Earlier today I received an email response from ATF in relation to FICG’s Comment in Opposition to ATF’s Proposed Changes to the 4473 Form which I drafted. You can find a copy of their response here.
In the comment I raised a number of issues including that ATF is the incorrect federal administrative agency for determinations of prohibition under 18 U.S.C. 922(g), that ATF cannot redefine a “fugitive from justice” in these proceedings, and issues relating to the certification statement. It was also requested that ATF revise the 4473 Form, consistent with the ATF Form 1 and Form 4, whereby it would include fields for fictitious entities, instead of requiring FFLs to draft and attach a fictitious entity form as required by 27 C.F.R. 478.124(g), for which, ATF provides no sample form. Most noteworthy, I challenged the language that ATF required individuals certifying information on the form to attest to.
Specifically, the individual is certifying that based on the
“…information in the current ATF Publication ‘State Laws and Published Ordinances’ – it is my belief that it is not unlawful for me to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise disposes of the firearm(s) listed on this form to the person identified in Section A.”
The problem with that language is the the current publication of State Laws and Published Ordinances is the 31st version which dates from 2011. This means there is at least a 5 year lapse of information in the current guide.
The important part is that ATF’s own regulations require that “[t]he Director shall annually revise and furnish Federal firearms licensees with a compilation of State laws and published ordinances which are relevant to the enforcement of this part.” See27 C.F.R. § 478.24.
ATF’s response was rather comical.
Essentially, ATF said that they don’t care the regulations, which they drafted, require that book be updated but rather they would change the language so the individual signing the form would not need to certify they relied on that book for information.
As ATF has a long history of abusing its authority one cannot help but roll their eyes at the nonsense and lack of accountability the agency has. Perhaps some calls from concerned citizens to congressional leaders will help get ATF back on track.
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