Waiting period

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A waiting period is the period of time between when an action is requested or mandated and when it occurs.[1]

In the United States, the term is commonly used in reference to gun control, as some U.S. states require a person to wait for a set number of days after buying or reserving a firearm from a dealer before actually taking possession of it.[2] This waiting period allows the state to perform a background check to confirm that the purchaser is legally permitted to possess a firearm. In theory, waiting periods may also be in place to serve as a "cooling off" period for potential buyers who may wish to commit crimes in the "heat of the moment". Studies have shown that just a 3 day waiting period can reduce the number of homicides that will occur in a state by 17%. Some states have already adopted a waiting period before one can purchase a firearm. In the state of California, the waiting period is 10 days. Moreover, someone who has previously passed the background check and was able to purchase a firearm will still be subject to the same 10 day waiting period before obtaining another firearm.[3][4]

Waiting periods are also used for new insurance policies, particularly health insurance[5] and flood insurance. Incidents which occur during this time are not claimable.[5] The term may also refer to the time between the making of a claim and the payment of it, also called the elimination period.

In business finance, a waiting period (or quiet period) is the time in which a company making an initial public offering (IPO) must be silent about it, so as not to inflate the value of the stock artificially. It is also called the cooling-off period.

Other things potentially subject to waiting periods include marriage,[6] divorce, and merger proceedings.

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