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ATF Memo (May 28, 2015) to California FFLs re: 10-Day Waiting Period, DROS Delays

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has published an "OPEN LETTER TO ALL CALIFORNIA FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSEES" dated May 28, 2015. You can view or download it here.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from California Federal firearms licensees (FFLs) concerning the correct procedure for completing Firearms Transaction Records, ATF Forms 4473, while complying with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) Entry System (DES) transaction procedures. Specifically, FFLs have asked how to properly complete items 21 a-d on A TF Form 4473 with respect to the State's 10-day waiting period, and how the waiting period affects delayed and cancelled transactions. In addition, FFLs have asked how to complete the ATF Form 4473 with respect to the new delayed time limitation and the undetermined transactions. The purpose of this Open Letter is to provide guidance on the issue, and assist licensees in complying with Federal firearms laws and regulations.

Federal law requires, with limited exceptions, that FF Ls conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm to a nonlicensee. In California, FFLs are required to perform the background requirement through the DES. This Open Letter addresses possible outcomes in reference to responses provided by the CA DOJ DROS system in regards to firearms transactions relating to background checks conducted prior to transferring firearms to nonlicensees.

The following are possible responses provided by the CA OOJ OROS system:

No DROS Response -Situations in which the FFL has submitted the purchaser's/transferee's information to CA DOJ, receives the DROS number, complies with CA 10-day waiting period, but does not receive a response from CA DOJ See attachment A

Delayed and Release After Delayed DROS Response Situations in which the FFL has submitted the purchaser's/transferee's information to CA DOJ and has been issued a " Delayed" notice and the final determination from CA DOJ results in a "Release After Delay" See attachment B

Delayed and Undetermined DROS Response Situations in which the FFL has submitted the purchaser's/transferee's information to CA DOJ and has been issued a "Delayed" notice and the final determination from CA DOJ results in an "Undetermined" status - See attachment C

Cancelled DROS Response Situations in which the FFL has submitted the purchaser's/transferee's information to CA DOJ, but the purchaser/transferee cancels the transaction - See attachment D

In accordance with 27 CFR 478.129(b), California FFLs who have initiated a DROS background check for a proposed firearms transaction, but the sale, delivery, or transfer of the firearm is not made, the FFL must record the transaction number on the Form 4473, and retain the Form 4473 for a period of not less than five years after the date of the inquiry. Therefore, where a Form 4473 is not completed within 30 calendar days immediately following a "Proceed", "Release After Delay", "Approved" or "Undetermined" response, the form must be retained pursuant to 27 CFR 478.129.

This Open Letter supersedes the "Open Letter to All CA Federal Firearms Licensees" dated April 19, 2013.

If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms Industry Programs Branch at fipb@atf.gov or by phone at (202) 648-7190


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