skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 207102 Find in a Library
Title: Keeping Guns Out of the Wrong Hands: The National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Journal: Sheriff  Volume:56  Issue:5  Dated:September-October 2004  Pages:53-57
Author(s): Jo Ann Van Atta; Margaret Kisner
Date Published: September 2004
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes some of the major developments that have impacted the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) since its inception.
Abstract: The Brady Act required the U.S. Attorney General to establish a national system that Federal firearms licensees would access by telephone or other electronic means to obtain immediate information on whether the transfer of a firearm to a particular person would violate Federal of State law. Working in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the FBI designed and created the NICS, which became operational on November 30, 1998. The NICS was designed to process descriptive information on potential gun transferees through three national databases that provide information that may disqualify the transfer under Federal or State law. Key data that have been missing from the NICS pertain to mental health information. The submission of mental health information to the NICS Index is currently the subject of proposed Federal legislation entitled the NICS Improvement Act of 2003. If passed, the legislation could expand the submission of mental health records to the NICS by providing States with incentive grants. Further, in June 2001, the U.S. Attorney General directed the FBI to improve the NICS immediate determination rate to at least 90 percent. In August 2002, the FBI implemented another innovation intended to make the process easier for the firearms licensees, the NICS E-Check, which allows information processing through the Internet. The NICS continues to expand the information it supplies on persons attempting to gain firearms who may pose some type of risk based on their backgrounds and previous behavior. At the same time it has focused on improving the access and speed with which information is supplied.
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Automated police information systems; Background investigations; Firearms; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Information dissemination; Information processing
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.