If you know what a Form 4473 is – you’ll find this interesting.

Since this video was made the ATF has changed the format of a Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473) and the new version became mandatory on Nov. 1, 2020.

The revised form is available to either download or order online and it website spells out the differences between the old and new versions of the form very clearly.

This page on the ATF website highlights the significant changes to the form. You can see that the description of the firearm and the name of the buyer are now next to each other and the small print is at the end. The ATF says: “It is highly suggested that you review the entire revised form and all persons using this form must certify that they have read and understand all of the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions.

I read the section below and I confess I had never thought about how long the forms should be retained by the dealer/seller. As the guy above says, you look an idiot if you don’t know the serial number of a stolen weapon, so the owner should have all the relevant information in case there’s a theft. But I was surprised to see the length of time the seller is expected to keep paperwork related to a sale.

Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter…After the transferor/seller has completed the firearms transaction, he/she must make the completed, original ATF Form 4473 (which includes the Notices, General Instructions, and Definitions), and any supporting documents, part of his/her permanent records. Such Forms 4473 must be retained for at least 20 years and after that period may be submitted to ATF. Filing may be chronological (by date of disposition), alphabetical (by name of purchaser), or numerical (by transaction serial number), as long as all of the transferor’s/seller’s completed Forms 4473 are filed in the same manner.

As the guy above also points out, these forms are never meant to be digitized as this information is protected under the Second Amendment. We hope that in this day and age people are able to stick to these rules and corners are never cut.