NICS Is Down

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 12:23 PM
Subject: [NICSFFLUPDATES] NICS Status – Phone Issues

Good afternoon!

The FBI CJIS Division is experiencing some complications with its phone system which likewise impacts the NICS.  At this time, the NICS Section cannot receive or make telephone calls.  The issue is being addressed and as we know more, we will update you.  Please note however, that the NICS E-Check system is functional.  If you are not currently a E-Check user, please see the following information to assist you in enrolling.  One important note:  The NICS Section must receive your enrollment form in addition to registering on-line.  Please do not forget this important step as it could impede the swiftness with which the NICS Section activates your E-Check account.
Thank you!  Jill


The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section is currently in its peak season and expects increased transaction volumes in the upcoming weeks.  Chances are you have received some type of communication from the NICS Section in recent months promoting the NICS E-Check.  In case you haven’t enrolled to use the NICS E-Check yet, the intent of this e-mail is to afford you the opportunity to register
before we reach our highest volume months.  The NICS E-Check allows you to conduct firearm background checks over the internet and provides many benefits you don’t receive from the NICS Contracted Call Centers.  Two of
the benefits NICS  E-Check users will receive in the upcoming months follow:

. On Black Friday, November 29, 2013, NICS E-Check users will be able to run electronic background checks beginning at 4:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Contracted Call Centers will be available at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
. No hold times waiting for the NICS Contracted Call Centers or FBI NICS representative to answer the telephone.

Please understand that we try to handle all incoming transactions as efficiently as possible; however, as many of you found out during peak times last year, it is not always possible to avoid hold times on the telephone.
Even during those times of unprecedented transaction volume, the NICS E-Check was still running efficiently with an average wait time of less than two minutes once the transaction was initiated.

The NICS E-Check was upgraded on July 16, 2013 and now provides an improved user-friendly experience in navigating firearm checks.  The upgraded NICS E-Check is a valuable tool for the FFL throughout the year but especially during the peak gun purchasing season.  The biggest obstacle many FFLs identified with the old version of the NICS E-Check was that it was difficult to set up on additional computers.  Additionally, the old version
of the NICS E-Check was not compatible with many browsers.  The NICS E-Check 2.0 allows you to access the system from any computer or any browser.  The FFL and/or manager receive administrative controls, which includes the ability to create and modify employee E-Check accounts.  The NICS E-Check 2.0 does not require a digital certificate to be downloaded to your computer.  This makes it easier to use the NICS E-Check from any browser using a computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc.  You simply log in to the NICS E-Check using a user name and password.

In addition to being more efficient and easier to maneuver than the old version, the NICS E-Check 2.0 still offers the same traditional benefits, many of which are listed below:

. Ability to retrieve background checks 24/7 regardless of whether initiated on NICS E-Check or at the NICS Contracted Call Center
. Ability to print completed NICS background check search requests
. The availability of messages regarding NICS operational status
. Added customer protection against identity theft
. Added safeguard against theft of license number and codeword

Instructions on how to register to use the NICS E-Check 2.0 are listed below.

. Visit the FBI NICS E-Check Web site at
. Click on the link that states “Register to use the FBI NICS E-Check”
. Agree to the Terms and Conditions
. Complete the Account Request form
. Click on the “Registration” block at the bottom of the page
. An Account Request Confirmation page appears
. Click “Show populated enrollment form” block at bottom of page
. Print and sign the completed enrollment form
. Fax form to 1-888-550-6427 or e-mail it to
. A user name will be e-mailed to the e-mail address you provided during registration
. Additional instructions will be provided in the e-mail on how to obtain your password

***Submit only one registration and enrollment form-This employee will be the administrative user and will create accounts for other employees.  You may designate other employees as primary users (administrative users) and they will also be able to create and modify accounts.

Additionally, you may access the complete NICS E-Check User Guide by doing the following:

. Go to
. Click on the link that states “Access the FBI NICS E-Check Help Pages”
. Click on the link that states “User’s Guide (PDF)”

If you have questions regarding the new and improved NICS E-Check 2.0, please contact the NICS E-Check Customer Service at 1-877-FBI-NICS
(324-6427), option 2, then option 5.

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9 years ago

Sounds to me like they want everyone to switch to the E system. Much easier to illegally create and gun registry that way.

The proof will be how long the phone system is down.

Damn, I got a FFL transfer to pick up when it arrives on Monday. Hope it is up by then.