Grand Imperial Poobah
The FBI is warning that state-level shutdowns due to the coronavirus may delay the background checks required to purchase a new or used handgun at retail.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) gives one of three responses when a background check for a gun purchase is performed. It either gives an approval; a fail, which means no sale; or a delay, which means the instant review can be extended up to three business days for further records checks on the would-be buyer.
The FBI posted a message to their NICS page intimating that state-level shutdowns over coronavirus could impact the three-day time frame for extended checks. This time-frame, referred to as the Brady Transfer Date, is the subject of the FBI message:
Should a state choose to limit their days of operation or close state offices, this could potentially impact the Brady Transfer Date (BTD) by changing the time in which an FFL can legally transfer a firearm in a delayed status. The NICS Section urges FFLs to be cognizant of the impact this may have to your day-to-day operations, and also to stress the importance of adhering to the BTD that is provided to you at the time a transaction is put into a Delay status. The Brady Act does not federally prohibit an FFL from transferring a firearm after the third business day expires, even if the NICS Section has been unable to provide a proceed response, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1).
Gun sales are currently surging across the country, and the FBI is warning that shutdowns could impact transfer times.