The FBI is responsible for the storage of fingerprints and related Identity History Summary information for the nation and does not have the authority to modify any Identity History Summary information unless specifically notified to do so by the agency that owns the information.
Dispositions are submitted by criminal justice agencies and posted to the Identity History Summary to ensure accuracy and completeness.
Dispositions are submitted to the CJIS Division by:
State Criminal History Repositories
(Sheriff’s Offices, Police Departments, State Police, Correctional Facilities)
(FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, etc.)
State and local courts report their information to a state identification bureau, which is responsible for sending the information to the FBI.
Florida Electronic Fingerprinting Services (FEFS) provides FBI Identity History Reports directly to consumers for their personal review via secure online login. FEFS submits FBI Identity History Report application with relevant data, collects the associated fee(s), electronically forwards the fingerprint submission with the necessary information for a national Identity History Summary check, and the electronic summary check result for dissemination to the individual. FEFS simply helps expedite the delivery of Identity History Summary information on behalf of the client
When someone tries to buy a firearm, the seller—known as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL)—contacts the NICS. The prospective buyer fills out the required form, and the FFL sends that information to the NICS. The NICS staff performs a background check on the buyer to verify eligibility.
Prospective firearms buyers who receive a “Denied” status on their background checks may have a state or federal firearm prohibition. The denied individual may choose to pursue a challenge and/or apply to the Voluntary Appeal File.
A “Delayed” message means the NICS team needs to do additional research to verify the person's background. NICS staff work closely with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and courts to verify eligibility. In some cases, this can be a time-consuming process.
If NICS staff cannot make a determination within three business days of a background check, the FFL may transfer the firearm, unless prohibited by state law (per the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993.)
A delay response from the NICS Section indicates the subject of the background check has been matched with either a state or federal potentially prohibiting record containing a similar name and/or similar descriptive features (name, sex, race, date of birth, state of residence, social security number, height, weight, or place of birth). The federally prohibiting criteria are as follows:
A delay response indicates that information you supplied on the ATF Form 4473 has been matched with information contained in the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index, and/or the NICS Indices. Complete disposition information is not always available and a further review of these records is necessary. The NICS Section exhausts all efforts to retrieve current record information by contacting all applicable law enforcement agencies, i.e., local, state, and federal courts, etc. The Brady Act allows three business days to find this information before an FFL can transfer a firearm. The FFL is not prohibited from transferring the firearm after three business days have passed; however, the FFL is not required to transfer the firearm.
The Privacy Act of 1974 restricts the dissemination of specific information to you via the telephone. You can obtain a copy (for a fee) of any identification record the FBI may maintain on you by contacting the following unit at the address and telephone number provided:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attention: Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Telephone Number: (304) 625-5590
If you believe you have been wrongfully denied a firearm, you can request a firearm-related challenge (appeal). You may only challenge a denied firearm transaction, not a delayed one.
This process will provide you:
The FBI does not accept challenges or provide reasons for delays or denials on state-issued firearms permits. Those questions should be directed to the state agency. The NICS Participation Map explains whether your state, or the FBI, conducts firearms buyers’ background checks.
To challenge your firearm denial, visit www.edo.cjis.gov.
To submit a challenge through the mail, send a request to:
FBI CJIS Division
Attn: Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
When submitting a challenge via mail, include your NICS Transaction Number (NTN) or State Transaction Number (STN). Failure to include these numbers will delay processing.
If you need help or have questions on firearm-related challenges, call (304) 625-5590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (This contact information is for help with firearm-related challenges only, not the Voluntary Appeal File.)
Anyone may apply for the VAF, but it is designed for firearm purchasers who believe they are legally allowed to buy firearms, but they have been denied more than once or frequently experience delays in their transactions. Purchasers sometimes find themselves experiencing delays or denials in firearms purchases because of a past misdemeanor charge or because an ineligible person has a similar name.
When you apply for the VAF, NICS personnel will research your case and assign you a Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN) if you have no firearms prohibitions. For future firearms transactions, you will provide your UPIN for your background check. You will still have to undergo a complete background check to buy a firearm, but the UPIN will help to confirm your identity.
The VAF process can take several months.
You may also apply for the VAF at the same time you submit a firearm-related challenge.
Apply Online - You can apply to the VAF online via eVAF.
Paper Applications - A VAF application and fingerprint form can also be obtained online (below).
Mail - You can also mail a request to:
FBI CJIS Division
NICS Functional Support Unit, Module D-1
P.O. Box 4278
Clarksburg, WV 26302-4278
For help with VAF and UPINs, including forgotten UPINs, contact email@example.com or via mail at the address above.
Always include your complete name, mailing address, and phone number when contacting NICS for help. Lost UPINs should be reported immediately.
You can change your mailing address online or at the above mailing address. Include your full name, old address, new address, and your NICS Transaction Number (NTN) or State Transaction Number (STN). (Whether you receive an NTN or an STN depends on your state.) If you wish to cancel your VAF application, you must submit your cancellation in writing.
You are required to submit your fingerprints as part of your VAF application. Most local police departments and sheriff’s offices can assist with fingerprints, though you may have to pay a fingerprint fee.
VAF accepts electronic scanned fingerprint images, but you must request your fingerprint agency print you a copy of those images. Submit the copy with your VAF application.
If your fingerprint card is rejected, you will receive a response letter with instructions on re-submitting.
The agency rolling your fingerprints must include the following on your fingerprint card: