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Why can't I have my gun check from state police done before I decide what gun to buy ? I guess what I'm getting at is why do they need the serial numbers, make of gun off of a brand new firearm from a ffl gun dealer .
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by "my gun check from state police". The NICS check is on "you" (no serial number given) and it is conducted by the FBI not the state police.

The info retained by the state police is a verification that that particular gun (serial number) was in fact sold to an individual that was qualified to purchase a gun (NICS check number by FBI). This is our states way of verifying FFLs did follow procedure by in fact performing the required NICS on that serial number. It matches a serial number to an NICS number.
 

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PA does not actually use NICS, although that's the database they refer to. We use PICS here and it's done by PSP (PSP employees, actually). If we used NICS like other states do, we wouldn't have the extra PICS fee to pay.

And yes, PSP retains the data on each firearm, which originally started as handgun sales data, despite a law to the contrary. ACSL and others, took this to the state supreme court, but that court upheld PSP retaining the sales data several years ago.
 

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The PSP does keep info that they are supposed to discard, they were sued several years ago for it and won the suit.
 

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i have read this posting and some here have made errors. when the phone call is made the operator at pics has NO idea what is being bought. the federal form, now five pages long, does not leave the shop unless shop closes. the state never finds out about long gun serial numbers. handguns are another story. the second form is a state police form. it is sent to the state police on a regular basis. it has make, type, caliber, barrel length , and serial number on it. the state police are "required" to destroy this form/information after a set period. do they???? the first question on this thread is why can't i do a check before i buy? state law!!! p.s. don't yell at the person doing the check. he/she is only doing what the feds/state requires. plus if you fail at one shop don't bother to try somewhere else as the same place approves/denies the purchase. a sidelight to this is if the clerk tells you the system is down, it is down STATEWIDE. save time and miles, don't try down the road to see if it is working at another shop.
 
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