Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FBI to provide extended firearms back-ground check hours for "Black Friday."

Thinking of asking someone for a new firearm for Christmas? The federal government is here to help. It will offer firearms dealers extended hours on the up-coming "Black Friday" (November 28) in order to make the required background check. Here is the government's announcement, provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

FBI NICS has sent the alert below to FFLs regarding Black Friday hours for 2014:
With peak season upon us, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Service Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section is announcing extended hours of service on November 28, 2014 (“Black Friday”) for E-check Users and state Point-of-Contact (POC) programs.  Typically, the NICS is available daily from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  To better accommodate the long standing history of record-breaking volume on this day, the FBI will bring the NICS in-service starting at 4:30 a.m. EST for NICS E-check users and for state POC programs.  The NICS Contracted Call Centers will open, as normal, at 8 a.m. EST.

In case you haven’t enrolled to use the NICS E-Check, please consider taking this important step to register. The NICS E-Check allows you to conduct firearm background checks over the internet and provides many benefits you don’t receive from the NICS Contracted Call Centers. 
Please understand that we try to handle all incoming transactions as efficiently as possible; however, it is not always possible to avoid hold times on the telephone.  Even during times of unprecedented transaction volume, the NICS E-Check runs efficiently with an average wait time of less than two minutes once the transaction is initiated.
The NICS E-Check provides an improved user-friendly experience in navigating firearm checks.  The upgraded NICS E-Check is a valuable tool for the FFL throughout the year but especially during the peak gun purchasing season.  The biggest obstacle many FFLs identified with the old version of the NICS E-Check was that it was difficult to set up on additional computers.  Additionally, the old version of the NICS E-Check was not compatible with many browsers.  The NICS E-Check, deployed in the summer of 2013, allows you to access the system from any computer or any browser.  The FFL and/or manager receive administrative controls, which includes the ability to create and modify employee E-Check accounts.  The NICS E-Check does not require a digital certificate to be downloaded to your computer.  This makes it easier to use the NICS E-Check from any browser using a computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc.  You simply log in to the NICS E-Check using a user name and password, similar to how many of us manage online accounts today.
In addition, the NICS E-Check still offers the same traditional benefits of utilizing the on-line method, many of which are listed below: 
  • Ability to retrieve background checks 24/7 regardless of whether initiated on NICS
  • E-Check or at the NICS Contracted Call Center
  • Ability to print completed NICS background check search requests
  • The availability of messages regarding NICS operational status
  • Added customer protection against identity theft
  • Added safeguard against theft of license number and codeword
Instructions on how to register to use the NICS E-Check are listed below.
  • Visit the FBI NICS E-Check Web site at www.nicsezcheckfbi.gov
  • Click on the link that states “Register to use the FBI NICS E-Check”
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions
  • Complete the Account Request form
  • Click on the “Registration” block at the bottom of the page
  • An Account Request Confirmation page appears
  • Click “Show populated enrollment form” block at bottom of page
  • Print and sign the completed enrollment form
  • Fax form to 1-888-550-6427 or e-mail it to fbinicsteamcc@leo.gov
  • A user name will be e-mailed to the e-mail address you provided during registration
  • Additional instructions will be provided in the e-mail on how to obtain your password
***Submit only one registration and enrollment form--This employee will be the administrative user and will create accounts for other employees.  You may designate other employees as primary users (administrative users) and they will also be able to create and modify accounts.
Additionally, you may access the complete NICS E-Check User Guide by doing the following:
  • Go to www.nicsezcheckfbi.gov
  • Click on the link that states “Access the FBI NICS E-Check Help Pages”
  • Click on the link that states “User’s Guide (PDF)”
If you have questions regarding the NICS E-Check, please contact the NICS E-Check Customer Service at 1-877-FBI-NICS (324-6427), option 2, and then option 5.
All other questions may be directed to Kim Brown, Liaison Specialist at 304-625-7387, or via e-mail kimberly.brown@ic.fbi.gov or Jill Montgomery, Supervisory Liaison Specialist at 304-625-8252 or via e-mail jill.montgomery@ic.fbi.gov.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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