View Single Post
Old November 28, 2011, 11:50 AM   #11
dogtown tom
Senior Member
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,126
LinuxHack3r Well if you look, you can find many that agree with you. Supposedly though, after the NICS check, the data is deleted from the FBI's servers at midnight.
All "Proceed" transactions are deleted at the close of the NICS business day per Federal law. When the FBI NICS was in its infancy they were storing the info until Congress ripped them a new one.

All "Delayed" transactions information is held until NICS changes the status to Proceed or Denied.

Information from all "Denied" transactions are kept permanently per Federal law.

However, you will hear stories from various FFL's regarding various federal agencies calling them about a specific gun that was used in a crime, at which point the FFL has to dig up the 4473 and see who they sold the gun to. But all that shows is who they SOLD it to. How does the fed know which gun was sold from which FFL unless they have a database?
The Feds can only trace a firearm from a manufacturer to the first retail sale. It isn't a database search but old fashioned reading the entry in the bound books of manufacturers/distributors/dealers.

Well, there are, I hypothesize, two possibilities:

1) The 4473 information is passed along before deleted.
No one gets information from my customers 4473 with the exception of the buyers personal information for the purpose of a FBI NICS check. The FBI NICS is only told whether the firearm is a handgun , long gun or other firearm. They aren't told whether its a revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, receiver, frame, lower or PGO shotgun. They aren't told the name of the manufacturer, model, caliber or serial number....all of which is recorded on the 4473.

Federal law requires that the dealer keep 4473's for twenty years when they may be destroyed. If the dealer goes out of business before that time the 4473's are sent to the ATF.

ATF cannot remove a 4473 from the dealers possession unless it is pursuant to a criminal investigation.

2) Due to a foggy mixture of federal regulations and self-imposed accounting and inventory purposes, gun manufacturers keep record of which guns were shipped to which FFL, and thus the fed can ask/subpoena for the information when a crime is committed.
Theres nothing foggy about Federal law....all licensees are required to record the aquisition and disposition of every firearm through their business.

When a firearm is recovered at a crime scene, ATF will contact the manufacturer to see where the gun was shipped.....then they continue to follow the trail until that first retail sale to a customer who completed a 4473. If that customer sold/traded/lost that gun and does not know/remember/admit knowledge of the buyer then the trace stops there.

ATF doesn't need a subpoena, complying with a trace request is a requirement of all Federal Firearm Licensees.

Before I became a dealer, I too, thought the 4473's were a form of registration. Now I realize just how laughable that is. It would have to be the single most inefficient method imaginable.

To show just how nonexistent their ability to trace firearms is....last month every FFL in two counties received a letter from our DA's office asking us to check our records to see if particular individual had purchased firearms or ammunition through a licensee. It is a capital murder case.
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

Plano, Texas...........the Gun Nut Capitol of Gun Culture, USA

Last edited by dogtown tom; November 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM.
dogtown tom is offline  
Page generated in 0.03328 seconds with 7 queries