"With respect to firearms enforcement, our mission is clear: to reduce violent crime and protect the public. Toward this end, our focus is on denying criminals access to firearms and taking violent offenders off the streets. The efforts made by licensees in maintaining good records of firearms transactions and the cooperation shown in assisting us in tracing crime guns has been invaluable. Moreover, licensees complying with the interim Brady law prevented the sale of approximately 320,000 handguns from March 1994 to November 1998, thanks to the record checks of handgun purchasers under that law. In most cases, those would-be handgun buyers who were disqualified from receiving and possessing firearms were individuals with prior criminal histories. While it is impossible to know precisely which future criminal activities were deterred by the disqualification of these individuals, I have no doubt that compliance with the law prevented countless crimes and, indeed, saved many lives. Effective on November 30, 1998, the interim provisions of the Brady law expired and were replaced by the permanent provisions of the Brady law. Now the eligibility of firearms purchasers is determined at the time of sale by querying the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). You will find in this publication new ATF and FBI regulations implementing the Brady law, as well as questions and answers that should help you to understand and comply with its provisions. This publication provides you with information designed to help you comply with all of the laws and regulations governing the manufacture, importation and distribution of firearms. The responsible and lawful distribution of firearms by licensees plays an important role in protecting the American public from violent firearms crime."
ATF P 5300.4