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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

December 12, 2000

Open Letter to All Oregon Federal Firearms Licensees — Notice of Amendment

Original Letter

On November 10, 1998, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) sent an open letter to all Oregon Federal Firearms licensees advising you of your responsibilities under the permanent provisions of the Brady law. The permanent provisions of the Brady law provide for the establishment of a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that licensees must contact before transferring a firearm to unlicensed individuals. In this letter, ATF advised you that the State of Oregon would act as the point of contact for NICS checks for handgun transactions and the Federal Bureau of Investigation would conduct NICS background checks for all long gun transactions.

The provision of Oregon State law regarding all firearms background checks was recently amended. Effective December 8, 2000, the Oregon State Police will act as the point of contact for all firearms background checks (handguns and long guns). To request a NICS check for any firearm transaction you now must contact the Oregon State Police at 1-800-432-5059.

As a reminder, you must comply with the following steps prior to transferring a firearm to anyone who is not a licensee:

  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 Oregon State Police. 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 lapsed. Of course, you must still comply with any waiting periods 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. Questions regarding operational issues for all firearm transactions should be directed to the Oregon State Police at (503) 378-3070.

Signature of John P. Malone

John P. Malone
Assistant Director
Firearms, Explosives and Arson