How long can an NICS inquiry remain in "open" status if the FFL?
The ATF has a 3 business day rule. After that, assuming the Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) has verified the identity of the purchaser, the federal government allows the firearm transfer to take place. However, that may be different in different states/locales depending on their firearm ownership laws and regulations. In my state, WA, the ATF form is filled out and the firearm may be immediately transferred if the purchaser has a concealed carry permit issued by the State of Washington. Without such permit, the federal law applies. No reply through NICS in 3 business days, and the transfer may be made. I'm sure that is completely different in other states and municipalities. Here, requirements in state law cannot be exceeded or superseded by local or municipal authorities. I would think that if the FFL refuses to act in transferring ownership within the allotted time frame, they'll lose a customer and lose the sale. I wouldn't put up with that kind of nonsense, and I'm sure most consumers wouldn't.