Firearm Background Check: Everything to Know about Firearm Background Checks!
The second amendment of the constitution grants residents of the United States the right to bear arms and protect themselves. However, there have been certain historic events that led to the formation of gun regulation laws. The laws prohibit certain people from selling and purchasing firearms, and each state in the country has its laws and regulations as to who can buy weapons.
Licensed gun dealers in the United States must perform a firearm background check on any person that wants to purchase a firearm, and not every individual can pass this check. There are specific criteria that can prevent you from owning a firearm in the US, and this is what you need to know about a gun background check and what it means for you.
The Gun Control Act of 1968
After the assassination of president JFK, it was decided that gun regulation must be established in the US. The act was designed to prohibit certain people from buying guns and to regulate gun purchasing and distribution.
According to the act, those who are legally banned from buying guns are people who have been convicted of a crime, fugitives, people who have spent more than a year in prison, people who have been convicted of domestic abuse, and substance abusers.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 also requires retailers and individuals who wish to sell firearms to get a Federal Firearms License (FFL) under certain requirements stated by the law. After 1968, an additional act called the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Law) stated that FFL's must run a gun background check on people who request to buy firearms. The check is performed via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
How a Gun Background Check Works
Those who want to buy firearms from FFL dealers are required to undergo a background check that is meant to show id they are disqualified from purchasing guns. Those who wish to purchase guns online or from gun shows will not undergo such a check.
When applying for a gun with an FFL vendor, you will be required to fill out a form with your details. The Firearms Transaction Record form (4473 form), you need to submit to the retailer that is supposed to sell you your weapon of choice. The retailer/seller will then contact the NICS (maintained by the FBI) and request to run a firearm background check on you.
The check is very quick (less than a minute), and if there is nothing in your past or present that may disqualify you from purchasing a firearm, you will be able to buy a weapon. If something pops up that is a red flag, additional checks will begin. In these cases, the FBI continues to run checks, and they are required to get back to you with an answer within three days.
Gun Background Check Disqualifiers
There are certain things that can arise from a firearm background check that disqualify people from buying a gun, and they are:
- Addiction and substance abuse
- Mental illness diagnosis (including involuntarily committing to a mental health facility, not guilty because of insanity verdict, unfit to stand trial verdict)
- Illegal residency in the US
- Restraining order
- Renouncement of US citizenship
- Dishonorably discharged from the military
- Domestic violence conviction
How Can You Perform a Firearm Background Check?
If you want to see if there are any disqualifiers that may prevent you from getting a gun, you can run a gun background check on yourself. You also need to be aware of the fact that each state has its own gun background check laws, aside from the federal law, so you should find out what are the laws in your state of residence.
After you do, you can run a check on yourself with GoLookUp, and see what FFLs will see when they perform a check on you. To get all this data, you simply need to enter your name into GoLookUp's directory. The search engine will instantly scan all the public records registered to your name and provide you with a report in a matter of moments.
The report will help you find out if you are eligible to purchase a weapon in your state of residence. Also, you will be able to see if there are any wrong details listed about you that are disqualifiers. If so, you will be able to file requests to correct the wrongful information and will become eligible to purchase weapons in the US.