May 22nd, 2020

ATF Approves Updated Form 4473 for Background Checks

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is set to release its newest version of the Form 4473. The Updated Form 4473 is used by all Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders to record pertinent information from persons seeking to purchase a firearm or firearms prior to the FFL performing a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) or state-approved point-of-contact law enforcement agency. FFLs may start using the new Form 4473 immediately. The FBI intends to start shipping these new forms in July 2020.

CLICK HERE to View Draft May 2020 Revised Form 4473 »

IMPORTANT: Use of the updated Forum 4473 becomes MANDATORY as of November 1, 2020, for paper applications (not using the FBI E-Check system).

The May 2020 Form 4473 includes several changes from the previous version, including:

— The warning at the top of the form includes information about illegal exportation.

— Information on the firearm/s to be transferred is now Section A, which must be completed before the transferee completes Section B.

— The Citizenship information (Country of Citizenship and US-issued alien or admission number) has been moved to precede the prohibitor questions.

— The “County” block has been changed to “County/Parish/Borough” to accommodate Louisiana and Alaska, respectively.

— The “Sex” box has been revised to include a third option of “Non-Binary”. [Comment: Really? And how does this prevent crime? Thank you SJWs.]

— Item 26b, which previously applied to situations in which the identification document did not show the current residence address of the transferee, has been updated to include situations in which the identification document does not include the full legal name of the transferee.

— New item 26c has been included for the recording of official military orders establishing permanent change of station.

OTHER Changes: A detailed summary of ALL Form 4473 changes has been prepared by Orchid Advisers, which provides ATF and ITAR compliance services to manufacturing, distribution, and retail FFLs.

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

Expected Delivery Dates and Pre-Order Links
Use of the May 2020-approved Form 4473 will be mandatory for all FFLs beginning November 1, 2020. FFLs may use supplies of their current Form 4473s (October 2016 version) until that date. The new Form 4473 and continuation sheets are available for preorder in both English and Spanish. FFLs can expect their preorders to begin shipping in late July 2020. In addition, ATF expects to ship 50-quantity starter packs of the new Form 4473 to all FFLs in late July 2020, and the agency intends to have an updated eForm 4473 up and running during that same time period for those FFLs utilizing the FBI’s NICS E-Check system instead of the paper Form 4473.

CLICK HERE to Pre-Order Revised FBI Form 4473 »

NSSF has ordered both Spanish and English overlays for the new Form 4473 and we will notify our members when they are in stock and available through the member portal. These overlays, which complement an FFL’s compliance best practices, help improve accuracy and completion of this critical form and are available free to NSSF members.

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April 21st, 2020

All-Time High in FBI Firearms NICS Checks in March 2020

NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks
CLICK HERE to view full-screen NICS Chart.

Story based on Report by Dean Weingarten
The NICS numbers for March 2020 established new, all-time records for both the number of projected guns sales as well as the numbers of NICS background checks done in one month. In March 2020, 3,740,688 NICS checks were done, according to official FBI statistics.

The previous one-month NICS record was set in December of 2015, when 3,314,594 NICS background checks were done. In March of 2020, the FBI recorded 3,740,688 NICS background checks, 12% higher than the previous record. The number of NICS checks always exceeds that actual number of gun sales, because some checks are done for other purposes. The estimated number of recorded long gun, handgun, and other gun sales totaled 2,373,193 in March 2020, 7% higher than the previous sales record in December of 2015.

Guns Sales Driven by Pandemic Fears
According to MSN News, “With most of the nation in isolation to halt the spread of coronavirus … the FBI has seen a 41% increase in background checks compared to this time last year.”

Click Image to Go to MSN to Watch Video (then Click Speaker icon for audio).
NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks

Most Background Checks Were for Handguns
In March 2020, most of the purchases were for handguns instead of long guns. The numbers for March were: Handguns, 1,392,677 NICS checks, long guns, 758,073 NICS checks, other (mostly receivers, which could be made into either handguns or long guns) 79,129, and multiple 57,328. Multiple checks are multiplied by 2.5 to approximate the number of gun sales.
NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks
Carry Permit NICS Checks Rising Faster
Notably, there has been significant growth in the number of NICS checks associated with CCW Carry Permit applications. NICS checks for carry permits and carry permit rechecks have been increasing much faster than checks for firearm sales. While states maintain their own databases for Carry Permits, NICS checks are done in connection with permit applications and renewals.

NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks

Total Guns in USA Close to 450,000,000
Using the figures available, there were about 430 million private firearms in the United States at the end of 2018. About 18.6 million have been added since then, putting the USA close to 450 million at this point. According to Dean Weingarten, the United States is on track to reach 500 million privately owned firearms by the end of 2024.

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April 3rd, 2020

Gun Sales Soar — Record Number of FBI Background Checks

NICS FBI background check covid-19 coronavirus pandemic gun sales

The current Coronavirus Pandemic may be the most significant event to impact the United States since World War II. The majority of Americans are now “sheltering at home” under State Executive Orders. Across the nation, schools, shops, restaurants, and countless businesses are closed. The virus continues to spread at an exponential rate in the USA, which now has more confirmed Covid-19 cases than any other country on the planet. Yes, according to official statistics, we have more persons infected than does China, where this scourge originated. (However, there is considerable evidence that China may be deliberately under-reporting COVID-19 infections and deaths).

For obvious reasons, this Pandemic has Americans concerned about their safety and their security. As a result, citizens across the country are purchasing firearms. There are lines outside the doors of some gunshops. The rush to buy guns has led to a historic spike in NICS firearms background checks.

Record Number of FBI Background Checks for Gun Sales
According to MSN News, “With most of the nation in isolation to halt the spread of coronavirus, officials are seeing a spike in gun sales….the FBI has seen a 41% increase in background checks compared to this time last year.” According to the FBI, 3.7 million background check were run by the FBI in March.

Click Image to Go to MSN to Watch Video (then Click Speaker icon for audio).
FBI NICS background check

And Fox News confirms that we are seeing a huge spike in gun sales and background checks: “The FBI ran more than 3.7 million gun background checks on Americans under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in March, smashing the previous record as Americans armed themselves amid growing fears about the coronavirus pandemic. The NICS system ran 3,740,688 background checks in March, which is 33 percent higher than the previous record of more than 2.8 million, which was set in February. The February numbers were a 34 percent uptick from the same time in 2019. March’s background check numbers marked a 41 percent increase over March 2019.”

NICS FBI background check covid-19 coronavirus pandemic gun sales

READ Fox News Story HERE »

About the Numbers — There is NOT a 1:1 correspondence between NICS checks and gun purchases, because not all background checks involve an actual purchases. For example, some States run NICS checks for carry permit applications. It is estimated that at least 2.3 million March 2020 background checks were for firearms transactions.

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