[Update]: Background Check Exemption Status for CCW Holders Granted by ATF

Update: Shortly after this story posted, the ATF published an open letter to Nevada gun owners granting the exemption in question.

Thanks to a letter written by a concerned citizen, Nevada owners of a concealed weapons (CCW) permit may soon be able to purchase more firearms without further background checks and the associated $25 fee.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, also commonly referred to as ATF) is reviewing legislation passed this last session to determine if Nevada again qualifies for an exemption from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. If the legislation meets BATFE requirements, the federal agency will issue an open letter to Nevada federal firearms licensees, or dealers, informing them a CCW permit will now suffice for firearm purchases.

For Nevada gun owners, that means they will forego additional background checks and the associated $25 fee charged by the state, as long as they can produce a valid CCW permit when purchasing a firearm.

A BATFE spokeswoman confirmed that the agency is reviewing the Nevada law, but could not say if or when the exemption would be granted.

“All we’re trying to do is talk to the ATF and make sure they have everything they need,” said Frank Adams, executive director of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association (NSCA) in Mesquite. “We’re expecting an answer shortly. I don’t have a crystal ball.”

The NSCA initially said it would contact BATFE via a formal letter, but at its July meeting the group opted to delay action until its September meeting at the request of the sheriffs of Clark and Washoe counties, said Adams.

“They wanted to study the impact because they anticipate a huge influx of new applications,” he said.

Adams said both counties have suffered tremendous budget cuts.
“We may have to go back to the counties and ask for more money,” he said, to cover the costs of new permit applications. “The fees we collect don’t cover the whole cost. They have to be fiscally concerned. It’s a privileged license being supplemented by taxpayer dollars.”

In the meantime, a private citizen associated with the Stillwater Firearms Association, a Fallon-based advocacy group, sent a letter to the ATF, which contacted him to say it was reviewing the new law passed by the state, according to J.L. Rhodes, legislative action committee chairman for the association.

“They called to say thank you,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes said he called the Nevada Department of Public Safety to see what the holdup was on contacting the ATF to trigger a review and was told that the ATF was already taking action based on the private citizen’s letter.

“It was left up to an individual to send the letter,” said Carrie Herbertson, state liaison for the National Rifle Association, who said the NSCA dragged its feet on the matter. “That’s one powerful letter.”

Nevada lost its exemption from the NICS checks in 2008 when it failed to pass legislation that would have brought the state into compliance. An earlier audit by the BATFE showed that not all of the state’s sheriff offices were conducting proper background checks and that state law did not require the checks on permit renewals.

In 2005, the state’s 17 sheriffs’ offices signed a Memorandum of Understanding saying they would comply with BATFE requirements until legislation could be enacted in the 2007 legislative session, allowing the state to hang onto its exemption until then.

The Nevada legislature, though, failed to pass the needed legislation in 2007 so, in 2008, the BATFE said the state no longer qualified for the exemption.

Since then, CCW permit holders have had to go through a background check for each firearm purchase and, because Nevada acted as a point of contact (POC) and used the state’s criminal records database, had to pay a $25 fee. Background checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for states that opt not to be POCs are free.

No action was taken during the 2009 legislative, but this past session Assembly Bill 282 passed. The bill includes the language making the process for initial applications and renewals the same and is expected to satisfy the BATFE’s rules for exemption from the NICS checks. The only thing left is for the BATFE to review the bill, give its stamp of approval and inform dealers that they can now accept CCW permits as an alternative to NICS checks.

But the granting of the NICS exemption may not be the end of the issue. According to the NRA’s Herbertson, at least one Nevada state legislator is looking into why the state charges a $25 fee for the check it will be required to do on initial applications and 5-year renewals even with the exemption.

“The $25 fee is absurd,” said Herbertson, who says that many other so-called POC states charge less. She said she believed the charges for the NICS checks were $2 in Virginia, $7.50 in Utah and $10.50 in Oregon, for example.

Nevada is one of 21 states that act as a POC, according to the BATFE web site. In the rest of the states, dealers go through the FBI for free checks. Herbertson said several states are now trying to back out of their POC status, but this year only Delaware was successful in dropping it.

  • Ronaldhadsall

    Adams calls a CCW a  ”privileged license.”  To carry a firearm isn’t a privilege, it’s a  right guaranteed by the Constitution.  Rights cannot and must not be taxed. Also, the Constitution forbids  the infringement of  the right to bear arms and does not require permission from any form of government to do so. So let’s get rid of the requirement to have  a CCW  to exercise a Constitutionally guaranteed right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rusty-Shackleford/100002566711766 Rusty Shackleford

    The BATFE is just too damned stupid to quit pissing American voters off at this point. At a time when they should be backing off to try to repair some of this Gunrunner scandal damage, they instead keep poking us with a stick.
    At this point we need to defund the BATFE entirely. Shut them down, fire everyone in the agency as they have become public enemy Number One.

  • Brendan

    Somehow Utah manages to maintain an exemption with a $60 permit fee and even without it, the fee isn’t $25.

    NV has one of more expensive permits and the most expensive NICS check fee around.  Where’s the money going?

  • GrillSgt

    Michelle’s shopping sprees all over the globe!

  • Gat

    Adams is nothing more than a money grabbing idiot in a non-elected position. The Sheriffs who opposed this should be rewarded for their greed come election time. It’s a right, not a privilege.

  • Varminter22

    Actually, this NICS exemption issue is really NOT about BATFE stonewalling. 
    It  IS about the Nevada Sheriffs & Chiefs Ass’n, a Nevada non-profit corporation, thinking it must have a unanimous vote in order to notify BATFE that our law has been changed to meet BATFE requirements. 
    We have every reason to believe that is not true. 
    We expect BATFE reinstatement of the exemption VERY soon. 

  • Varminter22

    As I recall, Utah’s CCW application fee is much less than $60.  Perhaps $35, but don’t quote me on that. 

    And, as I recall, Utah’s NICS fee is only about $10.  Again, don’t quote me, but look it up! 

    In 2007, Utah’s official research indicated it cost them about $32 to process a CCW application. 

    In Nevada, the app fee is $60.  (Plus $40.25 for fingerprints.)  But the NSCA Executive Director perpetually lobbies for higher fiees. 

  • Varminter22

    As I recall, Utah’s CCW application fee is much less than $60.  Perhaps $35, but don’t quote me on that. 

    And, as I recall, Utah’s NICS fee is only about $10.  Again, don’t quote me, but look it up! 

    In 2007, Utah’s official research indicated it cost them about $32 to process a CCW application. 

    In Nevada, the app fee is $60.  (Plus $40.25 for fingerprints.)  But the NSCA Executive Director perpetually lobbies for higher fiees. 

  • Varminter22

    Many thanks,  Anne, for a great article.

  • Varminter22

    Many thanks,  Anne, for a great article.

  • Dhyogi

    So would this include retired LEOs who qualify to carry weapons under LEOSA?

  • Bloo0969

    I have a Curios and Relics FFL, and a CCW and I have to pay the State of Nevada $25 so I can buy a gun.  This has nothing to do with public safety, it is money grubbing at its worst.  I calculated that 75,000 guns were bought in Nevada in one year.  Multiply that by 25 bucks.  

  • Bloo0969

    Don’t you like how unelected bureaucrats are making the rules?  Where is Harry Reid?  Where is Dean Heller?  

  • Rac3546

    SOSDD, any way government can slow down things and continue to collect money while frustrating legal citizens they will do it.  Thank God at least one citizen was paying attention and did something about it.

  • Anonymous

    As a hostage in Kalifornia, it’s nice to know how things are done in a free state!

  • Berg501

    the way it stands now is that the only CCW permit holders that will benefit from this decision are those issued a license after July 1, 2011.  Otherwise you’ll have to wait until you come up for renewal.  They are deciding if we’ll be allowed to renew early in order to qualify.

  • Berg501

     Here’s a direct quote from the ATFB letter. Maybe i’m reading it wrong, but it looks like the new ruling won’t be retroactive.

    “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    (ATF) has reviewed Nevada’s Concealed Firearm Permit and has determined that
    the concealed firearm permit qualifies as an alternative to the background
    check required by the Brady law. Please be advised that only permits issued
    on or after July 1, 2011 qualify as alternatives to the background check.
    If an unlicensed person presents a permit issued prior to July 1, 2011, the FFL
    must conduct a background check prior to transferring the firearm.


    The statutory framework for the NICS
    exemption was included in Assembly Bill 282
    and enacted by Governor Sandoval effective July 1, 2011. However, individuals
    who hold permits issued before July 1, 2011, must go through the renewal
    process before enjoying the exemption.  It will be up to each issuing
    authority to determine if early renewals will be accepted and the NRA will be
    encouraging Nevada sheriffs to make those allowances.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K2N5BGZZRAEPDEO5RHA3NQVMHU gss357

     ”The Code of The West” Still exist in some of the counties in Nevada.  And that is the way it should be.  To much Fed and State intervention! The Bad guys get all the weapons they need and we, the citizens of this country without a felony have the  right to carry a weapon, which our founders of this country made it a Constitutional guarantee. CCW  requirements is money making operation period and UN-AMERICAN.  The Constitution Is My Permit to keep myself armed and ready to defend my life, my families life and America safe when called upon! I am an old man, but if an enemy comes shooting, I am going to have a weapon to shoot back…PERIOD!

  • Mrslottech

    Out of state permit cost me $65.25 for the first time app. Issued 12-2008. Renewal after 5 years will be $10.00

  • Mrslottech

    Yep $25.00 now a $35.00 paperwork fee charged by the FFL holder. So now to buy a gun at any gun show it will cost you $60.00 to be processed. What a ripoff. I will have to see if I can get an early renewal on my CCW to bypass this crap.

  • http://www.background-check.us.com/ Employee Background Check

     Read this article when you know you are going to be on the job market, take the mandatory steps to reduce the chances that you and/or the potential employer will be “surprised” by information found in the background check process….

  • Dvahey61

    Harry Reid?