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July 11, 2017

ATF Q&A: 4473 Forms

I understand that FFL holders are required to maintain Form 4473 records for 20 years and that the records are to be sent to ATF if the FFL goes out of business. If an FFL remains in business beyond the 20-year holding period, does it still have to maintain the records?

No. The only requirement is to keep the Forms 4473 for 20 years. (See NSSF Factsheet.) The federal firearms regulations allow for licensees to dispose of forms that are older than 20 years. Disposition includes submission of those records to the ATF National Tracing Center (NTC). Submission of these records will allow ATF to more effectively trace crime guns. The NTC requests that licensees enclose a copy of the Active FFL and appropriately indicate that the records are over 20 years old. Records are to be sent to ATF, Out of Business Records Center, (OOBRC), 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405. It is recommended to send your records in a manner that can be tracked, i.e., via Federal Express, U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service or any service that provides delivery confirmation. Contact the NTC, Tracing Operations and Records Management Branch, at 800-788-7133, with additional questions on this topic.


NSSF Member Webinars

Completed From 4473 Webinar Winning at ATF Inspections
From transfers to inspections to trace, the new (as of July 2020) Form 4473 is a critical document for all firearms retailers. This course is designed to take you step-by-step through a big picture overview and then line-by-line through the nuances of completing each section of the new form.

Watch at SHOT University Online

This 3 part course, presented by retired ATF deputy Director, Wally Nelson, and retired ATF Inspector, Jean Zabel, covers The Basics of ATF inspections, Issues and Resolutions and Proactive Steps to Prepare for an ATF Inspection.


Watch at SHOT University Online

More Retailer Compliance Resources Here


24-Hour Compliance Hotline

NSSF members can greatly benefit from the NSSF’s Retail Member Hotline. The toll-free hotline will bring calls in to the NSSF headquarters on a 24/7 basis. If questions regarding compliance, transactions, legislation or any other topic cannot be answered at the time of the call, an all-out attempt will be made to provide the answer within 24 hours.

NSSF members have exclusive 24/7 access to the NSSF’s Retail Member Hotline. Non-member retailers can view some of the questions that have been asked and answered through this service here.

Compliance Resources for Members

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