GUN ATF Introduces Online Firearms Form To Ease Transactions

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    ATF Introduces Online Firearms Form To Ease Transactions, Prevent Errors

    By Henri E. Cauvin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, November 20, 2008; B03

    Every year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives finds thousands of licensed gun dealers in violation of federal law, often for very minor problems.

    The agency, which conducts about 11,000 inspections a year, says it has come up with a way to eliminate many of those violations before they happen.

    Instead of filling out the required ATF paperwork by hand, gun buyers and dealers will now be able to complete what officials say is a fail-safe electronic version of the document, known as Form 4473.

    Speaking at a gun shop in Upper Marlboro where he announced the change, acting ATF Director Michael J. Sullivan said the new option would cut down on illegible answers and incomplete answers –– the most common causes of violations.

    Such simple human errors account for about 60 percent of the violations cited annually by the ATF, and finding a way to reduce them has been a priority for the agency and the industry, Sullivan said.

    Maryland has 554 licensed gun dealers and Virginia has 1,507, according to the ATF. There is one licensed gun dealer in the District, and at least one other business is applying for a license.

    Officials emphasized that the use of the new software is voluntary and that the data entered on the form are not being used to create any sort of government database of gun ownership.
    :hsugh:

    But Sullivan said he hopes that dealers and their customers will embrace the new electronic form, which dealers can download from the ATF's Web site at http://www.atf.gov/applications/e4473/.

    "I think many people will see it as a very useful tool," Sullivan said.

    Lawrence G. Keane, general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association, applauded the ATF, saying the new form would reduce the number of innocent mistakes made in completing the transaction forms.

    Carl William Roy II, owner of Maryland Small Arms Range, where the new form was unveiled yesterday by ATF, said he has been pushing officials for years to change the way the document can be completed.

    When the ATF is conducting an inspection or the police are looking for information about a gun, handwritten records can he hard to decipher, especially years later, Roy said.

    "It can be a mess," he said.
     
  2. AVengeance

    AVengeance Active Member

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    They could just as easily create their database with the faxed form already, so on a computer screen or in a fax machine is really no different.
     
  3. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    something connected to the internet is ultimately more at-risk than a file in a cabinet in a federal building (or what have you)
     
  4. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    The 4473 doesn't get faxed, barring any odd states I'm unfamiliar with.
     
  5. 993kgt

    993kgt building an airplane whee

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    4473 is to protect the actual dealer, not for gun registration, although we all know that it is a form of gun registration

    i've bought lots of items under 4473 forms, but then sold them out of a lack of interest

    I am personally against face to face transactions
     
  6. AVengeance

    AVengeance Active Member

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    How is the form transferred now? Fax wa an assumption. Any way you transfer data there is risk of it being intercepted or put to nefarious use later.
     
  7. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    like soybomb said, to my knowledge there is not transfer now.
     
  8. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    There is no transfer, the dealer calls in some data from the 4473 and gets a proceed, deny, or wait on the sale and keeps the 4473 in his files for 20 years or until he goes out of business. This call doesn't always go to the fed, many states run their own background check systems. This data is usually purged after a set amount of time.

    Obviously computerized internet accessible data is the easiest to abuse in oh so many ways. I don't believe the current 4473 system is really registration, computerizing it would change that overnight.
     
  9. striker754

    striker754 Chillin

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    Its a program that you put info in and you have to print out the 4473. Not incredibly useful
     
  10. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    My local dealer has said that if a call for mandatory registration comes up he's going to "accidentally" burn his 4473s.
     
  11. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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    Soybomb is on point.

    I'm somewhat torn over this; I fear the slippery slope that it creates, but have seen good guys lose their FFL's over stupid misorganization. Though arguably the dealers fault, it's rather difficult to actually keep the records that the ATF requires, for the time needed. Think about how you would go about storing 1000's of paper 4473's, for 20 years, and be able to find a specific one if called upon. Not easy. There needs to be some kind of electronic solution.
     
  12. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Yeah the ATF can't even find old 4473s that have been turned in from what I understand.

    While this doesn't "phone home" (yet) it does appear to store the data on the ffl's computer. I would put my confidence in my ffl's computer security practices just above that of my mother. Is it likely data that would be targeted remotely? Probably not, although its possible. It would be easy for any other workers in the store to snag the data though. Do you trust all the $7/hr counter employees to be above stealing from you? Sure they could browse a bound book at the store but being able to email yourself a few years of sales data would make shopping much easier. When the ATF agent comes to audit, he can copy down relevant data to follow up on now. With this system he could put years of sales data on a flash drive in seconds, conveniently tagged in an easily imported format.

    Plus if ffl's start using this and getting used to it, there will be less struggling when future versions have unwanted features.

    (Soybomb has not installed the software, downloaded the manual and quickly flipped through it, let me know if I misunderstood the export functionality.)
     
  13. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    Actually, the e4473 is basically just a downloadable program that saves the data on the dealers computer. It checks for clerical errors and allows the dealer to print out a hard copy.

    No data is transmitted. You can even run the program on a computer that isn't connected to the net, for the black helicopter crowd.

    EDIT: Ah shit. Soy beat me to it.
     
  14. warm

    warm Capitalism ftw

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    I'd throw a lot of business his direction if I were you :o
     
  15. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    Just bought a lower from him last week. :)
     
  16. feetball

    feetball New Member

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    Wait ... they are going to let the FFLs STORE the ONLY copy of the form on their computer?!?!? That is ludicrous!!! There is no upload to ATF servers feature!?!?!
     
  17. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    why not just post a freaking PDF of the form? that way people can still type that shit out, store it on their own computer (if they so chose), print, and take to dealer.
     
  18. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    wat :ugh:
     
  19. feetball

    feetball New Member

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    wat indeed :rofl: I misread his post. heh...
     

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