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Publication Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2001

Devon B. Adams, Michael Bowling, Ph.D., Matthew J. Hickman, Ph.D., Gene Lauver

September 22, 2002    NCJ 195235

Describes background checks for firearm transfers conducted in 2001. Provides the number of applications checked by State points of contact, estimates of the number of applications checked by local agencies, the number of applications rejected, the reasons for rejection, and estimates of applications and rejections conducted by each type of approval system, including permit approval systems. Also provides limited information about appeals of rejected applications and arrests for falsified applications. The Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program, funded under the National Criminal History Improvement Program, is an ongoing data collection effort focusing on the procedures and statistics related to background checks in selected States.


  • Total applications for firearm transfers or permits nationwide increased 3%, from 7.7 million in 2000 to 8.0 million 2001.
  • In 2001, 151,000 applications for firearm transfers or permits were rejected by the FBI or State and local agencies.
  • The number of rejections for reasons other than felonies increased 256% from the beginning of the Brady Act to yearend 2001.

Part of the Background Checks for Firearm Transfers Series

Press Release
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ASCII file (89K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K)
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Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) program

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