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An FFL friend noticed something new on the ATF’s NICS portal. Under the Purpose ID section, there are now a variety of classifications for private sales of firearms. And when he signs into the portal he gets the following message regarding transfers between “unlicensed individuals”: . . .

Message Regarding Private Sales
The purpose of this message is to assist Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) who facilitate the transfer of firearms between unlicensed individuals. On January 16, 2013, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued an open letter to all FFLs regarding the transfer of firearms between unlicensed individuals. This message provides guidance with respect to private sale transfers facilitated by FFLs as unlicensed individuals do not have the ability to use the National Instant Criminal background Check System (NICS) to conduct a background check on a prospective transferee. In addition, several states have state laws which prohibit the transfer of firearms between individuals unless a NICS background check is completed. To obtain a copy of the open letter or obtain more information regarding the transfer of firearms between unlicensed individuals, please copy and paste the link provided into your browser or visit the ATF Web site at

With the possibility of increased transfers involving private sale transactions, the NICS Section would like to provide information regarding the use of the NICS during private sale transfer scenarios. The NICS Section will make the option for the transfer of a private sale firearm available to all FFLs not just FFLs having a state law requiring such. This capability will be available to all FFLs on September 16, 2015.

The FFLs may not be required by state law to process private sale transfers; however if you choose to engage in private sale transfers, please note it will be the responsibility of the FFL to specify the transfer as being connected to a private sale. Below is important information for you to know when conducting a NICS background check for the transfer of a private sale. If you are conducting a NICS background check for the transfer of a private sale firearm via the NICS E-Check, please select private sale of a handgun, private sale of a long gun, private sale other, private sale return to seller handgun, private sale return to seller long gun, or private sale return to seller other in the field titled “Purpose ID (18)”.

If you are conducting a NICS background check for the transfer of a private sale firearm via the contracted call centers, when asked by the call center agent, please identify the “type of transaction” as a private sale.

If you have any questions regarding the information provided, please contact the NICS Business Unit at “[email protected]“.

***Information Regarding New NICS***

The FBI CJIS Division has decided to postpone the July 14, 2015, delivery of Phase 1 of the New NICS. The new delivery date should not occur during peak season because of the potential risk to FFLs, to the public, to our state partners and to the NICS staff. The New NICS team is drafting a new go-live schedule. Until that schedule is finalized, the NICS Section does not have a new date to share with you, but we will advise as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the NICS Liaison staff at [email protected]. Also, please note that you will continue to receive periodical spotlight emails from the NICS Section on the New NICS as this allows us to highlight various aspects of the new system.

The charitable among us will look at this and see the ATF making provisions for FFLs in states that have closed the infamous “gun show loophole” and now require background checks on all private sales. In that case, this is just a regulatory agency catching up on what’s going on out in the real world with characteristic bureaucratic timeliness.

The suspicious among us will look at this and wonder if this isn’t laying the groundwork for a federal action that would require all firearms transfers to be made via the NICS system. Yes, Manchin-Toomey is dead. No, Congress isn’t about to pass a universal background check any time soon, certainly not in an election year. But the commander in chief still has his phone and his pen.

So which one are you…charitable or suspicious?

[h/t Tyler Kee]

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    • “Transferred to Buttholster S.F. CA”
      “Donated to Not as Fast and slightly Less Furious”
      “NOT-AOW” (I plan to but-stroke someone with it)
      “Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective?” (Hmm, well, I am filling out this f-ing form to satisfy my a-hole neighbors needing jobs. . .)

  1. Safe bet Obama’s about to try and slam a universal background check down our throats. Time to start treating this treasonous troll like what he is. An enemy to freedom of us all.

    • Yep, he couldn’t get the dream act passed, so he did it anyway. He couldn’t get amnesty passed, so he did it anyway. He couldn’t get the votes in the senate for an Iran nuclear treaty, so he called it a “deal” instead. There’s a pattern here.

      Now, an illegal executive order requiring background checks on private transfers will be much easier to ignore than the others. People simply will not comply.

      • Certainly so. Here’s hoping we can get some testicular forfeiture out of some people and SLAM him to the deck (legislatively speaking) over this one hard enough that’ll permanently end his blatant illegal use of his executive power. If that works out maybe we’ll finally see some reform of EA power so we won’t let any other would be tyrant pull this crap again.

        • You’d better be pulling for someone like Cruz, then, as he’s probably one of only a few folks of note in the running that might –might– not risk destroying this nation from kicking and screaming when the time comes to relinquish that power. Obama would sooner spike the goddam nuclear football on Texas than see his precious namesake bill repealed, and all his loyal agencies disemboweled. Hell, he’s so desperate at the prospect losing nominal authority over all his sycophant appointees that he’s pinning his hopes on Biden, for cryin’ out loud! Congress is so schizophrenic due to the bicameral design and multiple members that it’s too fragmented to go out with a bang… a president, not so much. Expect formalized packing of the electorate (already ongoing) as well as Supreme Court (yup, that old trick of FDR’s) & plenty of good ‘ol strong arming when we finally go to take on what we’ve allowed the Executive branch to grow into.

        • I’d love a legislative slam. Something like that could get out of the house. I don’t know if it could get past the Senate, however. Let’s hope (well, let’s hope first that Obama doesn’t actually try to ram universal registration down our throats with and executive action).

      • “…requiring background checks on private transfers ”

        This gun? No, I have owned this gun for a long time now. That pile of cash he is holding? I don’t know where he got it and I didn’t think it polite to ask. If I asked you where you got the cash in your pocket wouldn’t you think it a rude question?

      • How’s he gonna not-do us into background checks, fellas? He passed those other things by not doing his damn job; something he excels at mightily. While other presidents have started and stopped important wars, the one thing this guy is best at is being lazy. Making up excuses to not enforce laws he finds politically difficult. Neglecting to attend to affairs he finds uncomfortable. Jet-setting around in the lap of taxpayer-funded luxury an average of god-only-knows how many times per day at this point, and that’s when he isn’t enjoying the best court jester entertainment and meal preparation available. Can’t really blame him, as the few times it appears he’s tried to use real guile it basically blows up in his face with certain regularity. Instead, it’s just go with the flow, baby, on a gradual, comfortable drift towards entropy and attendant tyranny. Democracy is simply such a hard thing to maintain, after all, to say nothing of a constitutional republic; too much bother for one so lazy.

      • I’ll just continue just like I always have….nothing will change for me. I’m a person to person ‘type’ person, seller an buyer. Buyers are easy to checkout myself…I tell them to bring what I need, simple ID and the guns history IF they have that. I’ve got a computer and it’s a world of Where’s the beef? Well, one has to go to the getto streets of NYC…NOT National televised networks involving a whole nation of gun owners who by in large are just acting out their desire, right, to own a firearm for whatever purpose. They (Government) can create all the gun laws they want but, the people of this nation in the END, will maintain that right. Abolish all gun rights of this nation?…a cold day in hell. And end of the Government that desires this.

    • If my faith allowed me to bet , I would put a $1,000.00 on Barry O. making a push to disarm people before he leaves office and we will be blown away once again by not only the success of his will but by the speed it is completed . Just remember you saw this on 10/07/15 because by next year your heads will be spinning . Devine protection has been removed from our once great Nation .

  2. As the article states, this isn’t really new information, it was announced a while back and the release kept getting delayed. I get why some would see it as a foreshadowing of things to come, but look at it the opposite way- would the other side really tip their hand by implementing this BEFORE a big push? its an even money bet either way.

    Coincidentally, as a dealer, I look at this as another way to make a few bucks- If a private seller and private buyer want agree to a background check, I can run it for them and charge maybe ten bucks. not that it will be requested that often here in Texas.

    • “would the other side really tip their hand by implementing this BEFORE a big push?”

      SHOULD they? No.

      WOULD they? Very possibly. I have faith in collective bureaucratic incompetence, e.g. someone who wasn’t “in with the program” releasing the code when it was ready to go.

    • Why not run the background check for free and gain the opportunity to sell ammunition, accessories, and possibly additional firearms to the buyer and seller? As far as I can tell, most people will want to immediately purchase ammunition for a firearm that they just acquired. They may also want to immediately purchase magazines and holsters as well.

      In other words look at private buyers/sellers requesting a background check as a golden opportunity to get potential customers in the door that might not have otherwise visited your business. Assuming that background checks take all of a few minutes, it seems like a wise investment of your time. This is also a BIG advantage over online retailers who cannot, as far as I can tell, run a background check for a private sale.

      • we considered this, but we decided for liability purposes, it wasn’t practical. according to our lawyer at the time (and I’m not one, just repeating his theory), doing something for free says nothing about your relationship with the customer- they could relatively easily claim we did it with no authorization. by having them pay for it, it creates a loose contract between them and us, and allows us to file some information in our check out system, including the paper they have to sign authorizing the check. Idk, quoted a bunch of case law and blah blah blah, but that was his advice and he strongly suggested we follow it, so we did. Lord knows he had saved us from SERIOUS mistakes before, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt..

        • I am not an attorney and I don’t play one on television so I cannot comment on the legal advice from your attorney. If you believe it is in your interest to make it a paid transaction, then charge $1 rather than $10. The less you charge, the more your customers will see it as an act of good will and the more likely they are to patronize your store.

          It is along the lines of out-of-state FFL transfers. FFL licensees who charge more than $20 turn people off to their business. Again, rather than using those transactions to draw people in as customers, those FFLs drive people away as customers.

        • …and it also generates an average of 25$ for ten minutes’ tedious work, multiplied by a large portion of the (captive) customer base of most FFLs. A 2$ transaction is just as binding, and yet no one charges less than ten. Be serious.

        • No. Inform Aunt Nellie that there is no legal requirement to do a BS “background check” for a private sale. That life is to short to waste your life with BS – so you don’t

        • FFL’s are the LAST ones to be against UBC’s….. Its a cash cow for them. Just look at it this way; Gov’t says “you have to go to FFL to sell your gun to another individual” FFL says ” Gub’mint says you have to come to me to transfer: If’n ya don’t, I’m gonna report yo ass. Oh, and BTW I can charge you whatever the f@# I want to do it” There are shops charging $50-75 per !!!…… I bet its higher in the populous blue-state areas… Seriously……Tell me what their motivation is? The employees are standing around surfing their f@#$ing iphones anyway. What else do they have to do?

          I personally believe private individuals should be allowed to contact NICS and request clearance themselves. This service is already paid for with our tax dollars; the FFL is just a gov’t mandated middleman that sets whatever price they want. Its a hassle for them, so they’re going to make you pay out the ass for it. Maybe not the little guys, but the big shops will see it as a cash cow…
          Its no different than paying some shyster to apply for gov’t benefits for you. Paying for something twice is insane

        • 26CFR 25.6 Accessing records in the system.
          (a) FFLs may initiate a NICS background check only in connection with a proposed firearm transfer as required by the Brady Act. FFLs are strictly prohibited from initiating a NICS background check for any other purpose.

          So can anyone tell me WHERE in the Brady Act it REQUIRES a NICS check for a transfer between two private citizens?

          Lacking that, I submit that it is ILLEGAL (and “…strictly prohibited…”) for an FFL to perform such a service.

        • OK I edited my prior post and it’s not showing up.

          My bad, when the letter finally downloaded, I realized that this was dealing with a standard transfer, seller-to-FFL’s Book, run NICS, buyer passes NICS, out of FFL’s book per 4473 to seller.

          I was thinking they meant Joe wants a NICS on Fred so he can sell him a pistol. They go to FFL who runs NICS, no paperwork, nothing logged, for a fee or not.

      • I am completely against UBC’s no matter how much money it makes us. but, the law is the law, and we will follow it, for now. I feel pretty good about 10 bucks. the closest FFL to us charges $45 for FFL transfers. and we will ALWAYS inform ‘Aunt Nellie’ its unnecessary. but just like a Bill of Sale, sometimes it make people sleep a little easier at night. If it was actually legally mandated, I would be inclined to charge less for it (just enough to cover cost), seeing as it was a necessity, not a want.

    • Uh, ATF and M855, anybody? At some point you have to position your pieces in order for them to be ready when the time comes. This is a pretty damn obscure way to let the cat outta the bag, btw –not something pretty much anyone would notice.

  3. Kind of looks like they have been planning this behind the scenes all along.

    Makes one wonder what else they have in planning.

    Look, they planned and schemed and ended up jamming universal health care down our throats – and that took bribery and blackmail, procedural rules breaking and out in the open tyranny and who knows what else, and eventually they got it done.

    These people are determined, pateint, devious and well funded.

    Make no mistake, they have plans for all the power they have, and they intend to follow through with these plans.

  4. Why do they have these categories if the government isnt saving the data? It was my understanding the government wasnt supposed to hold onto NICS check data.

    • You are right, it’s illegal to save the data.

      That said, of course they are saving the data.

      • The old saying is that the average American commits three felonies a day. OTOH, the government commits three hundred thousand felonies a day.

        It’s good to be King.

  5. Personally, I don’t trust any politician as far as my wife could throw him/her, so Obama and certainly Clinton (if she ever got in) would try to ram universal background checks up our third point of contact.

    Having said that, I think this is ATF trying to develop a process for handling sales in states where it is either required that a background check be done, or in the event a private seller wants a background check done. Having done lots of transactions on Gun Broker, I personally don’t mind that all the sales have to go through an FFL. I don’t want to be providing guns or ammo to some low life who is legally forbidden to buy a gun because he is a felon, drug dealer, wife beater, etc.

    • Then don’t sell the gun, not right anyhow.

      Or don’t sell it to an obvious “lowlife”.

      To our normal point with the leftie loons – the gun is an inanimate object that has no basis for morality. A human might misuse it. Is who purchases you used gun say something about you or your morality if he misuses it?

  6. It’s Oregon. And, no, the President has no authority via phone or pen. That’s an old wive’s tale.

    If anything, the real issue is how many Fudd’s will use the system even tho there’s no legal requirement for them to do so? Those are the people throwing us under the bus, a transfer to a known good relative or friend that just increases the budgetary requirements of an Agency we don’t need involved.

    • “And, no, the President has no authority via phone or pen.”

      Hasn’t stopped him yet.

  7. Sounds like Obama is going to ask forgiveness instead of permission.
    We need a contingency plan for how to push back on that.

  8. Some states (e.g., NY SAFE Act) require background checks for private sales/transfers and use FFLs to run NICS checks.

    • Seems like it, doesn’t it.
      Although I know lots of people who prefer to not go through an FFL. That is a clear “infringement”, and thus, shall not be obeyed.
      I believe it’s our duty to ignore this violation of our rights.

      I don’t remember who wrote this, or I would cite, and pay due respects….

      Whenever someone must buy a license or pay a fee to exercise a right, then it is something less than a right. It is in fact a mere privilege, subject to the whim of petty bureaucrats. Fundamental rights are not abstract tokens that are given or sold by other men. They are in fact primary liberties bestowed upon us by God, our maker. Rights are not substantially secured by asking, “Mother may I?” of any government agency. Rights are more properly demanded or boldly seized and then conspicuously exercised regularly. This secures the liberties that have legitimately belonged to us since birth. If need be, lost rights can and must be restored through proscriptive use. If you live in a land where your rights have been marginalized into privileges, then it is either time to change your government, or to change your address. Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.

        • My local FFL in Puget Sound charges $25. During my last sale in September, I wrote in my ad copy that the buyer is responsible for any and all fees realized during the course of the sale.

        • The libtard marxist is not familiar with the concept of unintended consequences (you must to making that up).

    • Do you remember the feeling of your spinning head when they passed AHCA and all the other Exec. orders and Supreme Court decisions that threw common sense , logic , rule of law and constitutional decree under the bus and to the wind ?
      Get ready to feel it again .

  9. California has had UBCs for years, and the process is hardly cheap. The typical dealer charges $75 to process a private sale, and for several reasons. First, the dealer has to do the 4473, record the gun in his books, and hold the gun for ten days or until the BC clears. If it does NOT clear, the dealer has to do another BC on the seller before releasing the gun back to him/her. Then there is the benefit to the seller. There is a far less chance of a ripoff if the sale is performed in a gun store, and there is the security of knowing that the buyer is legally permitted to own firearms (reducing the risk of liability if it turns out that the buyer is not and uses the firearm for nefarious purposes).

  10. I have long be a proponent of the idea that the NICS system should be computerized where anyone with internet access, buyer or seller, can check on the other party via the smart phone in their pocket.

  11. What I am “SUSPICIOUS” of is any private gun owner who would give or sell a gun to somebody else without confirming that that person is eligible to own under the NICS.

    What would be “CHARITABLE” is to conduct ALL gun sales and transfers of ownership in compliance with NICS, even between private individuals who are not regularly “in the business of” selling guns.

    • The vast majority of private transfers are between family members or friends. The buyer is already a gun owner and the seller knows it.

      • So what’s the problem? Support your local gun shop. Have them dial in to NICS and confirm what you already know. Then the antis have one less thing they can complain about.

  12. “…with the possibility of increased transfers involving private sale transactions, the NICS….”

    Somehow they always “prepare” for things they agree with, and it’s no problem, cost or extra work to do so, while things they don’t are expensive, burdensome surprises.

    BTW, that’s a language-based persuasion technique in use. Mentioning the “possibility” brings up the thought of the result unfolding. In people’s minds, it’s like it’s already happened.

    I do wonder if a court or similar challenge is in order, based simply on that form. The authorizing legislation doesn’t say anything about figuring out who, or *what categories of people* are doing what. So, what’s this for? Oh, we just want to keep people safe? A simple yes or no check against an authorization system is all that takes. This … isn’t that.

    I’m hand-waving a bit here, but blockchain – the technology underneath BitCoin and others – could reocrd *the fact of, and results of* a check, without needing a retained record. Something less wonderful could be done with just private / public key cryptography. For example, only when accused of doing an unchecked sale, the FFL could then provide the key to unwind a cert containing the check results … verifiable also as coming from the other side of the transaction.

    This is well-understood stuff. They aren’t doing it this way because these aren’t the goals they are looking for.

  13. Is there some reason private citizens are not allowed to conduct their own background checks?

  14. Since I live in WA State I’m suspicious, and for good reason. The Bloomberg progressive gun-control came to this State, bought and paid for. No one seems to adhere to it, but it still was passed though it is meaningless and useless. Generally speaking, the paperwork is usually created ahead of time, not after a change. This leads me to believe Obama has UBC up his sleeve and will play the card in an executive move as soon as he gets the ducks in order.

  15. I see more than an occasional ad on Armslist that goes something like this: “CCW or Pistol Purchase Permit required as ID. Otherwise will make transfer at FFL of your choice, at your expense.” This is the sentiment the ATF is looking to “support”. The ads are usually for an AR or AK where there is no legal requirement for a permit. Can’t say that I blame the sellers for their paranoia, even though I probably would not buy from someone who had this requirement. If a recorded transfer is required, might as well buy new with warranty with the prices for new guns low right now.

  16. I live in CA, and I’m very suspicious. I technically can’t transfer a handgun to my wife because she doesn’t have an asinine Handgun Safety Certificate. The state wants action on every transfer, and they are ready and willing to complicate or deny anything not compatible with their wishes. The 10-day waiting period still exists in CA, despite being found unconstitutional.

    Feinstein, Obama, Bloomberg, Harris, Clinton and other control freak politicians desperately desire to minimize your rights by maximizing government. Getting fees on everything is a nice way to create an anti-gun slush fund.

    Of course there isn’t a 4473-style background check when we ship thousands of guns overseas.

  17. We get exactly as much government as we ask for, scratch that. We get exactly as much as we ALLOW!

  18. The liberal in me wants to be optimistic… The Furian in me knows to skip suspicious and be super pissed off..

  19. My concern is that this will create a de facto standard arising from civil liability. Now that it is available, not using it will create an expectation in civil court that reasonable safeguards to prevent sale to dangerous persons will be expected. Failure to use such safeguards and conduct background checks will introduce irrecoverable civil liability. All sales will have to go through an FFL and a background check. There won’t be a criminal penalty but the civil penalty will be ruinous to companies and to individuals if the gun is ever used, improperly or properly.

  20. With this administration there is no such thing as “charitable” when it nomes to Obama’s nefarious scheming.

  21. I’ve seen this for a while, well before the Oregon shooting. I am always suspicious of government, but I really do believe this is just one beauracracy catching up to states that have mandated “universal background checks”

  22. Private citizens should be able to use that system without going through an ffl for private sales.

  23. “private sale return to seller …” One of the reasons my local GS in OR refuses checks for private sales — seller hands gun to FFL holder who then runs the BGC on the buyer. If that fails, another BGC now has to be run on the seller in order to return the gun. What if that one fails too ?

  24. Suspicious – no doubt – and have been for years. Why wouldn’t I be? Everything is already in the works; the U.N. and their gun regulations, the One World Court system, World Monetary system, Federal I.D. card, a Pres. and his administration that supports all of these things. Come on. And so how many of us are about the become criminals? And I am sure we will be in the felon category. And I am sure the BATFE will be out in force, undercover, nabbing all of us. So, get ready.

  25. The criminals will surely comply with this. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn that I am selling.
    Divide and conquer thats what they are doing. The only gun control law there should be is that criminals can’t have any firearms. No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word.

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