State Retention of Gun Records

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Alabama

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Until 2015, Alabama law required all handgun dealers to create a record in triplicate for every handgun sold, recording 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 had never been convicted of a crime of violence.

However, Alabama eliminated this record-keeping requirement in 2015.  In fact, the state passed a law in 2015 requiring that all records of handgun or maxim silencer sales that are maintained or in the custody of dealers, the chief of police, the sheriff, or the Secretary of State, pursuant to the repealed record keeping provisions, be permanently removed and destroyed within 180 days of June 4, 2015.  This provision does not apply to any record necessary for an active investigation or ongoing prosecution.1

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

 

  1. See 2015 AL H.B. 47, amending Ala. Code § 13A-11-79. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Alaska

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2015

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 Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

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

As amended in 2013, Arizona law 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 owns, possesses, purchases, sells or transfers a firearm, except 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 or related accessories. . . .”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. 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 Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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 12th, 2015

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

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 and this record must be made available to law enforcement during business hours.6

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: California law requires the Attorney General to permanently maintain and keep a registry of all information pertaining to the sale or transfer of firearms reported to DOJ.8 This registry must include certain information, including identifying information about the person receiving the firearm, identifying information about the person transferring the firearm, and identifying information about the firearm itself.9 DOJ may furnish information contained in this registry, generated by the DROS forms to prosecutors, district attorneys, city attorneys prosecuting civil actions, and law enforcement for use in the arrest and prosecution of criminals, the recovery of lost, stolen, or found property, or for other purposes expressly authorized by law.10

Under a law passed in 2014, all California law enforcement agencies must develop and implement written policies and standard protocols pertaining to the best manner in which to conduct a “welfare check,” which is an investigation into the welfare or well-being of a person motivated by a concern that such person may be a danger to himself, herself, or to others. These policies must encourage officers, whenever possible and reasonable, to first conduct a search of the DOJ registry to determine whether the person being investigated is the owner of a firearm.11

For more information on data retained pursuant to a firearms purchase or transfer, see our section on Dealer Regulation in California.

  1. Cal. Penal Code § 28205(c). []
  2. Cal. Penal Code §§ 28100; 28160. []
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 28160(c). []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 28160(d). []
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 28160(b). All other information required to be maintained is listed at Cal. Penal Code § 28160(a). This includes the date and time of the sale, the make of the firearm, manufacturer’s name (if stamped on the firearm), model name or number (if marked on the firearm), the purchaser’s handgun safety certificate number, the caliber, type, and color of the firearm, the name of the purchaser and other identifying information about the purchaser, and certain information about the dealer, including address and telephone number. Id. []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 26900. []
  7. Cal. Penal Code §§ 27850-27966. []
  8. Cal. Penal Code § 11106(a)(1); (b)(1). []
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 11106(b)(2). All other information required to be in the registry is listed in this subsection. []
  10. Cal. Penal Code §§ 11106(a)(2), 11106(b)(3) (both subsections reference Cal. Penal Code § 11105). Law enforcement officers receiving information from the registry may only disseminate it to specifically authorized persons and, even then, only under conditions related to an instance of domestic violence expressly identified by Cal. Penal Code § 11106(c). []
  11. Cal. Penal Code §11106.4. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Colorado

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2015

In 2013, Colorado began requiring unlicensed transfers of firearms to be preceded by a background check processed by a licensed dealer.  The dealer is required to comply with all state and federal laws as if he or she were transferring the firearm from his or her inventory to the prospective transferee.  Consequently, the federal law requiring dealers to maintain records of sales applies.1  Colorado law adds that the dealer must provide a copy of the results of the background check to both the unlicensed seller making the firearm transfer, and the party receiving the firearm.2

Colorado law also requires any person or entity engaged in the retail sale of firearms 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.”3 The time period for retention of these records is unspecified.

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.4

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

  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-112(2). []
  2. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-112(2)(b), (c).  See the  Universal Background Checks in Colorado section for further information. []
  3. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26-102. []
  4. 8 Colo. Code Regs. § 1507-20. []

Retention of Sales & Background Check Records in Connecticut

Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

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 Monday, August 31st, 2015

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 Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

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 Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

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). []