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Presale Firearm Checks

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
7 pages
D. Manson; G. Lauver
Publication Series
This report presents information and statistics on the number and rate of rejections for firearms purchases based on the mandates of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
The Brady Act was passed in November 1993 and became effective in February 1994. The interim provisions of the act require that licensed firearm dealers request a presale check on all potential handgun purchasers from the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in the jurisdiction where the prospective purchaser resides. The CLEO must make a reasonable effort to determine whether the purchaser is prohibited from receiving or possessing a handgun. The Federal firearms licensee must wait five business days before transferring the handgun to the buyer unless earlier approval is received from the CLEO. These interim procedures will terminate no later than November 30, 1998. After November 1998 instant background checks will be required for purchasers of all firearms. Data show that on average each month an estimated 6,600 firearm purchases were prevented by background checks of potential gun buyers during the 28 months after the effective date of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The checks revealed purchasers' ineligibility under Federal or State laws to buy a handgun or other firearm. Over 70 percent of the rejected purchasers were convicted or indicted felons. Between March 1994 and June 1996, for all States together, there were almost 9 million applications to purchase firearms and an estimated 186,000 rejections. The data do not indicate whether rejected purchasers later obtained a firearm through other means. These findings are based on data collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Data for 1994 and 1995 provided by ATF were calculated by using the number of firearm-coded inquiries to the FBI's criminal history database. Data for the first half of 1996 were collected under the BJS Firearm Inquiry Statistics program. 2 tables

Date Created: December 17, 2009