For FFL holders – large and small, alike – establishing and maintaining compliance in the ever-evolving environment of federal, state, and local regulations can be difficult, if not downright maddening. Often, the price tag associated with updating and training new operating procedures – if you can keep track of them – takes a large sum of cash. What’s worse is that; in most cases, when compliance issues are detected, firearm dealers respond by adding more labor hours to manual compliance checks and re-checks, most times with a minimal increase in compliance. For so many businesses, it becomes a viscous cycle of increased labor hours with only a slight move to the compliance needle after each deficiency is detected or compliance regulation is changed, leading to further frustrations and more profits gobbled up by labor expenses.
As an industry, retail firearm employees set out, day after day, with pen and paper to execute and verify the accuracy of regulated documents – documents, that if executed improperly, can have negative effects. Practically speaking, the role of exacting document execution is on the shoulders of staff who hold a position with lower pay and higher turnover rates. Relying on costly and error prone manual processes during the retail point of sale (POS) process can prove to be expensive (and risky) and gun stores should consider implementing technology solutions created specifically to address these compliance regulated transactions.
Consider ATF Form 4473, required for over-the-counter sales of firearms to non-licensees. This form holds the distinction of being the highest source of ATF issued violations year in and year out – edition after edition. After all, ATF Form 4473 doesn’t just “seem like” it’s similar to a tax return – it wasn’t until after September 11, 2011 with the Homeland Security Act that ATF moved from under the Treasury Department to the Department of Justice! ATF Form 4473 is wrought with “if” and “or” that require workflows for – literally – hundreds of potential purchase/transfer scenarios. Finding employees that can execute regulated documents / document reviews like an IRS auditor and engage customers with retail firearm sales skills with legible handwriting is challenging.
With all its intricacies and exceptions, integrated or non-integrated gun store POS and an electronic 4473 is the ideal solution. Properly implemented, an electronic 4473 application process can yield an overall reduction in labor hour investment and increase compliance. Win – Win.
To evaluate which technology(s) is best suited to handle your e4473 needs, consider the following:
Gun stores that invest in technology that enables business processes will empower customers and employees to transact efficiently and effectively – without the need for precision audit skills at the counter. It’s amazing the level of confidence you and your team will develop when they know there’s always a system in the background – checking and rechecking their accuracy. By implementing e4473 technology, you’ll improve more than just the bottom line, but your peace of mind as well.