FBI information services division
(rear L to R) Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Chris Murphy, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, FBI Director Chris Wray, Sen. Joe Manchin, unidentified, Sen. Thom Tillis, (front) unidentified (photo courtesy FBI)
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Remember the wonderfully-named Bipartisan Safer Communities Act? That’s the federal gun control bill that Joe Biden and the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex crowed endlessly about passing last year. It was portrayed as a huge victory for the superannuated Commander In Chief and it made it through Congress in the fevered post-Uvalde climate when Texas Senator John Cornyn, along with a few of the usual suspects, reached across the aisle to Connecticut’s peripatetically hoplophobic Chris Murphy to craft a gun control bill that gave Democrats a big PR win.

As we pointed out at the time, despite crossing the aisle, the usual senatorial suspects who jumped on the compromise train Senator Cornyn was driving were still dragged by the gun control industry and the media (yes, that’s redundant) despite all of the high-minded bipartisanship that made it happen. That’s because you can never compromise enough to satisfy the gun control industry…a lesson Cornyn apparently hasn’t learned.

If the reception Cornyn got back here in Texas after the bill passed wasn’t enough of hint that caving to the gun control crowd was a bad move, maybe the reality of the implementation of the law he so eagerly promoted will get through to him. Maybe.

One of the many features of the BSCA gun control law is its “under 21 enhanced review process” for firearm purchases (long guns only, as federal law bans handgun sales to them). Here’s how Cornyn’s partner in crime legislation Chris Murphy describes that part of the law . . .

  • Requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement, for buyers under 21 years of age.
  • NICS will have up to three business days to conduct the initial enhanced search. If that search reveals a possible disqualifying record, NICS will have an extended window of no more than ten business days total to complete the investigation.
  • Provides additional funding to the FBI to administer new process checks in NICS and grants to help states upgrade criminal and mental health records therein.

That all sounds very nice, but what does that actually mean in the real world when an adult under 21 wants to buy a firearm?

It means a 10-day waiting period before they can take possession of their gun. Not just sometimes. Not just when the FBI turns up something questionable during the background check process. All the time.

Congratulations, Gun Nation — and Senator Cornyn, please step forward and take a bow — because thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we now have a de facto federal 10-day waiting period for gun sales to all adults aged 18 to 20 years old.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

TTAG has talked to a number of FFLs in states around the country. They tell us that every transaction for someone 18 to 20 years old is being delayed the initial three days. To be clear, that’s the same amount of time the FBI currently has to complete all NICS checks…but it rarely takes that long. The FFL usually gets an instant approval. Under the 1993 Brady law, if the NICS system doesn’t return an answer after three days, the retailer can choose to deliver the firearm anyway.

Under the BSCA, however, in addition to those three days, retailers tell us that every transfer for buyers under 21 is then extended for the additional seven business days the BSCA law now allows. Routinely. Every one of them.

Orchid Advisors is one of the biggest and best service providers for FFLs, helping them manage their inventory, ATF compliance and the like. Here’s what they tell their customers about life under the Cornyn-Murphy gun control law . . .

As a result of the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) of 2022, the NICS Section has been working towards the implementation of an enhanced background check process for persons between the ages of 18-20. The enhancement provides the opportunity for additional outreach and research to be conducted regarding the existence of any juvenile adjudication information and/or mental health prohibition. As a result, transactions on persons between the ages of 18-20 will initially be delayed allowing for the additional outreach. To conduct this outreach and research, the address of the individual will be collected so that the appropriate local law enforcement entities may be contacted.

NICS transactions for persons under the age of 21 could be extended for a period up to ten (10) business days. As a result, it is possible for an FFL to be contacted with an updated Brady Transfer Date in certain scenarios. In these situations, NICS staff will be calling to advise of the change. …

Please note, if no potentially prohibiting information is located, the transaction will proceed as soon as possible.

That description reflects the law as written, but that’s not what’s actually happening. Sales transactions don’t “proceed as soon as possible.” Again, according to the FFLs we’ve spoken to, every transfer for every adult under 21 now takes the full ten business days.

The BSCA went into effect last November. In January, some of the Senators who proudly voted for this thing took a little trip to the FBI’s West Virginia Information Services Division operation to see how implementation of the law was going.

“Today, we were able to host a bipartisan congressional visit to our CJIS Division and provide a briefing of the FBI’s implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA),” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The BSCA requires our National Instant Criminal Background Check System to alert state and local law enforcement of background check denials as well as expands checks for young adults. The FBI remains dedicated to meeting all of our legal requirements in order to protect the American public.”

That’s the only mention of the under-21 process in the FBI’s press release on the meeting. We’re told that while they were there, the senators got assurances from the FBI that the requirements under the BSCA would not be treated as a 10-day waiting period.

So much for all of that.

cornyn murphy

We wanted to find out what the primary sponsors of the gun control law, Senators Cornyn and Murphy, had to say about what’s happening, so we contacted them. No one in Murphy’s office could be bothered to get back to us. Cornyn’s office would only talk off the record, mostly.

We’d heard that Cornyn sent a letter to the FBI confirming his understanding of the law he supported and voted for, namely that the BSCA does not establish a de facto 10-day waiting period. Cornyn’s Deputy Press Secretary, Audrey Cook, confirmed “that Sen. Cornyn did send the FBI an oversight letter on implementation that flagged his interpretation of the statute’s plain language.”

Good to hear. I asked Cook for a copy of that letter, but she told me “I don’t have a copy to share.” OK then.

I talked to Larry Keane, the NSSF’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel about what we found. He told us that while the FBI may be using the full 10-day hold may be holding transactions the full 10 days, the language of the law as written does not, in fact, establish a 10-day waiting period.

The law is clear it is NOT an automatic 10-day waiting period. The additional 7 days runs from when they have something to investigate. In no event can that be longer than 10 days. The check must start immediately.

He said the law gives states more than enough time to get records to NICS so that it doesn’t take that long. In addition to noting that NSSF opposed that language in the law, he also said . . .

If NICS knows that state X will not provide juvenile records to NICS they should not be delaying the transaction since there is nothing to investigate. 

So let’s be clear here. Whatever the BSCA’s language may be, in practice law-abiding adults under 21 years of age are now having to clear a higher hurdle to exercise a fundamental, constitutionally-protected civil right than other adults based solely on their age. That’s a clear violation of their Second Amendment rights.

We talked to the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation about that. Both are aware of the obvious constitutional problem the law presents, but are letting another in-process challenge play out first.

Both orgs have sued challenging the federal ban on handgun sales to adults under 21 in Reese v. BATFE. The federal handgun purchase prohibition is similarly constitutionally problematic and if that case goes the way both orgs hope and expect, that will provide a very good legal basis to then challenge the BSCA’s under-21 provisions.

None of the bill’s supporters in Congress sold it on the basis of it instituting a waiting period on gun sales for adults under 21. They only talked about the “enhanced” reviews. There’s no way to know if all of the GOP supporters of the law (list here) would have gotten behind the bill if they’d known a 10-day waiting period would be the practical effect. Whether any of then will now press the FBI to abide by the letter of the law remains to be seen.

In the mean time, though, the Second Amendment rights of a cohort of law-abiding adults are being violated on a daily basis all over the country. Like the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, the BSCA will sunset after 10 years, but that doesn’t do anything about the violations that will take place until either the law terms out or it’s invalidated by the courts.


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  1. It’s not the average law abiding citizen that is the problem. The problem is the urban gang infested ghettos that do not follow the law to obtain their guns. So what is being done about that by these clowns? Oh just about absolutely nothing as usual, just this more “feel good” we have to do something garbage as long as it is not too hard.

    • grumpy…Unfortunately the blame game road you are on is the same road RINOs took to go along with Gun Control democRats whose MO is tying the acts of criminals around the neck of the Second Amendment.

      This is a case of the blatant Discrimination inherent with Gun Control which is an agenda History Confirms is Rooted in Racism and Genocide.

      • Gang members and other criminals do fuck it up for the rest of us. It’s imbecilic not to blame them. The idea they deserve the same gun rights as everyone else is retarded.

        • Most bangers don’t have the same gun rights as the rest of us. Most are too young to own the pistols they’re illegally carrying, and the older ones have felonies that prevent them from legally owning any gun. For the same reasons, they don’t have CCWs and aren’t covered by permitless carry. They try to use youngsters for their planned violence since the juvenile justice system goes easier on them. No law is going to prevent them from having guns since they don’t get them via legitimate means.

  2. Cornyn needs to go but we won’t be able to primary him till ’26. He is clearly a solid example of a stab you in the back RINO who wants to be invited to all the good parties in DC.

    • He’s retiring. That’s why term limits aren’t the answer. The most dangerous politician is the one that isn’t worried about getting reelected.

      • That’s my guess. He accepted the kamikaze mission from McConnell to go do something because there would be no consequences.

    • Last firearm purchase arrived at the FFL shop on Friday afternoon. Since she ran the NICS then , it was the following thursday morning before she called and said it passed. She also said legally I could have picked up the rifle Wed.afternoon.

  3. From this article,

    To conduct this outreach and research, the address of the [18 to 20 year-old] individual will be collected so that the appropriate local law enforcement entities may be contacted.

    THAT right there, ladies and gentlemen, establishes a de-facto firearm ownership registry for young adults. While that registry may not tell fedzilla exactly what firearm/s an 18 to 20 year-old adult owns, it certainly tells fedzilla that said adult indeed owns at least one firearm. And that would be all the probable cause that fedzilla needs to present to a court to get a search warrant (or, heaven forbid, an unconstitutional confiscation order) for said adult and domicile.

    • IN many cases would establish a probably list for the adult PARENT of the 18yr old – many of whom still live at home.

  4. How Texas keeps re-electing Cornyn should be an indicator of Texas turning blue. Cornyn has always been pro-gun before elections then anti-gun after the election.

    Get a grip Texans!

    • I think people have a cartoon image of Texas about how red it really is. Who did Cornyn replace? A rock-ribbed firebrand? No, it was freaking Phil Gramm. This is the state that gave America W Bush – and before him in the governor’s mansion, it had been (with rare exceptions) Democrat since its founding.

      We got concealed carry less than 30 years ago, open carry less than 10 years ago, alleged constitutional carry two years ago. There is no history of being gun friendly here, despite what Hollywood and others pretend. Per capita, Texas is in the middle of the pack as far as gun ownership among all 50 states.

      All the normal people live outside the biggest cities. Fortunately, the state is so huge that there are more of them than the urban twits. How long will that last? I have no idea. unfortunately, Cornyn has represented Texas (not me, I hate the guy) fairly accurately.

      Statewide, Cruz has been the anomaly here.

  5. John Cornyn is a “tool”, there was no constituency pressure in Texas for him and this legislation.

    A primary challenge would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Reading (and comprehending) the constitution should be a requirement.
    14th Amendment would be a good place to start on this one an legal adult is a legal adult, you can’t treat people (adults) differently.

  7. I didn’t realize we were still obeying the law. If the DOJ, FBI, ATF, Biden’s, Clinton’s, Bushes, courts, states, and election authorities don’t have to then why should we?

  8. You can add Iowa Senatechick Joni Ernst to the defectors supporting disarmament while hiding behind phony 2A creds. It is highly likely she’ll face a decent primary opponent in 3 years.

    Iowans are not fond of those who are in a figurative bed with Mitch McConnell at the expense of their constituents. This is at least the second time in under 2 years she has voted with the progressive McConnell tribe.

  9. I work for a FFL. Since Biden signed this bill and made it federal law EVERY 18-20 year old has been initially delayed for the three days AND then automatically extended the extra seven days. So there is in fact a 10 day waiting period for under 21 year olds. Also the 10 days is actually 10 “government working” days. Sundays and holidays don’t count so it’s actually longer than 10 days. We have sold/transferred to dozens of under 21’s and ALL who needed NICS checks were 10+ day delays. MT issues CWP permits to 18+ year olds and per state & federal law they are NICS exempt and have ZERO waiting periods. So if you live in MT and are under 21 here is one more reason to get your CWP.

  10. All thanks to closet Democrat and sell-out John Cornyn. More unconstitutional bullshit from this jackass and leftist tyrant Murphy. Personally I hope their damn legs grow together.

  11. Why is it that the NSSF still gives those Republicans responsible for the Safer Communities Act A-grades on their legislative report cards?

    Ask Larry Keane why his organization supports these senators and congressmen and therefore supports this bill and all the things like this that were in it. He has come out and said that he supports Redflag laws, safe storage, and under 21 limits. Yet he is still a contributor here at this very website writing his anti-gun propaganda a couple or three times a week.

  12. Cornhole has always been a piece of rino poop. For some reason he never replies to my emails over the last several years.


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