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TO: Virginia Chiefs & Command Staff

Please see the below information from the IACP Firearms Committee about NICS Denials.

Important Updates on Firearm Legislation Impacting State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

NICS Denial Notification Act

The NICS Denial Notification Act (NDNA) was passed in March 2022 as part of the Appropriations Act.  The NDNA requires the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to report denied attempts to purchase a firearm within 24 hours to local authorities based on where the firearm dealer is located and, if different, where the subject resides.

These notifications began on September 26, 2022.

The FBI has worked closely with state and tribal contacts to map the correct location for notifications to be sent based upon national zip code, county, and city analyses.  Law enforcement agencies will receive NICS denial notifications through their NCIC connection.  The notification will contain a wide variety of information but of most importance, details related to the subject and the attempted purchase.

There is no requirement for action.

Each state and/or agency will establish its own protocol, policy, and/or procedure as it relates to the receipt of this information.  The notification also includes other agencies that have been notified of the denial to help facilitate collaboration and to ensure deconfliction.

To learn more, or for any questions related to a denial notification your agency has received, we recommend you consult with your agency head and your state CJIS Systems Officer (CSO).  As an alternative, you may contact the FBI’s NICS Section at 844-265-6716.

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022 (BSCA) was passed in June 2022 and contained three provisions impacting the NICS and the processing of firearm background checks.  Two of those provisions are processing enhancements spotlighting the important role state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies play in supporting the transfer of firearms in their communities.

First, BSCA expanded the type of relationships a firearm transfer would be denied for in connection with a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV.)  Now, dating relationships will qualify as a prohibiting relationship when a subject is convicted of a disqualifying MCDV state statute and the victim was a person with whom they have dated.  This expansion is applicable day forward, for all relevant convictions occurring on or after June 25, 2022.  The NICS has always been a large consumer of police reports and rely upon them for a wide variety of firearm-eligibility purposes.  It remains critically important that as much detail and information be captured as possible.  And now, this attention to detail must continue to be spotlighted to ensure relationship to victim is documented for dating scenarios.
Dating relationships now qualify as a prohibiting relationship when a subject is convicted of a disqualifying MCDV.
Second, for firearm purchases tied to individuals under the age of 21, the NICS is required to conduct additional outreach regarding juvenile criminal history and mental health information.  Utilizing the zip code, city, and county of the subject’s address, the NICS will be contact local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of determining whether disqualifying juvenile records exist.  The FBI is currently engaging with each state/territory to determine what juvenile information, if any, can be shared with the NICS at this time. Agencies will receive this query from NICS via the NCIC.  The message will provide direction on how your agency may share relevant juvenile information.  The NICS Section is currently planning to begin this additional outreach, on a state-by-state basis, on October 14, 2022.
Around October 14, 2022, the NICS Section will contact state and local agencies (where permissible) to inquire about disqualifying juvenile information for persons under the age of 21 attempting to purchase a firearm.
Want to learn more?
If you would like to have NICS staff participate in any meeting, conference, or discussion related to the new initiatives tied to the NDNA or BSCA, please contact Jill Montgomery at (304) 625-8252.
NICS Denial Notification Act of 2022 One-Pager (PDF)
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