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July 11, 2017

ATF Q&A: 4473 Forms


Someone with whom I am acquainted wishes to buy a firearm. I know that during his divorce proceeding, a restraining order was placed against him. I know that in my State such an order prohibits the possession or acquisition of a firearm.  He has checked No to Question 11h (Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner?) and explains to me that after the settlement, the order was lifted. Should I ask for written corroboration?

Generally, if the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) has reasonable cause to believe that the transferee is disqualified by law (e.g., subject to a restraining order), the FFL may not complete the transaction.  A prohibition as a result of a domestic violence restraining order exists only as long as the restraining order is in force. However, if the purchaser provides adequate documentation showing the FFL that such order was lifted and is no longer in effect, the buyer is no longer prohibited and the FFL may transfer the firearm. The FFL needs to be aware that he or she could be held liable (administratively/criminally) if the purchaser indeed was prohibited from receiving and possessing such a firearm and the FFL transfers the firearm anyway. Also, the purchaser needs to be advised that any information, including supplemental documents, submitted in furtherance of obtaining a firearm is subject to penalties of perjury.