“The computerized background-check system operated by the [Ohio] Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the office of Attorney General Mike DeWine has been troubled for years, sometimes indicating that thousands of criminals have clean records,” dispatch.com reports. “Thousands of police officers and employers rely daily on the criminal background check system that DeWine describes as ‘critical for the safety of Ohio families.’ The system is used to vet school teachers, foster parents, medical professionals, police officers, firefighters, day care and nursing home workers and gun owners seeking concealed carry permits, among many others.” So how bad is it? . . .
Hundreds of times in the past three years, including 195 in 2014, BCI backtracked to tell employers that they had been incorrectly informed that a would-be, or hired, employee had no criminal record.
Questions about accuracy aren’t limited to the computer system. Since 2013, some court clerks, including in Franklin and Hamilton counties, inadvertently did not submit criminal conviction records to BCI for months. And problems remain.
A spot check by WBNS-TV of municipal and county court records in eight counties found 6.6 percent of convictions from recent years — more than 10,000 overall — missing from the state system.
BCI employees acknowledge that the system is unreliable. A supervisor wrote in a December email that system errors “could mean a person who committed a felony offense will not have this on their record.” . . .
Some sheriffs complain that they periodically fail to receive background checks within the 45-day legal limit for issuing permits to people seeking to carry concealed handguns.
Clearly, the Buckeye State multi-million dollar (per year) criminal background check system sucks. And here’s the thing: the system’s failure has not resulted in an epidemic of firearms-related homicides. Why would it? Criminals have a strange (if entirely predictable) tendency to obtain their firearms outside of the system.
In 2013, all homicides in Ohio dropped 34 percent. Total number: 35. Out of a population of 11.57 million. In fact, Ohio’s violent crime rate has been falling steadily since 2008 (as the population remained stable).
What role did the background check system have in any of this? I’m thinking … none. Or, if any, a statistically insignificant amount.
The truth about the criminal background check system for firearms purchases: it’s nothing more or less than security theater. Can anyone refer me to a single study that establishes a direct causal link between a state’s or the federal government’s firearms-related criminal background check system and reduced firearms-related crime or suicides? They cannot.
Can anyone argue that the criminal background check system is NOT an infringement on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, which are subject neither to the democratic process or social utility? Someone can. They can do that, but they’d be wrong. [h/t John in Ohio]