Under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System there are three responses when one tries to purchase a firearm.

1)Proceed. This means you are on the side of angels, and may leave with your newly-purchased firearm. This is the “10-minute wait” many of my readers were referring to in the ‘Comments’ section of my last inarticulate scream of rage.

2)Deny. You have been a Very Bad Boy, and are forbidden from owing or purchasing a firearm due any one of a possible multitude of sins.

3)Delay. Welcome to my world. When a Delay flag pops up on a NICS check, this means that (theoretically) a NICS Examiner begins a hand search of records to ensure the potential purchaser (me) isn’t a Bad Dog. To quote from the NICS website:
“When a transaction is DELAYED, the FBI NICS Examiner begins extensive research on the potential prohibitor. When the research is complete, the FBI NICS Examiner calls the FFL and gives a PROCEED or DENY decision on the firearm transaction.”


The FBI kindly posted a website explaining exactly how long someone (me) has to wait if a Delay flag pops up. Notice the ‘Sell’ date if someone (me) gets his rights infringed on a Monday: It’s bloody well Friday.


The theory used to be that I kept getting the Delay response because someone might have used my name as an alias on a criminal history, or there’s a felon wandering about with my name.

That one doesn’t fly, because the combination of my first and last names is about as Gaelic as you can get. You might find someone with my first AND last names in Scotland or Ireland, but you’re not going to find them in the Good Old U.S. of A. Besides, I work in Law Enforcement. I’ve run my name and every possible combination of my name through TCIC and NCIC and it always comes back clear.

Then it was decided that I was getting delayed because I refused to put my Social Security Number on the 4473. That theory got blown out of the water when I finally knuckled under and started putting my SSN on the 4473’s. Still kept getting delayed.

The current theory involves my Place of Birth. I think that every time I write ‘MALTA’ in the box for Place of Birth, I might as well break out the sack lunch.


Back to private transactions. No muss, no fuss, and I can go shooting that same damned day.


Felony Chicken
"Instant Check" my sweet Aunt Fanny.

20 thoughts on “NICS”

  1. Hey Dog,
    I know you are a law-abiding peace officer sent to defend our great society from all its social ills, but have you thought of getting your Texas CHL? No muss, no fuss, and you don’t have to worry about your favorite FFL calling on the NICScompoops to further stymie your efforts at firearms ownership.

  2. Well is see as I ‘preview’ my post that ‘shooter’ beat me to it in the comments! But I’m posting my suggestion _anyway_! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s my typings on this issue…

    A workaround to this agravation might be for you to obtain a TX CHL? I know, I know, you are already a LEO, the TX CHL would be redundant. But if this is legally possible, a TX LEO possessing a TX CHL, that is? In my limited 1 year of experience here in TX, my TX CHL is accepted by gun dealers in lieu of a NCIS check. I.e., for the last two gun purchases no phone call to NCIS was made. Actually, the dealer breaths a sigh of relief when I tell them I have the TX CHL. For you, with a TX CHL, no NCIS check, no wait? Just a thought…

  3. Subject: NCIS, aka LawDog’s NICS flag problem…


    Relevant section of the TXDPS FAQ for LawDog:

    From my quick read of the above typed section(GC ยง411.1991.), it looks, to me, like active LEO’s can obtain a TX CHL _without_ going through the lengthy and somewhat painful/expensive process required of us ‘lowly’ civilian types in TX?

    Over and out,

  4. Oh well. Never mind my comment on the previous post re SSN. Seems like someone just hates you. Perhaps you were Mussolini in a previous life?

  5. Actually, I can just bet you that LawDog is one of those people who are innocent, but have that look of guilt about him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Kiki B.

  6. The “instant check” system has been a boon to people creating false IDs….

    Go to a gunstore. Try to buy a cheap pistol for cash with the phony ID. If it comes up good, make an excuse and leave.

    If it comes up bad, walk away and leave the ID in a trash can.

  7. You might find someone with my first AND last names in Scotland or Ireland, but you’re not going to find them in the Good Old U.S. of A.

    I don’t know about that. My son’s name is SEAN MICHAEL MURPHY, and the truth be known he’s more Polish than anything. I’m sure he’s not the only one in the good ole USA, either!

  8. The Malta thing will surely do it.

    In my case if I leave my Suffix or SSN off I am ALWAYS delayed.


    Because my father has the same name as I do, and he is a convicetd felon.

    As it is I always get forwarded to the second examiner.

    Up until a couple years back I was ALWAYS delayed no matter what. It turns out the computer system they were using didnt recognize any suffix past the thrid, who is of course my father the con.

    Somehow having a different SSN, place of birth, COUNTRY of birth, city and county of residence etc… doesn’t make any difference if your name is the same.

    Aint that a bitch…

  9. Malta, huh? Perhaps this is just a different form of the Maltese Falcon…

  10. LawDog – fellow LEO, and former military and I always run into the same problem myself – it was actually explained to me that the reason for the delay is BECAUSE of my prior security clearance – that the system shows it as a flag as to a previous Federal investigation on my files, so that’s what causes the hit. And no, no one I ever spoke with had a fix or an answer either.

  11. There was a cop in my hometown named Red Weaver. Called him Red for years.

    Walked into a gun store one day when he was buying a gun, and learned his proper name was Randy Weaver. He got stuck in the delay line every time. Can you imagine the panic at the FBI office when they hear that Randy Weaver is buying another gun? I bet Lon Horiuchi shits his pants.

  12. Another GI here. Yeah, it’s the TS clearance. It automatically raises the flag. I get the same thing in VA.

  13. The Top Secret clearance raises a red flag? That sounds like some programmer got a branch backwards.

    Or is it that Law Dog’s clearance was revoked since he no longer works for the gubmint, and the software is too stupid to distinguish between this case and the (very much rarer) case of a clearance that is revoked because of misbehavior?

  14. Well I had TS, it has long ago expired, and I don’t get the flag so long as I clearely differentiate myself from my father.

    I have a couple friends who also had TS and no longer do, and they have no problem.


  15. I had a TS-SCI for 2 decades, and nowmhave…let’s just saya lesser Gov’t clearance…and never jhad a problem that didn’t involve a busy signal…

  16. Same here .. Former Navy Spook and I have been delayed 3 out of 5 purchases.. Talking with gun shop guy he said his uncle deals with the same thing every time and he works for NSA

  17. I am a Minnesota resident with a Permit to Carry, which give me the right to purchase a hand gun without having to apply for a permit to purchase. I went to the local sporting goods store and I got a delay, on my purchase. this was on Feb.1st 2012 as of March 1st 2012 I still have not recieved a proceed on my purchase. WTF where or who do I contact to find out what the delay, is all about. I am confused why Minnesota would approve me for a Permit to Carry, but NICS deleys me. Mike

    1. I'm going through the same thing. Two months ago I bought a pistol from my local gun shop. Nica check was fine. Then went and got my conceal carry permit, no problem. Just last week went to buy another pistol and now ncia Delayed me. Not sure what is going on but makes no sense to me. I live in PA

  18. This makes me feel a little better. I've been buying AR lowers to put a few rifles together for me and my boys – delayed every time.

    I thought it might be related to a few run-ins with LEO, but they were stupid things and certainly not felonies/domestic. For that matter, not even enough for me to lose my TS or my clearance from another agency.

    The fact that lots of other .mil/.gov with clearance(s) are getting delayed is heartening in one regard, but worrisome in another. Aside from the DHS opinion that we're all potential threats, why are we spending tax dollars to delay .mil/.gov purchases?

    Grrr…. thanks for letting me vent and letting me know I'm not completely alone on this one.

  19. I am a law abiding citizen, did have a DUI back about 30 years ago, but it was a different world. Just got "DELAYED" at an Academy Sports. Not sure how long this will take, or if it will ever be sorted out. It, to be honest, freaked me out! I haven't done anything wrong, I'm a non drinking (liver failure, but not from booze) citizen, and answered the questions. I guess I have to wait until Academy decides they get the proceed, or they call back, or just go to a LGS, which I should have to begin with. The "delayed" really did freak me out, but I see so many getting it, and I guess my angels were on vacation that day.

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