BATF Admissions Re: Instant Check


Brady “Instant” Check to Spell Trouble
— Possible three-day wait could cripple gun show sales

by Gun Owners of America

Brady Instant Registration Check could take three days; register gun owners

The BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) issued regulations in February that should concern every gun owner. The regulations involve the implementation of the so-called instant check, which is supposed to go on-line in November of this year. It turns out, however, that the instant check may not be so instant after all. The BATF regulations make it clear that the feds will have “up to three business days” to respond to each background check request.

Read that again: “three business days.” Following these guidelines, could the feds decide to take the weekends off? If so, that would seriously impact all gun dealer sales at weekend gun shows. Moreover, since weekends are not typically considered business days, the “three business days” can easily impose a five day waiting period for weekend gun sales – or a six day waiting period if there is a holiday on a Friday or Monday. Given the BATF’s own verbiage, and given the President’s track record regarding his abuse of firearms rights, gun owners should be very concerned about the implications that these regulations carry for gun dealer sales at weekend gun shows.

Gun Owners of America has strongly opposed the Instant Registration Check from its inception. Such a check requires a law-abiding citizen to prove his innocence to government officials before exercising a right. Furthermore, GOA has always argued that no matter how many prohibitions are written into the law, the possibility of gun owner registration is always present.

BATF wants your Social Security number

GOA’s concerns were recently validated when the BATF made it clear they want gun dealers to retrieve the Social Security numbers of gun buyers. Providing the feds with the Social Security number of gun owners enhances their ability to compile a national gun registry. (Gun owners should also note that the feds will be conducting background checks on ALL guns – shotguns and rifles included.)

It is imperative that your Representative and Senators understand that gun owners do not want their names to be phoned in and entered into a federal bureaucrat’s computer. We repeat: honest gun owners should not have to prove their innocence to the government before exercising a constitutional right – any more than a preacher or journalist should have to prove their worthiness before exercising their First Amendment rights.

GOA members should have already received the latest GOA newsletter and legislative alert in the mail. While the GOA newsletter (dated April 24, 1998) quotes pertinent passages from the BATF regs, one can also read them in their entirety by going to on the GOA website.


Urge your Representative (202-225-3121) to cosponsor Rep. Ron Paul’s H.R. 2721 – a bill which would, among other things, repeal the Brady “registration” law in its entirety. GOA has also posted on the Web a sample opposition letter to the BATF. Go to the above mentioned URL and use the sample letter to compose your own – or copy it word for word if you’re short on time. But make sure you sound-off to the BATF before May 20 when the comment period ends. (Grassroots heat can have a tremendous effect in getting regulatory agencies to back off their gun control proposals – as we’ve seen in recent years with the Forest Service, the EPA and the BLM. As for the BATF, go ahead and write them anonymously to protect your privacy.)

— Clip & Fax — (see for fax numbers or call your Rep. and ask)

Dear Representative,

The proposed new BATF regulations calling for the use of Social Security numbers as part of the information taken during the purchase of a firearm is a clear invasion of my right to privacy and another step toward national gun registration.

Even though Congress has passed laws to prevent a national gun registry, this agency continues to ignore public law, the Constitution and the express will of the Congress.

Moreover, the proposed BATF regulations will allow federal bureaucrats up to “three business days” to complete the background checks on gun buyers. This “three day” period could easily be used to cripple gun show sales, and could turn the supposed “instant” check into a three to six day waiting period.

The best way to prevent this from infringing upon my rights is by passing H.R. 2721, a bill to repeal the Brady registration law. I urge you to become a sponsor of this important pro-gun legislation.