Society

FBI Says 186,000 Gun Sales Beat Background Checks

| by Michael Allen

A whopping 186,000 gun sales failed to be checked via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in 2013 because states are failing to provide current updates of criminal and mental records to the FBI.

Black Friday means that requests for gun background checks will hit almost two per second, according to FBI. Last year, there were 145,000 gun purchases just on Black Friday.

"We have a perfect storm coming," FBI manager Kimberly Del Greco recently told the Associated Press.

A person is killed by a gun every 16 minutes in the U.S., there are nine guns for every ten Americans and gun shops make about 40 new requests for criminal background checks every minute, noted Sky News.

Half the gun checks are made by gun dealers via the FBI's online E-Check System, the other half are called into the FBI, but there are only 500 NICS researchers to run checks for over 48,000 gun dealers.

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Far from being the evil "gun grabbers" they portrayed to be by the gun industry and conservative media outlets, NICS researchers are constantly overworked in this thankless profession.

One NICS worker had to run 99 gun background checks for one gun dealer, which took four hours.

The NICS has to complete a background check by three days, but that time limit allowed 186,000 gun sales to go through without being checked in 2013.

The problem is states voluntarily submit records, which are often incomplete when it comes to rulings about mental health or criminal convictions.

"We are stewards of the states' records," added Del Greco. "It's really critical that we have accurate information. Sometimes we just don't."

"It takes a lot of effort... for an examiner to go out and look at court reports, look at judges' documents, try to find a final disposition so we can get back to a gun dealer on whether they can sell that gun or not," stated Del Greco. "And we don't always get back to them."

Sources: Associated Press, Sky News