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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

July 1, 1999

Open Letter to All Colorado Federal Firearms Licensees — Correction Notice

Original Letter

On March 2, 1999, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) sent an open letter to all Colorado Federal firearms licensees advising you that the State of Colorado would no longer act as the point of contact for background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for firearms transactions. The Colorado Department of Public Safety recently notified ATF that the State of Colorado will again act as the point of contact for NICS checks for all firearms transactions.

Therefore, beginning August 1, 1999, in order to request a NICS check for any firearm transaction, you must contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation by dialing 1-800-486-2023. Licensees in the Denver area should dial 303-239-4681.

As a reminder, you must comply with the following steps, in addition to any State requirements, prior to transferring a firearm:

  1. Have the transferee complete and sign ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record.
  2. Verify the identity of the transferee through a Government-issued photo identification (for example, a driver’s license).
  3. Contact NICS through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. You will get a response from the system advising you whether to proceed with the sale or to delay or deny the transaction. If you get a “delayed” response, and there is no additional response from the system, you may transfer the firearm after three business days have elapsed. Of course, you must still comply with any waiting period requirements under State law.
  4. If you have initiated a NICS check for a proposed firearms transaction, but the transfer of the firearm is not completed, you must retain the Form 4473 in your records for a period of not less than 5 years. If the transfer is completed, the Form 4473 must be retained for at least 20 years.

If you have any questions, please contact your local ATF office or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Jimmy Wooten
Assistant Director
Firearms, Explosives and Arson