Software Tools for FFLs

Getting Started

Getting Started

Hello and Welcome to the FFL Tools help file. If you're like us then reading manuals is the last thing you think about when you get a new toy. Who doesn't want to just jump in there and Get Started? Well this topic is aimed at those who are as impatient as we are.

We had so much fun developing, testing, and using FFL Tools in our business that writing a help file for others was, well let's say, towards the bottom of the list of things to do in preparing this product for release to the public. But, keeping an accurate Bound Book can be a daunting experience and nothing to be taken lightly so, a bit of help is just what the Doctor ATF ordered. So here goes.

First Things... Well, First!

If you're reading this help file then you've already downloaded and installed the FFL Tools application. If not, then you might be reading it on our website. At any rate this is written with the idea in mind that you've got the application installed. As with most things in life, one task always precedes another and it's no different with FFL Tools. You won't be able to do much of anything unless you take things in order and get a few house keeping duties out of the way first. Prominently displayed at the top of the application is the Options button. That button is the first one you should click as soon as FFL Tools is up and running. You should click the Options link above and read a bit about them as it explains what they are, and why they are important to you. When you're done come back here and we'll continue with our Getting Started.

Welcome Back

See, I told you reading about Options was important. I'm going to assume that if you are back here, you've gone ahead and setup everything in Options. That's what I would do, so let's keep going.

Most FFLs that have downloaded or are thinking about downloading this application are most likely not new to the business, but hey if you are, you've chosen to download the best tool out there for an FFL. And if you are an experienced FFL then that means you already have a Bound Book either in paper or electronic form. The ATF says that you can run more than one Bound Book so you may choose to keep any existing firearms in your current Bound Book and just put new Acquisitions into FFL Tools. But you don't have to. You can transfer those firearms which have not been Dispositioned into FFL Tools. That's what I'd do because I'd want to Get Started using this awesome application as soon as possible to ease my burdens.

Okay so I've convinced you to transfer in your existing non-dispositioned firearms to FFL Tools. The following is quoted from the FFL News Letter dated 09/2011 and is provided here to give you guidance in transferring existing records to FFL Tools.

FFL News Letter

Using the information from the ATF, you can transfer firearms from your existing Bound Book, that is if they haven't been dispositioned yet. Can't say that enough, well maybe I can, that's three times so I'll consider it enough notice to not transfer dispositioned firearms. To Acquire firearms into FFL Tools please read up on the Acquisition form conveniently linked just over there to the left.

Back so soon?

You're getting really good at reading help and doing things in FFL Tools. Maybe you didn't need to read this help file after all. I'll assume at this point that you have either transferred in some or all of your existing inventory, or perhaps you just Acquired that shiny new firearm UPS/FedEx just left with you. At any rate we've got some firearms in the system. Now what?

Call up your best customer and tell them you got this great new piece of software, but you need them to come buy another firearm from you so you can check out the rest of the software. If that ploy works then we can proceed with the Getting Started section, and you should repeat that tactic with other customers as well!

Bring on the Sales

Now that you have some firearms in your Bound Book the next step is to process some 4473 Forms. Our implementation of an electronic 4473 has been broken out into two separate parts. One for the Customer to enter in their information, and the other for the FFL (Seller) to verify that information and fill out their portions of the form. This clear delineation led us to separate these tasks into two applications. The Customer portion is another application entirely separate from FFL Tools and can be run on any computer that shares the same network as the FFL Tools Database server. The Database server will in most instances be the same computer on which FFL Tools was installed, this however is not a requirement. The Database portion of FFL Tools could be installed on a computer elsewhere on your network. Please take a moment to check out possible configurations under the System requirements topic.

Now that the configuration of all the software components of FFL Tools has been taken care of, please take a moment to read up on the 4473 Client Wizard, you'll find that it is very straight forward.

What? No Sales

It's quite possible that no one will pass through your shop and purchase a firearm during the reading of this help. That of course would make it impossible for you to continue on and test out all the features of FFL Tools and the 4473 Client application. But wait! There is an alternative if you want to continue and do some testing of things. You could always backup your database as it is right now, and then restore it after you are done with testing. To find out how to accomplish this, please read up on the Database Backup and Recovery topic.

Okay so now that you have backed up your database and know that you can restore to a point before you put in a bunch of bogus data while testing, you should go ahead and fill out a 4473 Form. If you chose to install the 4473 Client application on the same computer as FFL Tools, then you should see 4473 Client Application under the Tools tab of FFL Tools. Go ahead and fill out the Customer information of a 4473 so you can get a feel for what your customers will experience. Put in some bad data so you can go through the process of sending the form back to the customer for correction. When you click  the Finish button in the 4473 Client application you'll be in a state of waiting for processing by the Seller. Now that you have a 4473 Form in mid processing, open up the 4473 Seller application by clicking  4473 Seller button. Both applications are intuitive and you should have no problem navigating around in either. If you have questions please refer to the help for the 4473 Client Wizard or 4473 Seller Wizard for more information.

What's Next?

Well that depends. If you processed a 4473 to someone that provided a form of identification that requires a Background Check, then you would perform that task by clicking  NICS e-Check. You can proceed far enough to see how the Search form of the NICs web page can be populated with data from the 4473, but you would not want to finalize the search request. For detailed information about performing NICS Background Checks refer to that topic. For the purposes of following along in the Getting Started topic, you can just set the Background Check Status of your test 4473 record to Proceed.

Okay just to recap. You've setup the FFL Tools Options, You've Acquired one or more firearms. You've backed up your database so you have a restore point for later. You've processed a 4473 Form and checked out the Background Check functionality and set your record to Proceed. Now it's time to Disposition the firearms on your test 4473. To do so you should first read up on the Non-Licensee topic of Disposition of Firearms. There are several forms of Disposition but the one applicable to us at this time is the Non-Licensee Disposition. As all the data required is already in the system, it's a very painless operation to Disposition your firearms. When the disposition is successful, you'll receive the 4473 Trans # to record on your paper form. You did remember to set the starting number under Options right?

In Summation

Well that about sums it up, you got the Scoop, the Low Down. You should now be on the road to liberation from the redundancy of re-entering information over and over. We hope you find the use of FFL Tools as enjoyable as we do.

Don't forget to Restore Your Database!
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