[Title 28 CFR 25]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2002 Edition]
[Title 28 - JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION]
[Chapter I - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE]
[Part 25 - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEMS]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
28JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION12002-07-012002-07-01falseDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEMS25PART 25JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATIONDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
PART 25--DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEMS--Table of Contents
Subpart A--The National Instant Criminal Background Check System
25.1 Purpose and authority.
25.3 System information.
25.4 Record source categories.
25.5 Validation and data integrity of records in the system.
25.6 Accessing records in the system.
25.7 Querying records in the system.
25.8 System safeguards.
25.9 Retention and destruction of records in the system.
25.10 Correction of erroneous system information.
25.11 Prohibited activities and penalties.
Authority: Pub. L. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536.
Source: Order No. 2186-98, 63 FR 58307, Oct. 30, 1998, unless
Subpart A--The National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Sec. 25.1 Purpose and authority.
The purpose of this subpart is to establish policies and procedures
implementing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act),
Public Law 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536. The Brady Act requires the Attorney
General to establish a National Instant Criminal Background Check System
(NICS) to be contacted by any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer,
or licensed dealer of firearms for information as to whether the
transfer of a firearm to any person who is not licensed under 18 U.S.C.
923 would be in violation of Federal or state law. The regulations in
this subpart are issued pursuant to section 103(h) of the Brady Act, 107
Stat. 1542 (18 U.S.C. 922 note), and include requirements to ensure the
privacy and security of the NICS and appeals procedures for persons who
have been denied the right to obtain a firearm as a result of a NICS
background check performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
or a state or local law enforcement agency.
Sec. 25.2 Definitions.
Appeal means a formal procedure to challenge the denial of a firearm
ARI means a unique Agency Record Identifier assigned by the agency
submitting records for inclusion in the NICS Index.
ATF means the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms of the
Department of Treasury.
Audit log means a chronological record of system (computer)
activities that enables the reconstruction and examination of the
sequence of events and/or changes in an event.
Business day means a 24-hour day (beginning at 12:01 a.m.) on which
state offices are open in the state in which the proposed firearm
transaction is to take place.
Control Terminal Agency means a state or territorial criminal
justice agency recognized by the FBI as the agency responsible for
providing state-or territory-wide service to criminal justice users of
Data source means an agency that provided specific information to
Delayed means that more research is required prior to a NICS
``Proceed'' or ``Denied'' response. A ``Delayed'' response to the FFL
indicates that it would be unlawful to transfer the firearm until
receipt of a follow-up ``Proceed'' response from the NICS or the
expiration of three business days, whichever occurs first.
Denied means denial of a firearm transfer based on a NICS response
indicating one or more matching records were found providing information
demonstrating that receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee
would violate 18 U.S.C. 922 or state law.
Denying agency means a POC or the NICS Operations Center, whichever
determines that information in the NICS indicates that the transfer of a
firearm to a person would violate Federal or state law, based on a
Dial-up access means any routine access through commercial switched
circuits on a continuous or temporary basis.
Federal agency means any authority of the United States that is an
``Agency'' under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be
independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(10).
FFL (federal firearms licensee) means a person licensed by the ATF
as a manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms.
Firearm has the same meaning as in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3).
Licensed dealer means any person defined in 27 CFR 178.11.
Licensed importer has the same meaning as in 27 CFR 178.11.
Licensed manufacturer has the same meaning as in 27 CFR 178.11.
NCIC (National Crime Information Center) means the nationwide
computerized information system of criminal justice data established by
the FBI as a service to local, state, and Federal criminal justice
NICS means the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,
which an FFL must, with limited exceptions, contact for information on
whether receipt of a firearm by a person who is not licensed under 18
U.S.C. 923 would violate Federal or state law.
NICS Index means the database, to be managed by the FBI, containing
information provided by Federal and state agencies about persons
prohibited under Federal law from receiving or possessing a firearm. The
NICS Index is separate and apart from the NCIC and the Interstate
Identification Index (III).
NICS Operations Center means the unit of the FBI that receives
telephone or electronic inquiries from FFLs to perform background
checks, makes a determination based upon available information as to
whether the receipt or transfer of a firearm would be in violation of
Federal or state law, researches criminal history records, tracks and
finalizes appeals, and conducts audits of system use.
NICS Operations Center's regular business hours means the hours of
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Eastern Time, seven days a week.
NICS Representative means a person who receives telephone inquiries
to the NICS Operations Center from FFLs requesting background checks and
provides a response as to whether the receipt or transfer of a firearm
may proceed or is delayed.
NRI (NICS Record Identifier) means the system-generated unique
number associated with each record in the NICS Index.
NTN (NICS Transaction Number) means the unique number that will be
assigned to each valid background check inquiry received by the NICS.
Its primary purpose will be to provide a means of associating inquiries
to the NICS with the responses provided by the NICS to the FFLs.
ORI (Originating Agency Identifier) means a nine-character
identifier assigned by the FBI to an agency that has met the established
qualifying criteria for ORI assignment to identify the agency in
transactions on the NCIC System.
Originating Agency means an agency that provides a record to a
database checked by the NICS.
POC (Point of Contact) means a state or local law enforcement agency
serving as an intermediary between an FFL and the federal databases
checked by the NICS. A POC will receive NICS background check requests
from FFLs, check state or local record systems, perform NICS inquiries,
determine whether matching records provide information demonstrating
that an individual is disqualified from possessing a firearm under
Federal or state law, and respond to FFLs with the results of a NICS
background check. A POC will be an agency with express or implied
authority to perform POC duties pursuant to state statute, regulation,
or executive order.
Proceed means a NICS response indicating that the information
available to the system at the time of the response did not demonstrate
that transfer of the firearm would violate federal or state law. A
``Proceed'' response would not relieve an FFL from compliance with other
provisions of Federal or state law that may be applicable to firearms
transfers. For example, under 18 U.S.C. 922(d), an FFL may not lawfully
transfer a firearm if he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe
that the prospective recipient is prohibited by law from receiving or
possessing a firearm.
Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about
an individual that is maintained by an agency, including but not limited
to information that disqualifies the individual from receiving a
firearm, and that contains his or her name or other personal
STN (State-Assigned Transaction Number) means a unique number that
may be assigned by a POC to a valid background check inquiry.
System means the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Sec. 25.3 System information.
(a) There is established at the FBI a National Instant Criminal
Background Check System.
(b) The system will be based at the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306-0147.
(c) The system manager and address are: Director, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Washington, D.C. 20535.
Sec. 25.4 Record source categories.
It is anticipated that most records in the NICS Index will be
obtained from Federal agencies. It is also anticipated that a limited
number of authorized state and local law enforcement agencies will
voluntarily contribute records to the NICS Index. Information in the
NCIC and III systems that will be searched during a background check has
been or will be contributed voluntarily by Federal, state, local, and
international criminal justice agencies.
Sec. 25.5 Validation and data integrity of records in the system.
(a) The FBI will be responsible for maintaining data integrity
during all NICS operations that are managed and carried out by the FBI.
This responsibility includes:
(1) Ensuring the accurate adding, canceling, or modifying of NICS
Index records supplied by Federal agencies;
(2) Automatically rejecting any attempted entry of records into the
NICS Index that contain detectable invalid data elements;
(3) Automatic purging of records in the NICS Index after they are on
file for a prescribed period of time; and
(4) Quality control checks in the form of periodic internal audits
by FBI personnel to verify that the information provided to the NICS
Index remains valid and correct.
(b) Each data source will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy
and validity of the data it provides to the NICS Index and will
immediately correct any record determined to be invalid or incorrect.
Sec. 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. The process of accessing the NICS for the purpose of
conducting a NICS background check is initiated by an FFL's contacting
the FBI NICS Operations Center (by telephone or electronic dial-up
access) or a POC. FFLs in each state will be advised by the ATF whether
they are required to initiate NICS background checks with the NICS
Operations Center or a POC and how they are to do so.
(b) Access to the NICS through the FBI NICS Operations Center. FFLs
may contact the NICS Operations Center by use of a toll-free telephone
number, only during its regular business hours. In addition to telephone
access, toll-free electronic dial-up access to the NICS will be provided
to FFLs after the beginning of the NICS operation. FFLs with electronic
dial-up access will be able to contact the NICS 24 hours each day,
excluding scheduled and unscheduled downtime.
(c)(1) The FBI NICS Operations Center, upon receiving an FFL
telephone or electronic dial-up request for a background check, will:
(i) Verify the FFL Number and code word;
(ii) Assign a NICS Transaction Number (NTN) to a valid inquiry and
provide the NTN to the FFL;
(iii) Search the relevant databases (i.e., NICS Index, NCIC, III)
for any matching records; and
(iv) Provide the following NICS responses based upon the
consolidated NICS search results to the FFL that requested the
(A) ``Proceed'' response, if no disqualifying information was found
in the NICS Index, NCIC, or III.
(B) ``Delayed'' response, if the NICS search finds a record that
requires more research to determine whether the prospective transferee
is disqualified from possessing a firearm by Federal or state law. A
``Delayed'' response to the FFL indicates that the firearm transfer
should not proceed pending receipt of a follow-up ``Proceed'' response
from the NICS or the expiration of three business days (exclusive of the
day on which the query is made), whichever occurs first. (Example: An
FFL requests a NICS check on a prospective firearm transferee at 9:00
a.m. on Friday and shortly thereafter receives a ``Delayed'' response
from the NICS. If state offices in the state in which the FFL is located
are closed on Saturday and Sunday and open the following Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday, and the NICS has not yet responded with a
``Proceed'' or ``Denied'' response, the FFL may transfer the firearm at
12:01 a.m. Thursday.)
(C) ``Denied'' response, when at least one matching record is found
in either the NICS Index, NCIC, or III that provides information
demonstrating that receipt of a firearm by the prospective transferee
would violate 18 U.S.C. 922 or state law. The ``Denied'' response will
be provided to the requesting FFL by the NICS Operations Center during
its regular business hours.
(2) None of the responses provided to the FFL under paragraph (c)(1)
of this section will contain any of the underlying information in the
records checked by the system.
(d) Access to the NICS through POCs. In states where a POC is
designated to process background checks for the NICS, FFLs will contact
the POC to initiate a NICS background check. Both ATF and the POC will
notify FFLs in the POC's state of the means by which FFLs can contact
the POC. The NICS will provide POCs with electronic access to the system
virtually 24 hours each day through the NCIC communication network. Upon
receiving a request for a background check from an FFL, a POC will:
(1) Verify the eligibility of the FFL either by verification of the
FFL number or an alternative POC-verification system;
(2) Enter a purpose code indicating that the query of the system is
for the purpose of performing a NICS background check in connection with
the transfer of a firearm; and (3) Transmit the request for a background
check via the NCIC interface to the NICS.
(e) Upon receiving a request for a NICS background check, POCs may
also conduct a search of available files in state and local law
enforcement and other relevant record systems, and may provide a unique
State-Assigned Transaction Number (STN) to a valid inquiry for a
(f) When the NICS receives an inquiry from a POC, it will search the
relevant databases (i.e., NICS Index, NCIC, III) for any matching
record(s) and will provide an electronic response to the POC. This
response will consolidate the search results of the relevant databases
and will include the NTN. The following types of responses may be
provided by the NICS to a state or local agency conducting a background
(1) No record response, if the NICS determines, through a complete
search, that no matching record exists.
(2) Partial response, if the NICS has not completed the search of
all of its records. This response will indicate the databases that have
been searched (i.e., III, NCIC, and/or NICS Index) and the databases
that have not been searched. It will also provide any potentially
disqualifying information found in any of the databases searched. A
follow-up response will be sent as soon as all the relevant databases
have been searched. The follow-up response will provide the complete
(3) Single matching record response, if all records in the relevant
databases have been searched and one matching record was found.
(4) Multiple matching record response, if all records in the
relevant databases have been searched and more than one matching record
(g) Generally, based on the response(s) provided by the NICS, and
other information available in the state and local record systems, a POC
(1) Confirm any matching records; and
(2) Notify the FFL that the transfer may proceed, is delayed pending
further record analysis, or is denied. ``Proceed'' notifications made
within three business days will be accompanied by the NTN or STN
traceable to the NTN. The POC may or may not provide a transaction
number (NTN or STN) when notifying the FFL of a ``Denied'' response.
(h) In cases where a transfer is denied by a POC, the POC should
provide a denial notification to the NICS. This denial notification will
include the name of the person who was denied a firearm and the NTN. The
information provided in the denial notification will be maintained in
the NICS Audit Log described in Sec. 25.9(b). This notification may be
provided immediately by electronic message to the NICS (i.e., at the
time the transfer is denied) or as soon thereafter as possible. If a
denial notification is not provided by a POC, the NICS will assume that
the transfer was allowed and will destroy its records regarding the
transfer in accordance with the procedures detailed in Sec. 25.9.
(i) Response recording. FFLs are required to record the system
response, whether provided by the FBI NICS Operations Center or a POC,
on the appropriate ATF form for audit and inspection purposes, under 27
CFR part 178 recordkeeping requirements. The FBI NICS Operations Center
response will always include an NTN and associated ``Proceed,''
``Delayed,'' or ``Denied'' determination. POC responses may vary as
discussed in paragraph (g) of this section. In these instances, FFLs
will record the POC response, including any transaction number and/or
(j) Access to the NICS Index for purposes unrelated to NICS
background checks required by the Brady Act. Access to the NICS Index
for purposes unrelated to NICS background checks pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
922(t) shall be limited to uses for the purpose of:
(1) Providing information to Federal, state, or local criminal
justice agencies in connection with the issuance of a firearm-related or
explosives-related permit or license, including permits or licenses to
possess, acquire, or transfer a firearm, or to carry a concealed
firearm, or to import, manufacture, deal in, or purchase explosives; or
(2) Responding to an inquiry from the ATF in connection with a civil
or criminal law enforcement activity relating to the Gun Control Act (18
U.S.C. Chapter 44) or the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. Chapter 53).
Sec. 25.7 Querying records in the system.
(a) The following search descriptors will be required in all queries
of the system for purposes of a background check:
(4) Complete date of birth; and
(5) State of residence.
(b) A unique numeric identifier may also be provided to search for
additional records based on exact matches by the numeric identifier.
Examples of unique numeric identifiers for purposes of this system are:
Social Security number (to comply with Privacy Act requirements, a
Social Security number will not be required by the NICS to perform any
background check) and miscellaneous identifying numbers (e.g., military
number or number assigned by Federal, state, or local authorities to an
individual's record). Additional identifiers that may be requested by
the system after an initial query include height, weight, eye and hair
color, and place of birth. At the option of the querying agency, these
additional identifiers may also be included in the initial query of the
Sec. 25.8 System safeguards.
(a) Information maintained in the NICS Index is stored
electronically for use in an FBI computer environment. The NICS central
computer will reside inside a locked room within a secure facility.
Access to the facility will be restricted to authorized personnel who
have identified themselves and their need for access to a system
(b) Access to data stored in the NICS is restricted to duly
authorized agencies. The security measures listed in paragraphs (c)
through (f) of this section are the minimum to be adopted by all POCs
and data sources having access to the NICS.
(c) State or local law enforcement agency computer centers
designated by a Control Terminal Agency as POCs shall be authorized NCIC
users and shall observe all procedures set forth in the NCIC Security
Policy of 1992 when processing NICS background checks.
The responsibilities of the Control Terminal Agencies and the computer
centers include the following:
(1) The criminal justice agency computer site must have adequate
physical security to protect against any unauthorized personnel gaining
access to the computer equipment or to any of the stored data.
(2) Since personnel at these computer centers can have access to
data stored in the NICS, they must be screened thoroughly under the
authority and supervision of a state Control Terminal Agency. This
authority and supervision may be delegated to responsible criminal
justice agency personnel in the case of a satellite computer center
being serviced through a state Control Terminal Agency. This screening
will also apply to non-criminal justice maintenance or technical
(3) All visitors to these computer centers must be accompanied by
staff personnel at all times.
(4) POCs utilizing a state/NCIC terminal to access the NICS must
have the proper computer instructions written and other built-in
controls to prevent data from being accessible to any terminals other
than authorized terminals.
(5) Each state Control Terminal Agency shall build its data system
around a central computer, through which each inquiry must pass for
screening and verification.
(d) Authorized state agency remote terminal devices operated by POCs
and having access to the NICS must meet the following requirements:
(1) POCs and data sources having terminals with access to the NICS
must physically place these terminals in secure locations within the
(2) The agencies having terminals with access to the NICS must
screen terminal operators and must restrict access to the terminals to a
minimum number of authorized employees; and
(3) Copies of NICS data obtained from terminal devices must be
afforded appropriate security to prevent any unauthorized access or use.
(e) FFL remote terminal devices may be used to transmit queries to
the NICS via electronic dial-up access. The following procedures will
apply to such queries:
(1) The NICS will incorporate a security authentication mechanism
that performs FFL dial-up user authentication before network access
(2) The proper use of dial-up circuits by FFLs will be included as
part of the periodic audits by the FBI; and
(3) All failed authentications will be logged by the NICS and
provided to the NICS security administrator.
(f) FFLs may use the telephone to transmit queries to the NICS, in
accordance with the following procedures:
(1) FFLs may contact the NICS Operations Center during its regular
business hours by a telephone number provided by the FBI;
(2) FFLs will provide the NICS Representative with their FFL Number
and code word, the type of sale, and the name, sex, race, date of birth,
and state of residence of the prospective buyer; and
(3) The NICS will verify the FFL Number and code word before
processing the request.
(g) The following precautions will be taken to help ensure the
security and privacy of NICS information when FFLs contact the NICS
(1) Access will be restricted to the initiation of a NICS background
check in connection with the proposed transfer of a firearm.
(2) The NICS Representative will only provide a response of
``Proceed'' or ``Delayed'' (with regard to the prospective firearms
transfer), and will not provide the details of any record information
about the transferee. In cases where potentially disqualifying
information is found in response to an FFL query, the NICS
Representative will provide a ``Delayed'' response to the FFL. Follow-up
``Proceed'' or ``Denied'' responses will be provided by the NICS
Operations Center during its regular business hours.
(3) The FBI will periodically monitor telephone inquiries to ensure
proper use of the system.
(h) All transactions and messages sent and received through
electronic access by POCs and FFLs will be automatically logged in the
Log described in Sec. 25.9(b). Information in the NICS Audit Log will
include initiation and termination messages, failed authentications, and
matching records located by each search transaction.
(i) The FBI will monitor and enforce compliance by NICS users with
the applicable system security requirements outlined in the NICS POC
Guidelines and the NICS FFL Manual (available from the NICS Operations
Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1000 Custer Hollow Road,
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306-0147).
Sec. 25.9 Retention and destruction of records in the system.
(a) The NICS will retain NICS Index records that indicate that
receipt of a firearm by the individuals to whom the records pertain
would violate Federal or state law. The NICS will retain such records
indefinitely, unless they are canceled by the originating agency. In
cases where a firearms disability is not permanent, e.g., a
disqualifying restraining order, the NICS will automatically purge the
pertinent record when it is no longer disqualifying. Unless otherwise
removed, records contained in the NCIC and III files that are accessed
during a background check will remain in those files in accordance with
(b) The FBI will maintain an automated NICS Audit Log of all
incoming and outgoing transactions that pass through the system.
(1) The NICS Audit Log will record the following information: type
of transaction (inquiry or response), line number, time, date of
inquiry, header, message key, ORI, and inquiry/response data (including
the name and other identifying information about the prospective
transferee and the NTN). In cases of allowed transfers, all information
in the NICS Audit Log related to the person or the transfer, other than
the NTN assigned to the transfer and the date the number was assigned,
will be destroyed after not more than 90 days after the transfer is
allowed. NICS Audit Log records relating to denials will be retained for
10 years, after which time they will be transferred to a Federal Records
Center for storage. The NICS will not be used to establish any system
for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm
transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons prohibited
from receiving a firearm by 18 U.S.C. 922 (g) or (n) or by state law.
(2) The NICS Audit Log will be used to analyze system performance,
assist users in resolving operational problems, support the appeals
process, or support audits of the use of the system. Searches may be
conducted on the Audit Log by time frame, i.e., by day or month, or by a
particular state or agency. Information in the NICS Audit Log pertaining
to allowed transfers may be accessed directly only by the FBI for the
purpose of conducting audits of the use and performance of the NICS.
Permissible uses include extracting and providing information from the
NICS Audit Log to ATF in connection with ATF's inspections of FFL
records, provided that ATF destroys the information about allowed
transfers within the retention period for such information set forth in
paragraph (b)(1) of this section and maintains a written record
certifying the destruction. Such information, however, may be retained
as long as needed to pursue cases of identified misuse of the system.
The NICS, including the NICS Audit Log, may not be used by any
Department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to
establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners,
or firearm transactions or dispositions. The NICS Audit Log will be
monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to detect any possible misuse
of the NICS data.
(c) The following records in the FBI-operated terminals of the NICS
will be subject to the Brady Act's requirements for destruction:
(1) All inquiry and response messages (regardless of media) relating
to a background check that results in an allowed transfer; and
(2) All information (regardless of media) contained in the NICS
Audit Log relating to a background check that results in an allowed
(d) The following records of state and local law enforcement units
serving as POCs will be subject to the Brady Act's requirements for
(1) All inquiry and response messages (regardless of media) relating
to the initiation and result of a check of the NICS that allows a
transfer that are not part of a record system created and maintained
pursuant to independent state law regarding firearms transactions; and
(2) All other records relating to the person or the transfer created
as a result of a NICS check that are not part of a record system created
and maintained pursuant to independent state law regarding firearms
[Order No. 2186-98, 63 FR 58307, Oct. 30, 1998, as amended by Order No.
2354-2001, 66 FR 6474, Jan. 22, 2001]
Sec. 25.10 Correction of erroneous system information.
(a) An individual may request the reason for the denial from the
agency that conducted the check of the NICS (the ``denying agency,''
which will be either the FBI or the state or local law enforcement
agency serving as a POC). The FFL will provide to the denied individual
the name and address of the denying agency and the unique transaction
number (NTN or STN) associated with the NICS background check. The
request for the reason for the denial must be made in writing to the
denying agency. (POCs at their discretion may waive the requirement for
a written request.)
(b) The denying agency will respond to the individual with the
reasons for the denial within five business days of its receipt of the
individual's request. The response should indicate whether additional
information or documents are required to support an appeal, such as
fingerprints in appeals involving questions of identity (i.e., a claim
that the record in question does not pertain to the individual who was
(c) If the individual wishes to challenge the accuracy of the record
upon which the denial is based, or if the individual wishes to assert
that his or her rights to possess a firearm have been restored, he or
she may make application first to the denying agency, i.e., either the
FBI or the POC. If the denying agency is unable to resolve the appeal,
the denying agency will so notify the individual and shall provide the
name and address of the agency that originated the document containing
the information upon which the denial was based. The individual may then
apply for correction of the record directly to the agency from which it
originated. If the record is corrected as a result of the appeal to the
originating agency, the individual may so notify the denying agency,
which will, in turn, verify the record correction with the originating
agency (assuming the originating agency has not already notified the
denying agency of the correction) and take all necessary steps to
correct the record in the NICS.
(d) As an alternative to the above procedure where a POC was the
denying agency, the individual may elect to direct his or her challenge
to the accuracy of the record, in writing, to the FBI, NICS Operations
Center, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 1000 Custer
Hollow Road, Module C-3, Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306-0147. Upon
receipt of the information, the FBI will investigate the matter by
contacting the POC that denied the transaction or the data source. The
FBI will request the POC or the data source to verify that the record in
question pertains to the individual who was denied, or to verify or
correct the challenged record. The FBI will consider the information it
receives from the individual and the response it receives from the POC
or the data source. If the record is corrected as a result of the
challenge, the FBI shall so notify the individual, correct the erroneous
information in the NICS, and give notice of the error to any Federal
department or agency or any state that was the source of such erroneous
(e) Upon receipt of notice of the correction of a contested record
from the originating agency, the FBI or the agency that contributed the
record shall correct the data in the NICS and the denying agency shall
provide a written confirmation of the correction of the erroneous data
to the individual for presentation to the FFL. If the appeal of a
contested record is successful and thirty (30) days or less have
transpired since the initial check, and there are no other disqualifying
records upon which the denial was based, the NICS will communicate a
``Proceed'' response to the FFL. If the
appeal is successful and more than thirty (30) days have transpired
since the initial check, the FFL must recheck the NICS before allowing
the sale to continue. In cases where multiple disqualifying records are
the basis for the denial, the individual must pursue a correction for
(f) An individual may also contest the accuracy or validity of a
disqualifying record by bringing an action against the state or
political subdivision responsible for providing the contested
information, or responsible for denying the transfer, or against the
United States, as the case may be, for an order directing that the
contested information be corrected or that the firearm transfer be
Sec. 25.11 Prohibited activities and penalties.
(a) State or local agencies, FFLs, or individuals violating this
subpart A shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000 and subject
to cancellation of NICS inquiry privileges.
(b) Misuse or unauthorized access includes, but is not limited to,
(1) State or local agencies', FFLs', or individuals' purposefully
furnishing incorrect information to the system to obtain a ``Proceed''
response, thereby allowing a firearm transfer;
(2) State or local agencies', FFLs', or individuals' purposefully
using the system to perform a check for unauthorized purposes; and
(3) Any unauthorized person's accessing the NICS.