|Letter - N
06 March 2003
NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT OF 1934 - (NFA):
The federal regulation that
governs the sale and possession of certain classes of firearms.
Specifically the NFA covers Machine Gun, Silencer or Suppressors and
Short-Barreled Rifles and Shotguns, as well as AOW's (Any Other Weapons)
such as Pen and Cane Guns. Many people, including many "Gun People" state
incorrectly that machine gun are illegal. this is not true.
They and other NFA Firearms are restricted and taxed. One must pay a $200
dollar per item tax and pass a comprehensive background check as well as
submit finger print cards and a passport photo to apply for a NFA Tax
Stamp. After the paper work is completed, one can own and possess a
machine gun or suppressor in most states. 17 states restrict the
possession and ownership of NFA items.
NATIONAL INSTANT CHECK SYSTEM (NICS): The
National Instant Check System, commonly referred to as "Nicks" or Nicks
Check, is a federally mandated background checking program used to verify
the identity and the legal status of a potential purchaser of a firearm,
prior to the purchase and transfer of the firearm. NICS was
implemented in November 1998 and is used in 24 states for all gun
purchases and in 11 additional states for handgun purchases. [States
that had in place or implemented an equal to, or more stringent background
check system are exempt from the Federal system or "NICS". ]
Guide to NICS
National Instant Check System
The National Instant Check System (NICS) for
firearms transactions took effect on November 30th, 1998.
NICS replaces the Brady Act's five-day waiting period. The following
provides answers to some of the most common questions about NICS.
Information - Disclaimer
Do NOT base a legal decision on this
information. The information provided here is intended
to give you a good starting point on the topic of purchasing
firearms under the National Instant Check System or NICS and
referrals to information on NICS.
Information on this site is not
guaranteed to be accurate or current. The maintainers of this
web site do make an effort to verify the information and keep
it current, but we are not lawyers and, therefore, we cannot
give legal advice. If you need accurate answers, contact
your local Sheriff or CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) and
the BATF. For legal advise hire an attorney who is
licensed in your state or the state in question.
When possible, we try to provide
additional resources and contact information (State Police,
State Attorneys General, Licensing Authorities, etc) so you
can have quick access and verify the information on this site.
However, it is completely up to the reader to verify ALL
information on this site.
We again advise you to NOT base a legal
decision on this information.
What exactly is NICS?
According to the FBI, NICS "is a national database containing
records of persons who are disqualified from purchasing or receiving
firearms." The NICS computer and analysis center is located in
West Virginia, and the FBI is in charge of its operation.
The NICS computerized system is designed to
handle most checks in less than 2 minutes and roughly 150
transactions per minute. It will be open from 9:00 a.m. to
2:00 a.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week, closed only on
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How is NICS set up?
There are three methods of accessing checks, depending on the state
in which a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder does business.
In some states, FFL's will contact NICS through a designated state
point of contact (POC) for all transfers. In some states,
FFL's will perform checks by contacting the NICS Operation Center
(NOC) for all transfers. In other states, FFL's will contact
their state POC for handgun transfers, and the NICS Operation Center
for long gun transfers.
How will FFL's contact NICS?
FFL's are informed on how to contact NICS by BATF, which is also
responsible for establishing regulations pertaining to Brady Act
implementation and for clarifying permit exemption questions,
depending on their state. FFL's will contact NICS either
directly by a toll-free telephone call or by online computer
terminal access, or as stated above, go through their states local
Will there be a fee for the background
The FBI will not charge the FFL or the state agency a fee to check
the NICS computer.
What are the major differences between the
previous law and NICS?
Originally, Brady waiting period requirements applied only to
handguns. Under the permanent Brady provision, both handgun
and long gun purchasers must be checked. Individuals with
right-to-carry permits or permits-to-purchase that comply with BATF
regulations and the permanent Brady law won't have to undergo a NICS
check at the time of transfer in most states.
Another key change is the elimination of the
pawn shop exemption. Under the new system, a background check will
be required for claiming a pawned firearm. A NICS check
must be done when pawned guns are redeemed and returned to their
owners after Nov. 30, 1998. Basically, any transaction
requiring a form 4473 to be filled out will be subject to a NICS
NICS checks don't nullify state or local laws.
If your state, city or county has a waiting period or other
requirement as a condition of owning a firearm, the NICS check does
not exempt you from those obligations.
How does NICS actually work?
Once a dealer and buyer are prepared to conclude a transfer, a
retailer who does NICS checks by contacting the FBI system directly
by phone will do the following:
1) FFL / Dealer calls a NICS operator by toll-free number and
confirms their identity with an FFL number and dealer-selected
2) FFL /Dealer provides the operator with the
name, date-of-birth, sex and race of the potential buyer and the
type of transfer, handgun or long gun. A buyer with a common
name may, at his option, provide his Social Security Number (SSN)
to help speed the check. Disclosure of your SSN is NOT
3) The system will check the data against its
database of prohibited persons. If there is no "hit," the sale
will be approved. The system will assign a NICS Transaction
Number (NTN) to the approval. The FFL / Dealer will log the
NTN on the form 4473, and the transfer will proceed.
4) Partially completed forms 4473, where a
proposed sale has been denied, will be required to be retained by
the FFL per BATF regulations.
5) When a "hit" occurs, the dealer will
receive instruction to delay the transaction. A "delay"
response indicates that the check turned up information that
requires further review by an analyst, who will contact the dealer
by return call "within a couple of hours," the FBI says. While
the law provides three business days for the FBI to respond, the FBI
says that virtually every delay will be handled within a day.
If records require further investigation, the FBI may take up to
three (3) days to issue either a proceed or a denial.
There will be an appeals process for
purchasers who feel they were denied in error, and dealers will be
furnished with forms for this process.
My state has agreed to be a POC state for all firearms transfers.
We don't have a permit-to-purchase or a carry permit. If I go
to a gun store to buy a shotgun, what will happen?
You will fill out the BATF form 4473, and the
dealer will call a contact phone number provided to them by the
state. The state office will then contact NICS and check your name
against its database of disqualified persons. The state
officer will receive a NICS transfer number (NTN) which will be
given to the dealer, who will record that number on the form 4473.
The transfer of the firearm will be allowed if no matching record is
found. Upon completing Part B of the 4473, the transfer is
considered complete, and you take title to, and possession of, your
shotgun. The state may require additional forms and may also
assign a state transaction number (STN) to the transaction.
My state has a permit-to-purchase system.
What can I expect under the NICS system?
Permits that meet the criteria established by BATF will exempt
purchasers from a NICS check at the point-of-sale, and handgun
permits that meet the criteria will be accepted for long gun
purchases. New buyers who do not have a permit will have to
undergo a NICS check, but all "permit states" have incorporated a
NICS check into the permit application process as of November 30,
1998. Also, anyone renewing his permit will undergo a NICS
check at that time.
Note, however, that the exemption for permit
holders only applies if the permit was issued within the past five
years, and the permit process has verified that possession of a
firearm by the applicant would not violate any federal or state law.
BATF's position is that "as of Nov. 30, 1998,
the 'information available to' state officials will include the NICS
database. Accordingly . . . permits issued on or after Nov. 30,
1998, will be valid alternatives under the permanent provisions of
the Brady law only if the state officials conduct a NICS check on
all permit applicants."
So, a permit holder with a permit issued more
than five years prior will need to undergo a NICS check, as will new
permit applicants. Permit renewal applicants will undergo a NICS
check at the appropriate time as well. The state agency responsible
for issuing permits can answer any questions about how these changes
will be implemented.
Will "instant check" and "point-of-sale
check" systems qualify as NICS alternatives?
BATF says existing state "instant check" and "point-of-sale" checks,
as re-configured under NICS standards will qualify as alternatives
to NICS. As of this writing, all states with pre-existing "instant
check" systems have included a NICS check as part of the state
system, thus meeting the federal requirement. The change in
state systems should be unnoticeable to buyers and dealers.
What does the NICS system contain that a state background check
NICS will provide a more extensive background check of the purchaser
than systems that contain only criminal records. NICS will
include records from the Department of Defense concerning
dishonorable discharges, records from the State Department regarding
people who have renounced their citizenship, the applicants mental
health status as applicable and other information not available in
My qualifying state permit exempts me from
NICS checks, but are there other exemptions?
Purchases of firearms that are subject to the
National Firearms Act (i.e. machine guns, destructive devices, etc.)
and that have been approved for transfer under 27 CFR Part 179 are
not subject to a NICS check.
Purchases of firearms, for which the Secretary
of the Treasury determines compliance with NICS to be impractical
because of the ratio of law enforcement officers to land area of the
state (less than 25 officers per 10,000 square miles) and the
absence of telecommunications facilities, are also exempt.
How will state waiting periods and multiple
purchases work relative to a NICS check?
Considered valid for 30 days, NICS checks may
be applied to more than one firearm, provided the additional
firearms are transferred as part of one transaction. A
transaction is only considered complete when Part B of the 4473 is
executed, and the customer takes possession of the firearm.
Here are some different scenarios:
Someone buys a firearm on December 15,
undergoes a NICS check, and the dealer receives permission to
transfer the firearm. However, the state requires a seven-day
wait. The customer doesn't return to pick up the gun until January
20. At that time, since more than 30 days has elapsed, the
customer must undergo another NICS check.
Another person fills out a 4473, undergoes a
NICS check, and decides to purchase a firearm. Before
completing section B of the 4473, he decides to purchase a second
firearm. That second firearm can be transferred to the
customer without requiring a second NICS check.
A third purchaser buys a firearm, fills out
the 4473, and undergoes a NICS check. Five (5) days later, he
returns to buy a second firearm. He must undergo another NICS
check because filling out section B of the 4473 and taking
possession of the first gun concluded the transaction.
Do either a gunsmith or a manufacturer need
to do a NICS check before returning a firearm to its owner after
performing repair work or other modification?
No. In neither case does a NICS check need to
How are gun show sales affected by NICS?
The circumstances requiring a NICS check for
firearm transfers from FFL / Dealers will still apply regardless of
whether the sale is conducted from the dealer's premises or at a gun
show. (Or anywhere else for that matter). Private sales of
firearms will only require a NICS check in states that require
secondary sales be handled through an FFL dealer. Private Gun
Show sales will be subject to applicable state and local laws.
I understand antiques will not require a
NICS check, but curios and relics will. Why?
Under federal law, firearms meeting the
antique definition are not considered "firearms," and no NICS check
is required. If a collector of curios and relics sells
firearms from his private collection, BATF says no NICS check is
required. Holders of BATF collector licenses, as a category,
are exempt from NICS checks on the transfer of curio and relic
firearms. However, if a licensed dealer sells a curio or relic
to John Q. Public, a NICS check is required.
If the NICS computer "crashes," are there
any back-up provisions in place?
In the event of a "crash," if a dealer is not
notified that the transfer should be denied in three business days,
the transfer may proceed. However, if the federal NICS system
or a state POC network goes down and a dealer can not get the
clearance they may not sell or transfer the firearm.
Additionally, in states where the state POC network is used, if it
goes down, a FFL / Dealer can not contact the federal NICS directly.
Historical Note: To present day the federal
NICS computers have failed on numerous occasions. The longest
being for a 5 day period over a major holiday weekend. Several
million dollars worth of firearms sales were lost nationally during
this period. NICS was forced on the FBI with out provisions
for funding of equipment and manning, by the U.S. Congress. [
Typical reactionary BS "ready, fire, aim! ] The FBI have
recently dedicated additional resources to the NICS but it is still
weak and subject to outages and errors.
My right-to-carry state won't be a POC
state for long guns. What happens when a permit holder comes
in to buy a rifle or shotgun?
If your state's permit meets the criteria as an alternative under
the NICS system, the permit holder is exempt from a NICS check to
buy a long gun. A non-permit holder buying a long gun will
need a NICS check.
FBI regulations for the National
Instant Checks System (NICS) can be found on the web at URL:
For specific information
regarding your states firearm laws contact your local Sheriff or NRA
Affiliated Gun Club. An online listing is also available from
the NRA-ILA web: Click Here and
then click on Firearms Laws on the right hand column.
Information Courtesy of:
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Research & Information
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Additional information on
everything Concealed Carry is online at
Web URL: http://www.Packing.org
NATIONAL MATCH: A term used to identify certain parts or upgrades
to a firearm that meet high competition standards, as used in National
Match Competition. Abbreviated NM.
NATIONAL MATCH COURSE OF FIRE:
is a three stage pistol match. The first stage is ten shots in ten
minutes, fired at 50 yards. The second stage is two strings of five shots
each timed fire, 20 seconds each string at 25 yards. The third stage is
two strings of five shots each rapid fire, ten seconds each string at 25
yards for a total of 30 shots.
NATIONAL MUZZLE LOADING RIFLE
ASSOCIATION (NMLRA): The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association
exists to promote, support, nurture, and preserve NMLRA's and our nation's
rich historical heritage in the sport of muzzle loading through
recreational, educational, historical, and cultural venues such as match
competition, hunting, gun making and safety, historical reenactments,
exhibits, museums, libraries, and other related programs.
NATIONAL MUZZLE LOADING RIFLE ASSOCIATION CONTACTS
Information courtesy of:
National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association
On the web at URL:
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION (NRA): The National Rifle Association of
America or NRA is the preeminent firearms training and gun rights
organization in the United States.
In civilian training, the NRA continues
to be the leader in firearms education, with over 50,000 Certified
Instructors who train about 750,000 gun owners a year.
History of the NRA
National Rifle Association of America
the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans
Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the
National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of
the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle
shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine
editorial written by Church.
After being granted a
charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA
was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was
also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator,
became the fledgling NRA's first president.
An important facet of
the NRA's creation was the development of a practice ground.
In 1872, with financial help from New York state, a site on
Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of
building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a
year later, and it was there that the first annual matches
Political opposition to
the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to
find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded
back to the state and NRA's matches moved to Sea Girt, New
The NRA's interest in
promoting the shooting sports among America's youth began in
1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the
establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges,
universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA's youth
program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in
matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today,
youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with
more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting
sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H,
the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, U.S. Jaycees
Due to the overwhelming
growth of NRA's shooting programs, a new range was needed.
Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, had begun
construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake
Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio.
became the home of the annual
National Matches, which have been the benchmark for
excellence in marksmanship ever since. With nearly 6,000
people competing annually in pistol, small bore and high power
events, the National Matches are one of the biggest sporting
events held in the country today.
association's magazine, The American Rifleman, members
were kept abreast of new firearms bills, although the lag time
in publishing often prevented the necessary information from
going out quickly. In response to repeated attacks on the
Second Amendment rights, NRA formed the Legislative Affairs
Division in 1934. While NRA did not lobby directly at this
time, it did mail out legislative facts and analyses to
members, whereby they could take action on their own. In 1975,
recognizing the critical need for political defense of the
Second Amendment, NRA formed the
Legislative Action, or ILA.
Meanwhile, the NRA
continued its commitment to training, education and
marksmanship. During World War II, the association offered its
ranges to the government, developed training materials,
encouraged members to serve as plant and home guard members
and developed training materials for industrial security. NRA
members even reloaded ammunition for those guarding war
plants. Incidentally, the NRA's call to help arm Britain in
1940 resulted in the collection of more than 7,000 firearms
for Britain's defense against potential invasion by Germany
(Britain had virtually disarmed itself with a series of gun
control laws enacted between World War I and World War II).
After the war, the NRA
concentrated its efforts on another much-needed arena for
education and training: the
hunting community. In 1949, the NRA, in conjunction with
the state of New York, established the first hunter education
program. Hunter Education courses are now taught by
state fish and game departments across the country and Canada
and have helped make hunting one of the safest sports in
existence. Due to increasing interest in hunting, NRA launched
a new magazine in 1973, The American Hunter, dedicated
solely to hunting issues year round. NRA continues its
leadership role in hunting today with the
Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC), a program that
allows youngsters to build on the skills they learned in basic
hunter education courses. YHECs are now held in 43 states and
three Canadian provinces, involving an estimated 40,000 young
The American Rifleman were the mainstays of NRA
publications until the debut of The American Guardian
in 1997. The Guardian was created to cater to a more
mainstream audience, with less emphasis on the technicalities
of firearms and a more general focus on self-defense and
recreational use of firearms.
training was next on the
priority list for program development. Although a special
police school had been reinstated at Camp Perry in 1956, NRA
became the only national trainer of law enforcement officers
with the introduction of its
NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program in
1960. Today, there are more than 10,000 NRA-certified police
and security firearms instructors. Additionally, top law
enforcement shooters compete each year in eight different
pistol and shotgun matches at the
National Police Shooting Championships held in Jackson,
In civilian training,
the NRA continues to be the leader in firearms education. Over
50,000 Certified Instructors now train about 750,000 gun
owners a year.
Courses are available in basic rifle, pistol, shotgun,
muzzle loading firearms, personal protection, and even
ammunition reloading. Additionally, nearly 1,000 Certified
Coaches are specially trained to work with young competitive
shooters. Since the establishment of the lifesaving
Eddie Eagle® Gun Safety Program in 1988, more than 12
million pre-kindergarten to sixth grade children have learned
that if they see a firearm in an unsupervised situation, they
should "STOP. DON'T TOUCH. LEAVE THE AREA. TELL AN ADULT."
Over the past seven years,
Refuse To Be A Victim™ seminars have helped more than
15,000 men and women develop their own personal safety plan
using common sense strategies.
In 1990, NRA made a
dramatic move to ensure that the financial support for
firearms-related activities would be available now and for
future generations. Establishing the
Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization,
provided a means to raise millions of dollars to fund gun
safety and educational projects of benefit to the general
public. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible and
benefit a variety of American constituencies, including
youths, women, hunters, competitive shooters, gun collectors,
law enforcement agents and persons with physical disabilities.
While widely recognized
today as a major political force and as America's foremost
defender of Second Amendment rights, the NRA has, since its
inception, been the premier firearms education organization in
the world. But our successes would not be possible without the
tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly
three million members have given to champion Second Amendment
rights and support NRA programs. As former Clinton
spokesman George Stephanopoulos said, "Let me make one small
vote for the NRA. They're good citizens. They call
their Congressmen. They write. They vote. They
contribute. And they get what they want over time."
National Firearms Museum |
Safety, Education &
Youth Programs |
| CONTACT |
Other NRA Web Sites
NRA Live |
NRA ILA |
NRA Whittington Center |
NRA Racing |
NECK: The upper section of a cartridge case that grips the
NECK SIZE: To resize only the neck portion of a case. To
bring the neck of a case back to its original dimensions to hold a new
bullet. Cases fired in the same chamber need neck sizing (residing) only.
NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE (ND):
The unplanned discharge of a
firearm caused by a failure to observe basic safety rules.
Firearms related injuries or property damage are almost always due to
negligent discharges, not accidents. See Accident and Accidental
NFA 34 - (National Firearms Act of 1934) -
The set of federal regulations
that govern the sale and possession of certain classes of firearms. See
NFA FAQ below.
Information paper and index of Frequently Asked Questions on the National
Firearms Act of 1934 written by James Bardwell.
Web at URL:
NFA FAQ TEXT VERSION: Text
version of the National Firearms Act (NFA) Frequently Asked Questions
Click Here for the Text File.
Abbreviation for New In Box. Often used to describe a firearm that
is new, unfired and in its original box in advertisements in guns
for sale webs and papers.
NICS: Abbreviation for National
Instant Check System. Pronounced "Nicks". See details above.
NIGGERTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL:
An inflammatory and racist term used to describe handguns Negroes
allegedly used to commit crimes in "Niggertown" on "Saturday night."
Of course firearms used by racist white police and Klansmen to commit
murder in Negro areas were simply called "firearms". Today the term
has been "cleaned up" and inexpensive and small handguns are often called
"Saturday Night Specials" but the roots are racists and the intent is
oppression just the same. For those of you under 30 years of age,
the term "Negro" was commonly used to describe "Blacks" or "African
Americans" both in law and in polite company. For more information
on the racist roots of American gun control, see the detail block below.
The Racist History of Gun Control
America's first anti-firearms
laws were started by Southern states to keep firearms out of the
hands of freed Negro slaves. This policy was designed and
implemented so "they" could be "kept in their place" by the racists
whites, land owners, the powerful plantation owners and the Klan.
These "Negro Code" laws and the resulting lynching of disarmed
African Americans were the reason the Congress enacted the Civil
Rights Act of 1866, then called the Freedman's Bureau Act of 1866.
It was also one of the prime reasons for the all-important 14th
Amendment which prevents states from denying American's of Negro
descent their constitutional rights.
The response? States drafted new "laws" that were enforced
against Negroes / blacks only. Such as the Florida case of
Watson vs. Stone, 1941, in which a Florida Supreme Court judge
noted, "The statute (law) was never intended to be applied to the
Caucasian / white population and in practice had never been so
applied. This "law" was then overturned.
Today most people would never
dare to use the same racist and inflammatory rhetoric, but the
anti-gunners are working hard to keep affordable firearms form the
poor and dispossessed and it is still a hateful and racist policy.
The anti's know that can not win in the suburbs and take all the
guns at once, so they pick on cheap and affordable arms favored by
the poor and by black Americans. Known they will face little
resistance and they will then just keep chipping away until the
expensive arms used by "normal" Americans are also banned.
Anti-gun policies are
misogynistic and anti-woman. The policies have the effect of keeping
women and the poor, the most victimized American's, from owning arms
and defending themselves. So the people who need the
protection of arms most are denied this right, by the political
party that claims to be for the poor, blacks women and dispossessed.
Anti gun laws are anti-freedom laws and they are still designed and
implemented to keep us powerless and so "they" can be "kept in their
place". This time instead of the racist Klan of the old south,
it is the idiot "liberals' of the new left.
Even the term "Niggertown Saturday Night Special" is back. But
this time, the racists who are pushing it are going about it in a
much more politically correct manner. And elitist in the
press, who think you are second class citizens, are pumping the lies
around the clock.
"Most reporters are very sympathetic to gun-control agendas and will
skew or lie outright about facts to promote them, "USA Today
reporter, Dennis Cauchon "KABC-TV encourage me to hype assault-rifle
crime concerns to
build pressure on lawmakers to enact a comprehensive ban, "KFI Radio
talk host Bill Ress.
"Reporters today are far removed from America's founding values and
are alarmed and contemptuous of gun owners as dangerous lower
classes, "Washington Post reporter, Henry Allen.
The next time you hear a politician hyping "Saturday Night Special"
bans, think about what they're really saying. And think long
and hard about who they're trying to forcibly disarm and why. Stay
free. Enforce your American right to keep and bear arms.
Some of this information has been reproduced from the Citizens of
America advertising campaign.
Citizens of America
2118 Wilshire Blvd. PMB 447
Santa Monica CA 90403
A nonprofit organization where every buck goes into this kind of
advertising and the war for your rights as Americans to remain armed
NON-CORROSIVE: Usually refers to primers having a priming mixture
which is free of corrosive compounds. Modern primers are
The point or tip of a bullet. Gunnery usage; "I need a round nose
bullet for my 30-30."
for National Match as in National Match Ammunition.
NMLRA: Abbreviation for the
National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. See details above.
NRA: Abbreviation for National
NRA-ILA: Abbreviation for
National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Activity.