The FBI maintains indefinitely the records of prospective purchasers whose applications are denied. Although federal law requires licensed dealers to keep records of firearms sales, by mirroring the federal requirement, states can independently prosecute dealers who do not follow the law.
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State laws can also impose more comprehensive requirements on dealers, such as requiring dealers to send records to law enforcement, or requiring private sellers to maintain or transmit records. Most state laws are silent with respect to the retention of background check records. However, nine states are required by statute to purge background check records after a short time period.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia require at least some sellers to maintain at least some sales records reflecting the identity of the purchaser and the firearm purchased. Eleven states and the District of Columbia require licensed dealers to maintain records of sales of all firearms. The period of time these states require records to be retained range from three to twenty years except that Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia do not specify the period of retention. Seven states and the District of Columbia require records of private sales to be maintained.
In Connecticut, Illinois, and Rhode Island the private sellers themselves are responsible for maintaining the record for five, ten, and six years respectively. California, Colorado, Delaware, New York, and the District of Columbia require licensed dealers who process private transfers of firearms to create records of those transfers and maintain them indefinitely. Seven states require licensed dealers to maintain records of handgun sales, but not long gun sales.
In Vermont and Washington, the retention period is six years.
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The remaining states do not specify the period of retention. Colorado 43 Delaware 44 Florida 45 New York 46 North Carolina 47 Vermont 48 Washington effective July 1, , Washington dealers must also retain records of semiautomatic rifle sales Five states require records of private handgun sales to be maintained. In Michigan and New Jersey, the seller must retain the records indefinitely.
Maryland requires sales record retention for three years.
Maryland 50 Pennsylvania requires all transfers of handguns to be conducted through licensed dealers or law enforcement, thereby ensuring that the recordkeeping requirements on licensed dealers will include records of private sales of these firearms. Eleven states require sellers to report firearm sales information identifying the purchaser and firearm purchased to law enforcement.
These state statutes do not specify the length of time law enforcement must retain the records. Law enforcement in the District of Columbia has access to information regarding purchasers of all firearms through its registration requirements. California 56 Connecticut 57 Hawaii 58 Massachusetts Three states require the reporting of sales of all firearms by private sellers. In California, all firearm transfers must be conducted through licensed dealers, thereby ensuring that sales reporting requirements will include private sales.
Connecticut 60 Hawaii 61 Massachusetts Six states require licensed dealers to report all handgun sales, but not long gun sales, to state or local law enforcement. Maryland 64 Michigan 65 New Jersey 66 New York 67 Pennsylvania 68 Washington effective July 1, , Washington dealers must also report sales of semiautomatic rifles Five states also require private sales of handguns, but not long guns, to be reported to law enforcement.
In some states where a seller contacts a state agency to conduct a background check, state laws require the agency to destroy the completed background check record. The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered. Circuit Court and Superior Court, both plaintiff and defendant indexes microfilm ; Law and Chancery Division Indexes microfilm ; Chancery Division Index microfiche ; Law Division Indexes forward electronic index. Docket books and clerk's record books ; Law ; Chancery majority stored offsite and Law Oversample database index.
Circuit and Superior Courts ; various suburban municipal courts ca. Case files may contain the plaintiff's complaint and defendant's response, certificate of evidence testimony , and the judge's final decree, with the terms of settlement. Divorce cases may provide information about grounds for divorce, address, occupation, age and name of children of parties, date and description of the marriage, and provision for care of the children. Cases do not include social security numbers for above dates. Circuit Court and Superior Court, both plaintiff and defendant indexes microfilm , ; Divorce Division index microfiche ; forward electronic index; Chicago Heights, Calumet City, Blue Island indexes microfilm , appx.
Docket books and clerk's record books, majority stored offsite. Please note that cases have been destroyed, but case activity may be re-created from court docket books and indictment records.
Indictment record books stored offsite, and indictment records , microfilm in Archives. Case files may contain the indictment, names of witnesses on subpoenas, instructions to jury and final verdict, sentence, court half sheet, etc.
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Missing cases may be reconstructed from docket books and indictment records. Criminal felony case files seldom contain direct testimony. However, they may occasionally include: names of jury members or persons involved; evidence such as maps, news clippings, or photographs; or sealed depositions. Files of appealed cases may contain transcripts of the trial proceedings; felony transcripts from s available in Archives on microfilm.
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Criminal Indictment Indexes microfiche ; Docket books clerks' record books, and half sheets stored offsite ; Indictment Record microfilm County Court cases have dealt with a variety of matters. Jurisdiction has included municipal incorporations, land titles, election contests, child support, and tax objections. County Court case file indexes are closed because of adoption records listed therein.
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Docket Books and Clerk's Record Books s stored offsite.