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Presale Handgun Checks, the Brady Interim Period, 1994-98

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 1:00  P.M. EDT              BJS
TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 1999                    202/307-0784                 

     WASHINGTON, D.C.   An estimated 312,000 felons,
fugitives and other prohibited people were prevented
from buying handguns during the Brady Act's interim
period from March 1, 1994, through November 29, 1998,
the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS) announced today.  
     According to a new BJS report, the rejections
amounted to about 2.4 percent of the approximately
12,740,000 Brady presale background checks during that
     From January 1, 1998, through November 29, 1999,
there were about 70,000 rejections among the 2,384,000
inquiries or applications, according to a BJS bulletin. 
About 63 percent of the rejections were for a prior
felony conviction or a current felony indictment. 
Domestic violence misdemeanor convictions accounted for
10 percent of the rejections, and domestic violence
protection orders prompted 3 percent of the rejections.
     Among the 18 states reporting complete data for
the first 11 months of last year, Georgia 
had the highest rejection rate 8.4 percent of 74,977
applications.  Connecticut had the lowest rejection
rate 0.6 percent of its 26,981 applications. 
     Beginning last November 30, the permanent Brady
Act provisions became effective requiring presale checks
for all firearms--not just handguns--purchased from
federally licensed dealers.  Unless the state has a
federally approved firearm permit system, the dealers go
directly to the FBI's National Instant Criminal
Background Check System (NICS) or indirectly through a
state agency serving as an FBI contact point.
     During the first month of the permanent
provisions, the FBI conducted 506,554 background checks
on potential firearm buyers, and the states conducted an
additional 386,286 such checks.
     The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, prohibits the
sale of firearms to any person who --
     *   is a juvenile
     *   is a fugitive from justice
     *   is under indictment for, or has been convicted
         of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for
         more than one year  
     *   is an unlawful user of a controlled substance
     *   has been adjudicated as a mental defective or
         committed to a mental institution
     *   is an alien unlawfully in the United States
     *   was discharged from the armed services under
         dishonorable conditions 
     *   has renounced U.S. citizenship
     *   is subject to a court order restraining him or
         her from harassing, stalking or threatening an
         intimate partner or child, or
     *   is a person who has been convicted of domestic
     The bulletin, "Presale Handgun Checks, the Brady
Interim Period, 1994-98" (NCJ-175034), was written by
BJS State Program Manager Donald A. Manson, BJS
statistician Darrell K. Gilliard and Gene Lauver, of the
Regional Justice Information Service.  Single copies may
be obtained from the BJS fax-on-demand system by dialing
301/519-5550, listening to the complete menu and 
selecting document number 160.  Or call the BJS
Clearinghouse number: 1-800-732-3277.  Fax orders for
mail delivery to 410/792-4358.  The BJS Internet site
     Additional criminal justice materials can be
obtained from the Office of Justice Programs homepage

After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354

Date Published: June 15, 1999