Having a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a great idea for many Americans – it allows you to be a firearms dealer or manufacturer, it allows you to get firearms shipped straight to you at dealer pricing, and it allows you to make money with guns.
Part of being an FFL, however, is complying with ATF rules and regulations and these largely involve proper record keeping.
The heart of any FFL’s records is the Acquisition and Disposition Book (often called the “A&D Book” or “Bound Book”).
FFL A&D Book
An FFL Bound Book, or A&D record, is effectively an inventory of every firearm and a transaction history of every firearm received and its sale.
The bound book is divided into two halves:
- Acquisitions: Every firearm received or made by the FFL holder.
- Dispositions: Every firearm sold or transferred by the FFL holder.
Each section of a bound book must have certain information required by ATF regulation.
It also must be kept in a proscribed format and, if kept electronically with FFL software, it must also be backed up and handled in a very specific way. We cover the Best Bound Book options for you if you’re shopping around.
FFL Bound Book Template
Regardless of whether an FFL keeps their bound book in a paper log or electronically with software, it must be displayed during an inspection to the ATF in a standard template in order to stay in compliance and avoid a violation.
Here’s an example of the approved template for a bound book from the ATF:
|Manufacturer, Importer (if any), or "Privately Made Firearm" (PMF)||Model||Serial Number||Type||Caliber or Gauge||Date||Name and Address of Non-Licensee; or if licensee, Name and License No.||Date||Name||Address of Non-Licensee; License No. of Licensee, or 4473 Transaction Number is such forms filed numerically|
|Glock / Glock, Inc.||19||GLK1234||Pistol||9x19||4/19/2023||Lipsey's LLC 5-72-033-01-3A-09424||4/21/2023||Joe Smith||123 Anystreet Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85023|
|Remington||870||REM1234||Shotgun||12 Ga.||4/20/2023||Remington Arms Company 1-64-033-07-9G-04549|
|Smith & Wesson||10||SAW1234||Revolver||38 Sec||4/21/2023||Smith and Wesson, Inc. 6-04-013-07-2E-14143||4/25/2023||Smith and Wesson, Inc.||6-04-013-07-2E-14143|
|Springfield Armory / HS Produkt||XD||SA1234||Pistol||9mm||4/24/2023||RSR Group Inc 5-75-439-01-0D-26128||4/29/2023||Jim Johnson||5678 Main St. Franklin, TN 06473|
Although there are two main parts to a bound book (the acquisitions and the dispositions), we’re going to cover each section of the approved ATF form in three areas:
- Description of Firearm,
- Receipt Information, and
- Disposition Information
Each of these sections are broken down into a total of 10 columns:
- Manufacturer, Importer (if any), or “Privately Made Firearm” (PMF)
- Serial Number
- Caliber or Gauge
- Date (of Acquisition)
- Name and Address of Non-Licensee; or if licensee, Name and License No.
- Date (of Disposition)
- Name (of recipient)
- Address of Non-Licensee; License No. of Licensee, or 4473 Transaction Number is such forms filed numerically
Columns 1-5 are the description of the firearm.
Columns 6 and 7 are the receipt information.
Columns 8-10 are the disposition information.
The FFL may also have a “Notes” column which is used to show any extra information about the transactions and must include any edits made to the information in the bound book.
All of the information in the description of the firearm must come directly from the markings on the firearm – it may not be information from the product packaging nor invoices.
Manufacturer, Importer (if any), or “Privately Made Firearm” (PMF)
The manufacturer section must include the marked name of the manufacturer along with the name of the importer if it is a foreign firearm. In our template example above, the first line shows a pistol made by Glock in Austria but imported by Glock, Inc. the American company.
This section includes the model information as marked on the firearm.
The serial number section contains, you guessed it, the serial number from the firearm.
The “type” section can only include the types of firearm specified by the ATF.
The basic (most common) types include:
But, in cases that involve firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act, they also include:
- Short Barreled Rifle
- Short Barreled Shotgun
- Any Other Weapon (AOW)
- Machine Gun
And, there are some unique cases where types can be other things like “Pistol Grip Firearm” or simply “Firearm.”
Caliber or Gauge
This section includes the caliber or gauge of the firearm as it is marked (usually on the barrel). In cases where a firearm doesn’t have a barrel (frames and receivers), this section can include “none.”
Date (of Acquisition)
This is the date that the firearm was received or made by the FFL.
Name and Address of Non-Licensee; or if licensee, Name and License No.
This column from the bound book template includes the information about where the firearm was received. If it is an individual, the column will contain their name and address. However, if the firearm was received from an FFL, this will include the FFL’s name and license number.
Date (of Disposition)
This is the date that the firearm leaves the FFL’s inventory – whether it is sold to an individual or transferred to another FFL.
Name (of recipient)
This section includes the name of the person or entity to which the firearm was given.
Address of Non-Licensee; License No. of Licensee, or 4473 Transaction Number is such forms filed numerically
This final column of the bound book contains the address of the individual or the license number of the FFL to which the gun was disposed. If an FFL chooses to file their 4473s (the transaction form from the ATF used to sell a firearm) numerically, a custom transaction number can be used here instead of the customer’s address.
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