Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Brand, Rachel L. 2007 ‘Authority to Obtain Relevant Records for the Databases Checked by the NICS.’ Lethal Loopholes: Deficiencies in State and Federal Gun Purchase Laws, pp. 4-5. Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice. 10 May
Authority to Obtain Relevant Records for the Databases Checked by the NICS
The effectiveness of the NICS in preventing gun transfers to prohibited persons depends directly on the availability to the system of automated information about which individuals are prohibited from receiving a firearm.
The Brady Act requires Federal agencies to submit to the NICS upon the request of the Attorney General information on persons prohibited from receipt of a firearm under Federal or State law. The Brady Act does not require States to submit information on prohibited persons to the NICS. Thus, the States are under no obligation or requirement under the Brady Act or any other Federal law to submit information on disqualified persons to the NICS.1
To the extent that States submit information on prohibited persons to the NICS, they do so voluntarily. Similarly, States' submission to the FBI of criminal history and other information relied upon by NICS and generally used by law enforcement officials in the III and NCIC is not mandated by Federal law. States submit such information voluntarily in order to gain the mutual benefit of having ready access to criminal history and other information relevant to law enforcement activities on an individual arising in other States. Thus, all of the relevant State information available for NICS checks is provided voluntarily by the States to the FBI and entered into one of the three information systems checked by the NICS - the III, the NCIC, or the NICS Index.
[NICS = National Instant Criminal Background Check System; FBI = Federal Bureau of Investigation; III = Interstate Identification Index, FBI's national system designed to provide access to automated criminal history record information to authorized government agencies; NCIC = National Crime Information Center, FBI's broad information system that supports law enforcement, criminal justice, and homeland security agencies in the United States]