What does it mean when a licensee receives a “cancelled” response from the FBI to a NICS background check?

On occasion, the FBI may provide the FFL with a “cancelled” response. Transactions will be cancelled if the FBI discovers that the NICS check was not initiated in accordance with ATF or FBI regulations, e.g., a NICS check was initiated for a non–authorized purpose or by a non–authorized individual. A licensee cannot transfer a firearm when a “cancelled” response is provided by NICS.

Last Reviewed September 23, 2016