How Can I Check The Status Of My NICS Delay?

Handing out firearms to just about anyone can be extremely dangerous & that’s why the government has a process that every candidate interested in purchasing firearms must follow.

But if you haven’t received any update on your firearm purchase, then you must be eager to find out “How Can I Check The Status Of My NICS Delay?”

Make sure you read this guide till the end to find out the reasons for the delay or denial of your firearms purchase request, along with ways to solve the problem.

How Can I Check The Status Of My NICS Delay

How Can I Check The Status Of My NICS Delay?

As a customer, you do not have access to the NICS yourself, so there is no way for you to check the status of your NICS delay.

However, the gun shop owner can check the status for you, and most of them, in fact, check the pending/delay list several times a day and call customers when they get through.

Having said that, even the gun shop owner cannot tell you the reason for the delay because the FBI or the NICS never share the same.

So, if you have been denied the purchase of a gun, there is no way for you to know why that happened.

There is a list of actions that prohibit the purchase of a gun. You can scan through that in order to guess the reason for the denial of a gun purchase.

What To Do If I Have Been Denied a Firearm?

What To Do If I Have Been Denied a Firearm

If you feel like you have been wrongfully denied a firearm, then you can appeal a firearm-related challenge. But take note that you can appeal a firearm-related challenge only for a denied firearm and not a delayed one.

When requesting, this process will provide you with the following:

  • the reason why a firearm was denied to you, and,
  • an opportunity to challenge your denied background check

State Permits- Exception

Please note that the FBI does not give reasons for delay or denial and does not accept challenges on state-issue

I Have Been Denied Firearm Multiple Times – What Should I Do?

I Have Been Denied Firearm Multiple Times

A person may be denied or may face multiple delays in the purchase of a firearm because of a red flag in their background check, past misdemeanor charges, etc.

In such a case, they may apply for a Voluntary Appeal File (VAF). However, VAF is designed for those who think they are legally qualified to purchase a gun but are being denied or facing delays.

So when you apply for a VAF, an FBI personnel will study your profile and assign you a Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN), but only if you do not have firearms prohibitions.

For any future firearms purchase, you will provide your UPIN and undergo a background check. The UPIN will help in confirming your identity.

The only downside of this method is that the VAF process can take several months to complete.

How To Apply For VAF?

There are a number of ways in which you can apply for VAF; let’s have a look at them:

Apply Online

The simplest way to apply for VAF is online via edo. Once you apply, you will receive a PIN and an encrypted link to access your profile on your email ID. Once you get access, you must log in within every 90 days to remain active.


Alternatively, you can send a mail to:

FBI CJIS Division 
ATTN:  Criminal History Analysis Team 1 
BTC 3 
1000 Custer Hollow Road 
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306 

Paper Applications

Another way of applying for VAF is filling a paper application. You can obtain a VAF application from the following sources:

  • Voluntary Appeal File Application
  • Attorney Release Form
  • Standard Fingerprint Form
  • Types of Documents Based on Prohibitor

Wrap Up

Purchasing a gun or firearms involves a strict screening process, as this includes conduting background checks for a gun.

If you are facing a delay in the purchase of your gun, then it is obvious for you to wonder how long a background check takes for a gun.

After reading this guide, we hope you now have the answer to your burning question on “How can I check the status of my NICS delay?”


Why is NICS taking so long to approve my firearms purchase?

In certain cases, instead of an approval or a denial, the gun retailer receives a notification to delay the gun purchase transaction for three full business days. This is done because it gives the NICS some more time to screen the candidate who is trying to purchase the firearm.

What is the percentage of NICS delays that are false?

As per an audit released by the Department of Justice’s Office in 2016, it was found that in a sample of denied transactions, the NICS made the right decision 99.8% of the time.

For how long can the NICS delay be?

The federal law prohibits the sale of firearms for three business days after a delay. After three days, however, the gun retailer can take their own decision whether they want to sell the gun to the individual or not.

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