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Do Gunsmiths Run Background Checks?

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Having a gun for many felons provides an opportunity to hunt as a hobby or to take target practice. They may have owned a gun that needed repair and may have taken it to a gunsmith. How about now that they have completed their sentence? What if they take a gun to a gunsmith?

This blog post will address the question of whether or not gunsmiths run background checks.

  • What Is in a Background Check?
  • Gunsmith
  • Gunsmith Background Check?
  • Taking Precautions
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • Recommended Action


What Is in a Background Check?

Anyone can get ahead of the game by running a background check on themselves when looking for a job, applying for a loan, or for other situations. It is in an employer’s, a lender’s, or another’s best interest to review an applicant’s background before making a decision.

Concerns about honesty are significant for any felon trying to live an honest life as their criminal history can be a problem when applying for a job or a loan. There are a number of areas someone might look at as part of a background check, including:

  • Criminal offenses
  • Driving records
  • Educational records
  • Credit reports

Among the personal information not available in a background check are factors such as:

  • Arrest records after seven years
  • Bankruptcies after 10 years
  • Negative information other than criminal convictions after seven years

A criminal record review in a background check is designed to show criminal offenses for convictions and non-convictions along with dismissed cases and any not prosecuted. A non-conviction will be observed for seven years. Convictions have no time limit to be reported. If felons have their record expunged, it will be clean and reduce any risk of denied opportunities.


Gunsmiths build, modify, and repair firearms. The main responsibility of a gunsmith is to ensure that a firearm operates safely according to specifications. All of the mechanisms of guns must be inspected for safety, and any deficiencies must be fixed before work on a gun can be completed.

Some of the typical tasks for a gunsmith are:

  • Inspect and clean guns
  • Repair damaged guns
  • Repair handles, grips, and stocks
  • Replace barrels and firing mechanisms
  • Modify triggers

Gunsmiths Run Background Checks?

According to regulations, any firearm received by a gunsmith for repair that is completed on the same day does not have to be logged in the information to his or her records. Otherwise, firearm information must be requested, including:

  • Manufacturer
  • Importer
  • Model
  • Serial number
  • Type of firearm
  • Caliber or gauge

The records must contain the full name and address of the individual who brought the item in for repair and the date it was received.

A gunsmith is not required to complete a National Instant Criminal System (NICS) background or an ATF Form 4473 to check if a firearm is returned to the person from whom it was received because the law states that this is not a transfer of that firearm. A NICS background check is required if a firearm is delivered to a person other than the person from whom it was received.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the transfer of a firearm to any person who:

  • Has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
  • Is a fugitive from the law
  • Is an unlawful user of and/or addicted to a controlled substance
  • Is determined to be mentally defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution
  • Is an illegal alien
  • Has a dishonorable discharge
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

Taking Precautions

Any felon who takes a gun to a gunsmith for any type of repair or other services must be certain that he or she is allowed to possess that gun. Felons lose the right to own a gun after their conviction, and this right is not automatically reinstated after the completion of a sentence.

While a felon is denied the ability to use or own a firearm, there are procedures available to regain this right, known as restoring firearm rights. The important factors include:

  • The applicant must not have been convicted of a, “forcible,” felony within the past 20 years.
  • The applicant’s criminal history and reputation must indicate that the applicant will not act in a manner considered dangerous to public safety.
  • Restoring a felon’s firearm rights must not be considered contrary to the public interest or federal law.

Firearm rights can be restored by seeking a presidential pardon. Felons must wait five years after the completion of their sentence to petition for a pardon. Then they may contact the federal government regarding clemency, but they should first seek legal counsel.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

A felon can be prepared with the essential information on his or her status regarding guns or other rights by conducting a background check on themselves. A felon would have the best chance by having his or her record expunged, and it may be necessary to contact an attorney.

In addition to criminal court records, a felon can run several types of background checks, including:

  • Credit report
  • Driving records
  • Educational report

Recommended Action

Lying about a conviction will only jeopardize a felon when dealing with a gunsmith. It is not worth the risk of returning to prison just to own a gun and take it to a gunsmith for repair.

Even giving a firearm to someone else to take to a gunsmith is not wise. A significant part of living an honest life is not to act in ways that are dishonest, even if he or she might not be caught.

It is important to remember not just the mistakes made, but how they are recovered from. Establishing an honest life is not easy to do but is certainly important in recovering and moving forward.

Be willing to see yourself differently and be prepared to establish an honest life. Success in a new life begins with being honest and willing to play by the rules. 

So what do you think about this blog post, about whether or not gunsmiths run a background check? Have you or someone you know had a gunsmith run a background check? What was that like and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

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