Firearm Purchase Process

What is the process for purchasing a firearm in Florida from a licensed firearm dealer?
  • Fill out the ATF Form 4473 provided by the firearm dealer.
  • You will be required to provide a valid government issued photo identification.
  • The dealer will submit your personally identifying information to the Firearm Purchase Program at FDLE.
  • An analyst will perform the required queries and compare responses to your demographics (name, race, sex, date of birth, etc.) and determine your eligibility to purchase a firearm according to state and federal law.
  • The analyst will provide a transaction number (queue number) and a decision (approve, non-approve, or decision pending).

What is the difference between FDLE’s Firearm Purchase Program and the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)?

The Firearm Purchase Program (FPP) and the FBI NICS Section both fulfill the requirements of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 by performing background checks on potential transferees before the transfer of a firearm from a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL – firearm dealer) and a non-licensed individual. 

FPP serves as the point of contact for background checks performed by FFLs in Florida.  There is only one exception and that is for pawn brokers who are running a background check for a pawn redemption occurring less than 90 days from the date of pawn.  These firearm dealers may contact the FBI NICS for these background checks.  FPP checks state databases in addition to the systems checked by the FBI and therefore, the results of the background check may be different. 

What is a queue number?

The queue number is issued to the Federal Firearm Licensee and noted on the ATF Form 4473 to identify a particular background check.  It is helpful to have your queue number if you call FPP’s customer service line, or to check on the status of your background check here.  This number is also needed to file an appeal.  You may obtain your queue number from the firearm dealer. 

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Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.