FFL Dealer – NICS background check
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, aka the Brady Law or Brady Act, altered the entire way that the firearms businesses work when it comes down to the sale of firearms. This was the directive that put into place the necessary NICS background checks for the sale of weapons by a FFL holder. President Bill Clinton has signed the Brady Law in effect on November 30, 1993.
There are three specific situations when a NICS check can be started. The first is transferring a firearm by a FFL dealer. The second is, according to the law, providing local, state, or federal criminal justice agencies complete info that could be connected to a explosive or firearms that has a related permit or license. The third permits the NICS to provide information to BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) about any activity, it being civil or criminal law enforcement related, to the Gun Control Act of 1968 or the National Firearms Act.
The entire point of the Brady Law is to ensure preventing criminals or other inadequate persons from getting their hands on firearms. The only way to accomplish this is checking the name and characteristics of the person buying the firearm through a number of separate national databases. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III), and the NICS index are a couple of the databases used. The databases of the DHS’s US Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are also run for non-US citizens.
Even if a background check is needed for firearms transactions for FFL dealers in all 50 states, not all states have chosen to participate in the federal NICS program. Such a state is called Point of Contact (POC). In such a case, the state will select a state agency that can be used as the contact point between the FFL dealer and the NICS. Normally the FFL dealer will contact to perform the background check. Some states are partial POC states in which FFL dealers use the POC for handgun checks and simply get in contact with the NICS directly for the long gun background checks. The list of POC states includes Hawaii, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Partial POC states include Washington, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa, and North Carolina.
In other states there is a system that allows using specific permits that replace the necessity of running a NICS check. Usually these are states that have a highly exact procedure (in which a FBI background check is done) for attaining a concealed firearms permit. Twenty-two states have this type of option at this particular time, when this article is being published. You can check the FBI’s website to find out if your state is one of the states included and to understand how this process works in your state of residence!
You can find this information on the FBI’s official website: fbi.gov. It’s a useful resource to find information on any other questions you could have about how the NICS works!
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