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By Larry Keane

In these uncertain times, it’s no surprise that firearm sales are up. That’s why the NSSF is working to promote the safe use and storage of guns and ammunition and to provide guidance for our members on operating under these unique conditions.

But our work as the firearm and ammunition trade association doesn’t end there. We are also actively seeking more resources for the federal agencies that our members rely on to ensure they are selling firearms to legal, law-abiding citizens. This includes making sure that FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is quickly able to process background checks for our retailers.

Due to the high volume of checks in recent weeks, coupled with state and local offices working with reduced staffing or a remote workforce, NICS has struggled to address a backlog of delayed checks and the investigations necessary to resolve them within the statutory three business days that retailers must wait for a determination, before they are allowed to transfer the firearm.

As an industry, we want NICS to be able to do their job and help us keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Gun control advocates in the U.S. Senate sent a letter to the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives urging them to ignore the law instead of providing these agencies the funding they need. Twenty-eight senators, though, thought it more practical to ask these agencies what resources they need to ensure Americans can purchase firearms without interruption.

It’s encouraging to see that we are not alone in this effort. The Department of Justice has recently reached out to Congress to ask for resources to support NICS with the growing volume of checks, as well as asking for more resources and personnel for the enforcement duties of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Naturally, House Democrats didn’t prioritize the safety of our communities when they proposed the most recent stimulus package. However, that package is not expected to be taken up by the Senate.

NSSF remains committed to advocating for the resources these agencies need to help our members stay in business and keep our communities safe.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • And, while you’re fucking, donate to GOP, Donald Trump, NRA, SAF, GOA, and subscribe to USCCA. THEN you can finish.

      • Agree on donating to the GOA and SAF, possibly some other pro SA groups.

        Not the NRA. The NRA is on my shit list so long as the management and finances are under Wayne La Pierre’s corrupt thumb. When WLP and his sycophants are gone, the NRA may expect a large donation from me. I’m not rich, but maybe I could manage a one time $1,000 at tax refund time. Then back to the annual $100 plus membership fee I used to give them, did give the NRA for a long time.

        No way I’ll ever donate to a political party ever again. PARTY MEMBERSHIP is a thing for Marxists, Maoists and Americans who drink the magic elixir of “Our Side Saintly, Your Side Evil”.

        Party’ism is Anti-American no matter who’s side you are on.

    • If the IRS is using 60 year old systems and code which really stuffed up in 2018 when a small failure cascaded into a full meltdown, I do hope the hardware hosting the NICS is a bit more modern and up to date.

  1. Typical government operation: create a problem (backlog in this case) and then ask for more money to fix the problem that they (government) created in the first place.

    Or — and here is a novel idea, stick with me — eliminate the actual problem which is requiring government permission before doing something.

    • I believe in the value of NICS this much; for this year, given the increases in freedom which must be controlled, we should reduce funding for NICS by no more than the reductions for ATF, 90% sounds like a fair target, then someone can explain how they deserve more.

  2. Wanna save a bunch of money? Get rid of NICS and just let FBI conduct basic checks! They have all pertinent info and it might keep them off Trump’s ass for a while.

  3. The background check system is only a system tyranny. It does nothing else. I’ve stated why here enough times. I don’t believe in infringing on rights for the sake of security.

    Especially not the illusion of security.

    Everyone here knows it does not work. Some pretend it does. No one is that thick though.

    • The entire idea of BGC flips the constitutional premise of “innocent unless proven guilty” on its head, and automatically assumes potential guilt, with the requirement of proving innocence before being allowed to exercise that constitutional right.

      A gun BGC is along the very same lines as a public high school requiring a Valedictorian or guest speaker to submit his/her intended speech in advance for screening/revision by the “authorities”. Or the IRS (which has actually done this many times) requiring pastors of certain churches to submit their sermons for review to determine if there are any references to political issues, which the IRS claims is not protected free speech for the purposes of taxes.

      It’s all absurd. Imagine if some government alphabet agency required you to submit your travel itinerary, choice of church, choice of spouse, choice of attorney, choice of news outlet, etc. before being granted permission to proceed.

      Yet we (the collective national “we”) somehow accept NICS and related BGCs as acceptable.

      • A valedictorian should be able to submit an acceptable address for review, and then present a completely different address at commencement, without a lot of problem. The fact they do not is cause for global concern.

        • I loved the speech given a few years back by a high school Valedictorian who was expressly forbidden to mention any reference to God in her speech. She did as commanded and presented her speech as approved. At the end, knowing there was only a very short lag between her words and the principal’s ability to shut it off, she quickly added the statement that she had been instructed to avoid any reference to faith or God, and she obeyed.

          She then paused, theatrically built up a loud fake sneeze, and smiled at the audience while the entire student body seated behind her stood up and yelled out “God bless you!” The parents erupted into cheers.

          I remember watching that speech on YouTube. Can’t seem to find it now.

        • This is how you indoctrinate the sheeples. If it is acceptable in school then it is just fine. Why can’t people think anymore?

  4. Make it contingent on an instant NFA system!
    CBP does instant checks for Global Entry applicants… just sayin

  5. We don’t have to be stupid, I’d rather them improve the system instead of delaying or preventing folks from getting their guns.
    I agree with doing away with the system, but, in the mean time let’s do what we can to protect all our rights and get folks their guns.
    Let’s don’t cut off our nose to spite our face.

    • Ask yourself: Will growing the NICS apparatus and giving it more money make it easier or harder to dismantle it later?

      • Talk talk talk. In the mean time new gun owners are experiencing delays and false results.
        Of the NICS, FFL discretion, the ATF rules for FFLs , or state regulations. The NICS is the only system that is constitutional and provides some protection from disturbed people.
        When something happens the first go to is why wasn’t the perps background entered into NICS. You can’t have it both ways. Where is the infringement ?

  6. Every time I purchase I hold my breath it goes through without some glitch. Never had any issue and no reason whatsoever to have one but knowing glitches exist you cannot ever be sure of a glitch free transaction.
    This whole ball of NCIC wax needs to be mothballed and a driver’s license or photo ID is all that is needed. But the reality is…it ain’t going away.
    Most of the time a good counter person can spot an azzhat. Like the time one spotted the spaceman married to giffords trying to straw purchase an AR15 to show “how easy” it is. He walked out the door empty handed.
    Even if a felon is denied at point of purchase rarely are they prosecuted, etc. Bottom line…If you are to have such a system make sure it works equally well for everyone all of the time without delay of a Constitutional Right.

    • *EVERYONE* should have a carry license, and if your carry license does not eliminate NICS from your life, you should get to work at eliminating Dems from your state legislature until it does. Once you get that up to speed, you can start working on Constitutional Carry. NICS is an expensive fraud.

      • Gotta agree, it has been many years since I had to put up with the “instant” check system. No man’s freedom or property are safe when Congress is in session.

    • From your opening statement you should be wanting the system to be updated and corrected.

  7. All the bad guys go through legal channels to get their gats. That’s why NICS is so effective.

    • I am sure the local LEO gives them a good talking to, before handing them their machine guns.

  8. If we are going to keep the NICS then any additional tax payer dollars should be spent on fixing the wrongful refusals and the delays in what honest people do. Along with all cases of felons trying to buy a gun being instantly sent to the 911 dispatcher for a mandatory, and paid for, police response.

    • Enuf,

      Although I think we should eliminate NICS, it is likely we cannot. So, agreeing with you (yes, that happens sometime), we should fix it. Specifically, there needs to be a specific ‘throat-to-choke’ when NICS is wrong; some single person who is directly accountable and who can be sued when a NICS error deprives someone of their rights and is not fixed in a timely fashion. Further, any and all expenses accumulated by a complainant, should be paid by NICS.

      Without accountability and penalties, NICS can never be fixed.

  9. Nope. In fact, how about we cut all funding for nics and the atf to enforce gun control.

  10. Well, NSSF and Moms Demand Action might want to spend my money ARRESTING some of the people who were denied NICS from Nov, 1998 to April 20, 2020:
    1,700,000 denials. Applying for a firearm permit is a felony if you know you are a felon!

    That would include:
    197,195 fugitives from justice
    916,006 people convicted of a crime punishable by more than 1 year or a misdemeanor
    punishable by more than 2 years
    31,533 illegal/unlawful alien

    or read the list yourself:

    I love America but come on, dont punish law abiding Americans for a very small group of violent people. This FBI chart proves to me that MDA and others don’t want to remove guns from criminals, they want to tak them from you!

  11. Oh, I forgot, in one year of all denial 0.04% were considered for prosecution, few of them were prosecuted.

    • Anon,

      That is an eye-opening number!
      It seems to mean the only function of NICS is to inconvenience law-abiding citizens.

  12. I’m thinking the left didn’t count on their sheep seeing a need to arm themselves, drive up ownership numbers and sales, and expose the stupidity behind their laws and efforts.

  13. Larry Keane should talk he and the NSSF were all for the fix NICIS infringements and now he lives with even further infringement the un American Anti Left wants.

  14. NICS has issues that need to be fixed if we are to be forced to use it. If you say NICS itself IS the issue, you won’t get an argument from me.

    I have no doubt that there were people pointing this out before it was implemented.

    • NICS itself IS the issue and needs to be fixed into oblivion. Government checking your eligibility to exercise your constitutionally protected human right to keep arms, which shall not be infringed? The very idea!

    • Negating Rights Away was all for it,If memory serves me correctly, imagine that.

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