Background Checks to Own Firearms

Many people own firearms these days, and many want to purchase their own to create a sense of security against the dangerous world out there. Be it a rifle, long gun or handgun, any firearm that falls into the wrong hands spells disaster for society. Purchasing and owning firearms may be legal, but some precautionary measures are essential to ensure only the worthy are given the rights. In order to screen the potential buyers of firearms, background checks can be done to scrutinize a person’s eligibility for weapon ownership. In the United States of America, the law makes it compulsory for anyone wanting to own weapons to go through a firearms background check.

A firearms background check is required by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI launched the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) with the main aim of protecting people from potential danger. The benefit it gives to eligible buyers is that it will become easier for them to purchase firearms. Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) utilizes NICS to ascertain whether it is lawful for a particular person to possess explosives or guns.

This means that a person who wants to buy guns or explosives needs to agree to go through this background check. When the person is trying to purchase firearms in a shop, the seller can use NICS to determine whether the prospective buyer is prohibited from owning firearms. Sellers can easily contact the FBI or other enforcement agencies to make sure that the potential buyer does not have criminal history. Once the FFL has completed Form 4473, required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), it will use NICS to run a background search on the person. NICS can be accessed through the telephone, internet or by paying a physical visit to FBI office. The primary information used to run the background check is based on the details filled up in Form 4473.

A firearms background check will be able to provide a number of essential information that will determine whether or not a person can purchase firearms. The records on a person will reveal whether a person is allowed to own firearms legally. People who are prohibited from owning firearms are those who have criminal records, either guilty or being prosecuted for felony. Fugitives who are fleeing arrests are also prohibited from purchasing firearms. Apart from that, drug addicts and those illegally using drugs are not allowed to buy firearms. Those that the court has deemed mentally incompetent, or have been forced to a mental institution are also forbidden. Those who have restraining orders on domestic violence or have been convicted of domestic violence are also prohibited. Or course, it is a big no for those who have renounced American citizenship.

As a person who wishes to purchase firearms, the individual has the right to ownership if he or she does not violate any part of the act or is not categorized under prohibited person. Of course, being classified as a prohibited person automatically makes it unlawful for a person to own firearms. An eligible individual may come across situations where his or her information in the records are erroneous, thus making it illegal to purchase firearms. If this is the case, the person needs to seek legal advice and contact the authorities to clear the records with the enforcement agencies in order to buy a gun. If a prospective buyer fails the background check for any reason, he or she still has the chance to appeal. However, the process may take some time for approval, before the person is given the right to purchase firearms.

All in all, conducting a background check for ownership of firearms is highly essential in today’s world of increasing violence. The issue of whether it is necessary to put prospective buyers through this screening process has been quite controversial. Nevertheless, most people understand that safety measures such as this will only helps to protect society at large, and put weapons into only safe hands.

Perform a Criminal Check, Using The Government’s Registry!

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