The Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) program collects data from state agencies that conduct background checks or compile data from local checking agencies, local agencies that conduct background checks or track applications but do not report to a state agency, and the FBI.
In the 2017 data collection, more than one source was used for 32 states. FIST obtained counts of background checks for firearm transfers from the FBI and state reporters. In 2017, FIST conducted a census of local reporting agencies in ten states and collected data from a sample of local reporting agencies in three states.
In 2017, the overall response rate was 83%, with 97% of state agency reporters and 83% of local agency reporters responding to the survey.