Criminal history records are used to conduct background checks on individuals who apply for an NFA license, as well as on individuals who are involved in the transfer of an NFA firearm. These records include information on convictions, arrests, and warrants, and are used to ensure that individuals with a history of violence or other criminal activity are not able to possess or transfer NFA firearms.
In addition to criminal history records, the ATF also checks mental health records, restraining order records, and drug use records to ensure that individuals who may pose a risk to themselves or others are not able to possess or transfer NFA firearms.
This article sheds light on NFA licensing requirements and how the NFA obtains a criminal history record.
NFA licensing requirements
The National Firearms Act (NFA) is a federal law that regulates the possession, transfer, and manufacture of certain types of firearms, including machine guns, short-barreled rifles, shotguns, suppressors, and destructive devices. The law was enacted in 1934 in response to the increase in the use of these types of firearms in crimes during the 1920s and early 1930s.
In order to legally possess or transfer an NFA firearm, an individual or entity must first obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the agency responsible for enforcing the NFA. The process of obtaining an NFA license can be complex and time-consuming, and there are several requirements that must be met before a license can be issued.
Minimum age criterion
The first requirement for obtaining an NFA license is that the applicant must be at least 21 years of age. Individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to purchase or possess NFA firearms. In addition, convicted felons and certain other prohibited persons are not eligible to obtain an NFA license.
FBI background check
The second requirement is the FBI background check, this is mandatory for all NFA firearms applications. The background check includes a review of the applicant’s criminal history, mental health, and other relevant information to ensure that they are not prohibited by law from possessing firearms.
Payment of a special occupational tax (SOT)
The third requirement is the payment of a special occupational tax (SOT). This tax is in addition to any other federal taxes that may be applicable and is paid annually. The amount of the tax depends on the type of NFA firearm involved and whether the applicant is an individual or a business. For example, the SOT for an individual who is engaged in the business of manufacturing NFA firearms is $500 per year, while the SOT for an individual who is not engaged in the business is $200 per year.
Submission of fingerprints and photographs
The fourth requirement is the submission of fingerprints to the ATF along with the photographs of the applicant. The fingerprints are used to conduct a background check, and the photographs are used to create an identification card that must be carried by the applicant whenever they possess an NFA firearm.
Submit ATF Form 4
The fifth requirement is the submission of an application with ATF Form 4, and the required tax payments to the ATF. Form 4 must be accompanied by the appropriate fee, which ranges between $5 to $200 depending on the item and the nature of the transaction. Form 4 must also include a complete description of the firearm, including the make, model, serial number, and caliber.
Obtain the signature of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO)
The final requirement is that the applicant must obtain the signature of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in their area of residence. This is typically the police chief or sheriff in the city or county where the applicant lives. The CLEO must certify that they have no information that the applicant will use the NFA firearm in violation of state or local laws.
Once all the requirements have been met, the ATF will process the application and conduct a thorough review of the information provided. If the application is approved, the ATF will issue an NFA license to the applicant. The approval process can take several months, and in some cases, it may take longer.
It is important to note that the possession, transfer, and manufacture of NFA firearms are heavily regulated by federal law, and violations of the NFA can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. It is essential for individuals and entities interested in obtaining an NFA license to carefully review the applicable federal laws and regulations and to consult with a lawyer before proceeding with the application process.
So, obtaining an NFA license is a multi-step process that includes meeting certain age and background check requirements, paying a special occupational tax, submitting fingerprints and photographs, submitting an application, and finally, the applicant needs to obtain the signature of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in their area of residence.
NFA license lookup
In order to legally possess or transfer an NFA firearm, an individual or entity must first obtain a license from ATF. To determine if an individual or entity has an NFA license, an NFA license lookup can be conducted. An NFA license lookup can be done by the public, including firearms dealers, manufacturers, and individuals looking to transfer an NFA item to another person or entity. The process of conducting an NFA license lookup is simple and can be done in several ways.
One of the ways to conduct an NFA license lookup is by contacting the ATF directly. The ATF maintains a database of NFA licensees, and members of the public can request a copy of the database for a fee. The database includes the name and address of the licensee, as well as the types of NFA firearms they are licensed to possess or transfer.
Another way to conduct an NFA license lookup is by using the ATF’s eZ Check system. FFL eZ Check is an online system that allows members of the public to search for a specific NFA licensee by name or by license number. The system provides information on the types of NFA firearms the licensee is licensed to possess or transfer, as well as the expiration date of the license.
Additionally, many FFLs and SOTs will also have the access to the eZ check system and will be able to check and verify the license of the person they are transferring the NFA firearm to.
It’s important to note that NFA license lookup will only confirm that a person or entity is currently licensed, it does not confirm that the licensee is authorized to possess or transfer the specific NFA firearm in question. The licensee must have the correct class of license for the item in question and must be in compliance with all other federal, state, and local laws.
In summary, conducting an NFA license lookup is a simple process that can be done by contacting the ATF directly, using the eZ Check system, or asking the FFL or SOT. The NFA license lookup is an important step in ensuring that individuals and entities are in compliance with the NFA and that firearms are only transferred to licensed parties who are authorized to possess them. It’s important to also comply with other federal, state, and local laws.
National instant criminal background check system
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that is used to determine if a prospective buyer is eligible to purchase firearms. The NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), who are required by law to conduct background checks on individuals before selling them firearms.
The background check process begins when an FFL contacts the NICS via telephone or the Internet. The FFL provides the NICS with the prospective buyer’s name, date of birth, and other identifying information, such as a Social Security number or a government-issued ID. The NICS then searches its database for any records that match the information provided by the FFL.
The NICS database contains a variety of records that are used to determine if a person is prohibited from possessing firearms.
Criminal history records
The NICS checks a variety of criminal history databases, including the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s Interstate Identification Index (III), which contains information on convictions, arrests, and warrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Mental health records
The NICS also checks records from state and federal agencies to determine if an individual has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution or has been found to be mentally defective by a court.
Protective and restraining order records
The NICS checks records from state and federal agencies to determine if an individual is subject to a court order that prohibits them from possessing firearms.
Records of drug use
If the NICS finds records that indicate that the individual is prohibited from possessing firearms, and the information is definitive, the NICS will provide the FFL with a “denied” response. The FFL is prohibited from selling the firearm to the individual.
If the NICS finds records that indicate that the individual is prohibited from possessing firearms, the NICS will provide the FFL with a “delay” response. The FFL is not allowed to sell the firearm to the individual while the delay is in effect. After three business days, the FFL can sell the firearm to the individual if no further information is found that prohibits the sale.
If the NICS finds no records that match the information provided by the FFL, or if the records that are found do not prohibit the individual from possessing firearms, the NICS will provide the FFL with a “proceed” response. The FFL can then sell the firearm to the individual.
The NICS check records from state and federal agencies to determine if an individual is prohibited from possessing firearms because they are an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance.
It is important to note that the NICS check is not a one-time event, it is continuously updated. If additional information is added to the NICS database that would prohibit an individual from possessing firearms, the NICS will flag the individual’s record, and any subsequent background checks will indicate that the individual is prohibited.
Criminal history background check is a mandatory process while applying for NFA approvals such as the transfer of firearms or seeking approval to manufacture them. NFA obtains the applicant’s criminal history records with the background checks such as FBI NICS.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that is used to determine if a prospective buyer is eligible to purchase firearms. The background check process begins when an FFL contacts the NICS and provides the prospective buyer’s identifying information. The NICS then searches its database which includes criminal history records, mental health records, protective and restraining order records, and drug use records. Based on the search results, the NICS will provide the FFL with a proceed, delay, or denied response.