After years of federal indifference toward people who lie on their form 4473’s as well as those who are mistakenly passed by the FBI’s NICS system, USA Today reports that “Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.”
A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.
Got that? ATF agents will be knocking on the doors of a few thousand prohibited persons and asking them to hand over their firearms. What could possibly go wrong? Any volunteers for that duty?
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.
It’s almost as if the entire Brady Bill background check system is really just useless security theater meant to add cost and inconvenience to the purchase of firearms.
And yes, this will be dangerous work. These prohibited persons are, after all, convicted felons, those who have been involuntarily committed or are the subject of orders of protection.
“These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,” said David Chipman, a former ATF official who helped oversee the firearm retrieval program. “You don’t want ATF to stand for ‘after the fact.'” …
Chipman, now a senior policy adviser for the Giffords Law Center which advocates for more gun restrictions, called the retrieval process “uniquely dangerous.”
An accurate assessment from one of Gabby Giffords minions? Even a stopped clock…. So how successful has the confiscation program been so far?
The ATF declined to provide information on the 4,170 gun purchases the FBI referred for seizure last year. They reflect a substantial increase from 2,892 requests the previous year.
The FBI said the ATF is not required to report back on the status of the retrieval efforts.
Your tax dollars at work. Shut up and don’t ask us any questions.
The NICS system has gotten a lot more pubic attention since the Sutherland Springs church massacre in which Devin Kelley — a prohibited person if ever there was one — was able to legally purchase three firearms because the Air Force failed to report his criminal record to NICS.
Meanwhile legislation is making its way through Congress which would apply a thick veneer of lipstick to the porcine background check system.
For now, much of the attention on gun policy by lawmakers has focused on boosting compliance with current reporting requirements to the FBI.
Last month, a bipartisan group of senators led by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas introduced legislation that would penalize federal agencies that fail to properly report relevant criminal and mental health records and provides incentives to states to improve their overall reporting to the NICS repository. The bill also directs more federal funding to the accurate reporting of domestic violence records.
“For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said. “Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy.”
The government’s evergreen answer to virtually any problem: more funding! The Devin Kelleys and Dylan Roofs of the world would have been stopped if only we’d have fully funded the FBI’s background check system. And if you believe that one, I have shares in a new Harvey Weinstein-produced feature length production starring Kevin Spacey that I’d like to talk to you about.