Firearm Registration Question?

I have to admit I don’t understand anything about how firearm registration is documented, where it is kept, who has access to it, etc. I know this is a very broad question and the answer might be “it depends”. As a responsible gun owner I feel I should understand this.

For examples all of these were hypothetically purchased by me while a resident in Florida and all FFL transfers were executed in Florida:

  1. A handgun purchased from Sports Authority – Sports Authority is no longer in business. Who has the details of the model and S/N today?
  2. An AR-10 purchased from Walmart before they stopped selling them.
  3. Another handgun purchased from, shipped to a Florida FFL and transferred to me.
  4. A Ruger Precision in 6.5 Creedmore bought at BassPro – BassPro still in business.
1 Like

That’s a good question. Here in Michigan there isn’t a “registration” per say. Michigan State Police keeps a record transaction of sales, but my understanding of it is that they only track the original sale. That means if you purchase from an FFL, MSP has record of it. If you then sell that firearm, even with proper transaction via your local sherriff’s office, MSP has no record of it.



In general a FFL must retain their firearms 4473’s for 7 years and then they can be destroyed. That said FFL’s are also required to keep “Bound Ledgers”, those ledgers are kept ad infinitum and if the FFL goes out of business the ledgers are required to be turned over to the ATFE (thanks @Zee ) Each state has different rules for the “State” paperwork. Ostensibly after 7 years your purchase will end up in some ledger in the bottom of a filing cabinet somewhere. There are electronic ledgers now a days but I am not sure how they work. Hope that helps.