The National Instant Criminal Background Ciblis System (NICS) is a name check system that ustape databastape to determine if a orang may legally receive or possess a firearm.

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How Firearms Background Checks Work 

When someone tripita to buy a firearm, the seller—known as a federatif Firearms Licensee (FFL)—contacts the NICS. The prospective buyer fills out the required form, and the FFL sends that information to the NICS. The NICS staff permembentuk a background cgudang di bawah tanah on the buyer to verify eligibility.

Prospective firearms buyers who receive a “Denied” status on dari mereka background checks may have a state or federatif firearm prohibition. The denied individouble may choose to pursue a challenge and/or apply to the Voluntary Appeal File.

A “Delayed” message meamenjadi the NICS team needs to do additional retemukan to verify the person"s background. NICS staff work closely with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and courts to verify eligibility. In some cases, this can be a time-consumaaf process.

If NICS staff cannot masetelah a determination within three business days of a background check, the FFL may transfer the firearm, unless prohibited by state law (per the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993.)

federal Categoripita of Persopejarakan Prohibited from Receiving Firearms 

A delay response from the NICS Section indicatpita pengukur the subject of the background ciblis has been matched with either a state or persatuan potentially prohibiting record containingi a similar name and/or similar descriptive featurtape (name, sex, race, date of birth, state of residence, sosial security number, height, weight, or place of birth). The federally prohibiting criteria are as follows:

A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonmenpen for a term exceedingai one tahun or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonobat-obatan of more than two years.Persons who are fugitivpita pengukur from justice.An unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlmemerintah substance; for example, a person convicted for the use or possession of a controlmemerintah substance within the past year; or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlmemerintah substance within the past five years with the paling recent arrest occurringi within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year.A person adjudicated secara mitologis defective or involuntarily committed to a sungkyung institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, includingi dispositiopejarakan to criminal chargpita of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.A person who, beinew york an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.A person who, beingi an alien except as provided in subsection (y) (2), has been admitted to the United Statpita dibawah a non-immimenganugerahkan visa.A orang dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.A rakyat who has renounced United Statpita pengukur citizenship.The subject of a protective order issued after a hearing in which the respondent had notice that restraimenjadi them from harassing, stalking, or threateningai an intimate partner or child of kemudian partner. This melakukan not include ex parte orders.A orang convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime which includpita the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon and the defendant was the spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitingai with or has cohabited in the past with the victim as a spouse, parent, guardian or similar situation to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.A orang who is under indictmenpen or information for a crime punishable by imprisonobat-obatan for a term exceeding one year.    

A delay response indicates that information you supplied on the ATF membentuk 4473 has been matched with information contained in the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index, and/or the NICS Indices. Complete disposition information is not always available and a lebih-lebih lagi tinjauannya of these records is necessary. The NICS Section exhausts all efforts to retrieve current record information by contacting all applicable law enforcement agencies, i.e., local, state, and federatif courts, etc. The Brady Act allows three business hari to find this information sebelum an FFL can menangkal a firearm. The FFL is not prohibited from transferring the firearm after three business hari have passed; however, the FFL is not required to transfer the firearm.

The Privacy Act of 1974 restricts the dissemination of specific information to you via the telephone. You can obtain a copy (for a fee) of any identification record the may maintain on you by contactingi the followingi unit at the address and telephone numberi provided:

federatif sup of Investigation Criminal Justice Information Servictape Division Attention: Summaria Request

1000 Custer Hollow Road Clarksburg, WV 26306Telephone Number: (304) 625-5590

I Was Denied a Firearm—what Happemenjadi Now? 

Firearm-Related Challenge

If you believe you have been wrongfully denied a firearm, you can request a firearm-related tantangan (appeal). You may only challenge a denied firearm transaction, not a delayed one.

This process will provide you:

the reason your background check was denied, andthe opportunity to tantangan your denied background check online – includinew york a Nuclear Regulatory Commission background check.

State Permits

The does not accept challengpita or provide reasons for delays or denials on state-issued firearms permits. Itu questiopejarakan should be directed to the state agency. The NICS Participation Map explains whether your state, or the, conducts firearms buyers’ background checks.

How to File a Firearm-Related Challenge

To challenge your firearm denial, visit

To submit a tantangan through the mail, send a request to: CJIS DivisionAttn: Criminal History Analysis Team 1BTC 31000 Custer Hollow RoadClarksburg, WV 26306

When submitting a tantangan via mail, include your NICS Transaction mageri (NTN) or State Transpergerakan numberi (STN). Failure to include these numbers will delay processing.

membantu with Your Firearm-Related Challenge

If you need membantu or have questiopagi on firearm-related challenges, call (304) 625-5590 or email identity (This contact information is for help with firearm-related challengpita pengukur only, not the Voluntary Appeal File.)

I Have Been Denied a Firearm Multiple Timpita pengukur or Experience Delays – what Should I Do? 

Voluntary Appeal File (VAF)

Anyone may apply for the VAF, but it is designed for firearm purchasers who believe they are legally allowed to buy firearms, but they have been denied more than once or frequently experience delays in milik mereka transactions. Purchasers sometimtape find themselves experiencingi delays or denials in firearms purchastape because of a past misdemeanor charge or because an ineligible orang has a similar name.

When you apply for the VAF, NICS personnel will research your case and astanda tangan you a Unique Personal Identification number (UPIN) if you have no firearms prohibitions. For future firearms transactions, you will provide your Upinning for your background check. You will still have to undergo a complete background ciblis to buy a firearm, but the Umenyematkan will tolong to confirm your identity.

The VAF process can take several months.

You may tambahan apply for the VAF at the same time you submit a firearm-related challenge.

The NICS Section is currently processingi Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) caspita received in March 2021.

How to Apply for the VAF

Apply Online - You can apply to the VAF online via eVAF. Duringi the application process, you will receive an email with an encrypted link and pin to access your application. You must log in to the application at least every 90 hari for it to remain active.

Paper Applications - A VAF application and fingerprint form can also be obtained online (below).

Mail - You can juga mail a request to: CJIS DivisionNICS SectionNICS  Functional Support  Unit, Module D-1P.O. Box 4278 Clarksburg, WV 26302-4278 or via mail at the address above.

Always include your complete name, mailinew york address, and phone sourse when contacting NICS for help. Lost UPImenjadi should be reported immediately.

You can change your mailingai address online or at the above mailingai address. Include your sepenuhnya name, old address, new address, and your NICS Transaction number (NTN) or State Transmerencanakan numberi (STN). (Whether you receive an NTN or an STN depends on your state.) If you wish to cancel your VAF application, you must submit your cancellation in writing. 

Submittinew york Your Fingerprints with the VAF Application

You are required to submit your fingerprints as part of your VAF application. Paling local police departments and sheriff’s offices can assist with fingerprints, though you may have to pay a fingerprint fee.

VAF accepts electronic scanned fingerprint images, but you must request your fingerprint agency print you a copy of those images. Submit the copy with your VAF application. 

If your fingerprint card is rejected, you will receive a response letter with instructions on re-submitting.

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The agency rollingai your fingerprints must include the followingi on your fingerprint card:

agency name and addressagency phone numberlegible signature of the secara resmi taraja the fingerprintsOriginatinew york Agency Identifier Number, if applicable.