State Retention of Gun Records

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Alabama

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alabama law requires all handgun dealers to create a record in triplicate for every handgun sold. The record must include the date of sale, serial number or other identification marks, manufacturer’s name, caliber and type of firearm, the name, address, “color”, occupation, and place of birth of the purchaser, the signature of both the seller and the purchaser, and a statement signed by the purchaser that he or she has never been convicted in this state or elsewhere of a crime of violence. The dealer must send one copy within six hours by registered or certified mail to the local chief of police of the municipality or the sheriff of the county; the dealer must within seven days send the duplicate to the Secretary of State and retain the triplicate for six years.1 The dealer must maintain certain elements of the record, including the name and address of the purchaser and the date of sale, serial number or other identification marks, manufacturer’s name, caliber and type of the firearm, permanently. The record must always be open for inspection by any peace officer of the State of Alabama or any municipality thereof. The failure to keep such record subjects the person to having his or her handgun dealer license revoked.2

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-79. []
  2. Ala. Code § 40-12-143. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Alaska

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

In Alaska, any person engaged in the business of buying and selling secondhand articles must maintain a book, in permanent form, in which the person must enter in legible English at the time of each purchase or sale:

(1) the date of the transaction;

(2) the name of the person conducting the transaction;

(3) the name, age, and address of the customer;

(4) a description of the property bought, which includes, for any firearm bought, the name of the maker, the serial, model, or other number, and all letters and marks inscribed;

(5) the price paid;

(6) the signature of the customer.1

Alaska has no other law requiring the retention of sales or background check records, or requiring the reporting of sales of firearms to a state or local agency.

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Alaska Stat. § 08.76.010. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Arizona

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Arizona has no laws requiring the retention of sales or background check records by firearm sellers. Pawnbrokers are required to maintain at their place of business records of all reportable transactions and pawn tickets for at least two years.1 On proper request by a local law enforcement agent, the pawnbroker must allow the agent to inspect the receipts, pawn tickets or required firearms logs or review any article received by pledge, purchase or trade.2

An Arizona law enacted in 2010 prohibits a political subdivision from requiring or maintaining a record in any form, whether permanent or temporary, including a list, log or database, of any identifying information of a person who purchases, sells or transfers a firearm, unless the transaction involves a federally licensed firearms dealer, or the record is required or maintained in the course of a law enforcement investigation.3

No political subdivision of Arizona may “require the licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition components. . . .”4 Similarly, another provision states that the prohibition against transferring firearms to minors shall not be construed to require firearm sales reporting, nor shall registration of firearms or firearm sales be required.5

See our Retention of Sales & Background Check Records Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 44-1624(G). []
  2. Id. Furthermore, pawnbrokers must produce their register, exhibit all articles received in pledge or purchase, or produce the account of sales to a local law enforcement agency on the agency’s request, or on service of a search warrant or order issued by a judge or magistrate. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 44-1624(H). []
  3. 2010 Ariz. ALS 327 (enacting Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3108(C)(2. []
  4. Ariz. Rev. Stat § 13-3108(B). []
  5. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3109. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Arkansas

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Arkansas has no laws requiring the retention of sales or background check records by firearm sellers generally, or requiring the reporting of sales of firearms to a state or local agency.

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in California

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Record-keeping and reporting by dealers: California law requires most firearm transfers to be processed through a licensed firearms dealer. See the Private Sales in California section for further information about this requirement. Firearms dealers are required to report all Dealer Record of Sale (“DROS”) transactions to the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) electronically.1 Subject to limited exceptions, licensed dealers are required to keep a record of electronic transfer of information to DOJ for each sale of a firearm, containing detailed information on the purchaser and the firearm being sold.2 Firearms dealers must include in the record of electronic transfer the date a firearm is delivered to the transferee.3 The dealer must require the purchaser to sign his or her name on the record.4 Dealers are also required to obtain the right thumbprint of a purchaser or transferee before completing any transaction.5

Dealers are also required to maintain a firearms transaction record.6 This record must be made available to law enforcement during business hours.

Certain firearm transfers are exempt from the requirement that they be processed by a licensed firearms dealer. As a result, transferees receiving a firearm through some of these exceptions are required to report the receipt of the firearm to DOJ directly.7

Registry of firearm transactions: Current California law requires the Attorney General to maintain a permanent registry of all information pertaining to the sale or transfer of handguns reported to DOJ.8 A law California enacted in 2011 extends this requirement to all firearms, effective January 1, 2014. DOJ may furnish information contained in the DOJ registry, generated by the DROS forms to, inter alia, prosecutors, district attorneys, city attorneys prosecuting civil actions, and law enforcement for use in the arrest and prosecution of criminals and in the recovery of lost, stolen, or found property.9

Prohibition on long gun registries: A law that will expire on January 1, 2014 prohibits the Attorney General (and by extension DOJ) from maintaining certain registries for long guns. The Attorney General must not retain or compile any information regarding sales or transfers of firearms that are not handguns.10 For firearms that are not handguns, all copies of forms received by DOJ in electronic form prior to January 1, 2014 must be destroyed within five days of clearance by the Attorney General, unless the purchaser or transferor is ineligible to take possession of the firearm.11

Under the law that will expire on January 1, 2014, a peace officer, the Attorney General, a DOJ employee designated by the Attorney General, or any authorized local law enforcement employee must not retain or compile any information from a firearms transaction record for a firearms other than a handgun, unless the retention or compilation is necessary for use in a criminal prosecution or proceeding to revoke a retail firearms dealer license.12

  1. Cal. Penal Code § 28205. []
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 28100. See § 28160 for handguns and for all firearms subsequent to January 1, 2014. See § 28165 for long guns until January 1, 2014. []
  3. Cal. Penal Code §§ 28160, 28165. []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 28215. []
  5. Cal. Penal Code §§ 28160, 28165. []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 26900(a). []
  7. See Cal. Penal Code §§ 27850-27966. []
  8. Cal. Penal Code § 11106(c)(1). []
  9. Cal. Penal Code §§ 11105(b), (c), 11106(a), (c)(3). []
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 11106(b)(1) (expires January 1, 2014). []
  11. Id. []
  12. Cal. Penal Code § 11106(b)(2) (expires January 1, 2014). []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Colorado

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Updated July 1, 2013

In Colorado, any person or entity engaged in the retail sale of firearms is required to record each handgun transfer, including the purchaser’s or transferee’s name, age, occupation and address; the make, caliber, finish, and serial number of the handgun; and the date and the name of the transferring employee. These records must be available for inspection by law enforcement “at all times.”1 The time period for retention of these records is unspecified.

This requirement applies to all private transfers of firearms in addition to commercial sales. A copy of the records must be provided to both the private party making the firearm transfer and the party receiving the firearm.2

An administrative regulation of the Colorado Bureau of Identification (CBI) provides that any information pertaining to an approved individual that is collected or created pursuant to a background check for a firearm transfer must be destroyed within 24 hours of the issuance of the approval. CBI must maintain the transaction number, the date and time of its issuance, and the firearms dealer to whom it was relayed.3

See our Retention of Firearm Sales & Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26-102. []
  2. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-112(2)(b), (c).  See the Private Sales in Colorado section for further information. []
  3. 8 Colo. Code Regs. § 1507-20. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Connecticut

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

(Last updated July 12, 2013.)

Connecticut requires vendors of pistols and revolvers to maintain records of sales for these guns.1 Required information for such records includes the date of the sale or other disposition of a firearm, the date of receipt of the firearm (if different from the date of transfer), the name and address of the transferor, the name of the manufacturer and importer (if any), the model, serial number, type, and the caliber or gauge of the firearm, and the name and address of a person purchasing or receiving the firearm.2.

A separate recordkeeping provision requires any person, firm or corporation selling a pistol or revolver to give a receipt to the purchaser of the handgun containing the name and address of the purchaser, the date of sale, the caliber, make, model and manufacturer’s number of the handgun, a general description of the handgun, the identification number of the purchaser’s permit to carry a handgun, permit to sell a handgun at retail, or eligibility certificate for a handgun, the authorization number for the transfer issued by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), and the purchaser’s signature.3 The seller must provide a copy of the receipt, within 48 hours of the sale, to the Commissioner of DESPP and local law enforcement. The seller must retain a copy of this receipt for a minimum period of five years.4

For transfers of long guns (rifles and shotguns) at retail, the purchaser must sign in triplicate a receipt for the gun containing his or her name and address, date of birth, place of birth, the date of sale, the caliber, make, model and manufacturer’s number of the long gun, and a general description of the gun.5 The vendor must transfer one copy of the receipt to the Commissioner of DESPP and another receipt to the local law enforcement authority within 24 hours of delivery of the gun to the purchaser. The vendor must retain the final receipt with the original purchase application for at least five years.6

Finally, any person, firm or corporation who seeks to sell a long gun at retail or a handgun (whether a licensed dealer or private seller) must have the transferee complete a written application and retain the application for at least 20 years or until he or she goes out of business, and must make the application available for inspection during normal business hours by law enforcement.7

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-31. []
  2. 27 C.F.R. § 478.125(e). []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-33(e). []
  4. Id. []
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37a(d). []
  6. Id. []
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-33(c), 29-37a(d). []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Delaware

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Licensed dealers in Delaware are required to keep and maintain a record of all deadly weapons sales, including the date of the sale, the name and address of the purchaser, the number and kind of deadly weapons purchased, the age of the purchaser, and the picture identification used.1 The record must be kept at the dealer’s place of business and be open for inspection by any judge, justice of the peace, police officer, constable or other peace officer of the state “at all times.”2

Delaware’s State Bureau of Identification (SBI) is required to prepare an annual report, which must include but is not limited to the number of background check inquiries made during the current year and prior calendar year, as well as the number of inquiries resulting in a determination that the potential purchaser or transferee was prohibited from possessing firearms during the current year and prior calendar year.3

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904(a). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit 11, § 1448A(h). []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Florida

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Florida law does not require firearms sellers to retain records of sales or report those sales to law enforcement, although a provision of Florida law requires records of handgun sales to be available for inspection by any law enforcement agency during normal business hours.1

Florida law requires the destruction of the records created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in the process of conducting a criminal history record check which contain information pertaining to any buyer or transferee who is not found to be prohibited from receipt or transfer of a firearm by reason of Florida or federal law. FDLE must destroy any such records “forthwith” after it communicates the approval number to the dealer and, in any event, no later than 48 hours afterwards.2 Such records are confidential and exempt from disclosure.3 Notwithstanding these rules, Florida law explicitly allows FDLE to maintain records required by the federal government and authorizes FDLE to maintain a log of dates of requests for criminal history records checks, unique approval and nonapproval numbers, license numbers, and transaction numbers corresponding to such dates for up to two years or as otherwise required by law.4

Florida law requires “secondhand dealers”5 and pawnbrokers to create a record of the acquisition of any firearm that includes the brand name, model name, serial number, type of action, caliber or gauge, number of barrels, barrel length, and finish of the firearm, and a description of the person from whom the firearm was acquired, including his or her name and right thumbprint.6 These records must be transmitted to law enforcement. However, Florida law requires secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers to destroy these records within 30 days of the acquisition of the firearm or expiration of the loan, and requires law enforcement to destroy their copies of these records within 60 days of receipt.7

Florida law prohibits the knowing or willful keeping of any list, record or registry of privately owned firearms or their owners.8 Exceptions include:

  • Records of firearms that have been used in committing any crime;
  • Records relating to any person who has been convicted of a crime;
  • Records of stolen firearms that are retained for no more than 10 days after such firearms are recovered. Official documentation recording the theft of a recovered weapon may be maintained for no more than three years;
  • Firearm records that must be retained under federal law;
  • Firearm records kept by “secondhand dealers” and pawnbrokers, as described above;
  • Records of firearms (and documents relating to firearms) involved in criminal or civil proceedings, or that are voluntary surrendered; and
  • Non-criminal records relating to the receipt, storage or return of firearms.9

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(1)(b). []
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(4)(a). []
  3. Id. []
  4. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(4)(b). Florida law states that nothing in its law regarding weapons and firearms may be construed to allow the State to maintain records containing the names of purchasers or transferees who receive unique approval numbers or to maintain records of firearm transactions. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(4)(c). Any officer or employee of FDLE or a law enforcement agency who “intentionally and maliciously” violates these provisions is criminally liable for a felony. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(4)(d). []
  5. “Secondhand dealers” are persons, corporations, or other business organizations or entities which are not secondary metals recyclers and which are engaged in the business of purchasing, consigning, or trading secondhand goods. Fla. Stat. § 538.03(1)(a). []
  6. Fla. Stat. §§ 538.04, 539.001(8), (9). []
  7. Fla. Stat. § 790.335(3)(f). []
  8. Fla. Stat. § 790.335(2). []
  9. Fla. Stat. § 790.335(3). That law also exempts “records kept pursuant to the recordkeeping provisions of” Fla. Stat. § 790.065. However, Fla. Stat. § 790.065 does not require firearms dealers to maintain records. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Georgia

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Georgia requires licensed firearms dealers to keep a record of the acquisition and disposition of all firearms, which records must be identical in form and context to the firearms acquisition and disposition record required by federal law.1

The records must be maintained on the licensed premises and open to the inspection of any duly authorized law enforcement officer during the ordinary hours of business or at any reasonable time.2 The record of each acquisition or disposition of a firearm must be maintained for not less than five years.3

Failure to keep and maintain the required records is grounds for revocation of the dealer’s license.4

Georgia has no laws requiring the reporting of sales of firearms to a state or local agency.

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ga. Code. Ann. § 43-16-10.1(a), (b). []
  2. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-10.1(c). []
  3. Id. []
  4. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-10.1(d). []