Preparing for an ATF Audit Post COVID-19

Preparing for an ATF audit post COVID19Uncertainty over the Coronavirus has significantly increased the demand for guns across the U.S. According to the FBI, NICS background checks reached a new record high in March; and the ATF recently published official guidelines that addresses the sale and delivery of firearms, including curbside pickup. In addition, some of our FFL dealers have been notified they will be audited by the ATF when the COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Preparing for an ATF audit post COVID-19 ahead of time will make the audit process easier and less stressful.

While it’s certainly not common for the ATF to give advanced notifications of an audit, there are several steps you can take to ‘bulletproof’ your FFL business for a future audit. With the current pandemic, this may even be a great time to review your books to ensure a potential audit goes smoothly (and yes, I am referring to your A&D books).

1) Clear A&D Exceptions

Before the ATF arrives, we recommend that you clear all exceptions in your bound book. You should review exceptions in your A&D book as a daily practice.

Celerant Clients: Follow the steps for the retail product you use Click here »

2) Complete Serialized Physical Inventory

Complete a physical inventory on all serialized firearms when preparing for an ATF audit post COVID-19. First, look at ALL your firearms that are in your store. Then make sure ALL on-hand quantities are accounted for, and listed as ‘open’ in your bound book. Consider using a mobile barcode scanner to complete this task faster and with greater accuracy.

Celerant Clients: The built-in reporting feature can help you find issues that need to be addressed in your A&D based on the serial numbers you’ve physically counted/scanned. Here is a quick ‘How To’ tutorial.

3) Run A&D Reports

Practice running reports beforehand to ensure your audit goes smoothly. Make sure you are also comfortable exporting A&D reports to Excel, printing reports and sorting/filtering through data. Below are a couple of reports your ATF Agent will most likely want to see during an audit…

REPORT #1: Serial by Date Range: This report shows your serialized items based on a specified date range.
Celerant Clients: Click for instructions »
REPORT #2: Serial for Used Firearms: ATF agents typically want to see a list of your used firearms so they can track sales levels of used firearms, especially for handguns.
Celerant Clients: Click for instructions »

4) Form 4473 Spot Check

The ATF agent will most likely want to review your 4473s. Make sure you can easily access your 4473s from within your store, and all the data is accurate when compared to your A&D book while you are preparing for an ATF audit post COVID-19. This should be done regularly (every day), we suggest taking some time now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to spot check your 4473s.

5) Separate Driver’s Licenses

Do you collect and file copies of driver’s licenses with your 4473s? If you do, we suggest you remove them from the 4473, and store them in a separate ‘business file’. To make them easier to sort through, you may want to sort them alphabetically based on last name. It’s perfectly OK to collect driver’s licenses; just don’t file them with your 4473s.

6) Go Digital

Are you using a paper A&D Book and/or Form 4473? Now may be a good time to go digital. Celerant’s point of sale includes a built-in electronic bound book. You also have the option to integrate with FastBound’s A&D Book and e4473, which are backed by FFLGuard™ for legal compliance.

Need support? If you are a Celerant client and need assistance with an ATF audit, please contact your Account Manager. We can help you prepare for an ATF audit post COVID-19, and be on standby during your audit. If you utilize our integration with FastBound™, just click ‘Bound Book’ on the left menu of FastBound. From there, you can filter by date and bound book type. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to FastBound for assistance or questions about their A&D or 4473, or to FFLGuard for assistance or questions about their firearms compliance program.

For more information about Celerant’s FFL retail solutions, visit »

Talk to us


Find your industry and customize your commerce software accordingly

About Us

Discover who we are, how we got started and why retailers choose us.

Introduce yourself and access our world of content.