How to prepare for an ATF inspection
Inspection Prep

ATF Compliance Inspections: 7 Ways to Prepare

FFL Expert offers nationwide, comprehensive audit preparation services to ensure your FFL business is ready for an ATF inspection. Our team conducts regular internal audits to identify any compliance issues and address them promptly, reducing the risk of penalties or fines.

Schedule an Audit

  1. Take Inventory and Prepare the Bound Book (A&D)

    The ATF will audit your entire inventory during an inspection. Inventory should be done often to verify your count. Find mistakes early on before the ATF finds them for you. Match every gun’s serial number to your records. If you need to correct your records, do so immediately with Form 3310.11 (FFL Theft/Loss Report).

    If the FFL is not in compliance with regulations or cannot account for all of its firearms

    inventory, the ATF IOI will issue a Report of Violations, ATF Form 5030.5, which becomes part of the FFL’s record. ATF policy requires IOIs to cite all violations disclosed by the inspection.

  2. Organize Form 4473s

    Review 4473 forms from the past year. The most commonly cited ATF violations relate to the failure to properly complete ATF Form 4473, which is required by ATF regulation 27 CFR 478.124. To maintain 4473 form compliance, ensure all forms are complete, accurate and legible. Organize the forms by date and remove extraneous documents, such as receipts or copies of identification.

  3. Organize Background Check Forms

    Review the paperwork. All questions must be answered correctly. Ensure signatures and dates are on the correct lines and all permits are up to date/current. In general, have 2 to 3 people review each 4473 form before running an actual background check during normal operations.

  4. Consider Repair Guns

    Organize any paperwork sent in for repair, even if it’ll never shoot again. Keep a separate set of books for a gunsmithing department. All guns in the store must be accounted for. Period.

  5. Consider Personal Guns

    If you or your employees have personal guns in the store, tag each one. Clearly identify personal guns not included in the A&D record. This avoids any confusion during an inspection.

  6. Have Locks for Handgun Transfers

    It is important to have locks for handgun transfers. The ATF requires all handguns sold by Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders to be transferred with a locking device, which is designed to prevent the firearm from discharging. Use trigger locks, cable locks or other locking devices.

  7. Prepare Items in Read-Only Format

    Have your variance handy if you use electronic records, and ensure the inspector can access documents in “read-only” format. Miscellaneous documents, including receipts, FFLs from transferred items, copies of identifications, etc., should be removed from Form 4473s. Do not provide any “business documents” to the ATF IOI.

Reach out to FFL Expert to ace your next ATF inspection!
Please turn on Javascript for full site funtionality