BATFE audit

Big-Un

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A few days ago I had my first, and hopefully my last, BATFE audit. With only 32 logbook entries since 2014, about a third being "repair" entries for engraving purposes, I thought it would be quick and easy. Not so! The agent spent almost three hours going over my books and found some errors on form 4473, all minor entry mistakes. Don't take me wrong, the agent, a very nice lady, took her time to explain everything to me and made recommendations for filling them out in the future. There was nothing to warrant disciplinary action and she didn't pursue it, but because there were so few entries, my percentage was way up, which could cause another audit in the near future. All in all it was not that bad.

The firearms entered, other than those for engraving, were for friends that ordered through the mail and had them shipped to me for transfer, and I don't use NICS as all my clients have CCP's or are LEO's, so the background checks are already completed.

Needless to say, it was a stressful time, but I survived!
 

FANCYGUN

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#2
I have been audited a few times also the agents have been very professional and helpful i also right off the bat offer a cup of coffee the last time the agent invited me to his range if i was in his town to shoot some machine guns moral is..be nice and they will be also
 

JJ Roberts

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I got a call from a new women head agent here in northern Virginia a few weeks ago wanting to know what I did I engrave sporting arms & restore guns I don't buy or sell gun and work out of my home. J.J.
 
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#6
As someone who is contemplating firearms engraving in the future, I find these stories fascinating. Sounds like the records keeping process is very complicated.
 

Goldjockey

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Generally speaking, a Form 4473 is necessary for firearms transfers when someone has purchased a firearm from an FFL licensed dealer, or has acquired or purchased firearms shipped from a dealer in another state, or from an unlicensed person in another state, or in the same state for a non-face to face transaction. In certain states (like NM, the one I just left), a formal transfer with a form 4473 is required anytime a firearm is transferred between individuals.

ATF considers firearms refinishing and engraving Gunsmithing activities https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/gunsmiths . Check your state statutes, but with regard to Federal requirements a lawful gun owner may deliver or ship a firearm directly to an (FFL) licensed gunsmith (or engraver) for work, and receive the firearm directly from the gunsmith when the work is completed [27 CFR 478.124(a) and 478.147]
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/doe...t-nics-background-check-returning-repaired-or

You'll still need to make bound book entries for each firearm received for work, and record all required information for each bound book entry, but if the customer has provided their lawfully owned firearm for work, you are working with the customers gun, and all you are doing is engraving or refinishing (and/or other gunsmithing activities) a form 4473 is not required.

These requirements can always change as new rules are adopted or rules change, but the way things stand as of this writing, if one is receiving customer owned firearms directly from customers for work, and is filling out 4473's for these transactions, it's really just unnecessary paperwork. More time, work, and potential liability for you, and more work for the ATF investigator performing the audit who must take the additional time to compare each unnecessary 4473 with corresponding bound book entries.

No one will stop you from requiring a form 4473 as a condition of accepting work, but doing so when it isn't required can be an opportunity for unforced errors, and it will definitely extend the time an audit takes for both you, and the Investigator.

Speaking only for myself, I don't do transfers for friends and acquaintances. There are plenty of FFLs who will do transfers all day long for a nominal fee, but for me unless it is necessary for business I am transacting, it is simply not worth the time, aggravation, and potential for unforced errors.
 
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flintdoubles

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When I applied for my FFL I told the agent that came for the inspection what I intended to do, engraving and restoration. She told me I could not do that with a class 01 license. I would need a class 7 manufacturing license so that's what I got. She was wrong but not knowing any better I did what she said. Ask 3 ATF people the same question you will get 3 answers.
When I was audited the first time I failed to write in my neighbor's CC # it was on other forms but I screwed up on that one and was reprimanded for that. For the next 2 years I was checked once a year.
I quit doing transfers and have not seen anyone since.
My experience with the agents they were all friendly and professional just doing their job. If you do your job there won't be any problems. The agent that comes now admitted agents can interpret things in different ways he suggested getting questions answered in writing and signed by the a agent, I have not tried that.
 

Big-Un

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Generally speaking, a Form 4473 is necessary for firearms transfers when someone has purchased a firearm from an FFL licensed dealer, or has acquired or purchased firearms shipped from a dealer in another state, or from an unlicensed person in another state, or in the same state for a non-face to face transaction. In certain states (like NM, the one I just left), a formal transfer with a form 4473 is required anytime a firearm is transferred between individuals.

ATF considers firearms refinishing and engraving Gunsmithing activities https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/gunsmiths . Check your state statutes, but with regard to Federal requirements a lawful gun owner may deliver or ship a firearm directly to an (FFL) licensed gunsmith (or engraver) for work, and receive the firearm directly from the gunsmith when the work is completed [27 CFR 478.124(a) and 478.147]
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/doe...t-nics-background-check-returning-repaired-or

You'll still need to make bound book entries for each firearm received for work, and record all required information for each bound book entry, but if the customer has provided their lawfully owned firearm for work, you are working with the customers gun, and all you are doing is engraving or refinishing (and/or other gunsmithing activities) a form 4473 is not required.

These requirements can always change as new rules are adopted or rules change, but the way things stand as of this writing, if one is receiving customer owned firearms directly from customers for work, and is filling out 4473's for these transactions, it's really just unnecessary paperwork. More time, work, and potential liability for you, and more work for the ATF investigator performing the audit who must take the additional time to compare each unnecessary 4473 with corresponding bound book entries.

No one will stop you from requiring a form 4473 as a condition of accepting work, but doing so when it isn't required can be an opportunity for unforced errors, and it will definitely extend the time an audit takes for both you, and the Investigator.

Speaking only for myself, I don't do transfers for friends and acquaintances. There are plenty of FFLs who will do transfers all day long for a nominal fee, but for me unless it is necessary for business I am transacting, it is simply not worth the time, aggravation, and potential for unforced errors.
I don't fill out Form 4473 when receiving a firearm for engraving, but if I keep it overnight, which is always the case, it needs to be entered into the bound book for record keeping. My troubles started when customers (friends) had ordered firearms and had the shipped to me and the NEW form 4473 was used for transfer. I may revisit my services to those friends in the future, but it happens so rarely that it may still be a friendly service to certain members.
 

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