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Any suspicions about electronic 4473 forms?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 12Pump, Sep 28, 2013.

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  1. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

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    When a person buys a gun at Walmart, I've heard that the "paperwork" is done electronically. Does this raise any red flags with anyone here?

    My local shop dealer told me that those forms when done on paper stay with the dealer. If he were to go out of business, then the many boxes of these forms he has goes to a giant government warehouse that he describes as looking like the one at the end of the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. The point being that if someone wanted to find out what guns you bought, they have a whole lot of digging to do.

    But if you buy a gun at Walmart, this is done electronically, right? Electronic databases are easily searchable, transferrable, and storable. IOW, a record of any gun you buy at WM can easily be transferred to the gov, then stored and easily retreived just by typing your name in to a search function for gun owners.

    I know it's against the law right now for them to be doing this, but does that mean much?

    Does anyone here avoid buying guns at WM for reasons of the electronic paperwork? (Being perp-walked out of the store by the manager afterward is another issue).
     
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    About 2½ weeks ago I bought a Colt M4orgery at Wal Mart. They did the 4473 on a computer and that was my first time doing it that way.
    You can imagine all sorts of conspiratorial machinations whereby Big Brother gets a "list" of firearms we have, or are purchasing I suppose. Why worry more about computer programs especially? The government can still get what it wants from paper records.
    If the government devolves into a tyranny it is not going to make much difference.
    I think I will worry about more significant social problems ... if I wish to be kept awake at night ...
     
  3. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

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    Once the government has your information, it does not relinquish it.
     
  4. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

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    Exactly. The thing that concerns me is that form 4473 is normally done on paper and the dealer keeps it, physically. But electronic versions are simple to copy and transfer as fast as this posting will be posted when I click "Post Quick Reply". Similar things are being said about Obamacare's electronic medical records mandate. People don't like that their medical data can be shared so easily. So shouldn't our gun purchase records be more private than to be done electronically, especially in light of the fact that it's legally mandated that these records NOT be shared with the gov?
     
  5. Impureclient

    Impureclient Member

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    That is crazy talk. Our Government only wants what is best for us. :rolleyes:
     
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I won't buy a gun using an electronic 4473; that's a deal-killer. (I'm not wild about the paper 4473's)
     
  7. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    the E4473 is form filling software only. It does not send anything to ATF.



    He is correct. (and he can destroy 4473's after 20 years)



    While WalMart may keep your purchase info in a database, there is no current method for ATF to do so with 4473's

    The E4473 does not "connect" with other computers.
     
  8. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    I did my first eForm 4473 a few weeks ago at Cabela's. I didn't see it as a big deal. It was sort of fool proof anyway. eForm 4473 Frequently Asked Questions

    My understanding is the seller does not maintain these in a data base. They get printed and retained by the seller. The seller being the FFL. The FFL is still required to maintain the paper copies they print, I don't think they are required to maintain their own little data base of eForm 4473s? Anyway, while I prefer to seek out private sales like many I have no problem with the eForm 4473.

    <EDIT> I see dogtown tom pretty much expressed what I was thinking. </EDIT>

    Ron
     
  9. Black Butte

    Black Butte Member

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    You mean the way our phones don't "connect" with the NSA?
     
  10. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    I don't have any suspicions. I have complete faith th a t our government is spying on anything and everything it can.
     
  11. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

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    I clicked the link and it leads to a FAQ at the ATF's own site and they are the ones answering the questions. How reassuring, since they've never lied or done anything abusive in the past.

    A red flag went up for me in just reading the second line of their answer to the very first question, where they say, "The objectives of the electronic ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record Part I - Over-the-Counter) system are to provide the Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) a “smart” version of the ATF Form 4473"

    We all know what "smart" means in technological terms. What is a smart phone, or smart TV? It's device that is connected to the internet.

    Case closed!
     
  12. steveno

    steveno Member

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    so when you filled out the electronic 4473 did the FFL put the gun serial number on the form before sending it in? with the paper 4473 the serial number didn't go on the 4473 until the background check was approved. at least that was way it was done when I worked at Cabela's a number of years ago. the only thing said to the NICS about the gun was if it was a handgun or long gun.
     
  13. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    But they did an internal review of themselves and found they did nothing wrong. That is sort of like a 4 year old knocking over something and being told they need to do an internal review to determine their own punishment.

    I am wary of the e4473. Electronics make many sections of our life easier. If I have any firearm related question I can ask here and have dozens of responses, sometimes even helpful ones. An electronic 4473 would make it too easy to make a database compared to a paper form stored on site at a gun store. I don't even like storing firearm info on MY own computer, so I keep it on a secure and separate drive.
     
  14. AppealPlay

    AppealPlay Member

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    Have any of you recently purchased a gun from Bass Pro Shop? They use an electronic 4473 system. To be honest, it was more of a pain to do it electronically that just using a paper form.
     
  15. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    The term "smart"" as it applies here means the form is capable of some minor decision making. That's about it. If for example someone checks they are a felon the form flags itself. Additionally if a small shop wanted to worry about it they could just use a stand alone computer less any Internet or outside world connection.

    Finally if people are worried about the eForm 4473 don't deal with places that use it. Those like myself who aren't concerned, go ahead and use it. Heck, when we closed our shop we sent damn near 10,000 completed 4473 forms to ATF. How does anyone now what they actually did with them? When ATF did an occasional audit of our gun log they bounced the log against completed 4473 forms, how does the FFL know they aren't collecting data?

    If I forget how many guns I have I'll just call the NSA.

    Ron
     
  16. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Sounds like some folks need to invest in some tin foil.

    The sad part is, if the government wants our guns, they will eventually get them all depending upon how unscrupulous the leaders become.

    The information is out there, whether on 4473 or e4473 or in NSA's database.
     
  17. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    It's not just Wal-Mart. My LGS uses the E-form too. Not a big deal to me.

    I figure the government knows I own guns. I sure haven't made any attempt to hide that fact for 45 or so years.
     
  18. xwingband

    xwingband Member

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    Here in Florida they do the background check through the electronic 4473 at Walmart... so it certainly can "connect". Do they at all Walmarts is another story. In FL they may just have that capability because we use the FDLE check and not the NCIS. They do print out the 4473 though and keep them just like a normal FFL. They have this special template that the manager uses to check that it was all filled out correctly. So even if a manager has never seen a 4473 they can check it without trouble.
     
  19. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Paper or electronic, what does it matter? The ATF has been going around photocopying the paper forms at the dealers for years. I witnessed one pretty massive effort by them back in the 90's. Every local shop in the area got a visit too. They even brought their own copiers.

    They can come in and look at them anytime they like if they feel the need. And as was mentioned, the dealer has to send them in when he closes, so they get them one way on another, no matter what.
     
  20. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Member

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    People make a big deal about it. I honestly could care less. They ATF already knows I have guns. If they kick in my front door, do you think they only "see" the ones they know about?

    I work for the feds. We have these "smart" forms in use all over the place. All that means to them is a fillable electronic form that will not allow a "proceed" unless certain parameters are met. "Box 4c filled, or a yes answer on line 2." That kind of thing.
     
  21. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    In most stores once you fill out the paper form they enter the information into a computer for the background check, at least in Colorado they do. Once something has gone through a server it has been recorded somewhere. One shop I frequently deal with still phones the information in because they are like me; they do not rush to modern technology....
     
  22. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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  23. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    All of you silly tin-foil hat conspiracy types just need to go hide in your bunkers. This kind of talk is just….well….just crazy.

    First of all the FBI is required to delete background checks from dealers from their database after 30 days.

    (whisper…you mean to say that they might share that information to other government agencies or allow other agencies to access their files on their own…or that the information may not be truly deleted. Poppycock!)

    The transmitted information is totally secure with firewalls to prevent hacking.

    (whisper…NSA who???)

    Well Wal-Mart and other retailers does not store purchaser information.

    (whisper…you mean they keep records on products customers buy for marketing purposes and BATF audit).

    Ah that’s all baloney. I know for sure that that the credit card companies have no way of knowing what individual items I purchase.

    (whisper…you mean I can request itemized purchase information and dispute billings through my credit card company)

    It doesn’t matter. I buy all of my guns through my good ole boy dealer locally. He is real anti-government and will never share information with the Government or cooperate with them.

    (whisper…Operation Fast and Furious. What’s that? A car race?)

    I still don’t believe you. I know that Wal-Mart, other retailers and my credit card companies will never release that information tio the Government.

    (whisper…SECRET Courts and SECRET Search Warrants…in AMERICA!!!)


    Say…is there room in your bunkers for me?
     
  24. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Look on the bright side, computers do crash on occasion and lose everything. Don't worry, be happy!:D
     
  25. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    As far as i know, every big box company keeps point of sale records and all (excepting Walmart, who used to but stopped) sell that data to anyone willing to pay for it.
     
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