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Old April 18, 2013, 03:54 PM   #1
zukiphile
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Would anyone know last time BATF were sued over stockpiled 4473s?

And what the case name would be. I looked around, but can't find any.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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I'm not sure they've ever been sued for it. From what I understand one would have to have standing. And to have standing, you'd have to know they monkeyed with YOUR 4473 form not?
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Old April 18, 2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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What do you mean by "stockpiled" 4473s?

4473s are retained by the FFL, not the BATFE. If the FFL goes out of business, then the 4473s are turned over to the BATFE, and there is nothing in the law that prohibits them from then retaining the forums in perpetuity. What is there that anyone could sue the BATFE over (regarding 4473s)?
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Old April 18, 2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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I believe he means the times they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar trying to turn those forms into a registry, or invading a shop and photocopying their entire bound book etc.
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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Indeed. I have a recollection of an action brought in the 90s attempting to enjoin the ATF from retaining the "yellows" turned in to the ATF when an FFL is not renewed.
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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Got any more details? State? Plaintiff? I'm glad to see if I can hunt it down.
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Closest I can find is NRA v reno, though if it exists, its probably a v reno
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:49 PM   #8
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats
Got any more details? State? Plaintiff? I'm glad to see if I can hunt it down.
I really don't. More an annoyingly incomplete memory, an itch I couldn't reach.

Quote:
Closest I can find is NRA v reno, though if it exists, ...
I think that scratches it. I have a vague memory of a spot in American rifleman showing a pallett of boxed yellows.

This pertains to a casual conversation about the ATF previously having failed to comply with the GCA prohibition on retaining records.

Many thanks all.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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What law prevents the BATFE from holding onto old 4473s turned over by defunct FFLs? The GCA prohibits retaining information from background checks, but I don't believe it addresses old 4473s. What would be the point of requiring an FFL to turn over 25-year-old 4473s if the only thing the BATFE could (legally) do with them is destroy them when they receive them? Why not just allow the FFLs to discard them and save a lot of fuss and bother?

I'm not saying that I like the idea of the BATFE having all those records, I'm just saying that I don't understand how under current laws their having them is a violation of anything.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; April 18, 2013 at 11:34 PM.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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I think I found a couple of links having to do with this.

The district court ruling.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...C/995270a.html

Some explanation of what's involved.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0074.htm

Here is an article that references a SCOTUS ruling.
http://epic.org/privacy/firearms/
And the excerpt itself.
"In June 2001, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that the Department of Justice would reduce the amount of time the FBI could retain the records of a gun purchaser's NICS check to just one business day, from the pervious 90-day plan. Ashcroft announced this policy three days after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the NRA's request for the immediate destruction of these records. The NRA had sued to force the immediate destruction of records, arguing that it was necessary in order to maintain the privacy of gun owners. Some have assumed that Ashcroft was induced by the NRA, claiming that the NRA contributed more to Ashcroft than to any other senate candidate when Ashcroft ran for re-election to the Senate from Missouri in 2000."

Frustratingly, I can't find the SCOTUS ruling itself. Medical research is my thing. Can anyone else track it down with these clues?
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:27 AM   #11
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Possibility: National Rifle Association v. Reno, 216 F.3d 122, 342 U.S.App.D.C. 231 (2000).
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:00 AM   #12
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Spats, I do believe that case is about the episode I was attempting to recall. Thank you.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:11 AM   #13
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Apparently, it is routine for the federal government to ask FFLs for photocopies of their records.

The law is clear on this. No permanent record (paper or electronic) is to be retained by the feds.

Apparently, when an FFL calls in a background check the government keeps the information for 30 days. This is also not in compliance with the law.

It was a bad idea in 1994 for background checks and it is a bad idea in 2013.
The government will always try to misuse this information.
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Apparently, when an FFL calls in a background check the government keeps the information for 30 days.
Can you give us a source for this statement?
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:28 PM   #15
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That was one of the primary claims/objections/whatchamacallits in the suit NRA v Reno. The NRA claimed the time period was 24 hours. AG Reno claimed the time period was 30 days for some sort of administrative process checking of the NICS system.
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:36 PM   #16
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As for current law:
Quote:
(b) The FBI will maintain an automated NICS Audit Log of all incoming and outgoing transactions that pass through the system.

(1) Contents. The NICS Audit Log will record the following information: Type of transaction (inquiry or response), line number, time, date of inquiry, header, message key, ORI or FFL identifier, and inquiry/response data (including the name and other identifying information about the prospective transferee and the NTN).

(i) NICS Audit Log records relating to denied transactions will be retained for 10 years, after which time they will be transferred to a Federal Records Center for storage;

(ii) NICS Audit Log records relating to transactions in an open status, except the NTN and date, will be destroyed after not more than 90 days from the date of inquiry; and

(iii) In cases of NICS Audit Log records relating to allowed transactions, all identifying information submitted by or on behalf of the transferee will be destroyed within 24 hours after the FFL receives communication of the determination that the transfer may proceed. All other information, except the NTN and date, will be destroyed after not more than 90 days from the date of inquiry.
28 C.F.R. § 25.9

"Audit log means a chronological record of system (computer) activities that enables the reconstruction and examination of the sequence of events and/or changes in an event." 28 C.F.R. § 25.2

So that's current law, but I, too am curious as to a source for the claimed 30-day retention practice.
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:40 PM   #17
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From the epic.org article in my post above.

"President Clinton Reduces Retention of Brady Checks to 90 days: In April of 2000, President Bill Clinton reduced the amount of time that Brady background check records could be retained by federal officials from 180 days to 90 days, increasing the privacy protection of gun purchasers. This policy was to go into effect in June 2001.
Department of Justice Reduces Retention of Brady Checks to 24 hours: In 2001, the Department of Justice reduced the amount of time federal officials are permitted to retain Brady background check records on gun purchasers from 90 days to just 24 hours.
ATF moved to the Department of Justice: Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the ATF is moved from an agency within the Department of the Treasury to and agency within the Department of Justice."


I can pretty much guarantee the article above is out of date. I can't imagine the Obama administration following the same rules as the Bush administration on this particular subject.
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajbcpa
The law is clear on this. No permanent record (paper or electronic) is to be retained by the feds.
That pertains to background checks. Please cite the actual law that shows this also applies to 4473s from defunct FFLs. If you know the law is clear, then you must be able to cite the law.
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Old April 19, 2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubcedar
I can't imagine the Obama administration following the same rules as the Bush administration on this particular subject.
Why not? President Bush supported both universal background checks and renewal of the original assault weapons ban; he was prepared to sign the latter if Congress had passed it. See this recent article, and this one from 2004.

If you look at the current version of those rules (available on the ATF website), you'll find that the 24-hour limit for retention of background check information is still in place.
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Old April 19, 2013, 05:26 PM   #20
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Vanya, I can't find the specific reference in the link you provided but I have no reason to doubt you. I am a little surprised though, considering that he could lengthen the retention time, that he hasn't.
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Old April 19, 2013, 05:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
That pertains to background checks. Please cite the actual law that shows this also applies to 4473s from defunct FFLs. If you know the law is clear, then you must be able to cite the law.
This 30 days applies to NICS which is FBI, not the ATF, there's a different 30 days that applies to 4473's and the ATF.. Discontinuance of Business
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubcedar
Vanya, I can't find the specific reference in the link you provided but I have no reason to doubt you. I am a little surprised though, considering that he could lengthen the retention time, that he hasn't.
Just for the record, since others may also want to see it, here's the paragraph in question:
Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide, 2005, page 116

§ 25.9 Retention and destruction of records in the system.

(b)(1)(iii) In cases of NICS Audit Log records relating to allowed transactions, all identifying information submitted by or on behalf of the
transferee will be destroyed within 24 hours after the FFL receives communication of the determination that the transfer may proceed. All other information, except the NTN and date, will be destroyed after not more than 90 days from the date of inquiry.

I have a vague recollection (can't track down the reference right now) that the 24-hour time limit was specified by Congress; if so, it's not something Mr. Obama can change at will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
Quote:
That pertains to background checks. Please cite the actual law that shows this also applies to 4473s from defunct FFLs. If you know the law is clear, then you must be able to cite the law.
This 30 days applies to NICS which is FBI, not the ATF, there's a different 30 days that applies to 4473's and the ATF.. Discontinuance of Business
The only reference to a 30-day time limit in the link above is one to the effect that when a business is discontinued, records must be turned over to the ATF within 30 days. This has nothing to do with how long the ATF may retain them.
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:06 PM   #23
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They retain them from between 25 years to in perpetuity. I've heard on here from one person they destroy bound books after 25 years, but I've never seen or heard that anywhere else. When an FFL goes out of business the ATF retains the forms in their document storage warehouse in case they have an investigation.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
scrubcedar
"In June 2001, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that the Department of Justice would reduce the amount of time the FBI could retain the records of a gun purchaser's NICS check to just one business day,
There is a lot of confusion in this thread.
NICS and a 4473 are two entirely different things.

4473's are a firearm transaction record and kept for 20 years (by the dealer) after which they may be destroyed. If the dealer discontinues business he turns over his remaining 4473's.

NICS checks are the background check required by the Brady law. Checks that result in a "Proceed" are erased at the end of the NICS business day (midnight Central time)

"Delayed" transaction information is stored until the transaction status changes to a "Proceed"....then erased at the close business.

If the "Delay" results in a "Denied" or is Denied outright the transaction information is kept permanently.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
JimDandy They retain them from between 25 years to in perpetuity. I've heard on here from one person they destroy bound books after 25 years, but I've never seen or heard that anywhere else. When an FFL goes out of business the ATF retains the forms in their document storage warehouse in case they have an investigation.
Any dealer who is destroying his bound book at any time is committing a felony and is an idiot. When he goes out of business he turns over ALL of his bound books to ATF.
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