The punishment for lying on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) Form 4473 is “up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.”
Form 4473 establishes a transaction record containing the information relayed to the FBI during the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, which is performed on every would-be gun buyer at retail.
The first paragraph on Form 4473 says: “WARNING: The information you provide will be used to determine whether you are prohibited by Federal or State law from receiving a firearm. Certain violations of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 921 et. seq., are punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.” (bold in original)
The form then contains questions such as:
Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) (ATF Form 5300.9A)? Warning: You are not the actual transferee/buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual transferee/buyer, the licensee cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.
Another question on Form 4473 says:
Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year, or are you a current member of the military who has been charged with violation(s) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and whose charge(s) have been referred to a general court-martial?
Question 21(c) is the pertinent one for investigators looking into Hunter Biden’s October 2018 gun purchase. That question says:
Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.
On October 6, 2022, Breitbart News pointed to a Washington Post report stating agents believe they have compiled enough evidence against Hunter to bring charges for allegedly providing a false answer on the ATF form.
However, the Post made clear that the bringing of charges ultimately rests with “prosecutors at the Justice Department.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at email@example.com.