Form 4473- Address Field


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LemmyCaution
January 20, 2013, 04:23 PM
Can't remember off the top of my head- is the address field on a 4473 the physical address, or the postal address.

I was in a local gun shop last week, and a gentleman (not me) was attempting to complete a transfer. The kid working the counter insisted that the PO Box address the gentleman listed on his 4473 was not legitimate- that he needed a physical address and the clerk would need an identifying document as proof of such address. In Vermont, one can use the PO Box as the official address on one's identification, and this gentleman had done so.

This was a surprise to me, as every 4473 I've filled out in the last 10 years has used my PO Box address, and I have never had a problem. I have never purchased a firearm from this particular vendor, thus have not run into this problem with him.

Would an FFL, or other knowledgable party care to chime in on what type of address is legit on a 4473, and whether or not proof of such an address is required to complete a transfer?

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brboyer
January 20, 2013, 06:33 PM
From form 4473:
Question 2. Current Residence Address: U.S. Postal abbreviations are acceptable. (e.g., St., Rd., Dr., PA, NC, etc.). Address cannot be a post office box. County and Parrish are one and the same.

Cosmoline
January 20, 2013, 06:59 PM
Yeah it supposed to be physical. When I lived off the address system I actually filled in lot and block number and they accepted it! I had to bring a copy of the deed's property description for them.

burk
January 20, 2013, 07:19 PM
As someone who works part time in the retail gun business, I can assure you that is must be a physical address. And it must match a recognized government photo ID. Not only is it illegal not to change your address on your DL (in MI) when you move. It's also illegal for me to transfer a firearm if your current address doesn't match your DL or state ID. I see more deals get rejected because someone failed to go to the Sec.of State and change their ID than any other reason.

NavyLCDR
January 20, 2013, 08:34 PM
As someone who works part time in the retail gun business, I can assure you that is must be a physical address. And it must match a recognized government photo ID. Not only is it illegal not to change your address on your DL (in MI) when you move. It's also illegal for me to transfer a firearm if your current address doesn't match your DL or state ID. I see more deals get rejected because someone failed to go to the Sec.of State and change their ID than any other reason.

Incorrect. A separate government issued DOCUMENT (does not have to be identification) must be presented to show the current residence address if the current residence address is not shown on the identification document. Might want to read the actual instructions themselves for the form 4473 the next time you work part time in the retail gun business.

Cosmoline
January 21, 2013, 01:48 AM
A separate government issued DOCUMENT (does not have to be identification) must be presented to show the current residence address if the current residence address is not shown on the identification document.

This is also my understanding. I'm not sure where this idea about the DL being illegal with a current physical address arose from.

BlisteringSilence
January 21, 2013, 02:37 AM
I can't speak to any other state, but in Arkansas you have 30 days from the day you complete your move to get your address on your ID updated, or its no longer considered valid.

LemmyCaution
January 21, 2013, 11:35 AM
Incorrect. A separate government issued DOCUMENT (does not have to be identification) must be presented to show the current residence address if the current residence address is not shown on the identification document. Might want to read the actual instructions themselves for the form 4473 the next time you work part time in the retail gun business.

NavyLCDR-

Would a property tax bill constitute adequate proof, in your opinion?

I have no e911 address. I live on land that is not adjacent to any road, thus no proper street address.

Birch Knoll
January 21, 2013, 11:45 AM
Would a property tax bill constitute adequate proof

Yes.

burk
January 21, 2013, 12:23 PM
Incorrect. A separate government issued DOCUMENT (does not have to be identification) must be presented to show the current residence address if the current residence address is not shown on the identification document. Might want to read the actual instructions themselves for the form 4473 the next time you work part time in the retail gun business.

Sorry, from the 4473 the only exception is dual residence. If you reside in MI half of the year but have a FL drivers license for instance. As long as you have alternative legal documentation (like tax forms) from MI you can proceed. And the other exception is Armed forces dual residence. But if you are a resident of one State, you better have your current address on your DL or State ID. A valid state Photo ID that establishes CURRENT address is the only thing acceptable.

From the 4473

Know Your Customer: Before a licensee may sell or deliver a firearm to a nonlicensee, the licensee must establish the identity, place of residence, and age of the buyer. The buyer must provide a valid government-issued photo identification to the seller that contains the buyer’s name, residence address, and date of birth.The licensee must record the type, identification number, and expiration date (if any) of the identification in question 20.a. A driver’s license or an identification card issued by a State in place of a license is acceptable. Social Security cards are not acceptable because no address, date of birth, or photograph is shown on the cards. A combination of government- issued documents may be provided. For example, if a U.S. citizen has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver’s license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government-issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address. If the buyer is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty acquiring a firearm in the State where his or her permanent duty station is located, but he or she has a driver’s license from another State, you should list the buyer’s military identification card and official orders showing where his or her permanent duty station is located in response to question 20.a.

Question 20.b. Alternate Documentation: Licensees may accept a combination of valid government-issued documents to satisfy the identification document requirements of the law. The required valid government-issued photo identifica- tion document bearing the name, photograph, and date of birth of transferee may be supplemented by another valid, government-issued document showing the transferee’s residence address. This alternate documentation should be recorded in question 20.b., with issuing authority and type of identification presented. A combination of government-issued documents may be provided. For example, if a U.S. citizen has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver’s license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government-issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address.

bamajoey
January 21, 2013, 12:32 PM
Here it is;

http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

Birch Knoll
January 21, 2013, 12:48 PM
Sorry, from the 4473 the only exception is dual residence.

No. You're interpreting the examples on the 4473 as specific exemptions. They are not. It's perfectly permissible, and in fact quite common, for a buyer to present an in-state driver's license as ID, but to present some other government-isssued document as proof of residency.

Here in Maine, plenty of people have a PO Box address on their driver's license, which is inadequate proof of residency. These people need to produce something like a tax bill from their town, or a state hunting or fishing license, etc.

Don't believe me? Here's the ATF's Federal Firearms Licensee Quick Reference and Best Practices Guide on the matter:

General Identification Requirements

You MUST verify the identity of each non-licensee
buyer by examining the person’s identification
document(s) prior to transferring a firearm. A proper
“identification document” is:

1. A document containing the name, residence address,
date of birth, and photograph of the person;

2. A document that was made or issued by or under
the authority of the U.S. Government, a State or local
government, or a foreign government;

3. A document that is of a type commonly accepted for
the purpose of identification of individuals.

Common examples of acceptable identification
documents are a valid driver’s license or a valid State
identification card issued in lieu of a driver’s license.
Social security cards are not acceptable because they
do not contain a residence address, date of birth, or
photograph. However, a firearms buyer may be identified
by any combination of documents which together
contain all of the required information (as long as all the
documents are Government issued): name, residence
address, photograph, and date of birth.

brickeyee
January 21, 2013, 12:53 PM
I always like the county and city area.

In Virginia Cities and counties are legally equal.

No city is IN a county, and no county is IN a city.

I live in a county.
I just fill it in twice with the same county and everyone seems satisfied.

BullfrogKen
January 21, 2013, 01:06 PM
I have my PO Box address on my driver's license. PA has many rural areas with no rural mail delivery service. Everyone in that Post Office's delivery area has PO Boxes or they get no mail.


And I've always put my residential address on the 4473, which is not the address on my driver's license. They do not have to match. However, if challenged I would have to prove that's my residence. Now I've never had to, but I can use my tax bill which has my property address and the mailing address - the PO Box - that the tax bill was mailed to.

NavyLCDR
January 21, 2013, 01:30 PM
Sorry, from the 4473 the only exception is dual residence.

One valid example of where you would be incorrect is Washington State. Washington State requires that you notify the Department of Licensing of a change of address, but they DO NOT issue another driver's license or sticker of any kind.

Also the ATF disagrees with you. ATF rule 2001-5. Printed page 136 of Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide:
http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf

ATF has received questions from
licensees regarding purchasers who
present a State-issued driver's license
or other identification document that
shows either an out-of-date residence
address or a mailing address (such as
a post office box) in lieu of a residence
address. ATF has advised that
these identification documents, standing
alone, would not satisfy the requirements
of the regulations
implementing the Brady Act.

It is ATF's position that a combination
of documents may be used to
satisfy the Brady Act's requirement for
an identification document. The prospective
transferee must present at
least one valid document that meets
the statutory definition of an identification
document; i.e., it must bear the
transferee's name and photograph, it
must have been issued by a governmental
entity, and it must be of a type
intended or commonly accepted for
identification purposes. ATF recognizes,
however, that some valid government-
issued identification
documents do not include the bearer's
current residence address. Such an
identification document may be supplemented
with another valid government-
issued document that contains
the necessary information.

LemmyCaution
January 21, 2013, 01:32 PM
As a thought exercise, it would appear that the universal background check system proposed by Obama/Biden would on its face disenfranchise the homeless from their 2A rights.

Not that the homeless are anyone's ideal poster children for a court challenge, but given the fact that the homeless are disproportionately the victims of violent crime, they should certainly have the means to protect themselves available.

BullfrogKen
January 21, 2013, 01:42 PM
Well they are disenfranchised from voting as well, aren't they?


Anyway, the process is exactly as NavyLCDR described. If my driver's license does not show my residential address, I must provide other supporting documents that prove my residence.

LemmyCaution
January 21, 2013, 01:53 PM
Well they are disenfranchised from voting as well, aren't they?

Yes, quite. Does that make it right?

I've spent time technically homeless- no fixed address, despite full time employment and natural born citizenship. And I could not vote during those years. So I sympathize.

eaglesnester
January 21, 2013, 10:18 PM
I have to chime in here and bring up the subject: Where in the second amendment does it require an American to have a physical address? I am a US citizen landed in Canada. I have no legal US address, because of this one fact I have had my 2nd Amendment rights taken away from me when I visit the United States. I resent this and I am outraged that the elected officials are passing laws that go against the bill of rights and the USC.

Birch Knoll
January 21, 2013, 10:21 PM
The law you're railing against was passed 45 years ago, in 1968. Your elected officials passed those laws a loooong time ago.

oneounceload
January 21, 2013, 11:24 PM
So what do the folks who are homeless by design (i.e. full time RVers) do about a physical address? They do not have one

LemmyCaution
January 22, 2013, 04:44 PM
The law you're railing against was passed 45 years ago, in 1968. Your elected officials passed those laws a loooong time ago.

The '68 GCA still allowed for private transfers. One does not need proof of residence address to perform a private transfer. If universal background checks are mandated, those without a residence address become disenfranchised.

Birch Knoll
January 22, 2013, 05:12 PM
The '68 GCA still allowed for private transfers.

And it still does.

If universal background checks are mandated, those without a residence address become disenfranchised.

No one has passed such a law, so that's a hypothetical.

For those who have no residence address, it is already an infringement that they cannot purchase a new firearm from a dealer.

They don't really have access to the private market either, as even private transactions are restricted to persons who reside in the same state. It's just that in a private sale, the seller (a) may not know this, and/or (b) may not check.

LemmyCaution
January 22, 2013, 06:13 PM
The '68 GCA is not a stand alone law. It's passage incorporated it into 18 USC 922. 18 USC 922 is what will be amended by any pending legislation.

Of course everything I am talking about is hypothetical. I am hypothesizing that the concrete proposal for universal background checks will completely disenfranchise those without a residential address. Which is another reason to oppose such legislation, and an argument why it is unconstitutional under existing SCOTUS precedent, both under the 2nd and 14th Amendments.

But those without a residential address are not, in fact, prohibited from private transfers, because private transfers do not require a residential address. They merely require that the parties involved reside in the same state. As such, during the period where I lived in the Green Mountain National Forest, I did not have a residential address, but I did reside in the state of Vermont. Thus it was legal for private parties to transfer firearms to me. The same can be said for the homeless- they do not have residential addresses, but one can not deny that a homeless person who sleeps in a box in an alley in Burlington does in fact reside in Vermont, and is thus eligible to engage in private firearms transfers with other residents of Vermont.

But you're just being difficult, aren't you?

NavyLCDR
January 22, 2013, 08:00 PM
And it still does.



No one has passed such a law, so that's a hypothetical.

For those who have no residence address, it is already an infringement that they cannot purchase a new firearm from a dealer.

They don't really have access to the private market either, as even private transactions are restricted to persons who reside in the same state. It's just that in a private sale, the seller (a) may not know this, and/or (b) may not check.

The part highlighted above is completely incorrect, in most states. The requirement for private sales, by Federal law, is that I cannot have any cause to believe or actual knowledge the person I am selling a gun to does not reside in the same state as I do. The definition of state of residence in Federal law is presence in a state with an intention of making a home there. I am not required by Federal law to verify the state of residence of the person I am selling a gun to.

So, it is perfectly legal for me to sell or give a firearm to the guy who lives in a tent in the city park, without any identification required (in Washington state, and most other states) because as long the guy is actually living in the tent and not just camping, he is a resident of Washington.

Now, if he is living in a tent in the KOA campground, and he is driving a vehicle with out-of-state license plates, I need to have a little bit more indication he is actually residing in Washington and not just visiting.

Birch Knoll
January 22, 2013, 08:23 PM
Yes, Navy, I am aware that the seller is under no obligation to check the ID or residency of the buyer. This does not change the fact that private interstate transfers are a crime. It's just a matter of who committed a crime: the buyer, or the buyer and the seller.

Birch Knoll
January 22, 2013, 08:35 PM
But those without a residential address are not, in fact, prohibited from private transfers, because private transfers do not require a residential address. They merely require that the parties involved reside in the same state. As such, during the period where I lived in the Green Mountain National Forest, I did not have a residential address, but I did reside in the state of Vermont. Thus it was legal for private parties to transfer firearms to me. The same can be said for the homeless- they do not have residential addresses, but one can not deny that a homeless person who sleeps in a box in an alley in Burlington does in fact reside in Vermont, and is thus eligible to engage in private firearms transfers with other residents of Vermont.

The homeless, assuming they actually reside for any length of time in a state, as most probably do, should be able to purchase guns in private sales, sure. RVers, not quite so clear. Will a stay of just a day or a few days qualify them as a resident of a state? Maybe. I really don't know if this has been defined or tested.

But our American expatriate friend is out of luck, is he not?

And in any case, I do not accept the idea that being shut out of the new firearm market does not constitute a major infringement.

BullfrogKen
January 22, 2013, 09:43 PM
I saw a PBS special years back on the hardcore RV lifestyle.

There are complex, well-organized networks in place and established to give the RV crowd an address. They get mail there, vote in those voting districts, and of course pay what state taxes they owe there. Naturally, they are all organized in states with no income taxes.

ConstitutionCowboy
January 22, 2013, 10:07 PM
The law you're railing against was passed 45 years ago, in 1968. Your elected officials passed those laws a loooong time ago.

Those in power right now are just as culpable for not removing the unconstitutional law as those who passed it in the first place. Rail away and with fervor!

Woody

natman
January 23, 2013, 03:58 PM
Sorry, from the 4473 the only exception is dual residence.

That's an exception, but not the only exception. From your second quote:

Question 20.b. Alternate Documentation: Licensees may accept a combination of valid government-issued documents to satisfy the identification document requirements of the law. The required valid government-issued photo identification document bearing the name, photograph, and date of birth of transferee may be supplemented by another valid, government-issued document showing the transferee’s residence address.

So you can satisfy the requirement to prove your identity with one document (a photo ID) and a physical address with another (tax bill, vehicle registration, etc).

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