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A NICS Delay

A NICS Delay

A Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) will receive the following instructions when a call is transferred from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Contracted Call Center to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s NICS Section for a transaction resulting in a delay:

“—NTN— is delayed while the NICS continues its research. If you do not receive a response from us, the Brady Law does not prohibit you from transferring the firearm on ___ day/date ___.”

The following table specifies the day after a delay response on which a firearm may be lawfully transferred under federal law if a final determination has not been received from the NICS (assuming there are no intervening state holidays or closures):

Delay Response On

Can Legally Transfer Under Federal Law On

Monday

Friday

Tuesday

Saturday

Wednesday

Tuesday

Thursday

Wednesday

Friday

Thursday

Saturday

Thursday

Sunday

Thursday


In open transactions, the FFL may record on line 21c of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473 “delayed” and the date provided on which the firearm may be lawfully transferred under federal law if a final determination of proceed or denied is not received from the NICS Section.

If the FFL has not received a final determination from the NICS after three business days have elapsed since the delay response, it is within the FFL’s discretion whether or not to transfer the firearm (if state law permits the transfer). If the FFL transfers the firearm, the FFL must check “no resolution was provided within three business days” on line 21d of the ATF Form 4473.

Revised October 2010

Applicable Federal Regulations

28 Code of Federal Regulation Part 25The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Section 25.6(c)(1)(iv)(B)Delayed response provided to FFL:

(B) “Delayed” response, if the NICS search finds a record that requires more research to determine whether the prospective transferee is disqualified from possessing a firearm by federal or state law. A “Delayed” response to the FFL indicates that the firearm transfer should not proceed pending receipt of a follow-up “Proceed” response from the NICS or the expiration of three business days (exclusive of the day on which the query is made), whichever occurs first. (Example: An FFL requests a NICS check on a prospective firearm transferee at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and shortly thereafter receives a “Delayed” response from the NICS. If state offices in the state in which the FFL is located are closed on Saturday and Sunday and open the following Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and the NICS has not yet responded with a “Proceed” or “Denied” response, the FFL may transfer the firearm at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.)

Section 25.2Definition of “Open” transaction:

“Open” means those non-canceled transactions where the FFL has not been notified of the final determination. In cases of “open” responses, the NICS continues researching potentially prohibiting records regarding the transferee and, if definitive information is obtained, communicates to the FFL the final determination that the check resulted in a proceed or a deny. An “open” response does not prohibit an FFL from transferring a firearm after three business days have elapsed since the FFL provided to the system the identifying information about the prospective transferee.

Revised October 2010

A Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) will receive the following instructions when a call is transferred from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Contracted Call Center to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s NICS Section for a transaction resulting in a delay:

“—NTN— is delayed while the NICS continues its research.  If you do not receive a response from us, the Brady Law does not prohibit you from transferring the firearm on ___ day/date ___.”

The following table specifies the day after a delay response on which a firearm may be lawfully transferred under federal law if a final determination has not been received from the NICS (assuming there are no intervening state holidays or closures):

Delay Response On

Can Legally Transfer Under Federal Law On

Monday

Friday

Tuesday

Saturday

Wednesday

Tuesday

Thursday

Wednesday

Friday

Thursday

Saturday

Thursday

Sunday

Thursday

In open transactions, the FFL may record on line 21c of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473 “delayed” and the date provided on which the firearm may be lawfully transferred under federal law if a final determination of proceed or denied is not received from the NICS Section.

If the FFL has not received a final determination from the NICS after three business days have elapsed since the delay response, it is within the FFL’s discretion whether or not to transfer the firearm (if state law permits the transfer).  If the FFL transfers the firearm, the FFL must check “no resolution was provided within 3 business days” on line 21d of the ATF Form 4473.

Revised October 2010

Applicable Federal Regulations

28 Code of Federal Regulation Part 25 – The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Section 25.6(c)(1)(iv)(B) – Delayed response provided to FFL:

(B) “Delayed” response, if the NICS search finds a record that requires more research to determine whether the prospective transferee is disqualified from possessing a firearm by Federal or State law.  A “Delayed” response to the FFL indicates that the firearm transfer should not proceed pending receipt of a follow-up “Proceed” response from the NICS or the expiration of three business days (exclusive of the day on which the query is made), whichever occurs first.  (Example:  An FFL requests a NICS check on a prospective firearm transferee at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and shortly thereafter receives a “Delayed” response from the NICS.  If state offices in the state in which the FFL is located are closed on Saturday and Sunday and open the following Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and the NICS has not yet responded with a “Proceed” or “Denied” response, the FFL may transfer the firearm at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.)

Section 25.2 – Definition of “Open” transaction:

“Open” means those non-canceled transactions where the FFL has not been notified of the final determination.  In cases of “open” responses, the NICS continues researching potentially prohibiting records regarding the transferee and, if definitive information is obtained, communicates to the FFL the final determination that the check resulted in a proceed or a deny.  An “open” response does not prohibit an FFL from transferring a firearm after three business days have elapsed since the FFL provided to the system the identifying information about the prospective transferee.

                                                    Revised October 2010