Below: the latest communication from the FBI to Maryland Guns Dealers (FF) courtesy delegatemike.com
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 5:37 PM
Subject: Maryland Handgun Checks
Dear Maryland Federal Firearms Licensee,
Per Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 25, Sections 25.5(a), 25.8(g)(3) and 25.8(i), the FBI is responsible for maintaining data integrity, proper use and security of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This includes quality control measures such as periodic internal audits. Two days ago, the NICS discovered federal hand gun consignment checks for the state of Maryland spiked, recently . . .
The average number of federal hand gun consignment checks for the state of Maryland for the past eight calendar years has been 310 checks per year. Thus far, in calendar year 2013, there have been 935 hand gun checks, which is already more than three times the average. The NICS researched further, and learned the number of such transactions skyrocketed in May of 2013, which seems to correspond with Maryland State Police efforts to inform Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) about expected delays in processing hand gun transfers.
Additionally, the NICS telephonically spoke with numerous Maryland FFLs about the federal hand gun checks they were requesting. Many of them admitted the transactions pertained to hand gun sales as opposed to hand gun consignments. Maryland FFLs well know, hand gun sales checks are to be performed by the Maryland State Police. It seems some FFLs are misusing the NICS system to avoid the delays they are experiencing by following Maryland state law.
This circumvention of the system poses a threat to public safety. Hand gun checks performed by the NICS for Maryland FFLs does not include a search of all the databases queried by the Maryland State Police. Hence, a request to the NICS may result in a “proceed” determination, while the same request to the Maryland State Police may result in a “deny” determination. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, the NICS is no longer processing any hand gun transactions for FFLs in the state of Maryland. The processing of hand gun consignments will be left to the Maryland State Police to determine.
Also, per Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 25, Section 25.11(a)(b)(1), FFLs or individuals “purposefully furnishing incorrect information to the system to obtain a ‘Proceed’ response, thereby allowing a firearm transfer” and FFLs who use “the system to perform a check for unauthorized purposes” shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000 and subject to cancellation of NICS inquiry privileges.
Additionally, the NICS learned the number of transactions declared as “Other” on Form 4473 spiked, simultaneously with the hand gun checks. In June of 2009, the category of “Other” was listed on Form 4473. The average number of such transactions handled by the NICS for the state of Maryland has been 336 per year. Thus far, in calendar year 2013, the NICS has processed 437 checks, with 247 being handled in the month of June, alone. And, today is only June 14. The NICS has discovered that hand gun checks are being declared as “Other,” which, again, is a misuse of the system. In order to preserve the integrity of the system, the NICS has stopped processing such requests for FFLs in the state of Maryland.
It is worth noting, long gun checks for the state of Maryland has been steadily slowing this Spring, which is a normal pattern for Maryland, as it is for most states at this time of year.
FFLs should be reminded that they sign Form 4473 certifying the information on it is true, correct, and complete. Knowingly providing false information is a prosecutable offense.
Lastly, instances of identified misuse of the NICS system have been reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for any action deemed appropriate. Future incidents of misuse of the NICS system will be referred, as well.
Thanks for your help in this matter.
NICS Section Chief
Federal Bureau of Investigation
This message has been transmitted to you by the FBI CJIS NICS Section. The message, along with any attachments, is to be considered confidential and legally privileged. No part of it is to be disseminated or reproduced without written consent of the sender. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy it promptly without any retention, dissemination, or reproduction (unless required by law), and please notify the sender of the error immediately by separate e-mail or by calling 304-625-2000