Previous Post
Next Post


As you may have heard, Dylann Roof bought the gun he used in the Charleston church shooting legally. Well, kinda. The killer lied about his drug use and criminal record on his ATF form 4473. A felony! Anyway, Roof was able to get his gun despite a disqualifying criminal background because the FBI’s NICS check system failed to flag him. That apparently prompted the Bloomberg-backed hoplophobic harpies at Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to survey some of the nation’s biggest gun sellers re: their policies on “unfinished” background checks . . .

In their infinite wisdom, when Congress wrote the Brady Bill establishing the NICS background check system, they limited the Fibbies to a three-day maximum turn-around. It was a smart move, because given the current administration’s proclivities, it isn’t hard to imagine someone using his pen and his phone to order a de facto seven-day (or longer) waiting period on all gun purchases via a NICS system slow-walk.

But as the FBI advises,

If the FFL has not received a final determination from the NICS after three business days have elapsed since the delay response, it is within the FFL’s discretion whether or not to transfer the firearm (if state law permits the transfer). If the FFL transfers the firearm, the FFL must check “no resolution was provided within three business days” on line 21d of the ATF Form 4473.

So after three bidness days, the decision whether to transfer a firearm or not is up to the FFL. And for a lot of big box national retailers, that’s a decision they just don’t want to have to make. They take a ‘no OK, no gun’ approach, in order to avoid potential PR disasters like Dylann Roof.

Now the Moms want their dozens of followers to thank these six retailers for their caution. Here’s their email blast:



We reached out to the top firearms retailers in the country to ask whether they’re willing to sell a gun to someone even if the background check is incomplete after three days.
And we’re happy to announce that these six retailers have a “No check, no sale” policy!
Automatically sign a thank you message to these major firearms retailers with gun sense. They’re making sure every gun sold in their stores is sold to a law-abiding citizen.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.54.42 PM

We know background checks are the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. But an NRA-backed loophole makes it legal for dealers to sell guns to people after three days even if the FBI is still investigating their record.
In the past five years alone, more than 15,000 prohibited people were able to buy guns with incomplete background checks — including the Charleston shooter, who killed nine churchgoers. [1] It only takes one gun in the wrong hands to cause devastating tragedy.
That’s why it’s so important that some retailers are taking steps to keep our communities safe and help save lives — and they deserve to be recognized.
Automatically sign a thank you message to these six retailers who have declared no gun will be sold in their stores without a green light from the FBI:

Thanks for speaking up and supporting retailers with gun sense!
Jennifer Hoppe
Deputy Director
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

[h/t Eric D.]

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I understand the retailers’ policies here; a single purchase approval or rejection means a lot more to a small store than a big-box chain.

    And, to the MDA, thanks for cheerleading a demonstrably broken system.

  2. MOMs wouldn’t be ‘moms’ if they weren’t FU<KED. And it's a pregnancy pact that they would like to make with you. Don't let MOMs get you fu<ked.

  3. Go back to Britain, you silly anti gunners! Your mother was a mongoose and your father smelled of elderberries! I fart in your general direction!

  4. It doesn’t matter if they have 3 days, 7 days or more if they still ok a purchase in minutes for a prohibited person.

  5. I don’t think my FFL has ever gotten a final answer on my NICS checks. I’d kind be screwed if they all had the policy of those six stores.

  6. So…um…

    MDA doesn’t realize that the vast majority of NICS checks come back positive for gun sales to go through, instantly? Like 99%? Oh, and how many of those stores actually lied about their three day policy?

    But don’t tell them. Let them live in their fantasy world.

  7. And here I thought NY (the AG or something) wanted the NY retirement trust funds to sell off all their WalMart stock because WalMart’s policies were not strict enough…

  8. “hoplophobic harpies at Moms Demand Action”

    I thought we were not supposed to name call other folks, even if we didn’t like them. (LOL)

    • F dat in the goat a_ _.
      You think when they say that ‘guns are bad’ they’re not referring directly to you?

      Give it right back 140%
      They could be called worthless if they were slightly less deleterious POS’.

  9. In this Charleston case the FBI had every opportunity to pursue the NICS inquiry. Did they? If they did they should have found that the arrest record was for a misdemeanor drug charge, not the felony it was mis-coded as.
    At that juncture, they should have made a decision as to whether to dismiss it as a misdemeanor or to pursue it as evidence of a user of illegal drugs.
    The ATF would have had a couple of months to pursue the case and recover the gun.
    Whether the perp would have gotten another gun can’t be known; however, we ought to know where the FBI/ATF dropped the ball here.

  10. Help me with the math. The FBI did not clear the flag in 3 days. They also didn’t clear it in 5 days which is the delay reported to have actually occurred. And they did not clear in in about 30 days, which I believe is the lapse of time between when he actually bought the gun and when he did the heinous deed. Does the FBI stop checking after 3 days or are they supposed to keep checking until they get a decision one way or the other?

    From reading the news reports, which may or may not have any relation to reality, it seems that the FBI did no more follow up until after the murders.

    And a final question. Again according to the news reports, the supposed basis for denial was a non-sworn statement to a police officer that he had used drugs. Is that all it takes to lose your constitutional rights these days?

    • Yes. Habitual users of illegal drugs are banned from purchasing firearms. This was an issue here in California where people with medical marijuana cards were complaining that the FFLs wouldn’t sell them any guns, the response to which is that this is what the 4473 says, as well as the ATF. I assume it will be an issue in all states that legalize recreational marijuana use, since it is still an illegal drug under federal law.

      Also, Roof not only admitted his use, he was busted while in possession and had been criminally charged, another disqualifier on the 4473. The FBI has simply checked the records of the wrong local police entity, so missed it entirely.

  11. Didn’t some or all of these have that policy in place before MDA was illegitimately conceived anyway…pre-2012?

    Kinda like claiming the sun rose this morning because of MDA’s efforts.

  12. The Hysterical Mother and her cat loving minion have exhausted their short list of high profile corporations headed by sympathetic CEOs, such as Starbucks. They tried to expand on the list by going after companies like Kroger and Staples and were publicly humiliated. It must have been the cat who pointed out that it was time to change tactics.

    This is a feeble attempt to gain credibility with companies outside of Shannon’s Sugar Daddy’s sphere of influence.

    • Hey man, don’t blame cats for her stupidity. She feeds them, they’re just along for the ride.

  13. And last week they were complaining about Walmart and this week they’re cheering them and next week everything old will be new again. “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

  14. “We know background checks are the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”

    So, tell me about this “list” which catalogs these “known dangerous” people. They aren’t just out an about are they?

    Kind of like Megan’s List, isn’t it? Where it stops creepers from getting a job with children but doesn’t stop them from groping your kid at the local mcdonalds. All the background check does is stop lazy and stupid criminally minded from getting guns. The hardcore ones will still get them. And the lazy and stupid ones will just machete you in line at the grocery store instead of shooting you. You fixed nothing with your fancy list and check system.

    Inanimate object possession is not the root problem.

  15. So now they are claiming victory for stores that already had a policy in place?

    As a rule of principle I never buy guns from big box stores, you can almost always find a better price locally, and at the end of the day I would rather give $50 more to my local shop(s) than deal with some teenage know it all who just transferred over from the “team sports” section.

  16. There’s no reason to trust any numbers MDA publishes, but assuming that there really were 15,000 prohibited persons with incomplete background checks, how many non-prohibited persons came up with incomplete background checks? We are not talking about investigators making phone calls, requesting records from outside organizations, or interviewing references. We are talking about a query of an in-house data base. If they can’t get that done reliably in three days…

  17. All retailers who generally don’t have that great a selection and higher prices (usually) than my local gun stores (hell, even Cabelas for that matter).

    I know Cabelas and Bass Pro must have told them where to stick it, as they’d have separate press releases for them, given how they’re much more gun/hunting oriented than any of the other 6 mentioned here.

  18. What’s the impediment to the FBI sending the buyer a letter advising him that there was a problem with his BC?

    No doubt the majority of cases result from some ambiguity of identity or clerical issue. The law-abiding buyer would want to know about the problem so he would have an opportunity to clear it up. If the buyer were a prohibited-person he should also want to know so that he could contact a lawyer and determine what – if anything – his options might be to avoid charges being pressed against him for “felon-in-posession”.

    We can probably grant that the ATF doesn’t have the resources to track-down more than a modest minority of such cases. However, generating a form letter can’t be all that expensive and it would serve to resolve marginal cases by either clearing-them-up if they are mistakes or dispossessing of the gun if the buyer really is prohibited.

  19. As someone who was an assistant manager at a Big 5 I can tell you they were never that supportive of guns or hunters. You would think that if you have stores in Texas you would carry half way decent camo, not camo that makes Wal-Mart brand looks like realtree. Or halfway decent firearms that are “on sale” for 200 dollars more then academy’s regular price.

  20. I see Cabelas isn’t on that list…they’re my go to big box store (not good prices, but when you really need something, they usually have it). Dick’s, they’re ____ed. What can I say. In my part of the country they’re mostly empty anyway after they showed their spots following Newton. Around here the only business they seem to bring in is when they have athletic clothing sales.

  21. I would not buy a gun at any of the above and they really do not want to sell them anyways. Much better places to buy guns elsewhere.

  22. I’m kind of surprised Cabelas is not following that policy as I’ve heard of other issues with them. I do know that Sportsmans Warehouse does, as I had issues buying a handgun through them in WA state.

  23. I applaud the MDA for a backdoor shot which proves nothing, go get’em you tigers! Background checks make great theater. A background check is one of those issues which sounds so common sense, smart and solution oriented. Yet in practice when applied does nothing or at best is seldom helpful. It does slow sales to lawful people, this it has proven to do very well.

    From experience we see over and over the background check doesn’t hold back a person intent on violent use of a firearm. Three days or ten it is of no matter, the wait typically ends in the firearm being transferred, a sale. In effect, zero effect the overwhelming majority of the time. Most initial fails are overturned.

    I question the answers the MDA has procured from these huge corporations. The answers they provided, if they truly did at all, are predictable and good PR which equals sales and money. End of story.

  24. Three time I have purchased from an FFL. Twice, once at Gander Mountain and once at an LGS, the transactions were literally instantaneous (but I had the NC pistol purchase permit, which took care of most issues.) Once, for a reason the LGS could not ascertain, it took an hour for the check to go through. He was embarrassed — he said NCIS performance was totally random, could never figure out why it ranged from instant to not at all. He was also a good guy and personally delivered the rifle to my home when the check was done.

  25. But no group has risen so far, so fast, influencing laws, rattling major corporations, and provoking vicious responses from hardcore gun rights activists. With its ambition to turn out a million voters for the November midterms, Moms Demand Action may be emerging as a potent threat to the National Rifle Association’s three-decade-long stranglehold on gun politics.

Comments are closed.