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Some gun purchases will be “delayed” starting next week

The FBI posted an alert on its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), notifying gun dealers to expect delays in background checks for buyers under the age of 21, beginning Nov. 14.

Bearing Arms first reported the upcoming NICS processing delays after a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer contact shared with the publication a letter sent by the Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF letter informed the FFL dealer that it has been reviewing its process for gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 20 since the passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) of 2022 in june

As a result of the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) of 2022, signed into law on June 25, 2022, the NICS Section has been working to implement an enhanced background check process for people between the ages of 18 and 20. The enhancement provides the opportunity to conduct additional research and disclosure on the existence of minor adjudication information and/or mental health prohibition. As a result, transactions with individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 will initially be delayed and the individual’s address will be collected so that the appropriate state and local authorities can be contacted. The enhanced process will begin on November 14, 2022 for all transactions with individuals under the age of 21 as described above. Checks on people under the age of 21 could be extended for a period of up to ten working days. Therefore, an FFL with an updated Brady transfer date may be contacted. As a temporary measure and until NICS can be updated to provide this information electronically, NICS staff will call FFLs to advise of any change in the transfer date. In preparation for NICS calls, you will be asked to verify your license number and password. You may want to have this information readily available to you and your staff.

All descriptive information, including the address, will follow the usual purging requirements (ie, it will be purged from NICS within 24 hours of the FFL receiving the provenance status). Please note that if no prohibiting information is found, the transaction will proceed as soon as possible. .

The BSCA is the largest federal gun control bill to be signed into law in the past 30 years. Among its provisions are requirements for a more extensive background check process for buyers between the ages of 18 and 20. The expanded process would involve state and local youth and mental health record searches for prospective gun buyers under 21. This expanded background check process could delay gun purchases for those under 21 by up to 10 days.

The new gun control law also included provisions encouraging states to pass so-called “red flag” gun confiscation orders. These “red flag” laws, also commonly known as extreme risk protection orders, allow a court to order the confiscation of a person’s firearms if a judge determines that the person poses a risk to herself or for others.

The FBI posted an advisory on its NICS, notifying gun dealers to expect delays in background checks for buyers under the age of 21.

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