Minnesota Handgun Carry PermitThe Minnesota Handgun Carry Permit has just been approved by the ATF as an alternative to the normally required FBI NICS background check prior to the transfer of a firearm from an FFL to a customer.  As of this week, Minnesota Handgun Carry Permits with expiration dates of Aug. 1, 2019 and later qualify as a NICS exemption.

The ATF is notifying its local field offices right now and they plan to announce this officially later this week. This means that RocketFFL is bringing you breaking news, before it’s even news!

NICS Background Check Exemptions

FBI NICS Background CheckThe Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993 (Brady) required, among other things, federal background checks for firearm purchases from Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs).  Later, in 1998, the FBI created the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  After a customer fills out the Firearm Transfer Record (Form 4473), the FFL must normally conduct a background check through NICS by phone or computer.

Some states have decided to do these background checks themselves instead of rely on the federal NICS system.  These states are called Point of Contact (POC) states.  Some other states use their own system for some purchases (e.g. handguns) and NICS for others (e.g. rifles and shotguns).  These hybrid states are called partial-POC states.  FFLs in POC and partial-POC states must use their respective local system for background checks for certain/all firearms.  Our Get Your FFL course covers the requirements of each state for more information.

As an exemption to the NICS requirement for non-POC states, some state-issued CCW/handgun-carry permits can be used.  This is because the background check process for some of these states is at least as good as the check performed by NICS.  This saves time for both the FFL and eases the burden on NICS.  When a customer presents a qualifying permit, the FFL can simply check question #21 on the Form 4473 which reads, “No NICS check was required because the transferee/buyer has a valid permit from the State where the transfer is to take place, which qualifies as an exemption to NICS” and fill out the information about the qualifying permit.

Qualifying NICS-exempt Permits

The ATF maintains a list of qualifying permits that can be used for exemptions to the NICS requirement.  Each qualifying permit has its own requirements (see below) but all of them qualify as alternatives to the background check requirements of the Brady law for no more than 5 years from the date of issuance.  This is why states with permits that last longer than 5 years aren’t on this list.

This chart is only valid as of the date of this article.  You must check to see current information on ATF’s website. (ironically, as of the posting of this article, ATF’s website still doesn’t have Minnesota’s information updated because it hasn’t been announced yet).

If you signed up for either our Get Your FFL or ATF Compliance course, you would receive an automatic update of this change, and all other firearm rules and regulations changes, straight to your email inbox.


State / Territory Qualifying Permits
Alabama Concealed weapons permit  issued on or after August 1, 2013, qualifies as an alternative to the background check requirement.
Alaska Concealed weapons permits marked NICS-Exempt
American Samoa None
Arizona Concealed weapons permits qualify.
Arkansas Concealed weapons permits issued on or after April 1, 1999 qualify. *
California Entertainment Firearms Permit only
Colorado None
Connecticut None
Delaware None *
District of Columbia None *
Florida None *
Georgia Georgia firearms licenses qualify.
Guam None *
Hawaii Permits to acquire and licenses to carry qualify.
Idaho Concealed weapons permits qualify.
Illinois None
Indiana None
Iowa Permits to acquire and permits to carry concealed weapons qualify.
Kansas Concealed handgun licenses issued on or after July 1, 2010 qualify as alternatives to the background check.
Kentucky Concealed Deadly Weapons License (CDW) and Judicial Special Status CDW issued on or after July 12, 2006 qualify.
Louisiana Concealed handgun permits issued on or after March 9, 2015 qualify.
Maine None *
Maryland None *
Massachusetts None *
Michigan Licenses to Purchase a Pistol qualify. Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPLs) issued on or after November 22, 2005, qualify as an alternative to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. CPLs issued prior to November 22, 2005 and Temporary Concealed Pistol Licenses do not qualify as NICS alternative.
Minnesota Handgun Carry Permits with expiration dates of Aug. 1, 2019 and later qualify.
Mississippi License to carry concealed pistol or revolver issued to individuals under Miss. Stat. Ann. § 45-9-101 qualify. (NOTE: security guard permits issued under Miss. Stat. Ann. §97-37-7 do not qualify).
Missouri None *
Montana Concealed weapons permits qualify.
Nebraska Concealed handgun permit qualifies as an alternative. Handgun purchase certificates qualify.
Nevada Concealed carry permit issued on or after July 1, 2011, qualify.
New Hampshire None
New Jersey None
New Mexico None
New York None
North Carolina Permits to purchase a handgun and concealed handgun permits qualify.
North Dakota Concealed weapons permits issued on or after December 1, 1999 qualify. *
Northern Mariana Islands None
Ohio Concealed weapons permits issued on or after March 23, 2015, qualifies as an alternative to the background check requirements.
Oklahoma None *
Oregon None *
Pennsylvania None
Puerto Rico None
Rhode Island None
South Carolina Concealed weapons permits qualify.
South Dakota None *
Tennessee None
Texas Concealed weapons permits qualify.
U.S. Virgin Islands None
Utah Concealed weapons permits qualify.
Vermont None
Virginia None
Washington Concealed pistol license issued on or after July 22, 2011 qualify.
West Virginia Concealed handgun license issued on or after June 4, 2014 qualify.
Wisconsin None
Wyoming Concealed weapons permits qualify.