When did the ATF begin to photograph 4473s?

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  • 88E30M50

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    I have heard that several years back, ATF agents would photograph 4473s when doing an audit of gun shops. Later, the 4473 was modified to put both firearm info and buyer info on the same page to make it easier to photograph.

    First, is it true that ATF agents will routinely photograph 4473s when visiting a gun shop, and if so, when did this begin?
     

    Destro

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    They also scan them in a "picture" format like .jpg when they get FFL closure records. I understand they do it like that so they can't have a defacto database
     

    DoggyDaddy

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    as long as they still have to put eyes on each individual 4473 and can't just CTRL+F a name or SN, I don't see a substantial difference between a scanned digital copy and a physical paper copy.
    They have software that can read and search the scanned digital copies. The decision to scan them was to alleviate physical storage needs as well as create this machine readable database.
     

    DadSmith

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    JEBland

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    as long as they still have to put eyes on each individual 4473 and can't just CTRL+F a name or SN, I don't see a substantial difference between a scanned digital copy and a physical paper copy.
    Modern phones have the text in picture to copied text technology default for a few years now. No way that the 3-letter agencies haven't had that tech for a decade. They 100% can just search through optical copies. I'd be shocked if they didn't already turn it into a literal database, even if not formally allowed.
     

    marvin02

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    Modern phones have the text in picture to copied text technology default for a few years now. No way that the 3-letter agencies haven't had that tech for a decade. They 100% can just search through optical copies. I'd be shocked if they didn't already turn it into a literal database, even if not formally allowed.
    I routinely use an app on my phone that uses the camera to turn paper documents electronic files. Easy to search.
     

    Destro

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    They have the capability. Do you trust them not to use it?
    they do plenty of egregious things, I just prefer to deal in the known and not imaginary.

    I know they lament to congress from time to time about only being allowed to scan in a picture format and not being allowed to create a database. That is why it sticks out to me.
     

    JEBland

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    I routinely use an app on my phone that uses the camera to turn paper documents electronic files. Easy to search.
    Thanks for writing it more clearly. That's exactly my point.



    they do plenty of egregious things, I just prefer to deal in the known and not imaginary.

    I know they lament to congress from time to time about only being allowed to scan in a picture format and not being allowed to create a database. That is why it sticks out to me.
    Let's be honest. What is the probability that they're not using it? In a post-Snowden/the gov-is-spying-on-you world, the odds of them not using it are pretty slim. I'd say under 1% chance that they're not abusing this. That's what they do. It's for, the greater good (no hammer and sickle on INGO, disappointing). I'm not arguing that Senators/Reps know that they're doing it, but the idea that the gov isn't doing it is rather weak given the history of the government having secret dossiers and denying things that they know are true (e.g. Hunter Biden's laptop, Project Veritas "isn't" a news organization, etc).
     

    1nderbeard

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    They 100% have the database, and it's been acknowledged by the bureaucrats who say the quiet part out loud. If you've purchased anything at a gun shop in the last 20 years that has closed, you're on the list.
    The only good news for me, right now, is that pretty much all my stuff has come from a few LGS that are still open.
     

    marvin02

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    Here are some related links that probably have been linked to before from INGO:







    From the last article:

    Neil TroppmanNeil Troppman program manager at for the ATF’s National Tracing Center said:
    "It’s all done the old fashioned way," Troppman said. "There's no national registry, no database of gun ownership in America, contrary to what some people believe. We even get calls from law enforcement saying, 'Hey can you run this through the system?' There is no database or registry."

    When a gun shop closes:

    Neil TroppmanNeil Troppman program manager at for the ATF’s National Tracing Center said:
    “We prep those records and scan them as static non searchable image files,”

    My comments:

    The problem is that no image is truly unsearchable or static.

    Older paper 4473 would present the most difficulty reading with OCR since they are hand written.

    Troppman does not address the online forms used by many gun shops. I have a hard time believing that those forms are local only, maybe someone who works in a gun shop can chime in?
     

    Kirk Freeman

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    They 100% have the database, and it's been acknowledged by the bureaucrats who say the quiet part out loud. If you've purchased anything at a gun shop in the last 20 years that has closed, you're on the list.
    The only good news for me, right now, is that pretty much all my stuff has come from a few LGS that are still open.
    Correct. ATFE Director Ron Noble admitted to having a firearms registry on an NBC show entitled "Day One" with Forest Sawyer back in 1995.
     

    BugI02

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    as long as they still have to put eyes on each individual 4473 and can't just CTRL+F a name or SN, I don't see a substantial difference between a scanned digital copy and a physical paper copy.
    This has become the era where if government can't legally do it, they farm it out to a civilian entity. There is some evidence that this has already been done plus an effort to get FFLs to adopt digital record keeping at their stores going forward (see 4473cloud.com and related links) which, coupled with 0Bidens desire to have ATF retain ALL records, regardless of age, when an FFL closes, would result in retention of already digitized records and the ability to deflect any criticism of digital, searchable records by claiming they are only storing them in the form they were submitted - not to mention the potential for hacking said cloud


     

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