Identity Verification

Gun Control: Current Purchasing Process and Technology’s Role

The topic of gun control is making headline news more and more consistently. With recent tragic events and ongoing gun control law battles, one might start to question and research what laws currently exist around purchasing a firearm today and what that process looks like.

When a customer buys a firearm from a Federal Firearm Licensed Dealer, they have to fill out government forms like ATF Form 4473, from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF Form 4473 requires customers to fill out personally identifying information like names, addresses, and dates of birth. Customers also have to include information from valid government-issued photo IDs, like a driver’s license that includes their current address.  A National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number is required as well. This background check determines if prospective firearms or explosives buyers’ name and birth year match those of a person who is not eligible to buy.

Firearms sellers rely on customers to fill out forms accurately, since they have to keep a log of all purchases. The ATF can inspect purchase logs, and lying on federal forms for a firearms purchase can result in a felony. Incorrectly filling out forms for a firearms purchase can result in severe consequences for the buyer and the seller, so it is imperative that the information gathered is accurate.

Intelligent data capture and identity verification can help to reduce fraud and errors in the firearms transaction process. Our recent partnership with ITouch Technology, a developer of multimedia technology for the hunting and fishing sports industry, has created a self-service kiosk solution that enables electronic capture of customer’s identification to be utilized for processing the ATF Form 4473 and NICS background checks. ITouch Technology’s kiosk application has been developed for use by federally licensed firearms dealers, and offers Acuant’s solution for accurate identification capture and information gathering.

Instead of manually filling out forms, Acuant’s software gathers data from government issued ID’s and auto-populates the information into government approved forms. Filling out forms manually can often result in inaccuracies, which can cause problems for buyers, sellers, and the ATF. Intelligent data capture guarantees accuracy.

Sporting goods retailers that sell hunting and fishing licenses can also benefit from intelligent data capturing solutions. Instead of filling out applications with a retail employee, customers can instead apply for a license at a self-service kiosk. Customers can scan their ID’s at the ITouch Technology self-service kiosk. Acuant’s solution will verify the customer’s identity while automatically filling out a license application with information gathered from the ID. This solution eliminates errors while the verification element ensures the person’s identity.

Purchasing a firearm is a serious matter, and immaterial of current federal regulations, it is clear that technology solutions can play a positive role in the current process.