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New York Private Firearm Sales to Require Use of ATF Form 4473

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The NY SAFE Act requires that beginning March 15, 2013 1 private sales of firearms in New York can only be made after a NICS background check overseen by a licensed firearm dealer (”FFL”).   The only exception is for a sale or transfer to a spouse, domestic partner, child or step-child.  The FFL is supposed to keep a record of the transaction for a fee of no more than $10.00.  Per Section 17 of the NY SAFE Act, the form to confirm that the NICS check has been made is to be “approved by the Superintendent of State Police.”

We have recently learned that the NY State Police intends to require use of ATF Form 4473 as the form to confirm that the NICS background check has been completed for private sales.   In doing so, the NY State Police plans to follow the guidance provided by a January 16, 2013 ATF letter about FFLs facilitating private sales which requires use of ATF Form 4473.  The ATF letter can be found here.  Use of ATF Form 4473 requires that the FFL take legal possession of the firearm and record its acquisition in the FFL’s records, before the firearm is ultimately transferred to the buyer. We are concerned that an FFL may not want to put a firearm on its books using an ATF Form 4473 for only a $10.00 fee.  Because of this, requiring use of ATF Form 4473 may inhibit private sales in New York State, which was not the professed intent of the NY SAFE Act.  This same issue may also arise nationally, if Congress requires NICS background checks for all private sales of firearms, as it is currently considering doing.

Section 17 of the NY SAFE Act became effective 60 days after enactment of the NY SAFE Act.  By our count this is March 16, 2013, which is the same date used by New York’s online consolidated laws.  However, New York’s SAFE Act FAQs say it is March 15, 2013. 

Renzulli Law Firm is Monitoring NY SAFE Act and Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 Developments

Renzulli Law Firm, nationally recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country serving the Firearms Industry, is monitoring developments about the NY SAFE Act and the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 closely and publishing regular updates which are available by e-mail and on this website.  Any questions you may have about the NY SAFE Act or the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 should be directed to John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli. 

Additional information about the Firm’s litigation, counseling and consulting services for the firearms industry is available here.