Some interesting facts about the Federal background gun checks.
The program is run and overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), but under the Criminal Justice Information Service Division.
For more information NICS CHECK
The small crew that does all the background checks for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is located in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
The background check system is a part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of
1993. All Federal Firearms Licensed dealers must use the system and maintain records of
their firearm sales. A part of that process is getting each buyer’s background checked to insure
they are qualified buyers. The NICS checks are done by either phone or computer with the
division about split at this time 50/50. On a daily basis they process an average of 58,000
requests. With a staff of about 500 persons that’s some 116 per person, but they are also
operating 17 hour days, 7 days a week with only Christmas off all year.
This is to service the
approximately 48,000 gun shops/dealers. These are places like Cabela’s, Gander Mountain and the local gun shop, Wal-Mart, pawn shops too.
A peak day like Black Friday of 2013 saw some 145,000 requests for that day alone. The law only gives the NICS people three (3) days to do the background check on a request.
If they are not done with the checks by the three days then the requestor is given a free pass on the
purchase. How often does that happen? For example in 2013, there were 186,000 such transactions! That’s around three normal days slipping through – which causes many for concerns.
Why so many applicants slip through the process? The NICS people blame the states as they try to get the correct current information on a request, but the states are the reporting agents, and are not always current.
On a positive note only about 1.25% of requests are denied. But denials can be appealed.
Below is a list of what the NICS personnel look for in performing the required background checks.
• Felony conviction
• Arrest Warrant
• Documented drug problem
• Documented mental illness
• Undocumented immigration status
• A dishonorable discharge from the US Military
• A renunciation of US citizenship
• Under a current restraining order
• A history of domestic violence
Under indictment for any crime punishable by longer that a year of prison time