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The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics

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Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and Firearms Background Checks: Implementation Issues for State Criminal History Repositories and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

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The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) was passed by Congress in May 2022 and signed into law on June 25, 2022.  Several of the provisions of the Act are targeted at enhancing firearm background screenings and making additional funds available to tribal, state, and local agencies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to support the sale and transfer of firearms by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL).  

SEARCH has developed an informational paper to explore changes to the background check requirements resulting from the BSCA, including:

  • Enhanced background checks for firearms purchasers under 21 years of age; and  
  • Inspecting records to determine if prospective gun purchasers have a disqualifying conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV), including the BSCA provision that expands the definition of domestic violence to include dating relationships.

We encourage you to review this overview, which provides detailed information on the roles of both law enforcement agencies and criminal history record repositories in implementing these BSCA provisions.

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