The ATF has adopted a new Form 4473 that all FFLs must use beginning on January 16, 2017. Several of the changes on the new Form 4473 clarify current laws that already apply to firearm sales made before the revised forms must be used. Two of those changes are of particular relevance.
First, the new Form 4473 clarifies the instruction for question 11(a) regarding when the person is completing the form is the actual transferee/buyer because he is purchasing the firearm as a “bona fide gift” for a third party. The new instruction clarifies that a firearm is not a “bona fide gift” if the person for whom it is intended either: (1) has given or offered the person completing the form money, services, or items of value to obtain the firearm for him; and/or (2) the person for whom the firearm is being purchased is prohibited by law from receiving or possessing the firearm.
Second, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3), it is illegal for an FFL to sell a firearm to anyone they have reasonable cause to believe is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance. Question 11(e) requires the purchaser to state whether they are an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana, or certain other drugs. Based on the increase in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, the new Form 4473 provides a warning that federal law still prohibits the sale of persons who use marijuana, even if it is legal for them to do so in their state of residence. Accordingly, if an FFL has reasonable cause to believe that a prospective firearm purchaser uses marijuana, they are required to deny the sale.
Information on the new Form 4473 can be found here and a copy of the form is accessible here. Renzulli Law Firm, LLP continually monitors changes to federal firearms laws. If you have any questions about the new revisions to the Form 4473, please contact us.