This article will cover major points from the federal government level; but just like driving laws, firearm laws vary between states. All firearm owners are subject to the laws of the state they are in, not solely the laws for where they live.
When considering a firearm purchase from a federally-licensed firearm dealer, be aware of these factors that may affect your background check:
By law, you can only purchase a gun as yourself, for yourself. Buying a firearm on behalf of anyone else—whether by using their name, using your name as their alias, or with the intent to give—is termed a “straw purchase” and is classed as a felony in all states.
It’s a common misconception that background checks will deliver an instant “yes” or “no” decision. Because every gun application is processed by a human employee of the FBI, the response time can vary widely from 30 seconds to 45 minutes.
Frequently, first-time buyers and applicants with popular names or certain ethnic backgrounds will be put on a 3-day delay. This does not mean you are denied; it simply means the check sourced records for multiple individuals and an employee needs to verify which pertain to your identity.
Prior Criminal Charges or Classifications
Firearms purchases are prohibited on the federal level for the following individuals:
- citizens with a felony conviction
- citizens with a domestic violence misdemeanor
- citizens with a drug-related or violent crime history
- citizens with an outstanding warrant
- individuals with documented mental illness
- short-term non-citizens (tourists and visitors)
U.S. non-citizens with a green card, or “permanent residents”, must show proof of residency in their state for the previous 90 days in order to purchase a gun. It is also important to note that certain states may have additional prohibitions at their discretion.
Firearm laws and gun safety are very complex issues, but the first step to responsible gun buying and selling is the background check. Contact ClearStar today for help on streamlining your company’s background screening process; and be sure to ask about ClearID—our app-based facial recognition tool that can authenticate an applicant’s ID in less than five minutes.