With the increase of gun sales come the increase of criminal background checks and appeals, something the FBI apparently wasn’t ready for.
FBI Assistant Director Stephen Morris explained that the massive uptick in gun sales that occurs after every mass shooting and call for gun control has necessitated the temporary reorganization of 70 appeal examiners.
Due to the influx of new background checks, the Bureau was forced to suspend the processing of almost 7,100 appeals from gun purchasers whose attempts were rejected.
Morris had this to say to USA Today:
“The last several months, we’ve kind of found ourselves in a perfect storm,’’ Morris said in an interview with USA TODAY. In each of the last six months, the number of background checks has risen steadily, according to FBI records, ending with December’s record with more than a half-million over the previous monthly high posted in the aftermath of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
Employees of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System had their annual leave canceled before Thanksgiving and for good reason; that Black Friday saw 185,345 new background check requests for firearm purchases. Temporary background checkers are being pulled from various other departments in the FBI, including those that include the gathering of crime statistics.
The steadily growing number of firearms sales has put a severe burden on the NICS system, which is struggling to maintain their database of voluntarily contributed criminal and mental health records.
Morris admits that it’s not possible to tell how many records could be missing from their system. Because of this, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued letter to the nation’s governors encouraging their contributions to the NICS system, and warning that she would be publishing their contributions.
Background checks must be resolved within 3 days submission, or the business is allowed to complete the transaction without a check. Some cases, Morris says, aren’t being looked at until the third day.
Are you surprised by this? Let us know in the comments!
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