NSSF: What FFLs Need to Know Right Now

By: Joe Bartozzi

NSSF FFL Need to Know
The NSSF warns dealers of information that they, and anyone with an FFL needs to know during the Coronavirus pandemic.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- As our nation continues to navigate its response to the COVID-19, we recognize the firearm industry, like many others, is being impacted. NSSF is aware of delays within the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) System. FFLs need to know that the FBI is on the job and working diligently to address the dramatic response and increase in background checks experienced over the past few days.

As we noted here on Monday, March 16, 2020, the NICS staff experienced more than a 300% increase compared to this same time period in 2019. States that process their own NICS checks are reporting similar spikes. Colorado’s Bureau of Investigation, for example, announced that checks last week were double the same week last year, and the increased volume has created a backlog of about 5,000 checks awaiting processing. Wait times have increased from between five and eight minutes to two days.

As we’ve seen in the past with other national events, our citizens often seek to exercise their Second Amendment rights during times of uncertainty. This is important to protect, as states and localities are considering measures that seek to shut non-essential businesses. There is nothing more essential than our Constitutional right to protect ourselves, our families and our property.

Delay Implications

According to NICS, there are delays in the system due to an astronomical volume of transactions over the last several days. While much of the NICS System is automated and yields an immediate “proceed” or “deny” determination, transactions that result in a delayed status require the work of NICS examiners to investigate whether the transaction should be approved. With daily volumes roughly double that of last year, the NICS team is unable to begin investigations on all delays within three business days, creating a backlog in the delayed checks.

Some states offices and agencies are considering options to protect the health and safety of their employees, which may include a reduction in staff or a temporary closure. For FFLs in one of these areas that receive a delayed response from the NICS, please note the Brady transfer date provided to you by the FBI could be extended beyond the normal three business days.

The three-business-day timeframe does not begin until relevant state offices are open for business. Additionally, because of the dramatic increase in volume, it is important to recognize that FBI staff may not be able to begin their research on delayed transactions as they normally would. It’s up to the FFL’s discretion, but they may want to consider waiting on a definitive response from the NICS before opting to proceed with a sale on any delayed transaction.

Patience and Prudence

These are exceptional and uncertain times, and FFLs may wish to consider implementing temporary changes in order to safeguard their businesses and communities. However, please note that when state offices are closed, it does not constitute a “business day” for purposes of calculating the “three business days” period before an FFL may transfer a firearm to a non-licensee as mandated by the Brady Act.

The NICS Section is working overtime to get through the backlog, and we appreciate their hard work and open communication. NSSF will continue to communicate with NICS and our members to ensure operations move forward as smoothly as possible during this period.

National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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The FFL I work for has noticed the Bray Bill has been increased from three days to thirty days, when we get a NICS result we print that page and attach it to the 4473 as a “CYA”, that’s when we noticed the increase in the time before transfer is permitted. We’ve also encountered a case where the BATF called and informed us that we transferred a firearm to a ”DENIED ” and yet the NICS page we printed had “Proceed” on it, which we included in the fax to the BATF. If ever there was a time to “CYA”… Read more »

Wild Bill

@john45, Good intel. Any response from BATFE to your fax?


Do crickets chirp?


“The NICS Section is working overtime to get through the backlog, and we appreciate their hard work and open communication. NSSF will continue to communicate with NICS and our members to ensure operations move forward as smoothly as possible during this period.“ Wow, I read article after article and still no one is sayin enough is enough and these INFRINGEMENTS on our right to bear arms needs to stop. Why is NO ONE saying the NICS needs abolished? Gun buyers in CA are waiting 10 days? This is asinine. You don’t ask your tyrant for permission to buy arms to… Read more »


Hey UncleT: is we related? Must run in the blood.

Ryben Flynn

So the Democrats attempt to create a panic over a virus that is not even as bad as the regular flu has backfired on them by running gun sales through the roof. Yes, Chinese Flu is a nothing virus. As of this comment, less than 12,000 people have died in a World population of 7.8 BILLION, yet more than 22,000 have died in the U.S. from the seasonal flue in a population of 330 Million. The odds of dying from the Chinese Flu are 1 in 650,000 and the seasonal flu are 1 in 15,000.

Wild Bill

@gcm, Just cool your jets. How bad this new virus is can only be known when it has run its course. RF and I are quite amused that people are turning to guns, ammunition and … toilet paper.

Ansel Hazen

I was able to get 2 rolls yesterday so we must be on the downslope of the bell curve.


And while people were dying in Wuhan, the Chinese government was actively discouraging (threatening) other countries that were proposing putting travel bans on anyone coming out of China. The blood of the Wuhan, Italy, and other martyrs is on their hands. Meanwhile, the MSM condemns our government while giving China a free pass, praise, and spreading their revisionist propaganda.

Wild Bill

@Agg, That is so Right On! I am hearing that the Chinese Communist Party thinks that they will recover before the US does, and is planning ways to use, what they think will be an advantage, to replace us.

We have to stay well and continue to do our jobs, maintain commerce, and impede libtards, where ever we find them!


@GCM; Your over 200 deaths in Italy is old. Try the deaths reported in Italy as being OVER 700 per 24 hours. I thank President Trump for stopping the incoming flights from infected countries with the China Flu or Wu-Flu. ENFORCE the immigration laws of America. I HATE being told how to think or how to behave when MY actions are not INFRINGING upon other American Citizens. As far as the INVADERS of America, THEY HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS! They only have human rights. Arrest them LEGALLY and DEPORT them quickly!!!


The FFL may want to consider waiting on a definitive response? Do you mean in order to help the government restrict human rights during a time of unrest or just to be cowards?


I don’t take advice from NSSF. 1. They only represent their corporate and business members and their only real interest is maintaining profits for them and themselves. 2. Their history is that of cooperating and condoning any and all gun control edicts from the BATF or new laws and restrictions from Congress so long is it doesn’t effect hunting and hunting guns, which makes them the quintessential “Fudd” organization.


Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement does the BG check here whether the FDLE is overwhelmed with callings I don’t know, the BG check can also be done online. Our Governor hasn’t shut down the Sate yet, and I don’t think he will.


We’ll see he seem’sto do whatever the local goverments want, Personally pretty disappointed in him so far but on another note he was the lesser of two evils and wasn’t Obama’s butt boy caught with Crystal meth and a man prostitute in Miami