NICS, or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, applies to someone who wishes to purchase a firearm. You can imagine the consequences if a person with criminal records or intentions can access a private gun or firearm.
Therefore, NICS e-check free conducts an overall background check of the person who wishes to buy a firearm from an authorised firearm shop under FFL or the Federal Firearms Licensees. How to discover if you can purchase a gun for free? You have to go through a NICS check followed by other norms.
However, you might be eager to run a NICS check independently. Let’s find out, shall we?
NICS Check: A Quick Introduction
As a result of the Brady Handgun Prevention Act of 1993 requirements, the NICS check came into force. You already know that the NICS check scans the background history of someone attempting to purchase a gun or firearm. What does a gun background check represent?
Well, it prevents people from getting hurt. This is because the check shows whether the buyer has any criminal intention. If anything turns out to be fishy, then the applicant won’t get a chance to buy a firearm. The main purpose of this check is that an FFL authority should not hand over a firearm to the wrong person. Who is eligible to run such checks on firearm buyers?
According to FBI-run NICS norms, the following authorities can conduct the gun purchasing check:
- Gun shop owners
- Pawnshop retailers
- Pawnshop dealers
Can I do a background check on myself for a gun purchase? If you’re thinking the same, then here’s the answer. Unfortunately, you can’t run a NICS e-check free on yourself. Only a licensed dealer can conduct the process. Basically, the buyer must not have a criminal record.
Otherwise, this will be a failed gun background check, and the buyer can’t have a gun for private use. This check was established in 1998. Since then, over 300 million applications have gone through this NICS check, and over 1.5 million denials have surfaced.
Availability of NICS Checks
The NICS e-check is available all around the clock. However, NICS checks are available 17 hours daily if you prefer a telephonic interview. You can even contact the NICS even on holidays except for Christmas. Remember, the authority might record and monitor your calls for official information and purposes.
In addition, NICS offers full service to all Federal Firearms Licensees in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 U.S. territories. Additionally, the NICS provides its partial services to 6 states. On the other hand, the rest of the 13 states conduct individual gun background checks via the NICS.
The NICS Background Check: Probable Databases Involved in this Process
The FBI command the NICS to check for gun or firearm purchase procedure. The NICS was built with the cooperation of the following authorities, for instance:
- The ATF or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
- Local and state law enforcement bodies
- The Department of Justice
FBI designed the NICS e-check process to instantly check firearm transferees’ background. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division involves 4 nationally held databases to conduct a NICS check. Here they go:
National Crime Information Centre
This organisation holds data on people who are under active criminal warrants or subject to protection orders. In addition, this agency also contains data regarding a person if they have any immigration violations.
Interstate Identification Index
This index is directly related to criminal history and records. As recorded until December 2013, NICS conducted 66,679,543 checks through the Interstate Identification Index.
Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
For non-U.S. citizens, it’s a mandatory check before getting a firearm license. According to the NICS check history till 2013, the agency has sent 118,183 queries to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a state-based NICS program. In addition, ICE has run 517,943 queries as reported till 2013.
The NICS created this database for collecting and maintaining details provided by local, state, federal, and tribal governments concerning people who want to buy a private firearm. However, the NICS Index records are not accessible through NCIC or Interstate Identification Index.
What are Federal Prohibitions on Firearm Owners from Receiving or Possessing One?
Not everyone will be found not guilty while being checked through the NICS system. According to the circumstances recorded, the NICS check can disqualify anyone from possessing or buying a firearm in the United States. Here are some cases that can result in failed gun background checks through the NICS:
Earlier Convictions [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (1)]
If anybody has been sentenced to prison for more than a year, the concerned person will automatically be disqualified by the NICS e-check free. So, people with any felony conviction will face rejection.
Illegal Residents [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (5)]
Legal foreigners can apply to have private firearms. However, unlawful immigrants or tourists can’t pass through the NICS check.
Addicts [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (3)]
If anybody is addicted to banned drugs, then they can’t get a yes for possessing firearms. Additionally, those who consume controlled substances without a prescription are subject to face rejection. What do controlled substances mean? In short, opiates, cocaine, marijuana, etc are controlled substances. However, tobacco and alcohol are not.
Fugitives from Justice [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (2)]
You are not eligible to buy firearms if you are running from the law or evading an obvious punishment. Some people get arrested if they walk to a gun store to buy a firearm. You’re a fugitive from justice if you know an arrest warrant is on you. However, if you don’t know that, then you’re not a fugitive from justice.
Renouncing Citizenship [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (7)]
Renounced citizens can’t get a NICS pass to buy a gun. Once an individual renounces their citizenship, they lose all the rights of a U.S. citizen and Second Amendment ones.
Mental Illness [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (4)]
Yes, it’s true. Anybody can face a disqualification if they have a mental illness or a history of mental illness. If you have been ever admitted to a mental health asylum or declared mentally unstable, then there’s a chance that you can’t buy a gun.
Dishonourable Discharges [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (6)]
This applies to an individual if the Armed Forces discharged the person under dishonourable situations. This can lead to an automatic disqualification by the NICS e-check process. Additionally, it indicates that the individual has committed a crucial violation in the army.
Background of Felony Domestic Violence [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (8) & [18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (9)]]
This is an immediate red flag for possessing a firearm. If the court has ever convicted the requesting individual of being abusive towards their intimate partner, spouse, or child, the person can’t purchase a firearm.
These are why people go through a failed gun background check conducted by the NICS.
Miscellaneous Details about the NICS System Check
Apart from the above information, you might be interested in other details of the NICS check. For example, how much does the NICS check charge? The FBI doesn’t charge anything to run a NICS background check on you.
In addition, the same checks are run for transferring firearms from one licensed individual to another. However, here are some exceptions for the following transfer situations:
- Transferring the firearm to a person approved by ATF or who owns a state permit
- Transferring National Firearm Act weapons to people approved by ATF
You can visit your nearest Police department or local Sheriff’s department to initiate a NICS check. On the other hand, the buyer has to fill in form 4473 online. The buyer has to provide the following details about themselves:
- Residential address
- Social Security Number
- Place of birth
- Physical and mental health details
The NICS e-check free might take as long as 60 days to complete. After that, the authority will inform you whether you have passed it. Additionally, they can directly send you an offer.