Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Is NICS a national registration system?

    Gun Rights are encouraging pushing for dropping PICS for NICS. Dropping PICS will also end registration of sales files with the PSP. NICS will be overseen by the FBI. As I read that, I got this uneasy feeling of a national registration system. I guess that's superfluous when one considers the FBI can query PSP sales files via ATF anyway?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    Is NICS a national registration system? Well, it would be similar to the way PA views PICS because not all firearms in PA are in the PSP "sales database" and many states laws allow personal face to face sales of both long arms and handguns, so NICS doesn't get involved in those. The only time NICS is used is by FFLs doing transfers to buyers from their stock or what people order from the internet or when a FTF transaction is done at a FFL. It could be the camels nose under the tent but because some states (thankfully) think more highly about their firearm owning residents it would always be incomplete, just like PA's.

    Now that said, if you have a problem with NICS, like being denied when you know there is absolutely nothing on your record that should cause the denial, you can challenge the denial. HOWEVER, that process, right now, takes about 12-18 months to be completed. Yes, 12-18 months.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Patron Member

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    AFAIK , it works just like PICS , only nation wide. Doesn't the PSP actually use NICS to do your background check , (and charge you for it)?

    You're only in it if you've been arrested/convicted of a crime. It's a registry for criminals , not guns.
    I don't speak English , I talk American!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    NICS = NATIONAL Instant Check System, run by the FBI. One of the reference databases used by PICS when an instant check is performed in PA.

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_Zark View Post
    NICS = NATIONAL Instant Check System, run by the FBI. One of the reference databases used by PICS when an instant check is performed in PA.

    Noah
    So it's possible the PICS could lead to a false denial more than NICS?
    I don't speak English , I talk American!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    Quote Originally Posted by abner13 View Post
    So it's possible the PICS could lead to a false denial more than NICS?
    PICS uses databases internal to the PA law enforcement / criminal justice / mental health care systems in addition to NICS. I can't speak to the possibility / probability of false denials with the PICS system vs the NICS system.

    I will say that in 2004 I was denied by PICS while trying to purchase an Enfield rifle. I filed a challenge form, and two weeks thereafter I got a call from the PICS examiner asking for a "letter from you with name, address, SSN, PADL, and stating where you were on such and such a day" and he could get this cleaned up. I asked why, and he went into more detail than he should, stating that "there are like 12 of you in the state with the same combination of first, middle, and last names. One of you was involuntarily committed 'out east' and when that info hits our system it automatically blocks approvals for all of you with the same names. It takes one of us to manually match the prohibited individual with the proper record. That can take from hours to maybe a day or two. Poor timing on your part." I pointed out that I could not be the prohibited individual because he was committed and I was in a gun shop filling out a 4473. The examiner said, "That's right, that's why I just need a simple statement from you." He didn't need it notarized.

    I got a reversal letter a week after sending the statement to PICS. Because of my experience, for all its faults, I prefer to have PICS running interference for PA residents with the NICS and FBI for the very reason Xringshooter described above. The same "Oops" that befell me in 2004 would take as much as a year and a half for the Feebs to rectify, when PICS fixed it in about three weeks.

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bang View Post
    Gun Rights are encouraging pushing for dropping PICS for NICS. Dropping PICS will also end registration of sales files with the PSP. NICS will be overseen by the FBI. As I read that, I got this uneasy feeling of a national registration system. I guess that's superfluous when one considers the FBI can query PSP sales files via ATF anyway?
    The part in red is completely false, and is a lie that's used as a sales tool for switching from local PICS to the Federal NICS.

    Most of us here value freedom and accountability. We have influence over PICS, undiluted by other states like NY and NJ and Massachusetts and California. NICS is going to keep those folks happy, not us.

    Quote Originally Posted by abner13 View Post
    So it's possible the PICS could lead to a false denial more than NICS?
    NICS leads to more successful but unlawful transfers, leaving prohibited persons to face not only the "false written statements" criminal charge, but also the "prohibited person in possession of a firearm" charge.

    Say what you will about the mostly-shoe-wearing folks at the PSP, but they are far more effective at being the last gatekeeper in preventing prohibited persons from ending up with guns that are themselves the basis of new criminal charges. That's due to the statutes, and to the reality that a lot of court records aren't accessible within the 3 business days that NICS has to nail down any documents that support a denial. It can easily take a month or more to get some podunk court to track down and send documents of an older court case, to see if it was "domestic" violence, or identify which "Juan Lopez" has that PFA in Reading.

    The down side is that PICS ends up delaying more innocent people than NICS. The up side is that you're very unlikely to get a PICS approval and still end up in court facing serious criminal charges for possessing that gun. A NICS approval doesn't immunize you from charges. Further, when the previous regime at PSP decided to play games with AR-15's and receivers, we had the clout to shut that crap down. When NICS plays games, you may as well be a tree for all the clout you have with the FBI or NICS.

    It's less of a risk now to let pro-gun, pro-liberty Trump have command of your gun transfers through NICS; but Trump is only there 4 to 8 years. Then it could be Schumer, or Pelosi, or Warren, and you can assume that they'll appoint another hack like Holder or Lynch to infringe your rights using the impersonal bureaucracy. PICS is always going to be under the thumb of the mostly-hunting-friendly PA legislature.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    NICS knows nothing of what gun you purchase. It keeps the approval/denial serial number for X number of hours, then it is purged.

    PICS on the other hand, they do tend to keep the approval/denial numbers indefinitely. However, federal and state law requires that they purge them as well. PICS also knows nothing of the firearm you purchase. The only details that are transferred during the call is about the purchaser to properly ID them against the criminal/mental databases.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    Quote Originally Posted by abner13 View Post
    AFAIK , it works just like PICS , only nation wide. Doesn't the PSP actually use NICS to do your background check , (and charge you for it)?

    You're only in it if you've been arrested/convicted of a crime. It's a registry for criminals , not guns.
    You're confusing NCIC and NICS.

    NCIC - National Crime Information Center
    NICS - National Insta-Check System
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is NICS a national registration system?

    A registry even if de facto does not have to contain information about any particular gun...only information that the person investigated was investigated for receipt of a gun. i.e. Joe Blow probably has a gun (that is called probable cause, unless such information would be considered too stale at time of application for warrant).

    To clarify...I do a 4473, FFL makes the call, NICS has date and time record of the contact. Unless that record is purged, it can be used to ascertain that I at minimum have an interest in firearms as documented said date and time. Purging may exist in law, but be superseded by some obscure section of the homeland security act. Bottom line, I don't trust them and as GL has pointed out better than me, we could have the equivalent of a Massachusetts government in short order, and we all know how that goes.

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