Birthplace Now Required for Background Check

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Beginning June 29, 2009, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) section is requiring that place of birth be provided for all FBI-initiated transactions.

There are claims that this addition to the NICS will be valuable for the following reasons:

  • Place of birth is a mandatory field on the ATF Form 4473 and is therefore readily available for inclusion in the NICS check. There are no additional information disclosures for the potential purchaser or data collection requirements for FFLs.
  • Being a name-based search, having additional data points such as the place of birth helps to increase the accuracy and efficiency of firearm eligibility determinations. Place of birth is either a mandatory or optional field for entry of records into all three of the databases that the NICS searches against: the Interstate Identification Index (III), the National Crime Information Center, and the NICS Index.

This new requirement, to provide place of birth when initiating a NICS background check, will have minimal impact to the FFL and should reduce cases where the approval cannot be determined.

If you have additional questions regarding the newly required place of birth information when initiating a NICS check, please fell free to contact NICS Customer Service at (877) 444-6427.

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