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Publication Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2005

Michael N. Bowling, Ph.D., Gene A. Lauver, Regional Justice Information Service, Matthew J. Hickman, Ph.D., Devon B. Adams, Bureau of Justice Statistics

November 1, 2006    NCJ 214256

Describes background checks for firearm transfers conducted in 2005. This annual report 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. It also provides information about appeals of rejected applications and arrests for falsified applications. The Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program is an ongoing data collection effort focusing on the procedures and statistics related to background checks in selected States.


  • Among State and local checking agencies in 2005, 46% of all rejections for firearm transfers (about 30,000 applications) were due to a felony conviction or indictment.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives' (ATF) field offices investigated 9,575 National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) denials that were referred by the FBI in 2005.
  • In 2005 agencies reported 1,400 arrests of persons denied a firearm or a permit.

Part of the Background Checks for Firearm Transfers Series

Full report (PDF 701K)
ASCII file (32K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 17K)
To order paper version

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Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) program

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