Alabama Gun Permits No Longer Alternative for Background Check

Alabama concealed carry permits no longer qualify as an adequate substitute for a federal background check for those buying a firearm from a licensed gun dealer. The ATF announced the change Monday in a public safety advisor issued to all Alabama federal firearm licensees. The change follows a federal review of the state’s permitting system that found instances in which individuals received permits without completing a check.

According to the advisory, the state issued permits to an unspecified number of prohibited persons who then successfully used the permit to buy a firearm from an FFL. The ATF determined in 2016 that Alabama’s carry requirements after Aug. 1, 2013 qualified as an alternative to a NICS check. However, a federal review found routine errors and incomplete background checks therefore the state’s enforcement fo the standard fails to meet those set by federal law.

The Brady Act of 1993 set the mandate for the federal system, dubbed the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Before buying a gun, the buyer must complete a form and the FFL submits the information to NICS, which compares the info to multiple databases. Once the buyer is cleared, the FFL can then transfer the firearm to him or her.

While states must submit documents to the NICS system, they can also add additional requirements or alternatives that adequately substitute a check. Obtaining a concealed carry permit, which requires a background check, may serve as an adequate substitute.

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