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DOJ/FBI RIN: 1110-AA07 Publication ID: Fall 2004 
Title: National Instant Criminal Background Check System 
Abstract: The Department promulgated regulations to govern the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in 1998 when the NICS became operational and adopted amendments which became effective on July 3, 2001. In the proposed rule, the Department published for public comment and further consideration five proposals to make additional changes in the NICS regulations. The changes relate to the amount of time that the NICS retains information about approved firearm transfers in the system's chronological log of background check transactions and the manner in which that information may be used to audit the use and performance of the NICS. The proposed changes sought to balance the legitimate privacy interests of law-abiding firearms purchasers and the Department's obligation to enforce the Brady Act and the Gun Control Act to prevent prohibited persons from purchasing firearms. Since the closing of the comment period, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, a requirement that addresses the time within which the NICS is required to destroy certain information in the records of allowed transactions. Section 617 of H.R. 2673, the Fiscal Year 2004 Consolidated Appropriations bill (or "Omnibus"), requires the NICS to destroy "any identifying information submitted by or on behalf of any person who has been determined not to be prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm no more than 24 hours after the system advises a Federal Firearms Licensee that possession or receipt of a firearm by the prospective transferee would not violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or State law." Section 617 of the Omnibus bill became effective on July 21, 2004, 180 days after January 23, 2004, the date the Omnibus bill was signed into law. For this reason, the final rule was revised to conform to the legislative enactment setting a limit on how long the NICS may retain certain information on allowed transactions. The revised rule conformed to the 24-hour record retention provision in the Omnibus. 
Agency: Department of Justice(DOJ)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Completed Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 28 CFR 25(b)(1)    28 CFR 25(b)(2)    28 CFR 25(b)(3)    28 CFR 25.9(b)(4)    28 CFR 25.2    ...     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 18 USC 922 to 925    5 USC 605(b)    EO 12866    EO 13132    5 USC 804    ...   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Other  Statutory  Omnibus deadline for shortened retention period.  07/21/2004 
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  07/06/2001  66 FR 35567   
NPRM Comment Period End  09/04/2001    
NPRM Comment Period Reopened  09/20/2001  66 FR 48390   
NPRM Reopened Comment Period End  10/22/2001    
Final Action  07/23/2004  69 FR 43892   
Final Action Effective  07/20/2004    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
Agency Contact:
Eugene Donaldson
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NISC) Section, Module A-3, 1000 Custer Hollow Road,
Clarksburg, WV 26306-0147
Phone:304 625-3500