The New Hampshire Department of Safety has ordered law enforcement agencies to end the practice of running background checks before returning confiscated firearms to their owners.
In a memo sent on Sept. 28, New Hampshire Department of Safety Assistant Commissioner Earl Sweeney reminded law enforcement officials throughout the state that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS, can be used only by federally licensed gun manufacturers, importers and dealers. If the NICS is being used by police or court officers to run background checks before returning confiscated guns, Sweeney wrote, they should stop. [emphasis added]
"Conducting NICS checks prior to returning confiscated firearms technically constitutes misuse of NICS and exceeds the authority granted to the Department of Safety by the New Hampshire Legislature," he wrote. ...