In 1998, the FBI published the final rule implementing NICS. The NRA challenged the NICS regulations in court, claiming that the rules allowing the government to maintain an “audit log” for six months (later reduced by the Department of Justice to 90 days) amounted to a de facto firearm registry, contrary to the Brady Act. The NRA suit was dismissed, but since 2004 , Congress has inserted language in annual spending bills requiring the FBI to destroy firearm transfer records within 24 hours of approval — as Congress did most recently in fiscal year 2012 .
Example: Officer Mace stops a man on the street who resembles a person wanted for bank robbery . Officer Mace frisks the man. He feels a soft packet in the man’s back pocket. With the packet still in the man’s pocket, Mace pokes a finger through the packaging into the packet, rubs powder from the packet onto his finger, removes his finger, and decides from the powder’s appearance and smell that it is an illegal drug. Officer Mace removes the packet and arrests the man for possession of illegal drugs. The contents of the packet are not admissible in evidence . The officer probably had reasonable grounds for detaining and frisking the man (a potentially armed and dangerous suspect). But he didn’t have probable cause for arrest or a full-blown search. Therefore, all Officer Mace could do was frisk the driver and seize either a weapon or contraband in plain feel. Because the soft packet could not reasonably have been mistaken for a weapon, and Officer Mace had to manipulate the packet before believing it contained illegal drugs, the frisk became an illegal search.
The NYPD 2006 Stop, Question, and Frisk database was previously released through the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research's National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) (ICPSR . Box 1248 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106). There are some differences in format and content between the Consortium's file and the one made available above. Consult the documentation supplied with the respective downloads for the detailed differences. The data file and related documentation for NACJD's version of the file can be downloaded at the Consortium's web site: .