Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 6. Criminal Justice and Corrections
Agency 20. Department of Criminal Justice Services
Chapter 130. Regulations Governing the Privacy and Security of Criminal History Record Information Checks for Firearm Purchases
1/27/2020

6VAC20-130-70. Procedures for Requesting a Criminal History Record Information Check by Telephone or Other Communication Authorized by the Department of State Police.

A. Once the prospective purchaser has completed section A of the VFTR form and the dealer has completed the necessary portions of the VFTR form and determined that the prospective purchaser is a resident of Virginia, the dealer shall contact the Department of State Police and request a criminal history record information check by telephone, through VCheck, or through other authorized communication for the firearm transfer. For non-Virginia residents purchasing rifles or shotguns, the dealer may also request a criminal history record check by telephone. The dealer shall use the toll-free number provided by the Department of State Police. However, no provision of these regulations shall prohibit a Virginia resident from obtaining a written record check through the dealer for any firearm transfer.

B. The dealer shall identify himself to the department by providing his DIN and the printed number on the upper right-hand corner of the VFTR form prepared by the prospective purchaser.

C. The dealer shall allow the department to verify this identifying information. The Department of State Police shall disapprove a firearm purchase if the department determines that the identifying information supplied by the dealer is incomplete, incomprehensible or in error, raises a reasonable doubt as to the origin of the request, or is otherwise unusable.

D. The dealer shall then supply to the department over the telephone, through VCheck, or through another authorized communication all identifying data on the prospective purchaser that is recorded on section A of the VFTR, in the order requested by the department. This information shall be transmitted to the department in a discreet and confidential manner, assuring to the extent possible that the identifying data is not overheard or viewed by other persons in the dealer's place of business. If the dealer cannot provide sufficient information to allow the department to conduct a criminal history record check, the department will not accept the request on the basis of insufficient information to conduct a check. The department may adopt procedures to appropriately address such occurrences.

E. The Department of State Police will respond to the dealer's request for a criminal history record check by consulting the criminal history record information indexes and files, during the dealer's call or VCheck submission. In the event of electronic failure or other difficulties, the department shall immediately advise the dealer of the reason for such delay and provide to the dealer an estimate of the length of such delay.

F. If no evidence of a criminal record or other information is found that would preclude the purchaser from possessing or transporting a firearm under state or federal law, the department will immediately notify the dealer that the transfer may proceed, and will provide the dealer with a unique approval code number, which the dealer shall enter in a clear, visible, and convenient manner on the original of the VFTR form.

G. If the initial search discloses that the prospective purchaser may not be eligible to possess a firearm, the department will notify the dealer that a further check must be completed before the end of the dealer's next business day, to determine if the prospective purchaser has a criminal record that makes him ineligible to possess or transport a firearm under state or federal law. This statement of ineligibility shall then be communicated by the dealer to the prospective purchaser in a discrete and confidential manner, recognizing the individual's rights to the privacy of this information.

H. In any circumstance in which the department must return the dealer's telephone call, whether due to electronic or other failure or in order to allow a further search, the dealer shall await the department's call and make no transfer of a firearm to the individual whose record is being checked until:

1. The dealer receives notification of approval of the transfer by telephone or other authorized communication from the department; or

2. The department fails to disapprove the transaction of the prospective purchaser before the end of the next business day.

Exception: If the department knows at the time of the dealer's telephone call or VCheck submission that it will not be able to respond to the request by the end of the dealer's next business day, it will so notify the dealer. Upon receiving notification, the dealer shall note in a clear and visible manner on the VFTR that the department was unable to respond. The dealer may in such cases complete the transfer immediately after his telephone call or receipt of an authorized communication.

I. In the event that the department is unable to immediately respond to the dealer's request for a criminal history record check and the prospective purchaser is also unable to await the department's response to the dealer's request and the department ultimately approves of the transfer, the dealer may transfer any firearm, as listed on the VFTR form that initiated the request for a record check, to the prospective purchaser, after the receipt of the approval of the transfer from the department. The actual transfer of the firearm shall be accomplished in a timely manner. A second record check shall not be required provided that the actual transfer of the firearm occurs within a time period specified by the department.

J. If the dealer is notified by the department that the prospective purchaser is not eligible to possess or transport a firearm under state or federal law, and the transfer is disapproved, and if he is so notified before the end of the next business day after his accepted telephone request or VCheck confirmation, the dealer shall not complete the transfer.

K. On the last day of the week following transfer of a firearm covered by these regulations on the basis of a telephone inquiry, the dealer shall send by mail or shall deliver to the department the appropriate copies of the VFTR other than the original, with sections A and B properly completed. No information on the type, caliber, serial number, or characteristics of the firearms transferred shall be noted on the copies of the VFTR submitted to the department, but the forms shall otherwise be complete. The dealer shall note the date of mailing on the form, or shall have the form date stamped or receive a dated receipt if the dealer delivers the form.

Statutory Authority

§ 18.2-308.2:2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR240-02-2 § 2.5, eff. November 2, 1990; amended, Volume 08, Issue 03, eff. December 4, 1991; Volume 08, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 35, Issue 02, eff. October 19, 2018.

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