Privacy and Gun Sales
The purchase and possession of firearms is a personal business. It is our belief that the customers' right to privacy is paramount when dealing with all information collected as part of firearms transactions.
For every sale or transfer of a firearm, we collect a lot of personal information from our customers. Some of it is required by federal law (primarily the Gun Control Act [GCA] of 1968, and the National Firearms Act [NFA] of 1934) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE, or more commonly ATF) and some is taken for our own records to speed up future transactions. Below is a table showing the various data collected, and what it is used for. "Customer order" refers to data entered during the checkout process. "Form 4473" is a form that is required to be filled out by the BATFE for every firearms transaction. "NICS" refers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, this is the 'background check' that is required for all firearms sales or transfers. "A/D record" refers to the Acquisition / Disposition record, or "bound book" that all licensed dealers (FFL holders) are legally required to keep. It records the source and destination of all firearms that move in and out of our store.
Date of birth
Place of birth
Social security no.
Drivers license info
Results of background check
Firearm info & S/N
Credit card no.
Last 4 digits
- The FBI is legally required to erase all NICS data within 24 hrs of getting a “Proceed”
Access to customer data
Access to customer data is protected and controlled by Arnzen Arms, LLC. Arnzen Arms will never sell, distribute, or otherwise make available, your personal information to third parties.
Hardcopy (Form 4473, A/D Records, photocopies of permits & DL’s) is kept in horizontal file cabinets or bankers boxes in a locked room with restricted key access. We are required by law to keep the original records on site for 20 years from the date of the transaction.
The database (Customer profiles, transaction records, A/D records) is physically located on site in locked room with restricted key access. Database access is password restricted to employees of Arnzen Arms, and is limited to name, phone number, e-mail, and home address.
The following table describes who has access to which information at any given time.
- Law enforcement can demand access to data with a court ordered warrant as part of a criminal investigation
The gun registry myth
It is a common misconception that firearm ownership must be registered into the government record. A national (or state) firearms registry is considered by many to be a violation of the 2nd Amendment, and is not legal in most states, including Minnesota.
In fact, only the most basic information regarding the specific guns being purchased is sent to the FBI as part of the background check. Only the type of firearm(s) (handgun, long-gun, other) is included in the NICS check. The make, model, and serial-number are written on the Form 4473, but are not sent to any government agency (this is not the case for multiple handgun sales, or NFA regulated items see below). These forms must be kept physically on site for 20 years, but are not accessible to law enforcement or other government agency without a court order. The only exception is for ATF compliance audits which are conducted to make sure we, the licensed dealer, are following the rules with regard to firearms sales and transfers.
Multiple handgun sales
As was mentioned earlier, the FBI is required by law to erase all information regarding background checks within 24 hrs of giving a "Proceed" response. However, there is an additional requirement for licensed dealers to send a copy of ATF Form 3310.4 to the Department of Justice and local law enforcement whenever more than one handgun is sold or transferred to an individual within a 5 business day period. This form is required to be filled out and faxed to the BATFE prior to closing on the day of the transfer. This form lists the name, address, and details (make, model, serial-number) of all handguns transferred.
It is not clear what is done with these forms, but federal statute 18 U.S.C. 923(g)(3)(B) provides that Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) receiving copies of ATF Form 3310.4 from FFLs for sales to non-prohibited persons may not disclose the contents of the forms and must destroy the forms and any record of the content of the forms within 20 days of receipt. This provision also requires CLEOs to certify in writing to the United States Attorney General every six months that no such disclosures have been made and that the forms on non-prohibited persons have been destroyed as required by law.
NFA regulated items
The NFA regulates the trade of all "Title II" weapons. This includes fully automatic rifles ("machine guns"), short barrel rifles (barrel length of less than 16"), short barrel shotguns (barrel length of less than 18"), suppressors ("silencers"), and destructive devices (caliber of > 0.5", grenades, mortars, etc.). All title II weapons must be registered and possession is legality of ownership varies from state to state. In MN, for instance, suppressors have only recently become legal to possess, but fully automatic weapons (produced before May 19, 1986) could be legally purchased, owned, and enjoyed for many years. NFA items require transfer through a dealer who has paid the "Class 3 SOT" (Special Occupational Tax), and the transfer is registered in the national database. If you want to keep your arsenal private, it is best to stick with Title I weapons. If you wish to exercise your rights and don't mind the time and money required to purchase NFA items, we will be glad to assist you with the process.