References in Text
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(C), is title VI of Pub. L. 90–321, as added by Pub. L. 91–508, title VI, § 601, Oct. 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1127, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§ 1681 et seq.) of chapter 41 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 15 and Tables.
2022—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 117–159, § 12004(h)(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).
Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 117–159, § 12001(a)(2), (3), temporarily added subsec. (l). See Termination Date of 2022 Amendment note below.
2018—Subsec. (e)(1)(F) to (K). Pub. L. 115–141, § 602(1), added subpars. (F) to (K).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 115–141, § 602(2), inserted at end “For purposes of the preceding sentence, not later than 60 days after the date on which the Attorney General receives such information, the Attorney General shall determine whether or not the prospective transferee is the subject of an erroneous record and remove any records that are determined to be erroneous. In addition to any funds made available under subsection (k), the Attorney General may use such sums as are necessary and otherwise available for the salaries and expenses of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to comply with this subsection.”
2008—Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 110–180 designated first and second sentences as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, inserted subpar. headings, substituted “furnish electronic versions of the information described under subparagraph (A)” for “furnish such information” in subpar. (B), and added subpar. (C).
1996—Subsecs. (e)(1), (g). Pub. L. 104–294, § 603(h), made technical amendment to reference in original act which appears in text as reference to subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18.
Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 104–294, § 603(h), made technical amendment to reference in original act which appears in text as reference to section 922(g) or (n) of title 18.
Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 104–294, § 603(i)(1), amended directory language of Pub. L. 103–322, § 210603(b). See 1994 Amendment note below.
1994—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 103–322, § 210603(b), as amended by Pub. L. 104–294, § 603(i)(1), struck out “, which may be appropriated from the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund established by section 1115 of title 31” after “authorized to be appropriated”.
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Statutory Construction; Evidence
Nothing in amendment made by section 12004(h)(1) of Pub. L. 117–159 to be construed to create a cause of action against any person licensed as an importer, manufacturer, or dealer of firearms under chapter 44 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, or any other person for any civil liability or to establish any standard of care, with additional provision relating to nonadmissibility of evidence, see section 12004(h)(4) of Pub. L. 117–159, set out as a note under section 534 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Nothing in amendment made by section 12004(h)(1) of Pub. L. 117–159 to be construed to allow the establishment of a Federal system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions, see section 12004(k) of Pub. L. 117–159, set out as a Rule of Construction note under section 922 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.
Report on Removing Outdated, Expired, or Erroneous Records
Pub. L. 117–159, div. A, title II, § 12001(b), June 25, 2022, 136 Stat. 1324, provided that:
“(1) In general.—
On an annual basis for each fiscal year through fiscal year 2032, each State and Federal agency responsible for the submission of disqualifying records under subsection (d), (g), or (n) of section 922 of title 18
, United States Code, to the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
(34 U.S.C. 40901
) shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate
and the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives
a report detailing the removal from the system of records that no longer prohibit an individual from lawfully acquiring or possessing a firearm
under such subsection (d), (g), or (n).
“(2) Contents.—Each report submitted by a State or Federal agency under paragraph (1) shall include pertinent information on—
why the records were removed; and
for each record removed, the nature of the disqualifying characteristic outlined in subsection (d), (g), or (n) of section 922 of title 18
, United States Code, that caused the State or Federal agency to originally submit the record to the system.”
Destruction of Identifying Information for Persons Not Prohibited From Possessing or Receiving Firearms
Pub. L. 112–55, div. B, title V, § 511, Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 632, provided that:
“Hereafter, none of the funds appropriated pursuant to this Act [div. B of Pub. L. 112–55, see Tables for classification] or any other provision of law may be used for—
the implementation of any tax or fee in connection with the implementation of subsection [sic] 922(t) of title 18, United States Code; and
any system to implement subsection [sic] 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, that does not require and result in the destruction of any identifying information submitted by or on behalf of any person who has been determined not to be prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm
no more than 24 hours after the system advises a Federal firearms licensee
that possession or receipt of a firearm
by the prospective transferee would not violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18
, United States Code, or State law.”
Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:
Pub. L. 106–58, title VI, § 634, Sept. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 473.
Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(h) [title VI, § 655], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–480, 2681–530.
Identification of Felons and Other Persons Ineligible To Purchase Handguns
Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, § 6213, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4360, provided that:
“(a) Identification of Felons Ineligible To Purchase Handguns.—
The Attorney General shall develop a system for immediate and accurate identification of felons who attempt to purchase 1 or more firearms
but are ineligible to purchase firearms
by reason of section 922(g)(1) of title 18
, United States Code. The system shall be accessible to dealers but only for the purpose of determining whether a potential purchaser is a convicted felon. The Attorney General shall establish a plan (including a cost analysis of the proposed system) for implementation of the system. In developing the system, the Attorney General shall consult with the Secretary of the Treasury, other Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials with expertise in the area, and other experts. The Attorney General shall begin implementation of the system 30 days after the report to the Congress
as provided in subsection (b).
“(b) Report to Congress.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 18, 1988], the Attorney General shall report to the Congress a description of the system referred to in subsection (a) and a plan (including a cost analysis of the proposed system) for implementation of the system. Such report may include, if appropriate, recommendations for modifications of the system and legislation necessary in order to fully implement such system.
“(c) Additional Study of Other Persons Ineligible To Purchase Firearms.—
The Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury shall conduct a study to determine if an effective method for immediate and accurate identification of other persons who attempt to purchase 1 or more firearms
but are ineligible to purchase firearms
by reason of section 922(g) of title 18
, United States Code. In conducting the study, the Attorney General shall consult with the Secretary of the Treasury, other Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials with expertise in the area, and other experts. Such study shall be completed within 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 18, 1988
] and shall be submitted to the Congress
and made available to the public. Such study may include, if appropriate, recommendations for legislation.
As used in this section, the terms ‘firearm
’ and ‘dealer’ shall have the meanings given such terms in section 921(a) of title 18
, United States Code.”
Tracing of Firearms in Connection With Criminal Investigations
Memorandum of President of the United States, Jan. 16, 2013, 78 F.R. 4301, provided:
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
Reducing violent crime, and gun-related crime in particular, is a top priority of my Administration. A key component of this effort is ensuring that law enforcement agencies at all levels—Federal, State, and local—utilize those tools that have proven most effective. One such tool is firearms tracing, which significantly assists law enforcement in reconstructing the transfer and movement of seized or recovered firearms. Responsibility for conducting firearms tracing rests with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Over the years, firearms tracing has significantly assisted law enforcement in solving violent crimes and generating thousands of leads that may otherwise not have been available.
Firearms tracing provides two principal benefits. First, tracing is an important investigative tool in individual cases, providing law enforcement agents with critical information that may lead to the apprehension of suspects, the recovery of other guns used in the commission of crimes, and the identification of potential witnesses, among other things. Second, analysis of tracing data in the aggregate provides valuable intelligence about local, regional, and national patterns relating to the movement and sources of guns used in the commission of crimes, which is useful for the effective deployment of law enforcement resources and development of enforcement strategies. Firearms tracing is a particularly valuable tool in detecting and investigating firearms trafficking, and has been deployed to help combat the pernicious problem of firearms trafficking across the Southwest border.
The effectiveness of firearms tracing as a law enforcement intelligence tool depends on the quantity and quality of information and trace requests submitted to ATF. In fiscal year 2012, ATF processed approximately 345,000 crime-gun trace requests for thousands of domestic and international law enforcement agencies. The Federal Government can encourage State and local law enforcement agencies to take advantage of the benefits of tracing all recovered firearms, but Federal law enforcement agencies should have an obligation to do so. If Federal law enforcement agencies do not conscientiously trace every firearm taken into custody, they may not only be depriving themselves of critical information in specific cases, but may also be depriving all Federal, State, and local agencies of the value of complete information for aggregate analyses.
Maximizing the effectiveness of firearms tracing, and the corresponding impact on combating violent crimes involving firearms, requires that Federal law enforcement agencies trace all recovered firearms taken into Federal custody in a timely and efficient manner.
Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. Firearms Tracing. (a) Federal law enforcement agencies shall ensure that all firearms recovered after the date of this memorandum in the course of criminal investigations and taken into Federal custody are traced through ATF at the earliest time practicable. Federal law enforcement agencies, as well as other executive departments and agencies, are encouraged, to the extent practicable, to take steps to ensure that firearms recovered prior to the date of this memorandum in the course of criminal investigations and taken into Federal custody are traced through ATF.
(b) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, ATF will issue guidance to Federal law enforcement agencies on submitting firearms trace requests.
(c) Within 60 days of the date of this memorandum, Federal law enforcement agencies shall ensure that their operational protocols reflect the requirement to trace recovered firearms through ATF.
(d) Within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, each Federal law enforcement agency shall submit a report to the Attorney General affirming that its operational protocols reflect the requirements set forth in this memorandum.
(e) For purposes of this memorandum, “Federal law enforcement agencies” means the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, the Interior, Agriculture, Energy, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security, and such other agencies and offices that regularly recover firearms in the course of their criminal investigations as the President may designate.
Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof.
(b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 3. Publication. The Attorney General is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
Promoting Smart Gun Technology
Memorandum of President of the United States, Jan. 4, 2016, 81 F.R. 719, provided:
Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense[,] the Attorney General[, and] the Secretary of Homeland Security
For more than 20 years, the Federal Government has worked to keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks. This critical effort in addressing gun violence has prevented more than two million prohibited firearms purchases from being completed. But tens of thousands of people are still injured or killed by firearms every year—in many cases by guns that were sold legally but then stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally. Developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority.
In 2013, I directed the Department of Justice to review the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies, such as devices requiring a scan of the owner’s fingerprint before a gun can fire. In its report, the Department made clear that technological advancements in this area could help reduce accidental deaths and the use of stolen guns in criminal activities.
Millions of dollars have already been invested to support research into a broad range of concepts for improving gun safety. We must all do our part to continue to advance this research and encourage its practical application, and it is possible to do so in a way that makes the public safer and is consistent with the Second Amendment. The Federal Government has a unique opportunity to do so, as it is the single largest purchaser of firearms in the country. Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. Research and Development. The Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security (departments) shall, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology that would reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms, and improve the tracing of lost or stolen guns. Not later than 90 days after the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall prepare jointly a report outlining a research and development strategy designed to expedite the real-world deployment of such technology for use in practice.
Sec. 2. Department Consideration of New Technology. The departments shall, to the extent permitted by law, regularly (a) review the availability of the technology described in section 1, and (b) explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety. In connection with these efforts, the departments shall consult with other agencies that acquire firearms and take appropriate steps to consider whether including such technology in specifications for acquisition of firearms would be consistent with operational needs.
Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 4. Publication. The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.