Weapons used for everyday self-defense and hunting, such as handguns or rifles with short barrels, fall under the purview of state regulations ATF , which govern gun laws (SBRs). There are times when people who own guns might be interested in something that is more strategically advanced or stealthy.
In situations like these, the process of granting licenses must be handled by the federal government rather than by agencies at the state level.
What is ATF?
The ATF is in charge of handling unusual cases like these and decides whether or not to grant licensing for specific firearms or gun attachments. The taking of fingerprints is required as a part of the application process, and there is a separate card that is used for this specific purpose.
It is very difficult to get around ATF fingerprint cards, but the following is a helpful guide that will walk you through the process of obtaining and filling out this essential documentation in 2022.
Federal Firearms Licenses
Applicants for federal firearm licenses are required to submit an FD-258 fingerprint form in addition to their applications each time they fill out a federal firearm licensing form. Because it allows you to submit your fingerprints, the FD-258 form is an essential component in the process of applying for a federal firearms license.
After that, the prints are compared to the database of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). The IAFIS system stores fingerprint records related to federal firearm ownership and any criminal offenses that may have been committed.
Since 1999, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been making use of this database they keep up and maintain themselves. Because IAFIS maintains records on a national scale, it is imperative that any application for a federal firearms license be processed through this system.
This system is used by the ATF to vet applications for federal firearms licenses, and the ATF relies on insights from IAFIS when deciding whether or not to approve any given application. For gun owners who are interested in purchasing high-caliber weapons or attachments, obtaining the FD-258 form and properly filling it out can be a difficult process.
Due to the fact that the FD-258 is such an important part of the federal firearms licensing process, it is possible for an application to be rejected entirely if it is filled out incorrectly.
Importance of fingerprint cards issued by the ATF
When applying for a federal firearms license, having an ATF fingerprint card is essential because it helps the government determine whether or not you are a responsible individual. The application will be rejected and the applicant will not advance to the subsequent phase of qualification if the applicant has any prior arrests that raise a red flag on the application.
The ATF fingerprint cards help shed light on any historical crimes or federal weapon purchases, which can help paint a clearer picture about each applicant.
In the end, the fingerprint cards are effective at preventing organized crime and mass shootings, as well as protecting national security against threats from within the country. The utilization of this screening criterion contributes to gun control and also has the potential to assist in the compilation of a list of individuals of interest.
The overarching goal is to make the United States a safer place, while simultaneously avoiding infringing on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
In addition, the ATF fingerprint cards are official documents that are used by the government to keep track of the firearms that are under their jurisdiction. In the event that the firearm is used in illegal activities, it will be much simpler to locate and seize it.
When do you need ATF fingerprint cards?
When applying for a federal firearm license, you are required to fill out an ATF fingerprint card and submit it along with the rest of your application. This requirement is in place to ensure that only eligible applicants have access to firearms.
Any firearm that has been modified or adapted for a specific purpose requires a license from the federal government.
When you purchase a firearm with a short barrel, for instance, you will likely be required to submit a fingerprint card. Some states do not permit the ownership of special-purpose firearms like short-barreled rifles, and those states that do require a license from the federal government.
Rifles with short barrels are ideal for use in situations involving self-defense or operations that take place in confined spaces. On the other hand, the ease with which these firearms can be hidden and then used for unlawful purposes makes them a cause for concern. As a result, the ATF is in charge of issuing licenses for these types of special-purpose weapons. Owning an attachment such as a suppressor or silencer for a pistol or rifle also requires a license from the federal government.
These attachments render a weapon stealthier and also make it more convenient for it to be utilized in illegal activities. Making it more difficult to access something can help reduce the overall number of people who have these attachments.
Additionally, the procedure makes gun owners more accountable for their actions and has the potential to cut down on negligent behavior.
How to get your fingerprint cards from the ATF
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (ATF) provides a plethora of online resources for gun owners and prospective applicants. The procedure, on the other hand, has been made on purpose to be difficult in order to cut down on the number of applications submitted.
On their online resources page, you’ll have no trouble finding certain forms, but locating the fingerprint cards will be more challenging. Calling your neighborhood ATF distribution center and picking up your cards in person at that location are the two steps necessary to submit an application.
The ATF distribution centers will give you blank fingerprint cards, but the rest of the process is up to you to complete. The process of obtaining fingerprint cards is long and tedious.
As a consequence of this fact, certain gun shops will tell you that they can provide fingerprint cards for you to use in your application. Just keep in mind that there may be con artists out there looking to make a quick buck before you decide to go this route. On the other hand, going to a police station in person might produce better results given that some jurisdictions do assist citizens with requests of this nature.
Instructions for completing a fingerprint card.
There are no explicit instructions or pointers included with fingerprint cards regarding how to fill out the detail fields. It is difficult to fill out the fingerprint card because it contains a lot of different fields, which makes the situation even more difficult.
To begin, it is necessary for you to have an understanding of the format that must be adhered to when filling out the details. Due to the fact that this form is used by both the ATF and the FBI, you are required to use the standardized formatting that is mandated by both of these agencies.
When filling out your name, for instance, use the format of your last name, first name, middle name, and suffix in that order. The application will read Smith, John, Doe III if your name is John Doe Smith III. If your name is John Doe Smith II, it will read Smith, John, Doe II.
In addition, keep in mind that the details on the fingerprint card must have a residential address rather than a post office box. Any fields pertaining to addresses ought to have the relevant residential information, such as a zip code and state, entered. Completely fill out the card, and then affix it to the appropriate section of the application form.
Is it allowed to take one’s own fingerprints in the United States?
When applying for a federal firearms license, the question of whether or not it is permissible to take one’s own fingerprints is one of the most important considerations. Fingerprint cards are available from ATF distribution centers and law enforcement agencies; however, it is possible to create your own fingerprint cards on your own at home. If you own a fingerprint kit, it is not against the law for you to take fingerprints in your own home.
The practice of applicants taking their own fingerprints is not expressly prohibited by any rule that can be found. Nevertheless, before beginning the task, check to see that you have everything you need to complete it. In that case, you might want to consider giving the local police station or the sheriff’s office a call and inquiring about whether or not they offer fingerprinting services.
If this is the case, you might want to consider calling and requesting an appointment or just showing up at their location to have your fingerprints taken by experts. You also have the option of purchasing a fingerprint kit and carrying out the process at your own residence.
Because there is a lack of information regarding the application process, obtaining a federal firearms license is not a simple task. This is due to the fact that there is not enough information.
The ATF fingerprint card is a significant component of the criteria for disqualification. It is not simple to acquire one due to the mystery that surrounds the availability of it and the legibility of it when obtained from other entities.
Even after obtaining an ATF fingerprint card, filling it out can be a challenge. In order to complete this task in the correct manner, you will need a reference guide.