New Leaks Shows ATF Running Background Checks On Gun Buyers Retroactively

Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
New Leaks Shows ATF Running Background Checks On Gun Buyers Retroactively (Dave Workman)

MARTINSBURG, WV-( AmmoLand News learned through a leaked Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conference call that the agency is starting to run gun buyers retroactively through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

In the conference call, the ATF leadership asked its Industry Operations Inspectors (IOI) to collect information on the customers that used concealed carry permits instead of obtaining a background check through the NICS. The purpose of obtaining this information would be to run the customer’s data through the NICS to see if the customer would have received an approved or denied status. In addition, the IOI will pass on the names and information of customers denied by the NICS to the criminal branch for a special agent to follow up.

Some states, such as Alaska, allow gun buyers to use their concealed carry permits to buy a gun instead of being subjected to a background check through NICS. Gun buyers in these states believe that using a concealed carry permit to purchase firearms gives them a level of anonymity that the NICS doesn’t provide.

The information from the firearms background check paperwork (ATF Form 4473) is not submitted to the FBI when the customer uses their permit. Before the new policy, the only time the government would know a person bought a gun is when the FFL goes out of business, a trace request is submitted, or the customer buys multiple handguns within a seven-day period.

Congress wrote an exemption to the mandated background check using the NICS into the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1998. However, the ATF has not been a fan of states letting their citizens use their concealed carry permits to buy guns without going through the NICS. In fact, the ATF has told states like Michigan that they can no longer use the concealed carry permit exemption.

According to the Brady Act, states can let gun buyers use concealed carry permits instead of going through the NICS if the permit meets or exceeds the NICS requirements, and the issuing agency performs a background check on the permit applicant using the NICS. However, even though states like Michigan meet all the conditions laid out in the Brady Act for a NICS exemption, The ATF had an issue with how some issuing agencies implemented the law.

Some sheriffs used the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to perform background checks instead of the NICS. The NCIC database is where the NICS database pulls most of its information. They claimed since that the sheriffs were not following the proper procedure, that the FFLs of the state could not use the concealed carry permit to buy a gun.

Gun Owners of America (GOA) sued the ATF over their decision to revoke the NICS exemption for Michigan and other states. GOA claimed that the ATF did not have the right to reinterpret the Brady Act law. The ATF stopped revoking exemption status for states once the lawsuits started to be filed in multiple states by the gun rights organization.

It seems like the ATF has found another way to run customers through the NICS. Unfortunately, the ATF would not provide AmmoLand News a comment.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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I am so sick of reading about the ATF copying 4473’s illegally during inspections, or taking them, or running NICS checks on CCW holders, and all the other lawbreaking the agency does. There is no accountability whatsoever for government agencies and its employees, who aren’t fired no matter what laws they break.

If you are an illegal alien or a government employee, your lawbreaking is NEVER punished. But often rewarded.

Henry Bowman

Right, just look at Ruby Ridge & Waco. Those SOB’s were promoted and given big fat pay raises for the evil they did.


Rewarding evildoers is S.O.P. in the US now. Almost like evil took over while we weren’t paying attention and now de facto rules, isn’t it? And quite obviously so… at least to me… 🙂

Henry Bowman

Smells like they’re trying to find new ways to build that gun owner registry so they know who owns guns.


exactly why this comment was in the article.
“However, the ATF has not been a fan of states letting their citizens use their concealed carry permits to buy guns without going through the NICS.” i 100% guarantee that the Federal Bureau of Incompetence hasn’t deleted the info on 4473’s according to law.
most of the alphabet agencies in America don’t comply with the law, but are sure to hold taxpayers to it.

The other Jim

Yes the FBI and ATF can not be trusted with obeying the law, instead Pelosi’s make-believe January 6 insurrection Committee Investigation, Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney could finally earn their $300,000 a year (+ benefit + perks) salary package and Committee-up to investigate Form 4473 data deletion in accordance with law.


Good luck with that! LOL!


Newsflash, not everyone has guns.

And your claim’s not even true. A registry tells them which & how many guns you have & need to turn in.

Reminds me of LoLibertarians who love parroting “mass immigration & invasion is harmless because if we didn’t have welfare it would be harmless.”

1) We have welfare.

2) Even without welfare, mass immigration & invasion-occupation would still be extremely harmful. e.g. Overwhelms our voting control. Redistributes & destroys OUR public & private wealth, direct & indirect, immediate & over time. Destroys our culture. High density = loss of liberty & life quality.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Maybe the ATF should’ve did their job and did a background check on Hunter Biden.


caint do dat, cuz he be SPAYSHULL.

Lil fruad needs taken down a few pegs, right BEFORE his Daddy Fraud gets his.


When men are honest and moral, no laws are necessary. When men are dishonest and immoral, no laws are effective.


Honest moral men seek the counsel of laws.” What’s that supposed to mean?


So what? They still OBEY illegal Orders & Decrees and enforce unconscionable laws, with near-total impunity.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

It would be nice to run an internal audit on the ATF operations once we get the right goverment in place….


Haha! Friend, the “right government” doesn’t include a BATFE. There’s no BATFE in our US Constitution, and it’s a direct violation of our 2nd Amendment. Lot’s of folks thought Trump would set things right. Instead he banned plastic without a barrel, chamber, or trigger by calling it a machine gun, a complete reversal of Obama’s BATFE on the matter. Then he hired Bill Barr right out of the swamp he promised to drain and started bribing states with your tax dollars to enact red flag laws. That’s what happened.




Far better, and Constitutional, to dismantle the entire clown show, including wiping every harddrive and burning every pile of paper or records they have anywhere. Then farm out all the “leadership” to being things like park rangers, wildlife inspectors, .
And make sure to identify those most egregious violators of their oath of office, and run them up on feloy perjury charges for breaking that oath.


“Right government”. That’s cute.


American Marxists using tax payer money to overtake us from within.


Governmental agencies no matter what they are love to take charge and move in the wrong direction! Their focus is on back ground checks, wasting time on something that has already been done! They love to waste taxpayer money! And seriously arm braces, SBRs? Why are they an issue bc the can be hidden? Seriously having a tax stamp for an SBR is such bullshit! BFD! Instead of focusing on the real issue, criminals with guns and where they get them, Creepy Joe and the like deflect onto the average Patriot making everyone of US, that follow the rules, have… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Bubba

So, let us recap this all. The ATF does not like federal or state law. Nor does the FBI. Nor does the US Department of Justice as a whole. Nor odes the IRS……………………………. Seems to me the problem with federal and state law is federal law enforcement. Anyone note the suspension of Habeas Corpus and bail for the Capital Hill trespassers? Seems the Harris/Biden regime has a problem with law. No surprise there.

Mike the Limey

The only laws the ATF likes are those it makes up for itself.

Xaun Loc

Gun buyers in these states believe that using a concealed carry permit to purchase firearms gives them a level of anonymity that the NICS doesn’t provide.”

Is the author a nitwit or does he know a bunch of “gun buyers in these states” who are idiots??

I certainly don’t know any CCW permit holding people stupid enough to think that filling out a 4473 is somehow ‘anonymous’ just because you present your CCW permit instead of waiting for a useless NICS check.


Yep, truly a stupid comment. CCW is the most thorough form of gun owner registration there is.


Didjya READ the piece? Try haivng anohter go at it. When the Mohter My I Card is presented as proof you are law abiding, NICS are not called, the data relating to the firearms being purchased do NOT go to FBI or NICS. THAT is a big deal. I HATE that my state of residence has a list of every handgun I have purchased. Of course, since for a long time I could resell that privately and not break their new Bloomburg Law, I have plausible deniability about still owning anything I may have bought for many years. This is… Read more »


I read it. State & local agencies don’t issue PERMITS without background checks. It’s imprudent to imagine the federales don’t know you applied for that permit and keep you on a list – despite any contrary law – especially but not only if NICS or another federal dbase was used. Federales are above the law. No accountability. It’s delusional to assume that any list, whether held by a gun dealer, a sheriff, or a state, is not or will not be available to the federales when they decide they want it. If the federales know where it is, they can… Read more »

Ryben Flynn

Michigan was disqualified from using carry permits instead of NICS because the State legalized marijuana and would issue carry permits to those using it.

Heed the Call-up

Which is against their state law on possession of Marijuana and a firearm.


and this is a feature with clear benefit to our national government being a FEDERAL republic. Each state retains the authority over nearly all issues, whilst FedGov have few and clearly limited authority. But FedGof agencies like BATF are wilfully acting contrary to these founding princioles.

Dogma Factor

All the more reason why House Bill HR-3960 needs to be passed. At have a vote on the floor so we know which Republicans need to be primaried.


Oklahoma’s citizens will soon be able to buy firearms using their concealed carry permits. Recent legislation allowing that to happen will go into effect in November, I think.


Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…………….

Deplorable Bill

Hitler registered firearms “for a kinder, gentler nation”. The world lived haply ever after right? Nope, 140 MILLION people lost their lives through war or genocide. Stalin, mao, pol pot, chavez, amine etc did the same thing. Those who would trade their freedoms and rights for a little more security will have and deserve NEITHER. Franklin. The simple fact is the 2A is a restriction ON GOVERNMENT every bit as much as it is an order for all citizens of proper age and not in jail or the nut house to be the militia. Militia denotes the use of military… Read more »


would you be willing to provide your leaked documents validating your opinion? I disagree with your position that: ” However, even though states like Michigan meet all the conditions laid out in the Brady Act for a NICS exemption, The ATF had an issue with how some issuing agencies implemented the law.” Background checks are done by the FBI – marijuana is a federally banned substance – addiction to marijuana would prevent an individual resident of Michigan from obtaining a CPL (concealed pistol license) – as Michigan changed their stance on marijuana in regards to possession, use and prosecution – it makes sense… Read more »

Dogma Factor

Marijuana is still a class 1 drug in the eyes of the federal government regardless of the states position. Conviction of use or the issuing of a medical Marijuana card will result in the loss of one’s firearm rights regardless of what state you live in. They now post the question on the Form 4473 because of this very reason. As to your other point only dead democrats don’t get removed from the voter rolls in blue states. Once Social Security is notified of one’s death they end all benefits retroactively and notify all other agencies including the states. It’s… Read more »


The federal government has zero Constitutional jurisdiction to ban a substance or firearms. Let that sink in. As far as addiction to cannabis goes, it would be interesting to see the documentation on that. Cannabis also has no LD and firearms do not commit crimes. If something needs banning it is the federal government. .


The military draft was pretty well ground into the dust in the 1970’s by massive non compliance. That is conveniently swept under the rug because the emperor was not going to risk being shown to have no clothes (Think IRS). They may maintain it on paper but they don’t dare try to revive it. Anything else you mention is martial law. Obey it at your own risk. At that point you better be using 2A.


My Draft Lottery Number was 365. By that time I had already been in the service for 18 months…LOL

Heed the Call-up

One cannot become addicted to Marijuana. However, not that that matters, no state has “legalized” Marijuana. There are a number of states that have decriminalized it, but only for certain amounts. If you are caught with a firearm and Marijuana, even in those states, as well as federal law, it is a felony charge. What people also seem to fail to understand is that it does not matter who the “owner” of the Marijuana is if you are a firearm owner. So if you are at home, or a friend’s home, if anyone in the home is in possession of… Read more »


One: marijuana is NOT addicting.
Two on what basis do FedGov have any authority to decide what we may/mayn’t put into our bodies?
Three, on what basis do FedGov decree that duly enacted state laws are invalid?
Fiur even when our MOther May I Card is used, the 4473 still must be completed. Lying on it is the same whether I use my MMC or not. 4473 stays with the FFL, ATF can, on probable cause, come in and inspect anyone’s record in the Bound Book.
ATF have NO authority to be interpreting laws at FEd or State level.