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BATFE Issues Open Letter to Nevada FFLs Announcing NICS Exemption

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In a letter dated August 26, 2011, Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director of the Enforcement Programs and Services Division of the BATFE, announced that concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit holders will be exempt from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provided the permit was issued after July 1, 2011.  According to this letter:

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.

As reported in previous alerts, it was a private citizen’s correspondence in June of 2011 that prompted the BATFE to examine the most recent amendments to Nevada's CCW statutes.  However, the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association (NSCA) claimed that it was the only authorized entity to formally communicate with the BATFE regarding the reinstatement of the exemption.  This recent action taken by the federal agency proves that claim to be incorrect. 

At a July meeting of the NSCA, a motion to send a formal letter to the BATFE requesting the exemption was tabled after both Washoe and Clark County Sheriffs asked to further consider the effects of AB 282 and postpone a vote until their next meeting on September 17.  Once it became clear that the NSCA was dragging its feet in support of the exemption, it drew an overwhelming response from NRA members who were outraged with the NSCA’s stalling. 

For a full copy of the Open Letter, please click here.

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