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Old 01-18-2013, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default FFL perform background checks as 3rd party?

Hi guys, new to the forum, but not to the firearms world. Anyways, I was wondering if FFL/shops can legally perform background checks using Form 4473, or more specifically, the NCIS e-check system, for people NOT buying a firearm from the business? In other words, if I was engaged in a private FTF sale could I ask(expecting to pay a small fee for the service) an FFL to perform a background check on my purchaser? I realize the FFL would probably required to retain the paperwork as if this was a firearm purchase from the FFL, but all that aside, can the FFL engage in the business of doing bg checks as a 3rd party service?

Thanks for any info guys, if I don't find what Im looking for here I guess my next step is to call the ATF.

However, if this sort of business is acceptable, any FFL here want to engage in a partnership with a software company to develop a solution to offer this as a service in a cost effective way? I foresee this becoming a service that would NOT require the people making the transaction to be in your shop allowing users of your service to be anywhere in the state/(country?).

If intriquing, please PM me and I can give detail on my qualifications.

Mods, please don't lock this post due to thinking this is solicitation or advertisement. My intent here is to really find out if this is within the boundaries of an FFL.

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:21 AM   #2
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In California FFL's routinely do background checks for private transfers/sales. All firearm sales are required to have it done. The only exception is C&R long gun sales.

Dealers fees for the background check service average $35.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:05 AM   #3
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This is a common practice across the country. In Texas, it is most used when parties need to ship a firearm, to stay in bounds with the law regarding shipping guns.
For local sales, it is unnecessary, so folks usually sell face to face, though there is an occaisional seller that makes it a condition of purchase for whatever reasons they feel warranted.

Gun shows, contrary to popular belief, have very few private sales (as a % of guns sold) that would be exempted from a background check. The dealers run them by phone right there at the show. And occaisionally, a private seller will enlist their services as a condition of purchase on a firearm.

This is not a new practice, and there was one thread on facebook today, originating with a gun rights group in Texas, that indicated the ATF was trying to squelch the practice, but upon reading the letter under discussion, it was the opposite. The ATF sent a letter this week compelling MORE support of private sales by FFL holders.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:25 AM   #4
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In the devil lies the details......

In states that use a State POC for the backgrounds, a FFL can run a background check on someone THEY are not selling too. If using the Fed NICS, the check must be for a 4473 transfer by the dealer.

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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A simple transfer. If the buyer has to wait 3 days, the firearm remains with the FFL. After 3 business days, the buyer comes back to the FFL to pickup the firearm (if approved). Should the buyer not get approved, then seller must complete a 4473 also to get the firearm back.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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I think the law in NYS was just changed to require checks for ALL transfers and FFL are allowed to charge $10 for it.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #7
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I don't know why it WOULDN'T be ok, as long as the buyer willingly gives their information to be checked. it would be a simple FFL transfer, just like when you sell a gun to someone out of state.

now, if a private seller asks the buyer for information, and then goes to an FFL and says "run this guy for me" then there would be issues.

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
In the devil lies the details......

In states that use a State POC for the backgrounds, a FFL can run a background check on someone THEY are not selling too. If using the Fed NICS, the check must be for a 4473 transfer by the dealer.
that IS the devil right there and is a show-stopper since the whole idea would be to setup a site/phone app to allow you to perform a bg check on someone in a face-to-face transaction passing ther information directly through to the NCIS e-check system and receiving a response. i do say hmmm...

Thanks for the great responses so far guys!
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70cuda383 View Post
I don't know why it WOULDN'T be ok, as long as the buyer willingly gives their information to be checked. it would be a simple FFL transfer, just like when you sell a gun to someone out of state.

now, if a private seller asks the buyer for information, and then goes to an FFL and says "run this guy for me" then there would be issues.
you would think huh, especially if "universal background checks" are implemented. 80% of my firearms transactions were private-to-private transactions and i do see the need to verify someones eligibility to own a firearm in these transactions, because whaqt felon WOULDNT sign a bill of sale saying they are legally allowed to own this item?

Forcing folks to use a FFL for buying/selling just creates more law-breakers and hurts everyone in the long run imo.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #10
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The FFL would simply add the firearm into their bound book, process the 4473 do the NICS check as if they were selling from their inventory, it's common.

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