Top 10 Inspection Violations by Type 07 FFLs

Written by Orchid

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June 08, 2022

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White text atop red background next to yellow 'Violation' stamp graphic over photo of man assembling AR-15 rifle

As covered in Part I of our ‘ATF Inspections 101’ series, businesses engaged in the manufacturing, importing and dealing of firearms are subject to inspection by the ATF, per the Gun Control Act of 1968. During these inspections, ATF industry operations investigators (IOIs) examine federal firearm license (FFL) records, firearm inventory, and the licensee’s conduct of business to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Any violations of these laws and regulations found during an inspection can result in varying degrees of ATF corrective action.

Between 2016–2020, ATF IOIs conducted 48,445 FFL compliance inspections. Of those, 18.4% were inspections of Type 07 (manufacturer of firearms) FFLs. In total, over 2.4 million violations were cited during inspections of all FFLs, 54.5% of which were by firearm manufacturers.

Thanks to the ATF’s new National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA) report, we now know the most common inspection violations by Type 07 FFLs cited during this five-year period.

Type 07 FFL Inspection Violations

From 2016–2020, ATF IOIs cited firearm manufacturers with over 1.3 million inspection violations. The top 10 violations, as listed below, accounted for 83% of all Type 07 FFL violations with the top two violations accounting for nearly half (48.2%).

Of the top 10 violations, five are directly related to the required marking or serialization of firearms.

Top 10 Violations Cited

  1. Failure to timely record firearms manufactured/acquired in A&D record [27 CFR 478.123(a)]
  2. Failure to maintain timely, accurate and complete disposition record [27 CFR 478.123(b)]
  3. Failure to file ATF Form 2 for registration of manufactured NFA firearms [27 CFR 479.103]
  4. Failure to obtain the required license to engage in the business as a dealer, manufacturer or importer of firearms [27 CFR 478.41(b)]
  5. Failure to properly mark firearms with manufacturer ‘city, state’ in which the firearm was manufactured [27 CFR 478.92(a)(l)(ii)(D)]
  6. Failure to properly mark firearms with licensee name [27 CFR 478.92(a)(l)(ii)(C)]
  7. Failure to properly mark firearms with a serial number [27 CFR 478.92(a)(l)(i)]
  8. Failure to legibly identify firearms with required markings [27 CFR 478.92(a)(l)]
  9. Failure to maintain an accurate/complete/timely nonlicensee disposition record [27 CFR.123(d)]
  10. Failure to properly mark firearm frame or receiver with required markings [27 CFR 478.92(a)(2)]

All FFL Inspection Violations

Despite making up less than 20% of all FFL inspections between 2016–2020, the top 10 list of inspection violations by all FFLs shares six of the same violations found in the lists of firearm manufacturers (numbers one, two, three, six, seven and nine). The other four violations are more related to firearm dealers and pawnbrokers.

Top 10 Violations Cited

  1. Failure to timely, accurately, and completely record information in A&D record [27 CFR 478.125(e)]
  2. Failure to timely record firearms manufactured/acquired in A&D record [27 CFR 478.123(a)]
  3. Failure to maintain timely, accurate and complete disposition record [27 CFR 478.123(b)]
  4. Failure to complete 4473 as indicated by the headings and instructions on or pertaining to the form [27 CFR 478.21(a)]
  5. Failure to obtain complete purchaser information on 4473 [27 CFR 478.124(c)(1)]
  6. Failure to file ATF Form 2 for registration of manufactured NFA firearms [27 CFR 479.103]
  7. Failure to obtain the required license to engage in the business as a dealer, manufacturer, or importer of firearms [27 CFR 478.41(b)]
  8. Failure to record all required NICS information on 4473, including date NICS was contacted and response was received [27 CFR 478.124(c)(3)(iv)]
  9. Failure to properly mark firearms with manufacturer city, state in which the firearm was manufactured. [27 CFR 478.92(a)(l)(ii)(D)]
  10. Failure of licensee to sign and/or date (certify) 4473 [27 CFR 478.124(c)(5)]

Orchid FFL Protection

For over a decade, Orchid FFL compliance, operations and technology experts have helped firearm manufacturers, distributors and retailers take a proactive approach to ATF compliance.

Whether your firearms business is preparing for an inspection, currently under inspection, or responding to ATF corrective action – including license revocation – contact our in-house firearms law and compliance professionals to review your compliance plan, perform an onsite or remote mock ATF inspection, and protect your FFL.

View Top 10 Inspection Violation by Type 01 & 02 FFLs

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