Federal law requires all federally licensed firearms dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers before the sale of a handgun. What goes into that background check?
In the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month, President Trump is seemingly open to strengthening federal background checks for firearm purchases.
“While deliberations are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system, ” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday, adding that the president spoke to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn about a bill to “improve federal compliance with criminal background check legislation.”
On Twitter Tuesday, Trump said Republicans and Democrat “must now focus on strengthening” federal background checks.
Here’s a look at how the federal background check runs, and what activists and experts have to say about it.
What happens when you want to purchase a gun?
In order to purchase a gun from a federal handguns licensed merchant( FFL ), a consumer must provide identification and pass a federal background check use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ 4473 sort.
The first page of the document necessitates basic information, including the buyer’s full name, address, sex, birthday and ethnicity. A Social Security number is encouraged, but not required.
The form also asks the purchaser about criminal background, immigration status and mental health — information that could result in a consumer being denied. Those questions include 😛 TAGEND
Have you ever been convicted in any tribunal of a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?
Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?
Have you been discharged from the Armed Force under dishonorable conditions?
Have you ever been convicted in any tribunal of a misdemeanor crime of family violence?
Proceed: If NICS indicates the marketer can proceed, then the sale can continue.
Canceled or Denied: Should NICS mark the form as “canceled” or “denied, ” the dealer cannot legally sell the firearm to the buyer. Michael Smith, the vice president of marketing and media for Upstate Armory Group, a firearm merchant in Simpsonville, S.C ., told Fox News he generally provides the customer with contact information for a local lawyer who handles restoration of handgun rights in case the failed background check is erroneous. There have been days police have arrived at the firearm shop to arrest the customer who legally cannot buy a handgun, Smith said.
Delayed: If the background check elicits a “delayed” response from NICS, the marketer cannot complete the transaction for at least three business days. Unless a specific “denied” designation is issued, the marketer will be able to complete the transaction with the customer after that period elapses, under federal statute.