Category Archives: FFL Guides

ATF Final Rule 2021R-08F: “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces'”

  • 📅 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:
  • Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division:
  • Office of Regulatory Affairs:
  • eForms Account Registration

Background Checks and SSN#’s

How many John Smiths are there in the United States? One would imagine a whole bunch! Background checks run on two main identifiers. Name and Date of Birth. So if John Smith with a DOB of 12/10/1982 goes to NCIC for a background check what are the odds that they look up the wrong John Smith? Fact is it’s pretty good. Here is an example.

Regular customer comes in and purchases a firearm. Now this state does not have any exception for carry permits so this customer is going to have a background check run before they can leave with the firearm. Keep in mind you have sold this customer a gun over and over with no issue. You enter in all the information and poof DENIED.

So you have two options. Send the customer away with the appeal paperwork in hand or based on your knowledge of the individual you can run them again except this time ask them to provide a social security number. This will help narrow down the John Smith with a DOB of 12/10/1982 WITH the SSN of 123456789 now we have a match and its a PROCEED. In this situation it is suggested that you print out both the denied and proceed and attach them to the transaction documentation in the event you have to explain why you did two background checks.

It is also not uncommon to “fat finger” something and get a denial. A wrong date of birth or even the spelling on a name can result in the wrong individual from popping up and getting denied. In situations where this happens run them again. Print out or document what you did different between the denied and proceed and keep it for your records.

This is one of the great features of EzOnlineFFL all the information is entered one time. If there is a mistake you correct it and resubmit it. No starting over, no entering the same information in another system.

Barcode Scanner and EzOnlineFFL

Using a 2D barcode scanner with EzOnlineFFL allows for accuracy as well as saving some time getting your customer in and out. While the only requirement is the scanner be a 2D scanner so that it can read the PDF-417 barcodes on the back of driver licenses which we will talk about more later.

Some of you have a point of sale (POS) that uses barcode scanners already and in some cases these scanners are 2D and will work fine with getting information into EzOnlineFFL; However each scanner has the ability to be customized and programmed differently which maybe a requirement of your POS. If this is the case we are more than willing to work with your POS to get the scanner programmed in a way where it will work with both EZ and your POS.

Where do I get a scanner?

We don’t sell the scanners directly. Follow the link below and you can purchase one from Amazon. This is the scanner we used to develop the software. We selected this one for it’s wireless features and it comes configured right out of the box. The scanner works better when connected to the included cradle however it does work (slower) when connected directly with Bluetooth and does require some configuration to swap between the cradle and Bluetooth.

Get a scanner here!

Once you have your scanner setup and working you can use it to enter serial numbers when acquiring items or to scan the back of your customers driver license and import all their information directly into the 4473. This really speeds up the process and prevents keying errors.

Be sure to keep the paperwork you get with your scanner. You will need the barcodes if you want to program the scanner to do other things down the road.

One thing to consider is while the information encoded on the back of the driver licenses is standardized the TYPE of information may vary from state to state. For example Georgia encodes almost everything from eye color to the driver license number, Philadelphia on the other hand does not encode the driver license number so this information has to be keyed in by the Dealer in the dealer section.

Barcode scanners also have post codes. These are keystrokes that are automatically entered after a barcode is scanned. Here is an example. If there are multiple fields the scanner can enter a TAB so you can scan from one field to the other. Another one is a CARRIAGE RETURN which is like hitting the enter key on the keyboard. So when you scan a barcode the form is automatically submitted just as if you hit the enter key. These can be programmed by the user.

FFL Address Changes

No matter if you are a brink and mortar or a home based FFL there may come a time where you will have to change your address.

Changing your address can be simple as moving to a bigger location in the same town or as complicated as changing states. What I can tell you is this, we have done both!

If you are moving cities or states you need to get a new business license and check your zoning.

A change of state or city will require you to get a business license in the new area. You will also need to make sure the zoning laws allow you to have a gun business in the new area. Trust me, the ATF will check zoning requirements and in some cases these may restrict your business or not be an issue at all. The ATF will follow the zoning requirements for your area. This requirement can be done before you file your ATF paperwork and trust me it’s worth doing first!

Complete the ATF From 7 (5310.12)

Yes I know, I know you have to re-due this form to start the address change process best part is you don’t have to do anything except fill out the form and send it in and there is not cost associated with a change of address. We filled ours out, printed it and sent it in via priority mail with a tracking number. SUPER IMPORTANT.. once you an confirm it’s been received you can call or email and they will confirm the receipt.

Give it a few days (10 or so) before you start calling around to see the status of your address change. This process does not take long however there can be some lag when it hits your local ATF office. Be nice and stay on them. You can email the Federal Licensing Center at at any time and ask questions. They are quick to respond and very helpful.

There will be an interview

The ATF will come and do an interview at your new location. This is very informal, they will check your identification, check your business license and take the time to review the procedures for doing background checks and other procedural stuff pertaining to the sell of firearms. In my situation the Agent was clear, this was not an inspection. However I took it as an opportunity to ask questions, show off my storage and inventory and discuss “what if” cases. Mine took about two and a half hours, mostly because we talked a lot.

Once the agent submits their final report and that report is approved by their Supervisor they will authorize the powers that be to issue you another paper FFL at your new address. It took about six business days to receive mine in the mail.

Getting your new paper license is just the start, you now have to update all your wholesalers with the new license. Last thing you want to happen is for them to ship a firearm to the wrong address. We hope they have checks in place to ensure this does not happen but we also want to do our part.

NEVER POST YOUR FFL ONLINE… Individuals will download it alter it print out a new one and purchase firearms with your LICENSE… this is no good. Protect your physical copy and keep it off the internet. Share it with confirmed vendors on secure sites and vie email to confirmed parties.

What about my SOT???

Don’t worry we got you. In our case our SOT expired just before the address change. We reached out to the SOT office and they quickly responded stating for us to pay for the renewal at the old address and once the FFL license was approved and showing in ezCheck (Or on EzOnlineFFL’s list) you can submit a ATF Form 5630.7 to change the address and email it to and they will get you a new one sent out with your new address. If you change locations your FFL number will change depending on what IRS region you land in.

Other Considerations

  • Make sure where you are moving allows for NFA items if appealable.
  • Remember if you have abandon your current FFL’s location you can’t have firearms shipped there.
  • If your FFL is still valid you can still do dealer to dealer stuff and ATF eForm stuff.
  • Once your new license is issued and your old license revoked you are now in ATF License limbo. Most vendors will not ship you a firearm until they get the physical copy of your license. Is what it is.

Doing your best to pre-game this process will make all the difference. As always if you have a question let us know.

Correcting mistakes on the 4473 and or the 3310

We are human. We are going to make mistakes. It is going to happen. In the FFL business while mistakes do happen once we identify the mistake we need to fix them correctly and put steps in place to ensure they do not happen again. All while maintaining our ATF compliance.

Recently an issue came up with a client. This client uses a separate point of sale (POS) for their daily transactions and EzOnlineFFL on the backend to maintain their A&D. During a inventory the client realized they were missing firearms. In my Forest Gump voice “this is a bad thing”. So upon further research they determined that the guns were sold in the POS however one here and there did not make it onto the 4437 creating the illusion that the guns were still in inventory when in fact the customer had paid for them and left.

So we are posed with a few questions and considerations.

  • We know the firearms went to a legitimate person who passed a background check.
  • The missing firearms simply need to be added to the existing 4473’s which would take them out of inventory and resolve the descrpancy.
  • All 3310’s needed to be updated and resubmitted.

And all of this has to be done by the letter of the ATF because no one wants to get in trouble. So what did we do, we contacted our IOI and explained the situation. Believe it or not in this circumstance they were understanding and very accommodating. The IOI was grateful that an inventory was done and that the issue was identified during the in-house inventory and not during an ATF visit. The IOI did say that if they had discovered it during an inspection that it would have resulted in a write up but were glad that an effort was being made to fix the problem and not cover the problem up.

So what was the solution? Turned out to be pretty easy.

  • We downloaded all 4473’s and 3310’s as they are currently in EzOnlineFFL. These documents are labeled our “Originals”
  • Once all originals were collected and secured we added the missing firearms to the appropriate transaction. Taking careful care to ensure each firearm landed where it was supposed to go.
  • Once all the transactions were confirmed correct we added the original documents to each corresponding transaction and labeled them originals as the new ones are now the corrected copies.
  • The client printed out the originals and the corrected copies and combined them together for recording purposes.
  • Corrected 3310 were marked across the top as “CORRECTED” and resubmitted.

That is it! Disaster avoided. All the documentation matched what had happened and what was done to correct it and the clients inventory is now accurate.

Now, it has to be said. A good relationship with your local ATF personnel is paramount. In our experience we have a good interaction with our IOI’s however there has been cases where one was telling you to go right and the other was telling you to go left. In these situations find a contact and shoot off an email. Get a response in writing will always help.

Just remember the last thing you want to be accused of is deception in your record keeping. Be honest, and have that prof.

As always we are here to help.

Notice Regarding Recent Changes to the ATF Form 4473

The notice below was sent out by the ATF on December 8th, 2022. More information can be found here:

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 authorizes digital storage for Form 4473 in ATF Ruling 2022-01

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!

  1. Licensees must provide written notification to their local ATF Industry Operations Area Office 60 days prior to implementing an electronic Form 4473 retention system. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. The retention system must allow the Form 4473 to be printed and the FFL must print any Form 4473 upon request from ATF. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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).
  1. The retention system must have the ability to flag or set aside Forms 4473 in order to save for further review during inspections.
  1. The retention system must allow or provide sorting of Forms 4473 during ATF compliance inspections.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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:

  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.

The National Firearms Act and You: SOT and NFA Forms

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

NFA Forms

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)

If you need further assistance, contact the ATF National Firearms Act Division at 304-616-4500 or email sends e-mail)



ATF ruling 2016-1, the alternative to paper bound firearms acquisition and disposition recordkeeping

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: 

  1. 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. 
  1. 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).
  1. 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.
  1. 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).
  1. 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: 
    1. 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; 
    2. b. upon request of an ATF officer (must be provided within 24 hours); 
    3. 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 
    4. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If the licensee prints out the records, the printout must be retained until the next printout is prepared. 
  4. Downloads/printouts may include antique firearms, but cannot include other merchandise. However, antique firearms must be identified as such in the “firearm type” column.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

Getting started with GunBroker: a Guide for FFLs

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!