Form 4473 under Paperwork Reduction Act review
Here's the Federal Register notice, in pdf.
Basically, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, every agency is required to file, with the Office of Management and Budget, any form it has that requests info from the public, together with its estimate of how many hours are spent filling in the form (for 4473, ATFE estimates 4.3 million hours annually; they estimate 10 million are filled out at 25 minutes each.
Then every so many years it comes up for OMB review, and the public can send comments suggesting how the time burden can be reduced. (One that comes to my mind: how about eliminating the requirement for detailed info, in the vast majority of cases where the buyer is presenting state-issued ID that already has all that recorded?)
Even on my very first one it couldn't have taken more than five.
Posted by: Paul Simer at May 5, 2008 07:48 PM
The correct answer is "an inordinate" amount of time is spent on 4473s.
VA went to an extremely short form recently; basically, your name and one "are you a bad guy" question. The 4473 is chock-a-block full of trick questions about irrelevant information. They could drop many questions without affecting checks of prohibited status IMO. I also noticed that FFLs have started asking that all state names be spelled out rather than abbreviated (2 different FFLs). I asked and they said they were afraid that BATFE would flag an error if someone's poor handwriting made an abbreviation ambiguous. Of course they could have just been talking about MY handwriting :-)
Posted by: robin at May 6, 2008 08:30 AM
My recommendation? Do away with the execrable thing altogether. If nothing else, a person should only have to fill out one the first time they buy a gun. The fact that the process must be repeated ad nauseum ad infinitum for those who have already been cleared by the unconstitutional Brady system just shows that it is more about harassment and infringement than about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Posted by: Armed & Christian at May 6, 2008 10:00 AM
The only questions I can remember that weren't related to data that ought to be in the FBI list were the "Are you the actual purchaser of the weapon?" type.
I think the 4473 is used as part of the dealer-owned record of sale, so the name/address/firearm-serial-number data should be on the form.
Beyond that and the questions to weed out straw purchasers, I can't see any need for most of the stuff on that form.
Posted by: karrde at May 6, 2008 03:26 PM