FixNICS Makes a Difference

Every federally licensed firearms retailer is required to run a background check through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before transferring a firearm to an individual. Because of the vital role of a background check, since 2013, the firearms and ammunition industry through NSSF initiated a campaign to ensure states submit all disqualifying mental health records to the NICS system.

Data from the FBI shows that at the end of 2012, far too many states failed to submit disqualifying mental health records. At that time, 19 states had made fewer than 100 such records available, and 12 of those had made fewer than 10 records available. The industry’s FixNICS campaign addresses this by advocating for changes to state laws so agencies and courts will submit mental health records.

After FixNICS victories in 16 states, only 3 states have fewer than 100 prohibiting mental health records in the federal system. Since FixNICS' launch through the end of 2016, the number of disqualifying mental health records submitted to NICS increased by 170 percent, to nearly 4.5 million. Learn more at