ATF Trying to Make Gun Stores Spy on Customers and Illegally Trying to Obtain Purchase Records

According to a growing number of gun store owners in Alaska, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) seems to embroiled in yet another shady gun scandal. The same agency that is already facing a Congressional investigation into its illegal activity in the Fast and Furious scandal, is now in the process of illegally trying to find out exactly what weapons you own.

In a report from Ammoland Shooting Sports News, a number of gun stores in Alaska are accusing the ATF of illegally trying to obtain their records.  According to gun store owners in Alaska, ATF agents are making them submit ‘4473 Forms’ going back to 2007.

Form 4473 is the official form that gun stores require you to fill out at the time of purchase. It contains the make/model/serial # of the firearm, all your personal information, your  photo I.D., and the official F.B.I. background check. The form is never sent to any government agency and is supposed to be kept by the dealer.

Under the law, the ATF can only inspect these records during a criminal investigation and cannot request these records for any other purpose. But in now seems the ATF is directly violating the law, and trying to find out exactly what you bought and when you bought it.

This isn’t the first time the ATF has been involved in a scandal like this. In fact, the NRA in the process of filing a lawsuit challenging the ATF’s policy that requires gun store owners to report anyone who buys more that one firearm. Despite the fact that this language was specifically rejected by Congress, the ATF has been engaging in a policy of harassment and intimidation. They have sent numerous letters to gun dealers demanding information on anyone who buys “two or more pistols or revolvers, or any combination of pistols or revolvers totaling two or more.”

The letter orders firearms retailers to

You must submit to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, you sell or otherwise dispose of two or more semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber greater than .22 (including .223/5.56 caliber) to an unlicensed person. You are required to report all such sales that occur on or after August 14, 2011. You must continue reporting multiple sales for the rifles subject to this demand letter until we provide written notice to stop.

Ammoland is advising these gun store owners not to comply, and they are telling them that they are within their legal rights to refuse the ATF request.


  1. I have a friend in Texas who was visited by the ATF after he bought 2 guns (one for himself and one for his wife) They demanded to come in his house, they left when he demanded a warrant.

    I can also tell you that ever since I got my CCW I have had a hell of a time buying anything.

  2. Why do I feel like I am reading a chapter right out of the new book, Enemies Foreign and Domestic by Matthew Bracken when I read about this? This is getting insane people. Completely insane.

    And on a side note, GunNut, since getting my CCL here in Kansas, all I have to do is show my CCL, fill out the form and take the gun home. It will be interesting if this continues or not.

    Someone who works with us in our company who also lives in Michigan had the police stop by his house this week after he purchase 3 new handguns over the weekend. They “noticed” he bought 3 new guns and just wanted to make sure he was OK. Did I already say this is getting insane…

    • Sounds like harassment and intimidation to me. What business do they have stopping at his house and how the hell did they even know what he bought?

      Your right this is getting insane, and it’s exactly what the founders warned us about.

      • No kidding.

        And apparently in Michigan, not only do you have to do the Form 4473, but the store has to report any firearm purchase to the local law enforcement agency.

        I wonder if anyone has ever challenged that little tidbit in the state’s higher court.

  3. I wonder if this is just the beginning. I heard of a case of a guy in my town who failed to renew his Cl 3 permit on time. The upshot was ATF came in and seized, not only the wpn that was being renewed, but ten other wpns as well.

  4. anyone that shows up at my house to see mine better have a warrant in hand to touch them or even see them , without it they are not getting anything!

  5. WOW!!! This is getting but meanwhile in Kentucky I could pick up as many guns as I have money a local flea markets. No background checks, Nothing. Cash and carry. I know if I get caught with a unregistered weapon I could get into big trouble but they don’t know when I bought it and I could be on my way to the FFL guy to transfer it over LOL.

  6. if you take time to review the annual firearms sales stats for the last 3 years, you’ll learn millions have been sold… for the alfalabet agencies to keep up with the exponential rise would really be impossible but still – get what you can while you can… keep your powder dry and very close by

  7. It’s a good thing they are vocal about it, I wonder how many others simply complied and provided information. Fed is trying his hardest to keep track of all who take the action and excersize their second ammendment in order to protect their families. God forbid that time actually comes…

  8. This story is false. I own a firearms dealership and if the Atf wants to see your records and you refuse they revoke your ffl. They do random inspections of your inventories and have always followed protocols for as long as I have been in the business. Seems to me someone had some beef with the atf and made this nonsense up.

    • Oh really? I guess the NRA is lying, Ammoland is lying, The Lawyers are Lying and so is everyone except you and the ATF.

      I’m own a gun shop owner and I can tell you this is 100% accurate. The ATF is coming down on us hard and there is a major effort to track down exactly who owns what and to intimidate gun owners into not buying multiple weapons.

      MR. E either works for the ATF or for the Obama administration and is trying to hide the fact that they are actively dismantling the 2nd Amendment through these back channel methods.

      You need to look at the LAW because they are not authorized to look at your records unless acrime has been committed.

    • The story is not false, my father manager of Great Northern Guns in Anchorage Alaska, was the first man to say no. This story is definitely real, and should be made public knowledge.

  9. Your right I’m busted. I work for the ATF. It’s all for your own good. We need to protect the American people because they can’t protect themselves.

  10. This is why it is best to get your curios and collectors license, and already get something worth while like an handgun, and a AK Rifle before 2010. then just buy older Firearms

  11. I work in the retail firearm industry. Requesting 4473’s from FFL’s isn’t rare or unusual. Gun traces happen often and the ATF can/will come into a gun shop by surprise to inspect the forms (usually once a year, although multiple times can happen if the shop’s paperwork is lacking).

    This sounds like fear mongering, not the eruption of some new scandal. It’s not illegal for the ATF to request records, ever.

  12. I work in the retail firearm industry. We were told ATF is your FRIEND! NOT! ATF IS CLOSING DOWN GUN SHOPS ALL ACROSS THE NATION. While everyone is focused on Fast and Furious, look out for the closing of the gun shop near you.

    • The ATF is not your friend. I agree with you there! We had our first inspection, after being in business for almost 5 years. He went back 2 years. He told us to our faces our infractions were minor. No big deal. Then he calls and leaves a message saying he was sending us a warning because of the severity of our infractions. He left this as a message on our answering machine. Wouldn’t even return my husband’s calls. My husband wanted to tell him we corrected the forms and we mailed said form to him. Didn’t matter. We got our official letter stating: if we continued to commit serious infractions in the future, they would have to revoke our FFL. Hmmmm…for example, one guy had no middle name, so he left the “middle name” box blank on the 4473. We had no lost, missing or stolen guns. We had no guns unaccounted for. Everyone we sold guns to passed the background and had proper ID. No straw purchases. No guns sold without paying taxes. The guy had no middle name. Oh…but Atf didn’t even spell our name right on the notification of revocation. We had four minor “infractions” in four years. I could go on and on about that inspection.

      • Here’s the deal. Without proof of that letter (you should publish it and the name of the agent) most who don’t believe in the 2nd amendment will say ‘you are lying’. I believe you because there are too many stories like this out there for this to be a conspiracy. Thanks!

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