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Old May 26, 2019, 03:24 PM   #1
osbornk
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4473 can be effective

I went to Rural King in Wytheville, Va. this afternoon to buy a new revolver. It took a little while as there were 5 of us buying guns at the same time.

As I waited, one of the gun salesman and the manager got to talking about an incident that happened to them this morning (I think). A gun customer filled out a 4473 and when they transmitted it, they quickly got a call from the police and asked if the man was still there. They replied yes since he was wandering around the store waiting for approval. The Virginia State Police came to the store and arrested the man who completed the 4473. He must have been wanted for something as they didn't take the paperwork when the man was arrested. The area headquarters for the State Police is within a few miles of the store.
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Old May 27, 2019, 07:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
I went to Rural King in Wytheville, Va. this afternoon to buy a new revolver. It took a little while as there were 5 of us buying guns at the same time.

As I waited, one of the gun salesman and the manager got to talking about an incident that happened to them this morning (I think). A gun customer filled out a 4473 and when they transmitted it, they quickly got a call from the police and asked if the man was still there. They replied yes since he was wandering around the store waiting for approval. The Virginia State Police came to the store and arrested the man who completed the 4473. He must have been wanted for something as they didn't take the paperwork when the man was arrested. The area headquarters for the State Police is within a few miles of the store.
How did they know this specific guy was there?
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Old May 27, 2019, 09:03 AM   #3
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How did they know this specific guy was there?

Quote:
customer filled out a 4473 and when they transmitted it, ...
Not certain (not from there) but it seems that in this case (VA?) the "background check" goes through his State Police.

I'm sure the OP can explain it, when he comes back, but it sounds like the gunshop "transmits" the 4473 to the State Patrol, for approval.
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Old May 27, 2019, 11:21 AM   #4
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In Virginia there are two forms, the 4473 and another form that goes to the State Police.
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Old May 27, 2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TomNJVA
In Virginia there are two forms, the 4473 and another form that goes to the State Police.
Do the forms go to the State Police before or after the sale/transfer?

My state's background checks also go through the state police. The FFL doesn't send anything to the state firearms unit. He makes a phone call. He gives the officer on the other end the name of the person and his/her pistol permit number. If it's a long gun that doesn't require a pistol permit, I'm not sure what other information is given, because you can buy long guns using a pistol permit and that's the way I've always done it.

We also have a form separate from the 4473 that goes to the state police. But it goes by U.S. Mail, after the deal has been concluded.
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Old May 27, 2019, 02:51 PM   #6
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The state form is filled out at the same time as the 4473 before purchase but I don't know when or how it is transmitted.
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Old May 27, 2019, 03:10 PM   #7
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The state form is filled out at the same time as the 4473 before purchase but I don't know when or how it is transmitted.
Then we don't know if it could play any part in a situation such as reported in the opening post, where a buyer was apprehended at the gun shop while waiting for his background check to clear.
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Old May 27, 2019, 03:49 PM   #8
MC 1911
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It is transmitted on line at least in our store it was. It was not unusual for the SP to call & ask if the person was still there if there was a problem. I've seen 5 or 6 taken out in cuffs over the years.
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Old May 27, 2019, 08:51 PM   #9
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Im not sure I'd credit what happened with anything. Often that sort of situation can mean the person had a warrant someplace, for something, that might not even be a prohibiting crime even if that person was found guilty (and until then it's an innocent person in such situations)..

Police departments often do not act on arrest warrants rather they wait until the person pops up in a traffic stop - then they may arrest the person (although especially with out of state crimes they have no obligation to do so)... unfortunately whenever a background check is run these things come up and they tend to act since the person is buying a gun.

Could be as minor as unpaid traffic tickets and its likely the person wasnt even aware of it.
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Old May 28, 2019, 08:03 AM   #10
osbornk
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Originally Posted by TomNJVA View Post
In Virginia there are two forms, the 4473 and another form that goes to the State Police.
The Virginia form is has the same information as the 4473 and I suspect it is required so the State Police gets the information immediately rather than it wandering through the federal paper shuffle where they might get it later or not at all. As usual, when I completed the paperwork and it was checked for accuracy, it was transmitted and the approval came back almost immediately which indicates to me that it goes to both the State Police and the Feds electronically.
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Old May 28, 2019, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by osbornk
The Virginia form is has the same information as the 4473 and I suspect it is required so the State Police gets the information immediately rather than it wandering through the federal paper shuffle where they might get it later or not at all. As usual, when I completed the paperwork and it was checked for accuracy, it was transmitted and the approval came back almost immediately which indicates to me that it goes to both the State Police and the Feds electronically.
I'm sure you are correct about the purpose of the state form. My state's form also repeats most of the questions that are on the 4473. It's not a question of the 4473 "wandering through the federal paperwork shuffle." The 4473 doesn't go to the feds unless the FFL retires or otherwise goes out of business. It stays with the FFL for 20 years, after which he can discard it. the 4473s only go to the feds if the FFL stops being an FFL. And, when the feds get a couple of transfiles full of ancient 4473s from a retiring FFL, I don't think they scan them and send copies to the state police in the FFL's state.

That said, I know for a fact that in my state the state form is not transmitted to the state police electronically prior to the transfer. It is mailed in after the fact. The background check is conducted by a phone call from the FFL to the state police. To what extend the state police check with NICS I don't know, but I know that when I have bought handguns my approvals typically take about one to two minutes.
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Old May 28, 2019, 04:50 PM   #12
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I can actually answer this. It may not have happened this way in the OPs situation. It may have all happened through VA State Police if they require a transmission during a firearm purchase.

Even excluding that, and regardless of whether a 4473 was transmitted or whether the LGS simply conducted a NICS check, the NICS check would catch someone entered as a wanted person (you could also call a "wanted person" a fugitive) in NCIC. NICs accesses NCIC files. So, you call in a NICS check. During the check, the person pops up as wanted. This may be handled by forwarding to local police, who in turn call the LGS and ask if the person is still there. "Oh, he is? We'll be right there to help him out."
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Old May 28, 2019, 06:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 5whiskey View Post
I can actually answer this. It may not have happened this way in the OPs situation. It may have all happened through VA State Police if they require a transmission during a firearm purchase.

Even excluding that, and regardless of whether a 4473 was transmitted or whether the LGS simply conducted a NICS check, the NICS check would catch someone entered as a wanted person (you could also call a "wanted person" a fugitive) in NCIC. NICs accesses NCIC files. So, you call in a NICS check. During the check, the person pops up as wanted. This may be handled by forwarding to local police, who in turn call the LGS and ask if the person is still there. "Oh, he is? We'll be right there to help him out."
Yep and sometimes that wanted person is just wanted for a misdemeanor, ie allegedly tresspassed and they have an arrest warrant deemed not important enough to even execute until the person pops up in a traffic stop or buys a gun.

Some of these things is what Trump took a lot of flak for changing - the fugitive from justice definition. Old minor warrants that the police dont bother with or inform someone of, but were stopping people from buying guns in some situations and labelling them fugitives.
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Old June 2, 2019, 10:15 AM   #14
laytonj1
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Back when Virginia had the one gun a month law, gun purchases would go thru the state police to verify it had been at least a month since your last purchase.
So new purchases did / likely still go thru state police at the same time.

Jim

Last edited by laytonj1; June 2, 2019 at 10:20 AM.
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Old June 2, 2019, 12:12 PM   #15
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The title of this thread is "4473 can be effective."

Then we have talked about whether or not the 4473 ever goes anywhere or is seen by any law enforcement agency, and we have discussed state forms that echo the same questions asked on the 4473. From the discussion, it appears that what we're saying is that "background checks can be effective," not necessarily 4473s.
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Old June 13, 2019, 12:24 PM   #16
Brownstone322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
The Virginia form is has the same information as the 4473 and I suspect it is required so the State Police gets the information immediately rather than it wandering through the federal paper shuffle where they might get it later or not at all. As usual, when I completed the paperwork and it was checked for accuracy, it was transmitted and the approval came back almost immediately which indicates to me that it goes to both the State Police and the Feds electronically.
A couple things here ...

1. The Virginia form is much shorter than ATF Form 4473, so it doesn't capture the same information. There are only four actual questions on the state form (Blocks 6-9).

2. The Virginia form is specifically a state-police form: Form SP-65, "Department of State Police, Virginia Firearms Transaction Record." The final sign-off (Block 12) is called "State Police Approval Number or Other Final Status."

So that form goes directly to the state police, and both approvals (ATF 4473 and SP-65) have to come back before the sale can be completed.
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