Previous Post
Next Post

 Maryland gun dealer (courtesy

Below: the latest communication from the FBI to Maryland Guns Dealers (FF) courtesy

Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 5:37 PM
Subject: Maryland Handgun Checks

Dear Maryland Federal Firearms Licensee,

Per Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 25, Sections 25.5(a), 25.8(g)(3) and 25.8(i), the FBI is responsible for maintaining data integrity, proper use and security of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This includes quality control measures such as periodic internal audits. Two days ago, the NICS discovered federal hand gun consignment checks for the state of Maryland spiked, recently . . .

The average number of federal hand gun consignment checks for the state of Maryland for the past eight calendar years has been 310 checks per year. Thus far, in calendar year 2013, there have been 935 hand gun checks, which is already more than three times the average. The NICS researched further, and learned the number of such transactions skyrocketed in May of 2013, which seems to correspond with Maryland State Police efforts to inform Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) about expected delays in processing hand gun transfers.

Additionally, the NICS telephonically spoke with numerous Maryland FFLs about the federal hand gun checks they were requesting. Many of them admitted the transactions pertained to hand gun sales as opposed to hand gun consignments. Maryland FFLs well know, hand gun sales checks are to be performed by the Maryland State Police. It seems some FFLs are misusing the NICS system to avoid the delays they are experiencing by following Maryland state law.

This circumvention of the system poses a threat to public safety. Hand gun checks performed by the NICS for Maryland FFLs does not include a search of all the databases queried by the Maryland State Police. Hence, a request to the NICS may result in a “proceed” determination, while the same request to the Maryland State Police may result in a “deny” determination. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, the NICS is no longer processing any hand gun transactions for FFLs in the state of Maryland. The processing of hand gun consignments will be left to the Maryland State Police to determine.

Also, per Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 25, Section 25.11(a)(b)(1), FFLs or individuals “purposefully furnishing incorrect information to the system to obtain a ‘Proceed’ response, thereby allowing a firearm transfer” and FFLs who use “the system to perform a check for unauthorized purposes” shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000 and subject to cancellation of NICS inquiry privileges.

Additionally, the NICS learned the number of transactions declared as “Other” on Form 4473 spiked, simultaneously with the hand gun checks. In June of 2009, the category of “Other” was listed on Form 4473. The average number of such transactions handled by the NICS for the state of Maryland has been 336 per year. Thus far, in calendar year 2013, the NICS has processed 437 checks, with 247 being handled in the month of June, alone. And, today is only June 14. The NICS has discovered that hand gun checks are being declared as “Other,” which, again, is a misuse of the system. In order to preserve the integrity of the system, the NICS has stopped processing such requests for FFLs in the state of Maryland.

It is worth noting, long gun checks for the state of Maryland has been steadily slowing this Spring, which is a normal pattern for Maryland, as it is for most states at this time of year.

FFLs should be reminded that they sign Form 4473 certifying the information on it is true, correct, and complete. Knowingly providing false information is a prosecutable offense.

Lastly, instances of identified misuse of the NICS system have been reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for any action deemed appropriate. Future incidents of misuse of the NICS system will be referred, as well.

Thanks for your help in this matter.


Paul Wysopal
NICS Section Chief
Federal Bureau of Investigation

This message has been transmitted to you by the FBI CJIS NICS Section. The message, along with any attachments, is to be considered confidential and legally privileged. No part of it is to be disseminated or reproduced without written consent of the sender. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy it promptly without any retention, dissemination, or reproduction (unless required by law), and please notify the sender of the error immediately by separate e-mail or by calling 304-625-2000


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Two things I love about this:

    (1) Trigger safety, gun store dude. Unless you’re getting ready to shoot an invasion crew behind and to the right of the photographer.

    (2) ROFL that TTAG included the confidentiality notice. Most sites would judiciously strip that off before posting the letter verbatim…

    • He is the OWNER of Pasadena Gun & Pawn in Pasadena, MD and he SHOULD know better. But he and his clan are all major a$$hats and think they are god’s gift to the shooting community. I used them for transfers twice after checking their stock first and got attitude both times. Never again even though they are the closest FFL to my house.

        • Re: “they are the closest FFL to my house.”

          Everyone does things according to the best of their judgement. I mean no criticism. But when I was buying firearms ( can’t deal with these prices as I have what I need, though not what I want) I went to a FFL 1 1/2 hours from my house. There isn’t a non po-po in my town who has any idea I own guns, except the UPS guy and he’s a shooter, too, so I’m confident with him. I’m a bit extreme in keeping my personal property’s existence to myself, but people can’t covet what they don’t know about.

  2. Trigger discipline.

    Safety Susie out of the way… Glad to see NICS is busy going “not our problem”, which I suppose it isn’t, legally, but still a sucktastic thing to hear for Marylanders.

  3. Y’all are a few weeks late here. The current “goings ons” in MD are worthy of its own website!

    • I’d love to see a wall like that at a California fun store.

      I know it’s a typo. But I think it still applies in this context!


      • Actually, no it wasn’t a typo. If they weren’t so much fun I wouldn’t be going to them with my money.

        Wassim, bay area. I don’t have one here with a wall like that.

        • @JWM
          Have you been to Target Master in Milpitas, Tracy Gun and Rifle, or MSI in Sac? Sure it’s nothing compare to the pic but they do have some fun stuff to check out.

        • Been to target masters. When I said wall like that i meant the AK’s and folding stocks. Basically unneutered EBR’s. We don’t have that in California.

  4. I like how using the NICS lieu of MD’s “poses a threat to
    public safety”. Anyway I look at it, it makes the FBI and
    NICS appear either incompetent or unnecessary.

    • Yes, it does. You could boil this letter down to “Our service does nothing useful and might even be dangerous, so we are suspending it in the interest of public safety.”

      Stuff like this makes me think there are only two ways this nation can go: bureaucracy boils freedom to death slowly enough that most people don’t notice and the minority can’t do anything about it; or the government overreaches to the point where the pot boils over and things get violent and ugly. Neither one seems very desirable.

      • it could also be seen as “you think you can do this better. well here you go. now you can do them all…. BITCHES”

  5. It’s good to see that the Feebs are standing up for America will all the force that the Federal bureaucracy can muster. Their actions are worthy of the local motor vehicles bureau or the town compliance officer who carefully measures the length of the grass on someone’s front lawn.

    Between this letter and Obama’s $100 million boondoggle to the land of his father’s birth, our tax dollars are being well spent. So we salute you, FBI, and recognize you as the Tamworth of American law enforcement.

  6. Now hear this: a 100 day waiting period has now been initiated for the State of Maryland.

    Your government thanks you for your cooperation.

  7. “Therefore, in the interest of public safety, the NICS is no longer processing any hand gun transactions for FFLs in the state of Maryland.” — Federal Bureau of Investigation

    As I have stated before (and my statements appear to keep falling on deaf ears), the feds can simply refuse to operate the NICS for any arbitrary reason — whether “legitimate”, nefarious, incompetence, or lack of resources — and shut down all sales indefinitely.

    And now to add insult to injury, the FBI is claiming that several/all Maryland FFLs who submitted a background check for a handgun purchase are guilty of felonies, will lose their NICS privileges, and are forwarding the details to the ATF. This stinks to high heaven.

    Remember, all of this response from the FBI (and soon to be prosecutions from the ATF) are for FFLs who are “guilty” of trying to verify that someone has a clean background before selling a handgun to them.

    This is why background checks and registrations have to go away. Now.

    • Well, I hate to say it, but those guys fucked up, and they deserve what’s coming to them. The NICS usage agreement is crystal clear that you cannot lie to the FBI, and a bunch of MD FFLs basically did that by reporting sales as consignments.

      On the positive side, the FBI has confirmed that this is only for handguns, and “Other” items are GTG.

    • Aren’t Maryland checks lasting way over the legally mandated time period, anyway? Soooooooo wouldn’t that make the Maryland system guilty of breaking the law and the FFLs of going above and beyond what is required?

        • Actually, the waiting period is 7 days. On the 8th day, without a response, the dealer may release the restricted firearm (handgun or assault rifle).

          Some dealers are now releasing on the 8th day.

  8. I just do not understand. In PA, takes me 5 minutes (or less) to pass everything for a handgun. BTW, N. Hanover Walmart $21 for 100 rds of 9mm. I figure I would throw out some good news because TTAG only busts on CTD and not any of the other sites or stores that are jacking up the prices of ammo.

  9. sounds like an Executive Order has struck MD
    If NCIS isnt doing a thorough job, maybe they should get good fast or get out of the biz

    • No Exec orders needed. The progressive statists running the Fed Gov’t know what they are to do without written orders (see also IRS scandal).

      We’re just lucky they are as stupid and incompetent as their counterparts in France/Italy/etc.

  10. This circumvention of the system poses a threat to public safety.

    Using the same system used for all FFL firearm purchases in any state that don’t have its own background check system poses a threat to public safety?

    • You just have to think “Civil Service Style”.
      To them, public firearm regulation is a big, blimp sized “Safety Balloon”. This “Safety Balloon” gets bigger and bigger the more state and federal regulators ‘blow’.
      Since the practice of going directly to the NICS cuts out Maryland State ‘blowers’, the “Safety Balloon” doesn’t get as big.
      Ergo, this is a “threat to public safety”.

  11. There is actually a false statement of law in that email. MD state law does not require the FFL’s to submit the NICS check to the state police… the state’s POC agreement with the FBI does that. The MD law in question actually PREDATES the NICS system and is entirely separate from it.

    That aside, get ready for the real kicker. MD law allows release of the gun 7 days after submission to the MD state police regardless of whether you get a reply. Federal law allows release of the gun 3 days after submission to the NICS POC (also the MD state police) regardless of whether you get a reply. For that reason, MD FFL’s are legally able to release after 7 days despite the fact that the state police is about 80 days backlogged on background check processing (which is actually a violation of MD law and the subject of a recent lawsuit against MD state police). Thus, this nastygram from the FBI, “in the interest of public safety,” is in effect telling the FFL’s to release without even the “under the table” background check. GREAT JOB KEEPING US SAFE FBI!!!

    One other point: by disabling “other,” they just banned suppressors, AOW’s and pistol grip shotguns in MD. WTF?

    • That’s what I was thinking. Not being from MD, I don’t have a dog in the fight, but it seems to me like the FBI is penalizing the FFLs for trying to implement the very background checks everyone is clamoring for. If they don’t do an FFL check, the guns will go out the door after 10 days with no check of any kind. And the FFLs, true to form, get slammed for trying to be responsible and do the “right thing.” Typical government.

    • Don’t forget any “stripped” firearm the doesn’t meet the definition of handgun, shotgun or rifle.

  12. Interesting is in FL some counties are starting to enforce the required background check for private sales at gun shows. If the 2 parties wishing to complete a transaction per the county level law, have a FFL do a background check on the sale, it is an abuse of the FDLE/NICS system. No FFL in their right mind would/should do the check, risk their license and FDLE access to make what, $20? The counties have passed laws that there is no legal way to comply with other than if the buyer has a CWP and thus is exempted from this nonsense.

    • That’s a violation of Florida’s complete firearms preemption statute. Counties are forbidden to enact ordinances on the subject.

      • Florida’s firearms preemption is far from complete. Counties are able to inact waiting periods of up to 5 days for handguns/rifles & shotguns due to a 1998 constitutional ammendment. These are bypassed if the purchaser has a CWP. Also there are county level ordinances regarding background checks at gun shows, Pinellas County is one such county. “The Florida Constitution gives county governments the option to pass a gun show ordinance. Article VIII, Section 5 (b) allows counties to require background checks for private gun sales on “property to which the public has the right of access.” The language targets the large gun shows often held at fairgrounds and convention centers. Holders of concealed carry permits were exempted from the background checks.”

        • It doesn’t just target the gun shows. This ability to require background checks for private gun sales on “property to which the public has the right of access” also precludes the “standing outside the gun buyback to buy stuff” move that we all love.

  13. According to this idiot it’s too easy to get a gun. In fact she is a board member of the brady campaign and is invoking on a 1 month journey WITH a Glock 9mm to prove how our laws allow anyone to own a gun. Read the article and be astounded by the stupidity of this lady. Also, read the comments if you can handle them that is.

    BTW: I think this would make an excellent “Inside the Twisted Mind of a Gun Grabber” article!

    • Left this comment there (if it survives moderation):

      If I’m in a store buying a product from a category I have zero practical familiarity with, I’m not leaving that store with that product until the salesperson has demonstrated the basic operation of the product. Basic things, like how do I use it, what are the basic controls, what are things to look out for, are there any major gotchas I should be aware of? After my purchase, the next step is learning about the product, reading the manual, examining it on my own, etc.

      Honestly, the circumstance described above is pretty rare, because I tend to research the hell out of every purchase of any significance. Of course, I’ve never bought a product that sends me into hysterics to prove a political point either, so I guess it’s just me.

      • CarlosT, I am the same way when I purchase something. Even if it’s something as insignificant as a vacuum cleaner. I research everything I can so I know what I am buying and I know I am getting my monies worth. I am pretty confident that almost all people are this way when it comes to purchasing a firearm.

        This lady’s stated goal is to do the absolute minimum. I can’t believe she actual drove up to a cop with her gun who was in the middle of a traffic stop. People have been shot for far less, and of course they would have blamed it on the gun, not her incredibly stupid decision.

    • At least views that don’t quite meet the Brady Campaign view on guns haven’t disappeared [yet.]

  14. That confidentiality clause is kinda scary. Especially:
    No part of it is to be disseminated or reproduced without written consent of the sender.

    Should I consult my attorney before forwarding a link to my buddies? Or should I write the FBI for permission?

  15. To TTAG:
    Thank you for reproducing this letter in it’s entirety. That is exactly why you are my go-to resource.

  16. Seriously though, who is the dork with his finger on the trigger of that varmint rifle at the top of the page?

  17. Gun handling? Seriously? Apparently the entire travesty presented within the context of this notice has TOTALLY escaped you. I’ll worry about his “gun handling” on a personal level. And that is a DISTANT second to me worrying about my NATURAL RIGHT TO CARRY A FIREARM! We start prioritizing our interests. It’s pretty obvious that the Gun-Grabbers have already decided that the end result is certainly worth a few “infractions” on the way. And quite honestly, since they aren’t hindered by the “rules” they are going to win. Have we really decided that ridiculing our OWN supporters is the most effective way to defend our rights? Choose your battles, and choose them quickly.

    • Comments. Read them. Violation was noted, followed by much more discussion and gnashing of teeth about the stupidity of the letter.

  18. Yeah get them out of the way,so that they don’t slow down the system for the rest of the people in other states.Never been there don’t have a reason to go there,don’t want to give them any of my money,or buy anything from any body there.Hope Beretta decides to leave,won’t buy one till they do.That is one way to get the message across to the anti-gunners cut their purse strings,to where they don’t have a base.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  19. Fornicate Maryland AND the FBI with a cactus. The cactus doesn’t deserve it, but sometimes someone has to take one for the team.

  20. I wasn’t aware that the FBI had the authority to shut off access to NICS at its whim? Seems to me that they are forcing a violation of the law, or at least creating a catch-22 – either you quit doing business or you break the law and lose your business.

  21. Bunch of god damned whiners here. The people who I really hate are the arsehats who check if the chamber is loaded when they do a youtube gun video, and also mention for you to do the same.

    On another note: Thank Pete for private sales!

  22. Look at the bigger picture.
    They aren’t enforcing the laws at hand which allows the public safety to needlessly deteriorate.
    They F up the “back ground checks” to make them appear inadequate.
    There are no prosecutions for fraudulent statements made to purchase guns.
    Only total public disarmament will prevent gun violence. Next stop more knife .control. Sporks are cool…….for now.

  23. Im pretty sure Maryland state has a law which declares: ‘if the police fail to perform the check in seven days, the dealer may perform an eighth day release’. This isn’t an abuse of the NICS system, this is Maryland police jot following their own laws and the FBI covering their rotten asses. Do you believe this is a free country? Let me ask you this: if we told thang police force or “national security agency” that we no longer required their service, do you think they would oblige?

Comments are closed.