We submit the following quotes from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report without comment.
Note that the OIG uncovered missing information going back as far as 1925. The NICS System was established as part of the Brady Act, passed in 1993 and didn’t go fully into effect until 1998. But someone who committed a felony in, say, 1953, may be among those whose information hasn’t been reported by some part of what now constitutes DHS.
Fine. Toss out the >10 years column in the OIG’s chart above if you want. That still leaves over 3.6 million failures to report data to the NICS system by DHS “components” such as the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, ICE and Citizenship and Immigration Services in the last 10 years alone.
Remember this the next time you read anything about private sales, the “gun show loophole” or calls for “universal” background checks.
The Department of Homeland Security did not consistently comply with NICS requirements from July 2019 to June 2021. FBI NICS examiners rely on NICS data to determine whether a person is eligible to purchase a firearm. However, DHS components did not submit the data to DOJ, as the United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations require.
In particular, the components did not consistently update missing information on dispositions, that is, information on the nature and outcome of criminal proceedings. The components also did not always respond promptly or sufficiently to FBI NICS inquiries.
Specifically, DHS components took more than 3 days to respond or were unresponsive to 126 (59 percent) of 214 NICS inquiries.
We attribute these issues to DHS not having a unified policy or plan to ensure the timely updating of dispositions or a mechanism to ensure prompt, sufficient responses to inquiries. If NICS examiners do not receive disposition data to deny or approve a firearm sale within 3 business days, licensed sellers may transfer firearms at their discretion. Therefore, DHS not sending disposition data to NICS and its delayed and insufficient responses to FBI inquiries create a risk of wrongful firearms transfers.
Additionally, as the Fix NICS Act of 2018 requires, DHS submitted semiannual certifications to DOJ consistent with NICS, but at least two submitted certifications were inaccurate. This occurred because DHS has no oversight or policy to ensure compliance with NICS reporting requirements. As a result of DHS’ inaccurate certifications, DOJ’s semiannual report to Congress on Fix NICS Act of 2018 compliance was also inaccurate. …
To validate the FBI’s assertion of missing DHS disposition records, we obtained comprehensive data showing all charges attributed to DHS as of January 31, 2022. Our testing confirmed that, cumulatively, DHS has more than 6.4 million charges missing dispositions in NICS. The dates of those charges range from 1925 to 2022. Table 1 shows charges attributed to DHS that do not show final dispositions.
— DHS Office of Inspector General in DHS Did Not Consistently Comply with National Instant Criminal Background Check System Requirements