Early this month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released two new procedure documents.View Related Articles
The first, ATF Procedure 2020-1, Recordkeeping procedure for non-over-the-counter firearm sales by licensees to unlicensed in-state residents that are NICS exempt (Sept. 3, 2020), provides directions to licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers (FFLs) on the correct process for the parties to the transaction to take in completing ATF Form 4473, when the transaction involves a sale or transfer to an unlicensed person, resident in the same state as the FFL, who does not appear in person at the FFL’s business premises.
Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(3), authorizes sales and transfers without a NICS background check to persons with a valid “NICS-exempt” permit or license (a firearm subject to the National Firearms Act that has been approved for transfer is also exempted). A separate federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows an FFL to sell a firearm to an unlicensed person who does not appear in person in limited circumstances, generally involving a sworn statement in the prescribed form, notification to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality where the person resides, and a wait time of at least a week. The statement must contain blank spaces to attach a true copy of any permit or license.
Procedure 2020-1 allows an FFL to conduct and record a sale of a firearm to a resident of the same state who does not appear in person at the FFL’s business premises provided that the transfer is exempt from the NICS background check requirements and the procedures outlined in the document are followed by the seller-transferor, the buyer-transferee, and the FFL.