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At the end of 2014, 12,881,223 people were legally prohibited from possessing modern firearms. Check the numbers for yourself on the NICS list of prohibited persons. As can be seen from the FBI chart below, nearly half of those prohibited, 49.2 percent, are illegal aliens . . .

The next largest number are those who’ve been adjudicated with a mental health problem. Some 177,000 of the recent numbers are veterans  added by the Veterans Administration.

“Mental defectives” account for over 29 percent of the prohibited possessors in the NICS data base. In 2007, only 10.15 percent of prohibited possessors were listed as mental defectives. Under the Obama administration, the number of “mental defectives” in the prohibited possessor list has grown from 518,499 at the end of 2007, and 648,120 at the end of 2008, to 3,774,301. That’s almost a sixfold increase of over three million people.

The Obama administration has said that it wishes to swell those numbers even more, by adding in Social Security recipients who choose to have their financial affairs attended to by someone else.  Those numbers are reported to be over four million. The Obama administration backed away from that executive action after a strong public reaction.

Then come those convicted of a crime, a felony, or misdemeanor punishable by two years of incarceration or more. They amount to almost 15 percent of the total. Only 15 percent of those on the NICS prohibited possessor list are there for felony or serious misdemeanor convictions. Fugitives from justice account for another 3.6 percent.

Those four categories account for 96.8% of all the people on the database. All the rest are relatively minor numbers:

  • State Prohibitors: .9 percent (These numbers started being added in to the NICS system in April, 2012.  They include information voluntarily submitted by the states.)
  • Convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence: .9 percent
  • Order of Protection/Restraining Order domestic violence: .4 percent. (Orders of Protection/Restraining orders are relatively easy to obtain, but they also are often temporary.)
  • Under Indictment/Information: .3 percent
  • Federally denied persons file: .2 percent
  • Renounced U.S. Citizenship: .2 percent
  • Unlawful user/addicted to a controlled substance: .2 percent  (This one appears to be low, but most people who have been convicted in a court of law are likely picked up in the felony/serious misdemeanor category.)
  • Dishonorable discharge: .1 percent

Looking at these numbers it’s clear that gun control advocates’ priorities are wrong. If they want the federal government to do something about “gun violence” it appears that they’d best start with an effective defense or southern border and a sensible immigration policy.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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  1. Nice. Now let’s take that a step further and compare to the number of NICS denials and see what categories they fell into.

    In other words and like you are getting at… just cuz you’re on the list doesn’t mean your even trying to buy a gun through an 01FFL.

  2. Sad thing is that Illegal firearms possession/use by illegals (yes i said it) is no longer a deportable offense. look it up, they get to walk away scott free after serving their jail term as ICE cannot deport them anymore so all these lil gang bangers are back on the streets if they illegally used a gun.

  3. I’m curious about that “Federally denied persons file” category. Anyone have a link to what that means? Interestingly, Google just locks up and chokes when I search on it, but my local net connection seems to be otherwise fine.

    • I was curious, as well. Here’s what I found:

      “The Federally Denied Persons File is compiled of individuals that are predetermined to have firearm prohibitions without listing the specific category”

      And here:

      “This is a catch-all category that includes various people whom the FBI deems ineligible to possess a firearm even though the relevant state records may not be entered into NICS or the National Crime Information Center. Also included in the Federally Denied Persons File are people who may not possess guns as a result of a deferred judgement.”

      Still rather murky. I would like to know the process involved in putting someone on that list.

      • If you believe that the government has the authority to create, maintain and enforce a list of citizens who, in the opinion of that same government may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, HOW WILL YOU KEEP YOUR NAME OFF OF THAT LIST?

        “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        Seems unequivocal.

        • I’m disturbed at any list kept at the whim of a cop or a spook that interferes with my rights. Now, sure, they can have lists of people who they’d like to know about if they turn up, but we shouldn’t be banning people from flying, or barring them from having guns because they are on a such a list.

          If anything, air travel is worse, I can always make my own gun from an 80% blank, but having to take a cargo ship or the like because the feds have decided I don’t get to fly may well be more of an imposition.

      • “The Federally Denied Persons File is compiled of individuals that are predetermined to have firearm prohibitions without listing the specific category”

        You guys are kinda slow. What that translates to in governmentese is, “You cain’t have you no gun ‘cuz I say so!”

  4. I take it that’s 6 million + illegal aliens they can identify by name, which brings up two salient points. One, what about the other 30 million illegal aliens? When states give them driver’s licenses or IDs are they not perfectly capable of walking into a gun shop, passing a NICS check and walking out with a brand new gat? Maybe if the right started calling them ‘gun buying IDs for illegals’ the left might be singing another tune.

    And second, what the hell are the 6 million + on the NICS no buy list still doing in the country?

    • >> One, what about the other 30 million illegal aliens? When states give them driver’s licenses or IDs are they not perfectly capable of walking into a gun shop, passing a NICS check and walking out with a brand new gat?

      There are only two states (WA and NM) that issue driver licenses to illegal immigrants that are indistinguishable from regular licenses. All other states issue a specially marked license that is easily distinguished.

      But yes, provided that they are in one of those two states, and they have never had a run-in with law that would cause them to be listed in a federal database as illegals, they could claim to be citizens on 4473, and pass the check. Of course, if it is ever found out, they would be charged with a fraudulent declaration on their 4473, with all that entails.

      >> And second, what the hell are the 6 million + on the NICS no buy list still doing in the country?

      Most of these aren’t in the country, but the records remain after they’re processed and deported (they probably just cross-reference the list of people who are denied entry that is used when issuing visas etc).

      • ‘Of course, if it is ever found out, they would be charged with a fraudulent declaration on their 4473, with all that entails.’ – ROFL! We’d be lucky if they gave them a free bus ride to the border. Are you forgetting who’s president? We don’t prosecute illegal aliens anymore, we just let them go. Maybe, give them a summons to show up in court, but then forget all about it when they don’t show up.

        ‘Most of these aren’t in the country, but the records remain after they’re processed and deported (they probably just cross-reference the list of people who are denied entry that is used when issuing visas etc).’ – What makes you think illegal aliens who are ‘denied entry’ can’t cross right back over?

        • They can cross over again, of course. But people who end up on these lists in the first place are more often than not people who have entered legally at first, and then violated the conditions of their stay (e.g. overstayed the visa). Most of the ones who enter illegally don’t show up on any lists in general.

        • For 4473 violations, we don’t prosecute ANYBODY, and never did. It’s not just illegals but everyone. The entire system is a waste of taxpayer money, even if it only cost $100,000 a year, it is still a total waste, and should be killed. 20 prosecutions a year makes it clear that none of them are for the 4473 violation, they’re because somebody is pissed at you. Maybe you talked sharply to an ATF agent? Failed to confess in a timely manner?

  5. One thing that really stands out: only 1.9 million felons. It’s hard to come by concrete estimates of the total number of people in the US with a felony conviction, but I’ve found a 2010 Princeton study that estimates it at 20 million. If that seems high, I have another source (a 2012 report by the Sentencing Project) that claims 5.85 million denied the right to vote due to a felony conviction (not all states deny voting rights to felons).

    Either way, clearly 1.9 million felons on the NICS list represent only a fraction of all US felons, and not a large fraction, either.

    • The Second Amendment does NOT say, “…shall not be infringed unless you are a convicted felon according to laws enacted by the government this amendment was intended to protect you from.”

        • Hmmm… I must have missed it, “the right of the people to keep and be armed shall not be infringed without due process.” You learn something new everyday around here. Boy, do I feel silly! All of my activism over these decades has been based upon a mistake. I guess there’s nothing left to do except turn on my guns and vote Hillary in 2016 as penance.

      • If you’re that much into literalism, RKBA cannot be denied to felons currently serving their sentence, either.

        • I’m not so sure about that. Incarcerated, that’s the key, individuals are already being deprived their right to travel, among other things. It’s not a stretch to see how the right to keep and bear arms could be curtailed while in lawful, legitimate custody. However, even if it had to be that incarcerated individuals could keep and bear arms, I would rather that be so than the People’s right be infringed. Still, I find that to be a somewhat silly argument. (Argumentum ad absurdum, perhaps?)

        • It is a stretch under the interpretation presented above. Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about felons, incarcerated or otherwise. No exceptions is no exceptions.

          If an exception for incarcerated felons is okay, despite not being mentioned in the text, then other exceptions might also presumably be okay despite not being mentioned either. And at that point you abandon literalism and start interpreting things (which is what the Founders intended, seeing how they didn’t always even agree between themselves what some things in the Constitution actually meant).

          A hard literalist approach can work, but requires a document that is specifically formulated to be treated that way. The one that we have isn’t like that.

        • Not infringing on those not in lawful, legitimate custody is light years away from allowing prisoners to keep and bear firearms in prison.

          When one is in the legitimate, lawful custody of another, the guardian is responsible for that individual’s safety. When the individual is in the wild, so to speak, the individual is completely responsible for their own safety. Again, it is somewhat of an absurd argument. And again, I wouldn’t have any problem with prisoners being armed if that’s what it took to maintain shall not be infringed for the People.

          Even interpreting the Second Amendment, no one can rationally say that the federal government was intended to be able to regulate the keeping and bearing of arms for individuals. The whole point was that the people would be armed as a deterrent to tyranny. There is no way that the federal government could have the power to regulate keeping and bearing arms when those arms were to be a deterrent to federal government over reach. That’s the fox guarding the henhouse so it doesn’t even pass the most basic of smell test.

        • >> Even interpreting the Second Amendment, no one can rationally say that the federal government was intended to be able to regulate the keeping and bearing of arms for individuals.

          That’s actually the most reasonable interpretation of them all. It makes more sense that the Second is absolute if you assume that it’s only binding on the federal government, and not the states – and even more so as we know that to have been the original interpretation of the entire Bill of Right (there wasn’t even such thing as a “federal prison” until 1860s). The rationale then also makes sense – the states wanted to make sure that the feds don’t do anything to disarm the state militia (as Brits did to the colonial militia).

        • You’ve got it and you understand the history as well. My argument has always been designed to get the unconstitutional Federal genie back in the bottle and then let us fight at the state level, where things are more local and manageable. I still do not believe that it is proper for any government, at any level, to disarm individuals, except those in legitimate, lawful custody. I also believe it to be immoral for individuals, such as business owners, to disarm people except those in legitimate, lawful custody. In any case, when someone is disarmed, those doing the disarming are responsible for their safety. However, when I reference the 2A, I’m almost always referring to the Federal government. Friends of mine, who are legal scholars, have convinced me over the years that the Equal Protection Clause could stop infringement. However it would be disingenuous of me to claim to actually believe that the 2A was initially intended to restrict anything but the Federal government. In my view, I can more easily deal with and change a government structure that is more local to me than a huge federal machine far away. I also support Articles of Confederation over a Federal Constitution. I firmly believe that our Federal Constitution had a good run but now it is time to give Articles of Confederation a chance. I would honestly like to see a few states secede and give it a try.

        • As you can probably guess, I don’t support national reciprocity. The only thing even remotely like that I would support would be flat-out constitutional carry. Although deep down I don’t believe that was the intent of the 2A, constitutional carry would go a long way towards the goal of a free society. Whereas, national reciprocity would damage the public’s understanding of the natural right to keep and bear arms.

        • I’m actually pro-14A in general, and in this case in particular. Merely pointing out that applying it to unmodified 2A produces weird results.

          I think that 14A-like laws and constitutional guarantees are goodness in principle (but 14A in particular is a rather awful implementation), because they give the higher level of government the most important power over the lower ones – that to intervene on behalf of minorities (or even majorities) whose rights are infringed. My ideal government model is basically the one with largely devolved powers concentrated on state level, and federal government restricted to foreign affairs and national defense (which doesn’t really require laws that are applicable to states), and to “policing” the states on individual rights and freedom of trade. Basically, the only power they should have over state legislation is the power to repeal state laws, not enact new laws outside of very few narrowly constrained areas.

          It’s definitely not what US was originally founded as, but then again, I never believed it to be a perfect arrangement. To me, sovereignty is fundamentally a collective right, and any collective right is inferior to any individual right, so when infringing on the former is required to protect the latter, it’s a no-brainer.

  6. They should cross reference those on the illegal alien NICS list with people getting govt handouts. I bet there would be more than a couple hits. Round’em up n ship’em out. Or grind them into Solent green whichever is cheaper.

  7. This also calls into serious question the latest argument against reciprocity (VA’s AG claim that different states have significantly different restrictions on minor classifications such as domestic abusers.) I generally support the proposition that domestic abusers probably are not responsible enough for gun ownership, but these statistics say that the two domestic abuse categories count for 1/1875 of the population (rough numbers.) To me, State Prohibitor down through Under Indictment are a very small number where the state laws may differ, and in any event are only about 1/1000 of the population. Other than that, if you are legal in one state, any state, you should have reciprocity in all others.

    • >> these statistics say that the two domestic abuse categories count for 1/1875 of the population (rough numbers.)

      These statistics represent the data that states chose to send to the feds. Many states only send info on felons, not mentally ill and not domestic abusers (often due to disagreement with the feds regarding what exactly this means). The quality of data in NICS database is widely known to be very poor in general and full of holes, so for most of these numbers, the real figures for those who are ineligible but not on the blacklist are several times higher as a rough estimate.

    • “They came for the Jews and I said nothing, because I was not a Jew…”

      Why is it so hard for even POTG to understand and admit that the entire NICS system is unconstitutional on its face?

      • My guess is that being free takes a certain amount of courage that many people lack. They want to delegate their responsibility and risk to a government and still claim to be free.

      • Cliff, it is also stupid, expensive, unenforceable, easily abused, a joke to the criminal element, and probably a bunch of other nasty things. However, it is vitally necessary to the survival of our nation, because … guns. See, now?

  8. So why are you denied from a dishonorable discharge? Everything military certainly isn’t a civilian crime. Maybe ex-military/lawyer can elaborate(or make up some BS)…

    • Because to get a DD you almost certainly commited a felony and went to the brig for a good long while. Rapes, murders, violent assaults are what DDs are made of

      • Yep, there are multiple levels of discharge from the military. You don’t want to invite a DD to xmas dinner.

      • What they said. There are other categories for the general f*ck ups who didn’t do anything particularly heinous.

        General, general under honorable conditions, I think other than honorable is one, too. I cannot remember all the categories, but there are several to handle people who just couldn’t play by the rules, but didn’t warrant their lives being ruined, per se.

        • Back in the day, anything other than “honorable” fucked your life up, for sure. Today, I doubt anyone ever asks to see discharge papers, because there is no draft. People don’t have draft cards, I’ve never carried my DD214, doubt if anyone else does. But the basic thrust, here, has always been correct, there are a whole lot of options for discharging bad people, a DD is a really bad person. Used to be a normal sentence for the really bad element was “six, six, and a kick”, six months in the brig, six months loss of pay and allowances (we’re not going to pay you while you’re in jail), and a DD. To get there, you were a thief, a drug dealer, a deserter, like that. A traitor might get death, a killer might get life in Leavenworth.

  9. As to who we need to add to that list, it’s people with anger management issues. Not that I know how to do that in a way I’d find constitutionally acceptable, but those are the people we don’t want to have guns.

    Most of the crazy people are harmless, and we don’t know how to tell which ones are not. But we can identify people with anger issues, and they are much more likely than the rest of us to commit violent acts.

    And they can learn how to effectively manage their anger, and not be a threat. But, as I said, I’m not sure how to handle this from a constitutional perspective.

    Any thoughts?

    Oh, and those illegals? Perhaps just being deported will get your name on the list?

    • Any thoughts?

      Yeah… shall not be infringed. Your comment was disgusting and vile. It’s not your right to decide who can and cannot exercise their natural rights. Sure, you can try to infringe upon another’s rights but that doesn’t make you any less of a thief and tyrant.

      • So, while to a large extent, I agree with you, if we are going to have prohibited persons, they ought to be people who are a substantially greater danger to the rest of us than the average person. It would be nice (and to our advantage) if we could get the gun debate onto a factual basis (unlike almost everything else, yeah, I’m a dreamer).

        Crazy people do not seem to be a useful group to go after. And, for a host of reasons, short of a post conviction evaluation for restoration of rights, I’m not sure how to restrict people who have substantial anger management issues from legally purchasing guns, without (as I said) crossing constitutional lines I’m not comfortable with.

        So, are you of the school that says we shouldn’t have any restrictions on ownership? I have some sympathies with that view.

        • Yes, I am of that viewpoint. If someone is not in legitimate, lawful custody, then government has no proper authority to infringe upon the individual’s right to keep and bear arms.

        • Not sure I completely agree, but I, too, sympathize with that viewpoint. Any movement in that direction would need to be gradual enough that people could be educated to the fact that they, and they alone, would soon be responsible for their own protection against violence, the police would only arrive after the fact. Because if we allow everybody to be armed, then everybody damn well better be armed!

      • Ronald, the Second Amendment has no allowances for restrictions of any sort, but especially those imposed by the government itself.

        The solution envisioned by the Founders, IMO, was that the right of the people to keep and bear arms would result in such an overwhelming number of good guys with guns that a bad guy with a gun would stand little chance of making anything more than an extremely minimal impact before being dealt with harshly by those armed good guys all around him.

        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

        The solution is NEVER to give up your right to keep and bear arms to the whims of the state, but to be prepared to defend yourself and your community when it is required – to shoot back and to not miss. Problem solved.

        • Well, I agree, however, that is not the world we seem to be living in. I don’t see how they can regulate what I put in my body either, yet disagreeing with them (even verbally) can have very ugly consequences.

          How do we get there? Is it worthwhile to get a gain in one area in exchange for a small loss in another? For example, while constitutional carry would be great, we are not there yet, and will not be for some time. Would it be worthwhile to trade something for that? As a Californian, I’d like to go shall issue. Is there something we could live with giving up in exchange for that? Progress is often two steps forward, one back, just make sure you understand what’s going on.

          I think trying to move the debate to a more factual basis is a win for us, though, granted, that’s rather abstract.

        • Restoring the exercise of any substantial rights will never happen incrementally. You can’t vote yourself to freedom. Ultimately, a people must stand up and demand that their rights be respected. They need to be willing to do what it takes to stand up for themselves, individually and as a group. It has been this way since the beginning of civilization. There hasn’t been enough time since then for humanity to evolve into some higher being. At the end of the day, it always comes down to brute force.

        • BRAVO! Cliff! And in the process, you have made a really good case for me going out and buying another gun! And a few thousand more BBs! Thanx for that!

  10. if sam stone heals his arm hole and gets on maintenance will he ever be able to pocket a snubbie?
    violent desperation i get. toss the key.
    but a gal selling her ass should still be able to self defend.

  11. So, if 49% of the list is illegal aliens, this means they know who they are. Seems to me it wouldn’t be terribly hard to arrest them and send them back.

  12. This is why I buy all my firearms from the trunk of a patrol car…… JK.
    Also some of these could be from Pawning firearms as well. When you pawn a firearm you have to do a check before they can pick it up. If they fail, the pawn shop keeps the firearm. Add in people who are not sure if they can own a firearm? and run the check just to “see” if they can. Now that they charge 20-30 bucks to run it that has curbed alot of the ” I wonder” checks.

    On the topic of Vets this is linked to the PTSD business we talked about on here.

  13. I’m waiting for states/USG to add “Behind on Child Support” the USG has started yanking Passports over this already. So if your behind on your payments you can forget going to Sandal this winter….

    • AFAIK, states can take concealed handgun licenses for being behind in child support. I know they can revoke professional licenses for the same reason.

      • Yep just looked it up – also say bye bye to your 720 credit score.

        First, CSE may order the suspension or revocation of any licenses issued in Alabama, including hunting, boating, fishing, driver’s, business and professional licenses. The non-custodial parent will not regain such privileges until an arrangement is made to pay the arrears and compliance is demonstrated. Additionally, if the non-custodial parent has or wants a U.S. passport, but owes more than $2,500 in support arrears, a passport may be denied, revoked or restricted until attempts are made to pay the owed support. Lastly, any child support debt of more than $1,000 will be reported to the national credit bureaus, affecting the non-custodial parent’s ability to apply for credit cards or other loans. The debt will be reflected as past due until paid in full, after which the delinquency will remain on the credit report for an additional seven years.

  14. Aliens and non violent felons should never be canded !

    And if somebody to dangerous in the case of violence felons then lwop ore dead penality and good all other white the exeption of mental ills and people under 21 should never banned in any public place from carry any art of weapon !!

  15. After looking at all 33 pages, I’v come to the conclusion that if a second civil war ever breaks out, it will be fought by legal, law abiding, stand up citizens..Government will have no excuse. They wont be able to label gun owners as lawless criminals.

    • I bet Hillary and Obama would love to label NRA members as terrorists and place them on the prohibited persons list. Instead, they are smart enough (just barely!) to play the long game with AWB’s, enhanced BG checks, expensive CC permits, lead ammo bans, EO’s, magazine capacity limits, “smart” guns, minimizing reciprocity, etc. Unfortunately millions of voters are just dumb enough to vote for Obama and Hillary.

    • You are probably right … all the others will be looting or waving protest signs because of the intereference with their handouts.

  16. Almost 470k are fugitives … and they only bother to arrest around a dozen people per year from failing the background check. So almost half a million fugitives are just allowed to wander off when they are denied the purchase of a firearm. How completely absurd and yet, just what we’ve come to expect from the Federal Government!

    • I really doubt many of those people are trying to buy a gun at a dealer. Steal them, buy stolen ones, smack a cop and take his, fine, but not run down to the gun store!

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