Bureau of Justice Statistics: Background Checks for Firearm Transfers

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 16, 2009

Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2008 – Statistical Tables

  • “This web page describes background checks for firearm transfers conducted in 2008. The statistical tables below provide the number of firearm transaction applications checked by state points of contact and local agencies, the number of applications denied and the reasons for denial, and estimates of applications and denials conducted by each type of approval system. Data are also provided on appeals of denied applications and arrests for falsified applications. The Regional Justice Information Service (REJIS) prepared these tables under the supervision of Devon B. Adams, of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The tables were prepared under BJS cooperative agreement #2008-BJ-CX-K004. The BJSsponsored Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) program collects information on firearm background checks conducted by state and local agencies, and combines this information with FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) transaction data.”

  • Summary findings: “From the inception of the Brady Act on March 1, 1994, through December 31, 2008, over 97 million applications for
    firearm transfers or permits were subject to background checks…Among all state agencies, denial rates for instant check systems ranged from nearly 5% to less than 1%.”

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