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Publication Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2000

Michael N. Bowling, Ph.D., Gene A. Lauver, Regional Justice Information Service, Lea S. Gifford, Devon B. Adams, Bureau of Justice Statistics

July 1, 2001    NCJ 187985

Describes background checks for firearm transfers conducted in 2000. 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 Statistics Inquiry Program, funded under the National Criminal History Improvement Program, and conducted by the Regional Justice Information Service (REJIS) of St. Louis, Missouri, is an ongoing data collection effort focusing on the procedures and statistics related to background checks in each State. The previous bulletin from this series, which covered the first year of the permanent provisions of the Brady Act, was released in June of 2000.


  • From the inception of the Brady Act on March 1, 1994, to December 31, 2000, about 30 million applications for a firearm transfers were subject to background checks. About 689,000 applications were rejected.
  • State and local agencies maintain a significant role in background checks, conducting checks on almost half of the applications for firearm transfers or permits in 2000, while the FBI was responsible for the remainder.
  • The number of rejections for reasons other than felonies increased 250% from the beginning of the Brady Act to yearend 2000.

Reports covering the Brady interim period, the time prior to the permanent provisions, are in the series Presale Handgun Checks.

Part of the Background Checks for Firearm Transfers Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 39K)
ASCII file (87K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 33K)

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Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) program

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