For what period of time is a NICS check valid?

A NICS check is valid for 30 calendar days for any transaction. The 30 calendar day period is counted beginning on the day after NICS was initially contacted. Where more than 30 calendar days have passed since the licensee first contacted NICS, the licensee must initiate a new NICS check prior to transferring the firearm. It is not necessary to complete a new ATF Form 4473, but the results of the new NICS background check must be recorded on the form.

Example1: A NICS check is initiated on May 15th. The licensee receives a “proceed” from NICS. The transferee does not return to pick up the firearm until June 22nd of the same year. The licensee must conduct another NICS check before transferring the firearm to the transferee.

Example 2: A NICS check is initiated on May 15th. The licensee receives a “delayed” response from NICS; no further response is received. The transferee does not return to pick up the firearm until June 16th of the same year. The licensee must conduct another NICS check before transferring the firearm to the transferee.

[27 CFR 478.102]

Last Reviewed September 17, 2015