NICS stands for Instant Criminal Background Check System. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is applicable to sales from federally licensed dealers. Sales of firearms by private sellers are allowed to proceed without a background check unless required by state law. These regulations remain in place at gun shows, where no special leniency is granted to licensed sellers, and no additional requirements are placed upon private sellers.
Who can access the NICS database?
Only those who have a Federal Firearms License can access the NICS database BUT if you click here you will get to a special database that contains almost all the nics crime information. This database updates on a daily basis.
FFLs will contact the NICS through the state POC for all firearm transfers. The state POC will make the NICS check and determine whether the transfer would violate state or federal law.
In states where the state government has declined to serve as a POC, FFLs will initiate a NICS background check by contacting the FBI s NICS Operations Center in West Virginia for all firearm transfers. The FBI will make the NICS check and determine whether or not the transfer would violate state or federal law. The FBI will charge FFLs a fee for each background check.
In states where the state government has agreed to serve as a POC for handgun purchases but not for long gun purchases, FFLs will contact the NICS through the designated state point of contact for handgun transfers. The FFLs will have to contact the NICS Operations Center for long gun transfers. The FBI will charge FFLs a fee for the long gun checks.