Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI 2003-2004 Operations Report Outlines Successes and Improvements of Its National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Washington, D.C. -- Today the FBI released its 2003-2004 Operations Report highlighting significant improvements and achievements of its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), run out of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) in Clarksburg, West Virginia.  The NICS background check system was established in November 1998 to ensure that those seeking to buy guns from gun dealers or explosives are not criminals or other persons prohibited by law from possessing firearms to consistently provide its users with a highly effective and efficient level of quality service. 

            FBI Director Robert S. Mueller stressed his commitmentto NICS "in the spirit of protecting national security and public safety by reviewing and analyzing available records in accordance with the provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993."  He added how, "Each year NICS raises the bar and improves its capabilities and success as illustrated by over 480,950 dispositions NICS obtained for updating criminal history records as of December 31, 2004."

The report notes accomplishments in several areas, including the following:

  • From NICS inception in November 30, 1998, through December 31, 2004, a total of 53,107,772 background checks have been conducted. 
  • In 2003 and 2004, the NICS Index added 788,654 record entries, increasing the number of available and immediately prohibiting records by approximately 300 percent.  As of December 31, 2004, there were a total of 3,664,847 records in the NICS Index.
  • The Immediate Determination Rate was improved from the 91 percent previously reported in 2001-2002 to almost 92 percent by year end of 2003 and remained at that level through the end of 2004.                  
  • The Explosives Background Check Initiative, pursuant to the Safe Explosives Ac, enacted on November 25, 2002, was developed and implemented with the processing of the first explosives background check in February 2003.  As of December 31, 2004, a total of 65,593 explosives background checks had been processed by NICS.
  • In November 2003, NICS developed the procedural and technical requirements for the facilitation of the NICS Section's processing of background check transactions that result in a hit on a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File (VGTOF) record.  The initiative was successfully implemented on February 3, 2004, and by December 31, 2004, a total of 3,086 NCIC VGTOF hits had been reviewed and evaluated by the NICS Section and the POC states.
  • To parallel the processes employed by the NICS Section's Transfer Process via the telephone, the NICS E-Check Transfer Process was developed and ultimately implemented on September 21, 2004.  The NICS E-Check Transfer Process will provide the NICS Section employees with the capability to conduct a speedy review of incoming NICS E-Check transactions in an attempt to determine a final status in an expeditious manner.  Within a few months, the number of transactions processed through the NICS E-Check (via the Transfer Process) had increased by 6 percent.
  • In September 2004, the NICS processed its 50 millionth background check since implementation in November 1998.

          The report URL is:  http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics/ops_report2003-005/ops_report2003-2004.pdf

#####



| Press Releases | FBI Home Page |