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Product Security

Learn about how 4473 Cloud keeps your FFL’s data secure.

Where is the data on 4473 Cloud stored?

4473 Cloud utilizes Microsoft Azure servers with your data backed up daily. Both server locations are located in the United States to meet ATF requirements.

How are changes tracked on my 4473s?

4473 Cloud stores your 4473s in a Tamper Evident file format. What does that mean? It means it is the most secure file format available, admissible in a court of law and each and every interaction with that 4473 file is tracked. When changes are made to the 4473, a single line is used through the erroneous information, the corrected information is entered along with initials and date of who made the change and when. Each 4473 stored on 4473 Cloud has full document history that can viewed and printed at any time.

How do I access my 4473 Cloud accounts?

If you have access to the internet, whether on a network or via Wi-Fi, you have access to your 4473 records 24/7/365. You simply log in from any computer, laptop, tablet, or your smart phone. It is literally that simple.

Who has access to my 4473 Cloud account?

You, as the store administrator have full control on who has access to your account and your company’s files. Only you and those you authorize can view, audit, and edit your 4473s and you can remove access to your files as easily as you can assign it.

I already save a PDF copy of my 4473s – why do I need 4473 Cloud?

Keep in mind the official 4473 of record is the copy you are currently printing.  The digital PDF that generates prior to printing your 4473s is NOT an official record.  All future corrections or changes to the 4473 must be done on the paper copy as instructed on the 4473 itself.  Keeping an unofficial record can cause confusion and inadvertent errors to be made during internal auditing processes, ATF trace request completion and with additional documentation that is required to be retained.

Having a saved PDF “copy” of your 4473s does NOT meet the minimum requirements issued by ATF for digital storage and relying on these copies can cause more risk than reward.  Additionally, 4473 Cloud is designed with the highest level of security, encryption and document certification available.  The same cannot be said for PDF saved on the desktop of a computer in your store.

ATF Compliance

Explore this breakdown of how to digitize your documents with ATF approval

How do I know 4473 Cloud is ATF compliant?

First, we worked with ATF for nearly 18 months on the development of 4473 Cloud and we built the software to not only meet, but to exceed ATF’s minimum requirements for digital storage of 4473s.

Second, we have been certified by the leading firearm industry legal team at FFLGuard.

In short, only 4473 Cloud delivers this level of certified compliance to FFL dealers.

Can I attach additional documents to the ATF F 4473 when it is loaded into 4473Cloud?

Yes. You can attach any required documentation to the 4473 at the time you upload into 4473 Cloud or at a later point in time. This includes but certainly isn’t limited too ATF F 3310.4, 3310.12 or a hunting license.

How long does it take to receive an approved variance from ATF and how long is the variance good for?

Typically, it takes ATF up to 90 days to approve a variance request. However, we have worked with ATF from the very start of 4473 Cloud and they are very familiar with what 4473 Cloud does, how it works, and most importantly how the ATF Audit function within the system works. While we cannot guarantee a specific timeframe for the approval to be received, we anticipate that you should have it within about 30 days of submission. Approvals will typically be emailed directly to you, the FFL.  Perfect timing considering you will receive a 30-day free trial when you sign up for 4473 Cloud.

Your variance approval is good for as long as you use the system and the system meets the requirements approved in the approval letter.

I have just submitted a change of address form to ATF, or am planning to soon, which address should I put on my Variance Request?

Simply put, it depends on timing.  If you are not planning to move for several months or years, you should use your current address that you are licensed to operate from.

If you have already submitted your change of address to ATF, or plan to do so in the very near future, you can use what will be your new address as it will be the location you will be operating from once your Variance Request is approved and you have met the 60-day notification requirement for approval.

Either way, be sure to enter as much information as possible on the getting started page and our team will be happy to assist you with with ensuring your Variance Request is submitted accurately.

How will ATF conduct compliance inspections with 4473 Cloud?

While we cannot comment on specific ATF procedures, we can tell you that 4473 Cloud was designed with “ATF Audit” mode. This provides ATF with access to specific records based on a timeline they request (typically one year). Access is granted by you, the company administrator to the Lead ATF IOI (Industry Operations Investigator). ATF will still conduct their inspection only while on site at your store and during the hours your store is operational. Lastly, you must provide ATF with strong enough Wi-Fi for them to conduct their audit as well as provide them with a digital copy of your bound book which ATF can have on split screen or toggle between the 4473 they are reviewing and the related bound book record.

Will submitting a Variance Request trigger an ATF Inspection prior to approval, or increase the frequency in which ATF inspects my FFL?

The short answer is no.  Every FFL will get inspected by ATF at some point in time.  It isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when.  However, applying to store your forms digitally will not increase the number of times you are inspected nor cause a “real” inspection prior to approval.  Keep in mind, that just because you are storing forms digitally does not mean ATF has access to your 4473s.  ATF only has access to your records when YOU grant them access using 4473s Cloud’s ATF Audit Mode.

ATF Ruling 2016-2 requires an on-site daily backup for eBound Books. Does the same apply for digital storage of 4473s?

Yes.  But, don’t worry, the process to set this up is painless.  You simply, upon variance approval, use the built in Export File Manager to download the file folder tree.  From there, 4473 Cloud does everything for you, every day.

My state requires a state specific form be completed at the time of purchase. Is that document allowed to be stored digitally?

Maybe.  Probably not the specific answer you were looking for, right?  Remember, ATF regulations require that you follow all state and local requirements prior to transferring a firearms to a non-licensee.  That can mean waiting periods, additional state forms be completed, verification of firearm purchase cards, etc.  This applies to document retention as well.

For ATF auditing purposes,  keeping a digital copy of the state form with the 4473 can be done with 4473 Cloud.  However, the state may require you to keep the hardcopy as well.  You will need to verify your state specific requirement and ensure you operate in a manner that meets that requirement.

How do I notify my local ATF Field Division of my intent to use 4473 Cloud?

Quite easily.  You simply click here – use the map and list of Field Divisions provided on the page to determine which field division your location falls under.  Once you know, click the correct field division in the table on the webpage.  Copy and paste the email address provided and CC the field division when you submit your variance request to ATF HQ.

Alternatively, you can send them an email of notification separately.

Something as simple as:

To Whom It May Concern:

This email is to meet the ATF requirement of notification of our intent to store 4473 digitally in 4473 Cloud.  Our store, [insert your official company name and dba (if you have one) here], FFL # [insert your FFL Number here] located at [insert address here], has submitted a variance request to ATF FIPB.

When can I stop printing my 4473s?

You must still print your 4473s until you have received your approved variance AND have waited the required 60-days from the date you notified the local ATF Field Division.