It depends on what your definition of “is” is. To quote a Democrat.

The ATF has not changed the contents of form 4473. The same questions, the same information, the same warnings are there in the 2023 revision as were in the 2012 revision.

But since I’m not stupid, I can look and see that the form changed. What gives?

What gives is that the ATF rearranged the form. This is supposed to have been to make the form better for the buyer.

On the earlier forms, the first page had your personal identifying information and the questions. The back of the first page had a bit more and was where the information about the firearm was placed.

Yes, people sometimes missed that there was a second page.

This was easily corrected because the FFLs would just tell the customer to finish filling out the form and point them to the second page.

No issues.

But, as my local FFL pointed out, the ATF is not a nice agency. They lie and cheat. It used to be that he would set them up in a back room when they came to do an inspection. One day, he walked in on them taking pictures of 4473s. This is against the law.

He called them on it. Moved them to the main room where he could watch them. No more photos of 4473s.

Each 4473 required the agent to take two pictures and to be able to prove that image 1 was related to image 2. Since that was nearly impossible, the images weren’t as useful to the ATF as they wanted.

The latest changes rearranged the form so that the first page now contains your personal identifying information as well as the firearm(s) identifying information.

The questions now run over from page 1 to page 2.

These new forms can be used to create a registry buy just scanning the front of the form. Or take a picture of it.

Many people, myself included, believe the ATF made the change to make it easier for them to clandestinely create a firearms’ registry.

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By awa

4 thoughts on “Did the ATF Change Form 4473 after 2012?”
  1. my last “compliance check” atf never looked at my 4473s. just my firearms record book and my nfa stuff..

  2. I would have sworn there have been multiple changes and rearrangements over the past 5 years or so. The smiling friendly not-so-local-but-great-folks FFL counter guys and I would joke about if the form had changed -again- since I was last in.

    1. yea, there have been more changes. First one I can think of is the addition of questions about being under 21 (for the SAFE Act, of course) and my fan favorite – the addition of non-binary for “sex”. I asked if I could check that box at my FFL on the last on I filed out – he has known me for years and laughed that if I did check non-binary he would consider it “a lie” haha, they added a box and it’s about as worthless as you could get.

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