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FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Press release: “The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 required the Attorney General to establish the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This name check system is utilized by Federal Firearms Licensees to conduct background checks on potential buyers of firearms or explosives. The purpose of the background check is to ensure national security and public safety by providing the timely determination of a person’s eligibility to possess firearms or explosives in accordance with the federal law…As of April 1, 2007, the Commonwealth of Virginia has entered over 80,000 mental health records into the NICS index, along with over 104,000 into the Denied Persons File. In addition, Virginia is the leading state in reporting mental defective entries for the NICS index. On August 24, 2006, the FBI released its annual report highlighting the performance of the NICS. According to the report, from NICS inception on November 30, 1998 to December 31, 2005, over 62 million background checks have been conducted. As of December 31, 2005, nearly four million prohibiting records were maintained in the NICS Index.”
More Resources:

  • 2005 NICS annual report
  • NICS Brochure
  • NICS website
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