Right to Carry Revoked by a Typo?!

The following is a video transcript.

Purchasing a gun for the first time can be intimidating. Let’s discuss the process of purchasing a firearm and the three most common mistakes that are made when purchasing a gun for the first time.

So, you’ve decided which gun you want to buy and are heading to the gun store. What can you expect once you get there? When you get to the store you’ll be asked to fill out a Form 4473. This form is a transaction record for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or “ATF,” and is required in order to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer or “FFL.”

The form will ask questions such as: have you ever been convicted of a crime; are you a fugitive from justice; and are you purchasing the firearm for another person (that is, making a strawman purchase). The form also requires you to provide information about yourself such as: your date of birth, address, height, and weight. To purchase a handgun from an FFL, you must be at least 21 years of age.

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Once you’ve correctly filled out the form, the sales clerk will ask you for your ID. This is generally a valid government-issued photo identification card or state-issued license or permit to carry a handgun.

Mistake One: Forgetting Proper Identification

The first mistake we see when someone is trying to purchase a firearm is forgetting to bring their Driver’s License, applicable state firearms permit or license with them. If you do not have a valid government-issued ID card, the FFL will not be able to sell the gun to you. You’ll have to leave and come back with your ID, so make sure to bring your ID with you when you head to the gun store.

If that’s not an issue, once you’ve filled out the form and handed over your ID card, the FFL will run a NICS background check on you. NICS stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. There are three responses that NICS will provide to the FFL: either proceed with the transaction, delay, or deny.

If the response is “proceed,” the FFL will complete the gun purchase and you’ll be on your way. If the response is “delay,” the FFL will have to wait to finish the sale, and the ATF has three days to research the applicant further and notify the FFL to proceed or deny. If the FFL has not heard back from the ATF within three days, then you can proceed with your gun purchase. If the response is “deny,” then you’re denied from purchasing the firearm and the FFL will not be able to complete the sale.

Mistake Two: Ignoring a Wrongful Denial

The second mistake we see people making when purchasing a gun for the first time is not appealing a wrongful denial. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully denied the right to buy a firearm, then you can request an appeal by submitting a request to the FBI.

You should always appeal a wrongful denial. We’ve seen an increase in wrongful denials as the federal government and states have taken measures to “clean up” their criminal history records. As a result, records are being wrongfully associated with one another, names are getting mixed up, and responsible gun owners are paying the price. You shouldn’t lose your gun rights because a bureaucrat made a typo. Appeal your denial.

Mistake Three: Not Documenting Transfers

The last mistake we see made is people not keeping their sales receipts or bills of sale. Whether it’s from an FFL or a private individual (if your state allows for private sales), it’s important to have and keep a record of your firearm’s particulars, and where and from whom you obtained the gun. This serves two important purposes:

  1. First, if your firearm is ever stolen or lost, your chances of getting it back are nearly zero without a record of the make, model, and serial number of the gun to provide to police.
  2. Second, if (for example) the firearm that you purchased in a private sale later comes into contact with law enforcement—let’s say on a routine traffic stop—and hits as “stolen,” you’ll be able to show law enforcement when and from whom you purchased the gun, saving you a considerable headache.

We hope you found this information helpful and encourage new gun owners to learn the law and best practices when it comes to your Second Amendment rights.

If you have any questions about purchasing a firearm, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.


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Comment section

18 comments on “Right to Carry Revoked by a Typo?!

  1. Is a current USA Passport acceptable identification?

    • Hello Randy! Thank you for your question. But unfortunately, a passport is not enough. The identification document (“ID”) presented by the buyer must contain the buyer’s photograph, name, residence address, and date of birth. The ID must also be valid (e.g., unexpired) and have been issued by a governmental entity for the identification of individuals. Since a passport does not contain the buyer’s residence address, it is insufficient by itself.

      However, a combination of government-issued documents may be used to meet the requirements. For example, a passport which contains the name, date of birth, and a photograph of the buyer may be combined with a voter or vehicle registration card containing the residence address of the buyer thus satisfying all of the ID requirements.

  2. If you have been convicted of a crime and the record has been expunged do you have to put it on the form??

  3. Could a person be rejected if the forgot to answer whether they are Hispanic/Non Hispanic?

    If there is no criminal, mental health history, and no previous rejection when it came to purchasing a firearm or getting a carried/concealed permit?

  4. If you don’t have or is ineligible for a Driver’s License just obtain an ID from DMV. The same kind certain States require for voters.

  5. To Sue:
    Technically, not answering 10A (question you are referring to) constitutes an incomplete 4473 form. The FFL can’t submit the background check via NICS until the 4473 is complete.

  6. In the state of Florida, all delay responses(conditionals), are treated as nonapprovals until an approval is given from FDLE. The three day wait time does not apply and they may stay conditional forever! In a sense, the state of Florida has taken the response of conditional gun buyers gun rights away from them. All potential gun buyers could be conditional!

  7. If you currently have a CCW permit for a handgun and go through the process of purchasing another handgun do you still have to go through the process of filling out the form 4473.

  8. Rick Rinella. That’s how it used to be in Pennsylvania. A 4473 is now required for nearly all firearms sales.

  9. Yes, you will be required to complete a 4473 for every handgun purchase, with or without a CCW permit.

  10. Rick Rinella: It depends on which state. Missouri requires a background check, regardless. Whereas, Arkansas lets you skip the background check if you show your CCW card.

  11. Rick Rinella in Texas I believe you can skip the back ground check. I purchased one a few years ago and was able to bring my hand gun home the same day!

  12. I thought that it was interesting when you said that one thing to consider when you are buying a firearm is to make sure that you fill out the appropriate paperwork in order to achieve the legal right to own it. I have been thinking about getting a firearm of my own but I have been worried that I wouldn’t legally and accurately complete the purchasing process. I will be sure to inquire about paperwork involved in the purchase of a firearm so that I can legally own the firearm.

  13. What if if have pawned my gun but have moved and have not changed my address on my drivers license. Will this be a problem when they run the background?

  14. I just moved to Texas from California and I was wondering if I could purchase a handgun with my California State ID? I also read that there are some loopholes you can go through for that, can someone explain for me?

  15. Hoping someone sees this. If a person has been wrongfully denied, and they never appeal that denial, can they legally try to buy a gun? I’m wondering if NICS requires one to appeal a denial, before they are permitted to file for a transfer. I’m sure NICS would deny any request after an un-appealed denial, but is it illegal?

  16. I accidentally answered yes to having a felony when filling out the form to purchase a firearm, now my husband and myself keep getting denied. Is filing an FBI Appeal the only resolution to getting this corrected?

  17. ^^ john im wondering this too.
    Ive read comments where people re applied the next day after a denial and it was accepted. Some people say youll get denied instantly amd then thw ATF will be notified.

    From my understanding, if youre 100% certain youre not a convicted felon, drug user, convicted dv misd……and a few other stipulations then its not against the law. What is against the law is when you lie on that 4473 form. If youre a felon etc, they can come after you for trying to buy a gun. Were talking big fines, up to 10years in jail

    Iam not a lawyer, Iam just regurgitating posts ive seen on quora and reddit. appeal your denial

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