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Old October 17, 2013, 01:04 PM   #1
Skans
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My FFL requires Seller's Driver's License???

My FFL requires that the seller provide a copy of his driver's license to run a 4473 and log the weapon into his transfer log. I always thought this is a bit of overkill and that there is no requirement for seller's identification.

Is this a requirement? Not a requirement, but standard practice? Or not a requirement and is considered "overkill"?
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Old October 17, 2013, 01:53 PM   #2
JimDandy
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Probably none of the above.

I don't think it's a requirement, though I could be wrong. I don't think it's a standard practice. I don't think it's overkill. It's some documentation in case the firearm comes back stolen, etc. As far as I know, there's no background check on the seller when he logs it into his inventory. He's just getting some data on his "supplier" in case there's a problem later down the line he'll have to explain.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:11 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
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From all I've read on various forums, it seems to be pretty standard practice when the gun comes to the transfer FFL directly from the private party transferor. As I understand it, the receiving FFL needs to properly document the source of the gun for entry into his bound book.

But we do have some FFLs around, and I hope they chime in with authoritative information.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:15 PM   #4
Al Norris
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The seller (Transferor) must ascertain that you are who you said you are (Section A, questions 1 thru 9 on form 4473). He does this by inspection a State or Federal ID and entering this information on Section B, questions 20a (Identification), 20b (Alternate ID) or 20c (Alien and Nonimmigrant ID).

Does the Seller (FFL holder) have to copy your ID? It is at their discretion (the shops/owners/dealers procedures and practices). More FFL holders are going this route as protection for (BATF&E) liability reasons - at least that is what is happening here in ID.

Remember, the seller does not have to sell you a firearm, if you decide not to comply with their practices.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:29 PM   #5
Patriot86
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One of the local gun shops requires a copy of your DL and FOID whenever you make a firearms purchase. I imagine this is to CYA if there is a dispute about residency eligibility when buying a firearm, pretty hard to argue when you have a copy of a DL that says they live in Illinois.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:33 PM   #6
carguychris
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+1 Al Norris.

I hesitate to describe myself as an expert, but I'm a C&R FFL and I've pored over the regulations. I do not believe that there is any formal requirement for a FFL to actually retain a copy of the seller's driver's license or any other specific identifying document; however, the FFL is clearly required to take reasonable steps to ascertain the seller's ID, and IMHO a copy of his or her D/L is a prudent way to do this, particularly when the seller is not physically present to show ID.
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Last edited by carguychris; October 17, 2013 at 02:37 PM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old October 17, 2013, 03:15 PM   #7
JimDandy
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Al, that's not what I understood the question to be. He asked if it's standard practice and/or legally required for the FFL to take the SELLER's ID. It sounds as if he's asking about an FFL acting as an intermediary in a person to person, not business to person sale- i.e. Joe sells his gun to Bob, and as part of that they go to Sally's gunshop and Sally runs a 4473 check on Bob, but Sally also makes a copy of Joe's ID.

Of course, I could be reading it too literally.
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Old October 17, 2013, 03:55 PM   #8
Skans
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I think my question was answered, but let me clarify what I was asking:

I'm the typical "enthusiast" gun buyer. Every now and then I buy a gun from someone in another state. I pay for the gun in advance and then the seller ships the gun to my designated FFL. For about 8 years, I have been using the same FFL locally to receive the gun, run a NICS and do the 4473 so I can take possession of the gun. They never asked for the seller to send them a copy of their driver's license until about 2 years ago +/-. Now, they are adamant that they MUST have the Seller's DL to log the gun in their book and do the NICS background check on me.

I have never had a seller outright refuse to send them their DL, but about 1/2 the time they forget and I have to track down the Seller to do this before my designated FFL will complete the paperwork. One time, the FFL told me that the law requires them to get a copy of the Seller's ID. I lightly questioned him on this, but didn't push it.

So, I just wanted to know what is legally required; and if not legally required, then what the industry standard is on this. I thought that there was no federal law requiring a seller of a firearm to identify himself to a purchaser. In fact, with FTF transactions, I've never asked a seller to see his ID - I don't know what purpose it would serve anyway, since no one is running background checks on Sellers.

Last edited by Skans; October 17, 2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old October 17, 2013, 04:36 PM   #9
Armorer-at-Law
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The FFL doing the transfer is legally required to know who the firearm came from and to record his/her name and complete address in his acquisition/disposition book (bound book). The surest way to do that is to require the sender/seller to send a copy of his ID, such as a DL. It really is not unreasonable to ask. If it is sent with nothing more than a Gunbroker user name and partial address, it really puts the FFL in a legal bind. This is why some FFLs will only receive guns from other FFLs (no private party transfers). Some even falsely claim that it is the law, thinking that will satisfy the customer better than the truth.
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Old October 17, 2013, 05:12 PM   #10
Tom Servo
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I've lost count of how many guns I've received with the only identification being "Joe Smith, Winnetka" scrawled illegibly on the box. As Armorer mentioned, that really doesn't cut it for record-keeping. Having a copy of the sender's driving license allows me to make accurate entries in the books.

Furthermore, the ATF really likes seeing that we're doing due diligence in this regard, and that does indeed matter.
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Old October 17, 2013, 05:35 PM   #11
Al Norris
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Skans, I'm sorry I misunderstood what you were saying. With this further scenario, I agree completely with what Armorer-at-Law (and Tom Servo) has said. The only real way to correctly (correctly = keep the ATF of your back) document where an FFL has received a firearm is to have the ID of the out-of-State seller.
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Old October 17, 2013, 10:22 PM   #12
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My Local FFL had a problem with a transfer. The person receiving the firearm was denied. AS the firearm was in the possession of the ffl he had to run the original seller, And he was denied They ask if he could stall them until the local law arrived. They bugged out but correctly filled out the 4473 so they knew right where to get them.
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