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“The  National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which has been in operation since 1998, is the one gun control tool supported by both advocates of gun control and gun rights.” – Close loopholes on existing gun background checks [via bostonglobe.com]

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25 Responses to Quote of the Day: Everybody Loves NICS! Edition

  1. Does it really matter who supports it, if it’s completely ineffective at the stated goal of reducing crime?

  2. The new fun word of the month folks: loophole. Charleston loophole, mental health loophole, gun show loophole, loophole loophole loophole.

    All this focus on loopholes. There must be a murder loophole, armed robbery loophole (H.I. McDonough – “Naw, it ain’t armed robbery if the gun ain’t loaded), and aggravated assault loophole. Let’s close those.

    • another phrase co-opted by the anti’s. We need a translation chart.
      Loophole=within the boundaries of the law
      common sense=dumb as hell
      for the children= no rational argument base on fact, just emotional hyperbole.

  3. Uh, no.

    The National Instant Check System is hopelessly broken, which is why fully 93% of the delays and denials it generates are “false positives” caused by glitching in its records and are later overturned on appeal. (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/grants/239272.pdf) No one is being held responsible for the non-submittal of records, and it’s hopelessly behind the curve in data entry anyway. For an example, many states have only contributed perhaps a few dozen mental health adjudications to the NICS Mentally Defective File in totality. In the program’s entire 17-year history, even. Every effort to make it smoother, easier, and less burdensome has been summarily shot down by shrill outcry from the obstructionist civilian disarmament industrial complex. Funny how they constantly piss and moan about wanting to fix it, then go about purposefully blocking any and all efforts to do so. Add to that the fact that psychiatry itself is, as any medical professional in the field worth their salt will tell you, is still far from an exact science despite how far we’ve come from the days of Sigmund Freud. Who gets to determine the definition of “mentally defective”? If found to be, how does a court make a carefully measured decision that is properly weighed against the presumed defendant’s civil rights? What circumstances would even trigger a court case against them, especially if they’ve yet to commit a crime? Oh, and let’s not even get into how irrecoverably screwed up our health care system is, and just how desperately under-equipped and ill-prepared and dare I say even generally unwilling to comprehensively and compassionately care for the mentally ill in any form or fashion. All of these issues and more will have to addressed before the rest of us sane people can even begin talking about background checks again with a straight face, with “sane” being the descriptor for anyone who isn’t a gun control advocate.

    • Wow those are my thoughts without the keyboard induced arthritis! The mental health angle and mental defect angle scares me because its an easy way to take away the civil rights on large amounts of people. Somehow get them in a anti-gun shrinks office and even if they have mild anxiety or depression OH NOEZ MENTAL DEFECTIVE! CANT OWN A GUN ANYMORE SORRY! In fact now a days I tell people to tread lightly with any mental health professional….if you need a psychiatrist find one with an NRA sticker on the back next to an AR15 just because im black sticker and a buck mounted in their office and pray to God they value your rights as much as their own.

  4. This final paragraph tells you the point the author was trying to make all along. It also reveals his or her bias on gun controls. He admits the 40% figures comes from gun control advocates and shows no other source than that for that figure. Since we know that the gun control nuts will say anything to try to get what they want that taints the entire article and reveals it as another propaganda piece.

    “Even if it were working perfectly, the background check system is not a panacea. Gun control advocates point out that 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from background checks because the seller is a private party operating online or at gun shows. Still, until lawmakers are able to defy the deep-pocketed gun lobby, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is all we’ve got. Congress should support Schumer’s efforts to close the loopholes, mandating state participation in the system and broadening the narrow definitions covering potential gun buyers who have a history of mental illness.”

  5. Another way the the F**king liberals of the Treasonous Party members can control the Peons! Especially by the Twisted sister’s loving the illegal immigrants and Muslim Loving apologist crowd! These Sob’s will reap what they sow! Look at the purveyor of lies and Whore mongering ones supposedly running our Government, the petty Bureaucrats making rules of law without accountability {kinda of like the VA, ATF FBI, DEA NSA CIA BLM etc.}

    • I got a good joke; PICS. That’s Pennsylvania’s special high intensity treatment of the NICS system.

      What the PSP use to maintain their pistol registration database.

  6. I used to support some level of background checks. But after spending the past decade in the proverbial trenches of the fight for gun rights I’m now completely against any background check system. This is because the absolute only thing these laws are it is used of is a ‘stepping stone’ for more restrictions.

  7. Most everybody can agree that NICS is nearly completely useless, with less than 50 convictions in any one year, ever, I believe, but when is someone going to bring up the question of how much it COSTS? Government/taxpayer costs are one thing, but what are the annual costs borne by your local gun store? I suspect we as a nation are paying more than a billion dollars for each conviction of a violent criminal. Arranging for law abiding citizens to shoot them dead would be much cheaper.

  8. Though it may at times appear to be liked by all, this is PC. Most pro-2A people are aware of it’s failures and anti’s see it as a pivot toward greater infringements.

  9. We PotG ought to be more politically-strategic about this “BC” or “NICS” debate. We ought to be looking for arguments that – on balance – SERVE our interests vs. work against us.

    What we call “BC” or “NICS” ought better be thought of in terms of the entire regime’s component parts:

    1. – prohibiting criteria
    2. – FBI’s national databases relating to prohibiting criteria
    3. – the FFL NICS inquiry system
    4. – emerging “Universal” NICS inquiries
    5. – Law Enforcements’ NCIC inquiry system
    6. – 4473 form

    1. – Prohibiting Criteria – IF there were NO prohibiting criteria (apart from age) then there would be no controversy around BC/NICS as far as guns are concerned. Most of us have considerable concern with several of the definitions of the prohibiting criteria; some object to each of them in principle. Our reality is that as long as there is even a single prohibiting criteria then there will be some BC/NICS regime to enforce that 1+ criteria.
    It is NOT realistic to wait for the political climate to ripen – when we might eliminate all prohibiting criteria. In the ensuing decades/centuries we have to live with BC/NICS.
    There is exactly 1 prohibiting criteria that is indisputably Constitutional; it is also arguably, the least important and the least useful – viz, the renounced American citizenship. We might fairly assume that there is no constituency that will bother to repeal this criteria; therefore, at least this one will survive to justify a BC/NICS system.
    All the other prohibiting criteria have either some pragmatic justification or some historical basis; e.g., felons. While we are trying to convince uncommitted voters to support gun-rights it is counter-productive to argue that the felon prohibiting criteria ought to be eliminated. (It is far more productive to advocate for processes that would enable felons to re-habilitate their 2A rights.)
    The greatest body of work here is to narrow the mental-illnes criteria which is vulnerable to the most egregious abuses (e.g., vets, anyone who has seen a therapist or is suspected of counter-revolutionary tendencies.)

    2. – FBI’s national databases – Because of #5, these will all/mostly exist no matter what happens to BCs on guns. To the extent that the content of these databases are used in conjunction with arrests and prosecutions it is in everyone’s interest that they be as complete and accurate as is economically and operational feasible.
    These completeness and accuracy goals are not controversial with respect to judicial proceedings (arrests, warrants, convictions, expungements). What is controversial is – mainly – mental health records. Yet the heart of this matter lies in #1 – the prohibiting criteria. The broader the mental-health prohibiting criteria are, the more problems with completeness and accuracy of mental health debilitating records. The FBI should have no justification for gathering records about persons who suffer from a fear-of-flying. The FBI does have a justification for gathering records about violent schizophrenics – IF, and ONLY if – there is some legal basis for police to NEED-to-KNOW about violent schizophrenics. The FBI should NOT need to know, e.g., that a mother saw a therapist for postpartum depression. The critical issue here is NOT the database reporting; it is in narrowing the definition of the legal basis for police to NEED-to-KNOW; i.e., #1 and #5.
    #3 – FFL NICS inquiry – THIS particular aspect ought to be the LEAST interesting of the 5 facets I’ve enumerated. A LGS customer either IS-a-Prohibited-Person; or, he isn’t. If he doesn’t know he is prohibited – or, if there is some ambiguity about his prohibited/able status – then the CUSTOMER is the person who has the most important vested interest in knowing that. Better he discover the problem in the LGS vs. in a traffic stop after he has informed the cop that he is bearing arms.
    We have issues with delays that might run from an hour to 3 days. We ought to be able to reduce the impact of these delays; but, they are only rarely really serious problems. (Occasionally, e.g., with a woman who has just been given an order-of-protection against her Ex, delay can be life-threatening. In such rare cases we ought to be able to bypass the NICS delay on an exception basis.)
    Our problem with the FFL NICS inquiry is primarily political. We want non-committed voters to “feel comfortable” with guns in civilian hands. This is nothing more than a FEEL-GOOD issue. How might we best approach this issue?
    In PRINCIPLE, the correct approach is to tell the non-committed voter “THE TRUTH”; i.e., that the FFL NICS inquiry should NOT make him “feel good” AT ALL. Any criminal or crazy who want’s a gun can buy it just as fast in the black-market as he could buy it in an FFL. The question we face is: Does telling “THE TRUTH” to the non-committed voter do US any good?
    If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that the non-committed voter doesn’t care that we are delayed by 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day or even 3 days waiting for a NICS check response. He doesn’t care about our 2A rights; he doesn’t care about our precious time; he just doesn’t give a damn about us. What he is thinking is that MAYBE this FFL NICS check will prevent or delay a few criminals or crazies from getting a gun. That MAYBE comes at some cost to run the NICS system (plus time by the FFL employee and customer). Our non-committed voter doesn’t care about that cost either. It doesn’t add even a penny to his tax bill.
    We have to ask ourselves where we want to put our efforts: #1 – prohibiting criteria; #2 – FBI’s databases; #3 – this FFL NICS check; #4 – the threat of “Universal” NICS inquiries; or, #5 – Law Enforcement’s NCIC system. If #1, #2, #4 and #5 remain unchanged, how much does eliminating #3 do for us? Would we succeed in eliminating #3?

    #4 – threat of “Universal” NICS inquiries – This is a huge threat that we widely recognize. We need to communicate to the public that there is a difference between #3 – FFL vs. #4 – Universal. Clearly, we have “lived with” #3 since 1997 and so far retail sales are still booming. But just because we can live with NICS in the FFL doesn’t mean that we can live with NICS under the Christmas tree, or at the range or anywhere else a “transfer” occurs.

    #5 – Law Enforcements’ NCIC inquiry system – Anyone who imagines this system could be eliminated is delusional. Any gun owner is vulnerable to being encountered with his gun by a law enforcement officer who is apt to run an NCIC inquiry on him. If he comes up as a prohibited-person he will be arrested for felon-in-posession. Once we recognize this reality, it becomes obvious that #1 and #2 are really the cornerstones of our problem; compared to these, #3 is trivial.

    #6 – 4473 Form – The record-keeping requirement is actually independent of the BC system comprised of #1 – #5. And, it is actually a greater threat by itself than all of the rest. #4 is – in the main – merely a beard for a National Registration system in the form of FFL and ATF archives of 4473 forms. Even without #4, FFL + ATF archives are a porto-national-registration system that already would enable a substantial (albeit incomplete) confiscation campaign.
    Imagine – as a purely intellectual exercise – that we could eliminate the NICS check at FFLs and prevent a “Universal” NICS check. Yet, imagine that we had the FFL 4473 form plus a Universal 4473 form requirement. We would find ourselves in a National Registration regime. The treat to the 2A is NOT so-much in the notion of “BC”; instead, it is in the 4473 Form that threatens to become virtually a National Registration scheme.
    We ought to be working on reforming the 20-year retention requirement for FFL 4473 forms. Instead, we are complaining about the “NICS BC”.

    The non-committed voter is searching for reassurance that there is SOMETHING – ANYTHING – in place that separates the “sheep” and their “sheep-dogs” from the criminal/crazy “wolves”. What should we choose as our response?

    – The only thing that stops a bad-guy with a gun is a good-guy with a gun.

    As painfully true as this statement is, it’s not likely to be acceptable to the non-committed voters. Where do we go from here?

    – We want to reform #1 – the Prohibited Persons criteria vs. eliminate the Federal and all State P-P laws?
    – We want to improve #2 – the FBI’s databases vs. eliminate the FBI’s databases?
    – We want to fix some #3 – FFL NICS problems vs. eliminate NICS
    – We want to stop #4 – Universal NICS checks
    – We want to eliminate #5 – Law Enforcement NCIC injuries?
    – We want to reform #6 – 4473 form retention vs. eliminate 4473 forms?

    I’d argue that #2 and #5 allow the police to enforce felon-in-posession laws; and, that this is the one “gun control” measure that has some meaningful efficacy. Therefore, “BC”s have a role to play – they are a vast improvement over using skin-color to determine one’s 2A qualification to possess a gun. If the non-committed voter wants to take some comfort in felon-in-posession, that’s fine.

    Now, let’s try to fix #1, #2, and #6.

  10. At most we grudgingly tolerate it. It’s possible it also has some deterrant value, though that would be very hard to measure.

  11. As we watch Nic plunge the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. Isn’t that the greatest gift in the world-just not to care?

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