In an effort to stop at least some of the illegal handguns that are being distributed in the United States by either the manufacturer or sellers, as well as by gun stores, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is trying to get firearms onto the “inuspected” lists of people who are prohibited from owning firearms. Why are firearms typically found in public places in the way they are? It seems illogical that people go to a shooting range and are given a gun by a responsible gun owner who also volunteer to help teach their guests how to use it. The firearm would then be found in the “common use” category of most public places. How does the B ATF accomplish this task?
Through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and NICS Improvement Program; the firearms are then checked against all the data in the NICS database. If there are firearms that are prohibited and are in the possession of someone not authorized to own them, then the local law enforcement agencies are notified. This is how NICS helps to find guns when you need to obtain a background check on a person who is legally prohibited from owning firearms.
So how can you find out if you have firearms violations in your possession? You can find out in two ways. The first way is by going directly to your local police department or the Federal Bureau of Investigations. You will be asked for proof that you are a U.S. citizen by producing a valid driver’s license. You can also provide fingerprints and a social security card verification to aid the police in finding the appropriate criminal record.
The second way to find out about firearms violations is through the Internet. The internet contains a comprehensive database of all firearm related records. You can search this database to find out more about what kinds of firearms violations a person may have committed. The database contains state-by-state firearm violations databases along with links to the federal firearms registries. Because these resources are maintained by different states, the results you will find are not always uniform across the board.
In some states you may not even be able to access this database; therefore, you will not be able to verify the person’s firearm violations if they happen to be in another state. However, this is very rare because most states make their own firearms data accessible through various online websites. Once you access one of these online websites you can find out the name of the person, their address, the manufacturer of the firearm, and the model and year of the firearm. You can also learn the crime that occurred, the severity of the crime, and the disposition of the case.
If you have new acquaintances or business partners that purchase firearms from a store or dealer, you should ask them if they ever had any firearms violations. You never know when a customer may have a past crime record. It is possible that this new person has had an assault conviction on their record, or they may have a firearms license which is not recognized. These people should be instructed to immediately report any kind of infraction that they may have had. This information can then be cross verified with other data bases so that you can be made aware of if there is any chance that the other party involved has a firearm violation on their record.