ATF Proposes Changes to Form 4473, Including Adding ‘Non-Binary’ Under ‘Sex’ Question

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) announced this week its intention to change form 4473 to include, among other things, a “non-binary” option for sex as well as language clarifying prohibited persons who have been convicted in military courts.

The changes were announced in the Federal Register on December 26, and interested parties have 60 days to comment before the changes go into effect.

Among the most significant amendments is a third option under “Sex” that reads “Non-binary.” Historically, government agencies have resisted adding a non-binary option in order to avoid confusion when trying to identify an individual. But in 2017, Oregon became the first state to offer a non-binary option on state IDs, and at least nine other states have followed suit. The federal government appears to be joining the trend.

The new form also amends several prohibition questions to clarify when a member of the military is prohibited from owning a firearm.

The question asking the buyer whether they are under indictment or information in any court for a felony has been revised to include, “or are you a current member of the military who has been charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and whose charges have been referred to a General Court-Martial?”

On the old form, prospective gun buyers had to read the instructions at the end to learn that members of the military who had been charged with an offense that was referred to a General Court-Martial were prohibited from owning firearms. In the new form, the ATF moved that language into the main body of the document.

A General Court-Martial is the most severe of the military court-martial types and is generally reserved for the most serious offenses, such as murder, rape, or robbery, according to

SEE ALSO: Exclusive: ATF Kills Controversial Program that Fast-Tracked Applications for NFA Items

The question asking the transferee whether they have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence also adds language incorporating members of the military. It adds, “or are you or have you ever been a member of the military and been convicted of a crime that included, as an element, the use of force against a person as identified in the instructions?” (I.e., a domestic partner or child.)

Unlike the felony question, the instructions on the old form did not address members of the military specifically, but it did list a “Federal” domestic violence charge, to which the new instructions append “General Court-Martial.”

The military-specific language is likely a response to the Sutherland Spring massacre, in which an ex-US airman shot more than two dozen people in a Texas church in 2017. The perpetrator should have been in the background check system as a prohibited person after he was kicked out of the military for assaulting his wife, but the Air Force failed to submit its records to the FBI.

The new Form 4473 appears to be designed to remind both buyers and sellers that members of the military can be prohibited from owning firearms for committing the same kinds of serious crimes as civilians.

SEE ALSO: Judge Finds Serious ‘Disconnect’ in ATF’s Classification of AR-15 Lower Receivers as ‘Firearms’

The new 4473 also includes a number of organization changes. Rather than begin with the Transferee/Buyer section, the new form begins with the section that lists the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. The new form also reduces the number of firearms that can be listed from four to three. Sellers who wish to include more than three firearms must use a separate Continuation Sheet.

The old form can be accessed here, and the new form can be accessed here. A full list of changes can be found here.

Concerned citizens who wish to comment on the proposed changes are encouraged to email the ATF at or call them at 202–648–7173.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Shan January 5, 2020, 7:20 pm

    The two people who wondered what gender to mark while buying a gun will know what to do now.

  • Charles Surratt January 5, 2020, 6:12 pm

    As for 18.a and 18.b there is no correct answer according to Governor Jesse Ventura; we’re all part of the human race. I guess Native American, African American, Asian, white, brown, yellow, green (they didn’t list Martian) or something else would need to be classified as some type of sub-race or something to that extent.
    Whoever wrote this form is probably above my pay grade anyway. Ha Ha that’s too funny.

  • JoshO January 4, 2020, 3:25 am

    Just make the question about the transferee’s chromosomes. “What sex chromosomes do you possess”. Choices would be:
    No discrimination, no wiggle room for freaks trying to cheat the system. Your chromosomes are constant, regardless of whether you take a shitload of hormones or multilateral your genitals or whatever. The last two are fairly rare genetic disorders if you’re curious.

  • Son_of_Liberty January 3, 2020, 10:37 pm

    Grand, give those with gender dysphoria, a mental illness that could lead to suicidal tendencies, access to guns. Makes sense.

  • John Boutwell January 3, 2020, 9:32 pm

    There are only two genders male and female. Yes, this is a very wide spectrum and either people can fall anywhere in between and I don’t care where that is however, one is male or female period!

    • jrkmt1 May 12, 2021, 12:52 pm

      There are actually three; male, female, and intersexed (hermaphrodite). In the latter (intersexed), portions (of various proportions), or all, of both sexual organs are present.

  • Patrick January 3, 2020, 2:30 pm

    Your sex is determined by your choice, and can vary from one day to the next. Racism is determined by someone else’s judgment and can’t be altered. If someone fills out the form today as Male, then buys a gun the next day as Female, will the fed computers catch that discrepancy. I know the BATFE is not supposed to store this information, but does anyone believe they don’t?

    • Kb31416 January 5, 2020, 12:23 am

      Um, no.

  • jon January 3, 2020, 2:21 pm

    If they cannot discriminate then why even ask?

  • Paul January 3, 2020, 1:18 pm

    Proof that the alphabets have a mental illness and that should DQ them from owning firearms! If you don’t know what sex you are, how can you be trusted to make rational decisions when handling firearms? The “authorities” say that “access to firearms” makes more people commit suicide, and with the rate the alphabets do this, they should be prohibited from ownership! More BS from beurocrats that are clueless about reality or firearms!

  • Michael Stiegmann January 3, 2020, 12:59 pm

    Well, if it’s just a matter of what I feel like, then I don’t feel like a 50 year old man. I feel like a 67 year old man and would like to collect my social security now.

    • Kane January 3, 2020, 4:33 pm

      That’s a good point. I wonder how old that cat lady is, in cat years?

  • Chris Nichols January 3, 2020, 11:50 am

    For people who are vociferous about their rights, a great many of you have very little tolerance for the rights of others.

    If someone identifies as ‘non-binary’, in what way does that affect you?

    • Kane January 3, 2020, 4:38 pm

      Just like someone that intentionally lies about their race, gender is a matter fact. You really do NOT care about the issue. You want to act soooo above the people here.

  • Al Sines January 3, 2020, 11:20 am

    There are only TWO genders but MULTIPLE mental disorders.

  • mrpski January 3, 2020, 10:39 am

    When you can purchase a firearm claiming to be whatever sex you choose-that is sick and perhaps giving fuel to the fire of absurdity. Maybe they are figuring that like binary triggers, they can fire off both ways. Gotta be people in the ATF with a sense of humor.

  • Lloyd A Smith January 3, 2020, 10:33 am

    Non-binary will disqualify a buyer in my shop. The FFL is the first line of defense against unqualified buyers and can stop a sale if the buyer seems strange. I have no respect for the BATF. The agency is unconstitutional and only serves to harass legal firearms owners and to attempt to take away our rights. Every effort should be made to put the genie back in the bottle!

    • Julian A. Gonzalez January 3, 2020, 11:35 am


  • TexDad January 3, 2020, 10:31 am

    Non-binary is a gender role term, not a sex term. Do a search for “sex vs. gender”.

    Forms for identification correctly prompt for sex, not gender.

  • Rusd January 3, 2020, 10:13 am

    Why cowtow to less than 2% of the entire U. S. population?? All of the ALPHABETS combined can’t even be 4% of the population. I wonder why so few have so much being given to them. I just don’t get it.

    • AZ Al January 3, 2020, 11:50 am

      Because government agencies are not permitted to discriminate based on race, gender, religion or ethnicity. State and federal laws state that we shall not do that and we cannot.

  • john in DFW January 3, 2020, 9:46 am

    well if that’s the case , better make that form bigger , because depending on who you ask , there are over 26 genders … so why only list 3? This is what happens when liberals take over . never mind that if you do not adhere to the biological male or female model and switch to how you “feel” , tomorrow you may feel different !

    so what happens when you were a man , then started to feel like a woman , then gender neutral, than non binary , then whatever else …. This makes absolutely no sense… it pretty much makes this question either a mute point , or a dis-qualifier.

    • Dano January 3, 2020, 9:04 pm

      I’m from Alpha Centari. Where’s my question?

  • kimberpross January 3, 2020, 9:29 am

    OK. Non-Binary.. If this individual decides after they buy the gun they are no longer Non-Binary that is a false statement on the form. If this individual is in an accident and is injured beyond recognition, they will be identified initially as either male or female. Regardless of how they feel they should be the answer on the form should be the biological sex.

  • Alan Robinson January 3, 2020, 9:13 am

    So, if I don’t have to be truthful about my gender, why do I have to be truthful about anything else????
    What’s the point of it if an ATFE Agent doesn’t know WHAT to look for???????????
    “Hey, this guy, I mean Gal, hmm, just WHAT are we looking for here???”

    • R H May 22, 2020, 12:06 pm

      Well,,,,I guess the agent should just say,’show me yours’ and then thee them what they are. LMFAO !!

  • Jay January 3, 2020, 7:13 am

    So now the Federal government is making it ok for the mentally ill to buy guns! Ya that’ll work! Especial;ly since it’s a crime to not be truthful on the form so the government is giving you a free pass to lie on the form 4473 now!

    • Dano January 3, 2020, 9:11 pm

      They have a high suicide rate. A result from their failure to accept or believe their biological selves.
      So yes a form of mental illness. Somewhat different from simply gay I believe. That’s a lifestyle choice rather than trying to become what they already believe they are…..but aren’t.

  • Slim January 3, 2020, 6:23 am

    I’m going to be completely honest here on my opinion and I truly not billion percent couldn’t care less if I affirms a single sole! Fact is I don’t care what you SAY you are! You ARE what you were BORTM AS that’s why it’s on YOUR BIRTH CIRTIFICATE!!!!! If you want to wack of your junk which ZERO DOUBT you have serious psychological issues if you do since ANY SANE person would NEVER EVER let a doctor wllingly cut my junk LONG WAYS to TRY and create what a REAL WOMAN TRULY HAS and that you NEVER EVER will! And if you were born a woman and now trying to grow your little bean into a penis then AGAIN YOU HAVE SERIOUS phycological issues! Do you really think you’ll EVER have a true hanger?! Common! And let me catch a man going into a woman’s bathroom! There’s a reason they put the girl and boy labeling on each door, it’s NOT a suggestion! It’s the LAW! And everyone praises Bruce genner as a “hero”, but I guess everyone forgets he KILLED A GUY! Who cares though right, he cut his junk off! People are so messed up! And LGBTFWJTK member that has a single comment about my LOGIC I couldn’t care less what YOU think since it’s CLEARLY VERY OUT OF WACK! FYI… This is how EVERYONE thinks about you if they admit it or not!

    • Russ January 3, 2020, 10:15 am

      Agreed, but Instead of all the letters we just call them alphabets. It’s much easier.

  • SDE January 3, 2020, 3:49 am

    If they don’t confused about what sex they are they shouldn’t be allowed to be around guns.

  • SeppW January 2, 2020, 1:31 pm

    The “non-binary” designation is problematic in that a person, who identifies other then the gender born, or has had sex change, and now goes by another identify, and was previously a prohibited person, could now in fact buy, transfer, own, possess a firearm because under the new gender or identity, is not a prohibited person. Disclosure of SSAN remains optional.

  • SuperG January 2, 2020, 10:14 am

    Once again, my tax dollars squandered by PC bureaucrats. I guess there are still a lot of employees at the ATF suffering from the disease of liberalism. There are only two sexes, and if you are confused about which you are, then you are suffering from Gender Dysphoria, a recognized mental illness.

  • Will Drider January 1, 2020, 10:22 pm

    I believe this is the first Fed form to allow/recognize “Non Binary” sex identifier. It still might not get much use as the Checked Box is to be use “when other identifying documents”don’t refer to a specific male or female gender. This form won’t be the one to announce your new “out of the closet-self identifies as whatever” claim.
    If your allowed Buyers ID says you got “man junk”, you can’t Check Non-Binary.

    In this Society of growing “self-identification” and acceptance/recognition of it, I may change Teams. I’d prefer to have the largest “junk” if I ever had to go to prison! Lol

  • Ti January 1, 2020, 9:02 pm

    Considering the mental illness associated with the LGBTQ lifestyle, the domestic violence, suicides, and homicide within this population – checking the fing box should get you DQ’ed.

    How does LGBTQ at 4 percent of the population, and the mixed gender being a much smaller subset, get to call the shots here?

    • Jack_A_Lope January 2, 2020, 11:12 am

      Was thinking the same thing. Just as the government is not-so-secretly keeping track of firearms and ammo purchases, it looks like they are also keeping track of the mentally ill who are buying firearms. If you don’t know what sex you are, you have some issues in life and a firearm can’t help you with those issues.

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