FBI Statement on NICS (Background Check) Delays

TTAG rang-up the FBI yesterday to get some more information about the forthcoming delays to federal firearms-related background checks. Stephen G. Fischer Jr., the FBI’s “Chief of Multimedia Productions” (what no “AV”?), sent us this statement.

The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section has been advised by the Biometrics Services Section of upcoming delays in processing civil applicant fingerprint cards. The CJIS Division has been working with the U.S. Census Bureau in developing procedures to conduct name-based searches and process fingerprint submissions of potential U.S. Census Bureau employees. It is anticipated the U.S. Census Bureau will submit 484,000 fingerprint cards of candidates who have applied for a position working on the 2010 U.S. Census. These checks must be conducted during a very short time period to meet the operational needs of the U.S.Census Bureau.

In order for the CJIS Division to meet the deadline in processing the U.S. Census Bureau fingerprints, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) capacity issues are being addressed, and personnel resources will be adjusted as needed. In preparation for the submission of the extremely high volume of fingerprints from the U.S. Census Bureau, IAFIS contributors are requested to suspend all noncriminal justice fingerprints during April 28-May 3, 2010. The CJIS Division will resume processing noncriminal justice fingerprints beginning May 4, 2010. It will take approximately two weeks to process the backlog of fingerprints for all contributors.

The CJIS Division requests that contributors gradually resume submitting noncriminal justice fingerprints beginning May 4, 2010, in order to prevent further delays in applicant fingerprint processing.At this time, the CJIS Division anticipates fingerprints submitted for criminal justice purposes will not be affected.

The delay in processing civil applicant fingerprints will include fingerprint submissions for the purposes of state issued firearms permits. However, no impacts or delays in the processing of NICS background checks will occur.

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