An Inspector General Report Shows Major Holes in Background Check Records

Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms reported that the Department of Homeland Security failed to “consistently comply” with National Instant Check System record requirements for a timeframe of nearly two years, per a new report by the Office of the Inspector General. This report  revealed consistent gaps in information and data within the NICS system.

According to the OIG investigation, it was revealed that the DHS has over 6.4-million incomplete records. Edward’s noted that this consisted of “the disposition of any criminal charges that might have been brought by a DHS agency.” Although DHS takes issue with those reported figures that the number is that high and asserts that the missing disposition records aren’t actual forms of noncompliance. Per Edwards, the DHS rationalized this by noting that “at the very least the incomplete records create delays for some gun buyers when they go to purchase a firearm at retail.” 

The failure to report all the necessary data could allow for prohibited individuals to finalize their purchases if the NICS check is delayed for over three business days without an official determination on the prospective buyer’s legal status.

Per data reviewed by the OIG, components did not always reply quickly or sufficiently to the FBI’s NICS inquiries. In particular, DHS components took over three days to reply or did not respond to 126 (59%) of 214 NICS inquiries.

In addition, the OIG report also featured shocking revelations that at least two certifications DHS sent to the Department of Justice asserting that they complied with the Fix NICS Act of 2018 were “inaccurate”. The OIG blames this issue on a lack of oversight and any policy to guarantee that the agency is behaving in accordance with the Fix NICS Act. 

Edwards highlighted the implications of these DHS certifications:

Because the DHS certifications were approved even though they contained inaccuracies, that means that the DOJ’s semiannual report to Congress about the NICS system was also fundamentally tainted by bad information.

What this OIG report reveals is that the current NICS system is flawed and not capable of stopping criminals. Moreover, it’s as unconstitutional as it gets. Trying to make background checks universal will only magnify these issues. 

If we’re serious about stopping crime, getting rid of all federal gun control legislation, including the law that established NICS, is a good place to start.

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