thing you will want to do is log into your GunBroker account and click on my account:
Once you are on your account page, you will see a bunch of options. Near the bottom middle of the page you will see two links, they both go to the same page “FFL/Dealer Services” or “Join our FFL Network”:
After clicking the link, you will be at a new page and will see the box below in the middle of the page:
The link on that page will take you to the dealer application form, which looks like this:
Or if you are in a hurry just click here to be routed to the FFL Signup page.
Follow the directions on the form and the GunBroker team will contact you! Thats all there is to it!
If you are looking for the FFL guide click here
GunBroker is a great place to buy guns, accessories, gun parts, hunting gear, and all things weapon related.
Their site is very intuitive and you can get started in just a few easy steps:
Step 2: Check out the guides here: https://support.gunbroker.com/hc/en-us/categories/202943427
Now that you are registered you may be asking how do I bid on an item on GunBroker.com?
1. Scope out the special listings.
View the Showcase and Charity Listings on the GunBroker.com home page each time you visit.
2. Target your item.
Search immediately for the item you want using the search box in the header, or
Browse the categories using the Browse Categories dropdown on the header to find gun collectibles, sport firearms, hunting gear, knives & swords, air guns, archery and gun accessories. See a complete list of GunBroker.com categories.
3. Pull the trigger – place your bid!
You can follow the bidding on My GunBroker to make sure you win.
Adding a new firearm to EZ Online FFL is simple, just follow these easy steps:
Navigate to ezonlineffl.com and click Login in the upper right corner of the page
Log into the system
Click acquire the firearm from the menu at the top on the page
Fill out the form
When adding multiple of the same type of weapon, you can add multiple serial numbers
Click Acquire in the bottom right
Repeat for additional acquisitions
One thing that frustrates many new FFL holders is the lack of access to wholesale prices with out a verified retail location. Thankfully, there are some great companies offering wholesale prices to smaller FFLs!
EZ Online FFL is not affiliated with any of the companies in this post, we are only maintaining a central list
Q: Do people really store their 4473’s online?
A: EZ Online FFL is used every day by FFLs of all sizes to streamline their reporting process, saving time and reducing labor costs
Q: How do you know you are complaint?
A: Our software is fully compliant with all requirements for digital storage of form 4473 as outlined by the ATF here: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/digital-storage-form-4473
Q: How do I switch to a digital record keeping system?
A: You must submit a variance report to the ATF, it sounds intimidating but, is really just a simple email, we are happy to walk you through the process, check out our guide here: http://library.ezonlineffl.com/2022/07/23/notifying-the-atf-regarding-digital-record-keeping-system/ for a guide on preparing a variance report. Our guide even includes an email template to send!
Q: What if I want to change back to paper?
A: So far, no one has! But if you do, all your records can be downloaded in PDF format or printed any time with the push of a button