There is a lot of talk these days about background checks for firearms purchases. What most of these pundits and politicians don’t seem to realize is that every firearm sale from every licensed dealer, whether a gun store, sporting goods store or even pawn shop like us, already requires an FBI background check. The only exception to this rule is when the person buying a firearm already holds a carry permit from the state where the transaction is occurring. Here in Texas, that used to be called a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and is now called a License to Carry (LTC), since we passed an open carry law. Discussion of that topic will be reserved for another day.
Basic restrictions are that you must be 18 years old to purchase a long gun, whether a shotgun or a rifle, and you must be 21 years of age to purchase a hand gun. If those requirements are met, the person making the purchase must fill out the ATF form 4473 and must be the person to whom we release the firearm. And, with few exceptions, you must be a resident of the state where you are making the purchase, or redeeming the pawned item.
The FBI background check is requested at point of sale, either over the phone or online, and we get one of three responses from the FBI NICS e-check system: Proceed, delayed, or denied. When the would-be buyer is approved, they will tell us we may proceed, then we may complete the transaction and release the firearm to the customer. Sometimes the transaction is delayed. This means the customer may retrieve the firearm after three business days, unless the FBI calls us and tells us otherwise, which they sometimes do. With the third option, the customer is denied. The FBI never tells us why, only that we may not release a firearm to that individual under any circumstances. This process is the same whether the person is buying one of our guns that is for sale, or if they are redeeming one that they have pawned. The process is the same. Any gun that is on our property is in our gun book no matter if we own it or if it is collateral for a loan we made. Sometimes loan customers get denied when they try to redeem their own gun. It does happen.
If someone is denied from the FBI there is a process of appeal. They can contact the FBI NICS section and request a review of their case. Everyone makes mistakes, even the FBI from time to time, and they will go through the review process to verify that the person is not allowed to buy or otherwise own a firearm. If they were denied by mistake, the FBI contacts us with an update to release the firearm to that customer.
In some states, like Colorado, the state has a system to run these, but the criteria is the same. Even if someone does have a carry permit, they are still required to fill out the form 4473 we get from the ATF. These forms are filed and held by the firearms licensee at the place of business.
What about internet sales? Any time you purchase a firearm from an online dealer, it must be transferred from one dealer to another. Then the receiving dealer does the paperwork and, if required, the background check before the final release to the buyer. We do these transfers all of the time as a service to our customers.
ATF field agents regularly visit every licensed firearms dealer in the country and review their records. At the time of the licensee audit, the ATF agents review every one of the forms 4473 for accuracy and completeness. Regardless of the cause, every “infraction” they find is reviewed and documented. Though we are all human, we are expected to be perfectly precise on the firearms transaction forms that we complete. We do our best to achieve that expectation.
We consider it a privilege to be a licensed firearms dealer and it is a significant part of our business. We take very seriously the requirements of that license and take care on each and every transaction. With that being said, we offer great deals on many firearms of every type. Whether for home security, personal protection or all types of shooting sports, we have something for almost everyone. Stop by and see one of our professional staff members and let’s see if we have something for you! Even if we don’t, we can probably order it.
The Pawn Box