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Tipsheet

How the FBI Potentially Allowed Thousands of Bad Guys to Get Firearms

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The National Instant Background Check System (NICS) is only as good as the people running it. Whenever there’s a mass shooting, the Democrats want to expand background checks. Background checks are required for all gun purchases made at gun stores with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). It’s a myth that 40 percent of all gun sales are done without a background check. That line was debunked years ago, though you sometimes see it sneak its way into anti-gun talking points. The expansion of background checks centers on private sales, which are minuscule and aren’t the cause of gun violence in America. Those transfers are primarily among family members via inheritances. Expanded background checks are the basis for creating a national gun database to confiscate firearms. Yet, before we can get into that debate, we need to figure out what the hell is going on at the FBI. 

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We know they were manufacturing evidence to prove the shoddy Russian collusion allegations. The corrupt FBI/DOJ also doctored evidence to secure spy warrants on Trump campaign officials, like Carter Page. The Department of Justice’s reputation is stained. That’s not new. What is somewhat disturbing is how they could not complete some 1 million background checks over the past couple of years, potentially allowing thousands of prohibited persons to purchase firearms. The background checks were simply not completed within the critical three-day period. After that, federal law says that the sale may legally go through if nothing turns up on the buyer.  (via NBC News):

There were over 1 million opportunities for someone to buy a gun from a licensed dealer without a completed background check in 2020 and 2021, according to an FBI report released last month. 

In all, 1,002,274 background checks — or 4.2 percent — took longer than three business days in 2020 and 2021, a higher share than any other period since at least 2014, according to data compiled by NBC News. After the third business day, federal law allows dealers to sell weapons while the background check is still pending, which potentially puts weapons in the hands of people who can’t legally own a gun because of mental illness or their criminal history. 

The FBI ultimately completed about one-fourth of those delayed background checks and discovered that 11,564 people were able to buy guns in 2020 and 2021 before the check showed that they should not have been allowed to do so, according to the FBI report. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives then had to retrieve the weapons.

But that number only accounts for a fraction of the delayed background checks. The FBI never completed 734,604 checks from January 2020 through November 2021, the most recent data available, because they took longer than 88 days — after which the bureau must stop its research and purge the unfinished checks from its system.

Some dealers choose not to sell weapons without a completed check, and many states also have more stringent requirements.

Still, it’s impossible to know how many people who bought guns after an unfinished background check would have been denied had it been completed.

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Americans with common names, like ‘John Smith,’ can run into some issues when purchasing firearms. We all know that. The law-abiding ‘John Smiths’ of the country may have to wait a couple of days for their guns as the Feds make sure these ‘John Smiths’ aren’t the ones on the run for a variety of violent crimes or ones carrying past convictions that prohibit them from gun ownership. Expect the Democrats to make a case for expanding wait periods in the wake of this news, but they shouldn’t—the Brady bill established NICS and the three-day waiting period. Democrats signed off on this in 1993; then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced it. 

The ATF retrieved some weapons after these checks showed that a sale had been made involving a prohibited person. Still, this isn’t the first time the FBI has dropped the ball. In 2015, Dylann Roof’s racist shooting at a Baptist Church in South Carolina prompted then-FBI Director James Comey to apologize for the clerical error that allowed him to purchase a firearm.

The ATF retrieved some weapons after these checks showed that a sale had been made involving a prohibited person. Still, this isn’t the first time the FBI has dropped the ball. In 2015, Dylann Roof’s racist shooting at a Baptist Church in South Carolina prompted then-FBI Director James Comey to own up for the clerical error that allowed him to purchase a firearm

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In 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley killed over 20 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelley had served jail time upon his conviction for domestic abuse while serving in the Air Force. The service never sent the FBI Kelley’s criminal records, which would have prevented him from buying a gun. 

The FBI has suffered a series of failures in recent years, which makes this development that some 11,000 prohibited persons might have fallen through the cracks not all that shocking. It’s a bit jarring, but this NICS system has failed. Does it need a tune-up? Yes, the problem is the Democrats will use that opportunity to sneak in some crazy anti-gun initiatives. With how left-wing the Democratic Party has become, trust with these folks should be non-existent. The same goes for some Republicans too.  

Until we all cool down, and the Left ceases their tantrum over the recent Supreme Court rulings, we’re stuck in neutral here. Also, there’s a midterm election coming up where Democrats will take a pummeling at the polls. They’re not going to do more on guns, especially with the economy in recession. 

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