The NICS Improvement Act amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Brady Act requires Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) to contact NICS before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. NICS will provide the FFL with information on whether the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law.
Federal law prohibits the receipt or possession of firearms by an individual who has been adjudicated as having a mental disability or committed to a mental institution as those terms are defined in 14 NYCRR Part 543. The Office of NICS Appeals and SAFE Act was established to comply with Federal Law which required that New York State establish a “certificate of relief from disabilities” process to permit a person who has been disqualified from possessing a firearm to petition for relief from that civil rights disability.