AZ Gun Sales Could End August 22
By Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
Unless the state's gun dealers can "enroll" with the FBI
by August 22,
retail gun sales will screech to a halt six weeks from now. On
date DPS closes its office for conducting Brady-law background
gun buyers. Retail sales by dealers cannot legally be made
The state legislature closed the office by repealing A.R.S. 13-3114,
law that created the Firearms Clearance Center. They characterized
actions as a budget-cutting move, though all employees will be
in other positions, and the air-conditioned office space inside DPS
is not going anywhere.
The center was created to comply with the Brady Handgun law, and was
originally called the Handgun Clearance Center. When the Brady
law took control over long guns five years later, the name was
and DPS began checking out every retail sale in the state. The
staff would check local records and then the FBI's central "NICS"
registry, to get the required transaction number for each sale.
Now, instead of calling the small DPS office to obtain background
approvals for gun sales, dealers will make toll-free calls to
NICS customer service representatives, huge telephone banks in
Pennsylvania and West Virginia, under contract to the FBI.
open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST, and closed for
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The call centers already handle 60,000 federally licensed firearms
dealers (FFLs), from the states that do not provide the FBI with a
"Point of Contact" office such as AZ DPS had provided.
At last count,
only 18 states provided a buffer between its dealers and the FBI in
The FBI prefers the POC approach, which transfers some of the burden
implementing the law to local authorities, increases the records
available to search, and insulates the Bureau's sensitive data from
of thousands of gun dealers. The POC plan has received
reception from the states, with most, and now Arizona, bowing out.
Arizona at last count had 1,289 FFLs, down from more than 6,000,
regulatory changes during the Clinton administration forced 75% of
dealers out of business nationwide. The authorities have never
suggested that the Brady law was only made possible by drastically
shrinking the number of dealers, thereby reducing the cost to a
manageable $300 million plus expenses.
A spokeswoman for the separate FBI NICS Operations Center, which
has 500 employees, says the FBI is preparing to send enrollment
to the state's dealers "shortly," and that the simple
process should be easily completed before the deadline, when DPS
not conduct checks and dealers would be effectively shut down.
dealers' numbers are on file with BATF, and those lists will be used
coordinate the activity. Dealers will pick their own access
6 to 10 digits alphanumeric, no obscenities please.
Coming soon, the call operators will be able to forward all customer
"delay" responses to FBI agents for clearing up on the
spot if possible,
a service not currently available. Delays that are unresolved
business days may proceed. All "deny" responses are
sent to BATF and
local authorities for followup at those agencies' discretion.
To reach the NICS Operation Center call 1-877-444-6427.
To reach the AZ Firearms Clearance Center while it still exists call
At the DPS Concealed Weapons Unit, 602-256-6280, background checks
permit applicants already run directly through the FBI and are
unaffected by these changes.
Tucson activist Ken Rineer, in his informative report, sums up the
Arizona Legislature Abolishes the Firearms Clearance Center
When HB 2708 was passed and Governor Hull let it go in to effect
signing it on June 4th, 2002, the Firearms Clearance Center became a
thing of the past. The legislature repealed A.R.S. 13-3114 in
entirety and directed the Department of Public Safety to notify the
Federal Bureau of Investigation that the State of Arizona would no
longer conduct background checks on the purchasers of firearms from
federally licensed firearms dealers. According to DPS, the
Clearance Center will no longer accept calls on August 22, 2002.
is not a good thing. <snip>
To get on Ken's FACT-Alert list and get the rest of his important
report, send him a note at rineer@QuixNet.net,
and just tell him you
know me (which I'll deny).
Don't feel bad if all this is news to you.
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Please show this to your favorite gun dealer.
They have gotten little or no news of this yet.
"We publish the gun laws."
4718 E. Cactus #440
Phoenix, AZ 85032