Firearms: Background Checks

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Dangerous people acquiring firearms is a serious problem that demands a federal response. State and local governments cannot go it alone, as ineligible firearm purchasers are able to circumvent the strong laws of some cities and states by obtaining guns in other states or jurisdictions with weaker gun laws where they can avoid a background check. Interstate trafficking is a critical problem, and requiring a background check for every gun sale reduces the flow of guns to criminals. This page will serve as a clearinghouse of resources to help guide law enforcement as they are confronted with difficult questions related to firearm background checks. 


Firearms: Background Checks Messaging Sheet




International Association of Chiefs of Police Firearms Position Paper (2018)
The IACP has long advocated for the adoption of common sense policies that will assist in reducing gun violence. These proposals were drawn from the association resolutions and policy positions adopted by the IACP membership.

Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities: A Leadership Guide for Law Enforcement on Effective Strategies and Programs(2011)
This guide provides information about notable programs and policing strategies that can be implemented by law enforcement agencies, regardless of size, in order to enhance the critical and life-saving mission of reducing gun violence. By highlighting innovative approaches developed by law enforcement departments and communities across the country, local leaders are encouraged to expand upon their current efforts in order to create a comprehensive program to enhance community and officer safety.

Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities (2007)
This report focuses on recommendations on three main areas: keeping communities safe by improving public understanding about the risks of gun violence; preventing and solving gun crime by stopping the flow of illegal guns; and keeping police officers safe by improving training and support for officers in handling guns.


Support for Regulating Sales of Firearms at Gun Shows (2007)

Support for Firearms Offender Registries (2007)

Unlawful Possession of Firearms (1998)

Support for Federal Bureau of Investigation Checks on Applicants for State Private Security Officer Licensing (1997)

Brady Extension Act (1997)

Requirements for Concealed carry Weapons Permits

Prosecution of Brady Act Violations


IACP Supports the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2016, S. 2544

IACP Opposes Federal Pre-Emption of Individual States Carrying of Concealed Weapons Laws (S. 498/H.R. 402)


The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence 
The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (the Partnership) is an alliance of the nation’s law enforcement leadership organizations concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States. The Partnership works to address the pervasive nature of gun violence and its impact on community and officer safety.


Stemming the Unacceptable Level of Gun Violence