Can I find out if I will pass NICS?


July 30, 2006, 03:12 AM
Hi. Is there a way to find out if I will pass NICS other than having an FFL run the background check? I don't want a record of failing the background check if I indeed happen to fail. I have never comitted any crimes, but a few years ago I went to a "behavioral clinic", which I think is considered as being the same as what NICS refers to as a mental institution.

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July 30, 2006, 03:20 AM
If you were involuntarily committed (i.e. by court order, or a legal guardian) to a mental institution, on the grounds of properly diagnosed mental illness, then you probably won't pass the NICS background check - if they have your records computerized. Not all states have done this, or made the records available to NICS.

I'd suggest that the easiest way to find out about your status is to approach your local law enforcement agency, explain your question, and ask them to do a NICS check for you. State Police are probably the best road to go, as they do more of this sort of thing - they're usually the agency that issues concealed carry permits, for example.

However, if your stay at the institution was voluntary, not ordered or coerced, and/or you were not diagnosed with any major mental illness of a lasting nature, then you might shoot yourself in the foot by asking about it! Some cop might think that you should be listed on NICS, even if you're not, and start making waves. I'd think carefully about this, and find out more about the NICS criteria, whether your stay in an institution fits those criteria, etc. If it does, then you know. If not, then you need to document the facts, so that if NICS gets it wrong (which isn't unknown) you can appeal their decision.

July 30, 2006, 03:36 AM
will allow background checks for a small fee afaik..where are you located?

July 30, 2006, 04:16 AM
I was adult age (18), but my dad got a judge to write an order for me to be taken to the clinic. The first thing I knew about it was when three local and state LEOs knocked on my door and told me that I was coming with them. They did not have a warrant or anything, but said it was an order from a judge. I was brought to the clinic in handcuffs by one of the officers, and within 24 hours a nurse brought me papers that would allow me to sign in voluntarily or refuse (and be involuntary), so I signed in voluntarily since I would be there either way. I was in and out with no diagnosis of mental problems after two weeks. The place stressed that it was confidential, but there is no telling if the judges orders were put on file somewhere.

Do you need to have a gun to potentially purchase in order to have an FFL run a NICS? If I have a NICS done by my local shooting range FFL, will there be a record (kept by the BATF or FBI or anyone) if I fail it?

Sage of Seattle
July 30, 2006, 05:17 AM

It's interesting that you'd post your question at this time, because I have contacted an attorney in Washington regarding myself and an amazingly similar problem.

I am trying to reclaim some firearms that were I believe erroneously confiscated and the cops are now saying there is some question whether or not my 72 hour involuntary hold FOR DIAGNOSTIC PURPOSES ONLY counted against me according to "the Brady Bill." As Preacherman said, you must be adjudicated mentally ill, or incompetent for it to be valid under federal law. In my case, I was evaluated and released with no judgement, no nothing. I think the cops believe that since the initial diagnostic term was involuntary, that that somehow makes me ineligible.

The step I will be taking is to obtain the records kept at the mental hospital to see precisely what they say. I might then call the FBI directly, and explain the situation. My attorney told me that a different case he handled was treated very professionally by the Feds, so I am heartened to hear about that. If you have a negative mark on the NCIC check, the FBI has the power to change that dispostion. I was not informed of any ideas that a failure to pass the NCIC check would be recorded. I was also informed, however, that many states don't pass that information along to the Feds, so even if you were legally barred from owning firearms, you could concieveably still buy one. The downside is that it could possibly cost me $1500 in legal fees to fully clear my name.

I will first approach the police officer in charge of my property and submit a paper explaining the situation, hopefully clarifying my status enough so that they can, under law, be satisfied that I do not fit under those federal statues, and can therefore regain possession of my pistols.

In my opinion, if you fail the NCIC check, the damage was already done. Just initiating the check in the first place shouldn't cause any extra harm. In fact, I believe I've read posts made on other threads wherein the poster has failed the check, but made an in-store appeal and it has come back clean.

Oh, and in Washington, mental health records are tightly sealed. The cop I spoke with couldn't gain access to my records without a warrant and I would have to sign a release to the attorney. He suggested then that I just request them myself.

July 30, 2006, 06:15 AM
that would help us to help you.

from your description I really doubt you have anything to worry about.

Like I said earlier, in some states a small fee will allow you to run a check...I guess I should have added that you don't need to buy or attempt to buy a firearm...

Good luck!

July 30, 2006, 07:44 AM
It would seem to me, if there is something in your "file" that would cause you to fail the screening, the fact that you failed the screening won't matter a bit.

I'd just go to a gun dealer, pay the fee, have them run a check and proceed from there. If it was rejected, I'd find out why, and what I had to do to correct it.

No sense worrying about the boogyman in the closet. Drag it out into the light where you can see it.

July 30, 2006, 07:45 PM
Find the gun you want and try to purchase it.
If you get denied then get the atty. and jump the hoops.

July 30, 2006, 09:45 PM
Trying to purchase a firearm as a prohibited person is a felony, not a good outcome if he does happen to be ineligible.


July 30, 2006, 09:49 PM
I think that CajunBass' suggestion is on target. Go to an FFL who has a gun you like. Pay him to run the background check up front--before any mention of a purchase. If you pass, buy the gun you want. If you fail, you haven't broken any laws.

July 31, 2006, 02:28 AM
Trying to purchase a firearm as a prohibited person is a felony, not a good outcome if he does happen to be ineligible.
And what, 3 people have been prosecuted since the Brady Bill became law? And if he wasn't involuntarily committed, he isn't a prohibited person, so he still has committed no crime.

I'd try to buy a gun, then lawyer up if you are denied

July 31, 2006, 03:28 AM
Just wondering,

If someone stole my idenity via my birth certificate *which was lost quite a while back*, could they persay do something somewhere and get convicted instantly destroying any future right I as a 7 year old at the time had for ever owning a firearm ?*hypothetically that is, all I know is it was stolen when I was young*

July 31, 2006, 07:54 PM
under Washington law, according to the circumstances you described, you are NOT disqualified from possessing firearms. Washington require INVOLUNTARY commitment for TREATMENT before the disqualifier kicks in. That's been a topic of discussion lately because of the Haq shooting in Seattle last Friday.

It's in RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)(ii): "After having been previously involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under RCW 71,05.320, 71.34.090 , chapter 10.77 RCW, or equivalent statutes of another jurisdiction, unless his or her right to possess a firearm has been restored as provided in RCW 9.41.047."

Contact me by e-mail to discuss further if you wish.

July 31, 2006, 10:45 PM
Maybe I can help... I've had a denial and successfully appealed it.

I also have a close friend who was also denied ~3 years ago. He never filed an appeal, never did anything. Then, just recently, he tried to purchase another firearm, and was approved after a 3 day wait. So, judging by this, just because you have previously had a denial, that doensn't mean they'll automatically deny you later on. Food for thought... they'll have a record regardless... whether you pass or fail. If it's a denial they'll know in Virginia, and the gun store will have your 4473 if you pass.

My suggestion is to go buy a Yugo SKS or something for like 120 bucks. It's a good rifle even if you don't get approved.

Most importantly... read the law. If the law says involuntarily, and you signed a form saying you volunteered for treatment, then you are fine. Read the law a few times, read the disqualifying criteria and get all the documentation you can possibly get... be it from your dad, your local pd, or the clinic. Every bit helps. The drones at NICS denied me for something very different, but I knew I was right, I already had all my court documentation attesting to that fact... and 5 months later, I was ok lol. They make a lot of mistakes.

Just get your paperwork in order first, if you can. My record was changed in the FBI system as a result of the paperwork that I had. They'll change it for you, but not unless you have documentation... there is a limit to how much work they'll actually do... you may have to get the agency that added it to the index to clear it up for you...

Don't worry about it. Try to get something cheap, that's my opinion. If what you said here is the truth, you're fine. Just get all the applicable paperwork you can NOW... it gets harder to find later on and who knows when some turd in congress is going to disqualify people who are committed voluntarily as well. Of course, running some kind of local check may be an option, but I'm not sure mental health treatment even shows up. I wouldn't worry so much about if I would fail or not... while you're worrying, most likely for naught, you can't enjoy this hobby. Something like 700,000 denials were issued in the first couple years of the NICS... I doubt they're banging down all those doors...

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