The NICS background check system has had a rough couple of years. First, we learned how it failed to flag the Sutherland Springs shooter, someone who had been dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. That led to the Fix NICS legislation that passed with bipartisan support.
Now, the system is bogged down with requests after back-to-back months of record-setting sales. A ton of people want guns, people who have never had a gun before, and that means background checks, especially since new gun owners likely don’t have a concealed carry permit.
Unfortunately, with the system bogged down, a lot of people are trying to take advantage of that and hope they can slide through, picking up a gun after the three-day wait but before a failed check can make it back to the gun store.
Because of that, a couple of Republican senators want to beef up the system to handle the increased load.
A number of Republican Senators are looking to bolster the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS])after back-to-back record-setting sales months in March and April.
“In response to the pandemic, millions of Americans practicing safe social distancing have lined up outside of firearm retailers in order to purchase firearms. The resulting record-breaking surge has placed significant pressure on the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS), which helps to ensure that criminals and other prohibited persons cannot gain access to firearms,” Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray this week. More than two-dozen other Senators also signed on.
“As our country continues to respond to the pandemic, we are seeking additional information on the impact the coronavirus has had on your agencies and the firearm transfer process so that we have a clearer picture on where things stand and how we can better assist through the legislative and appropriations process,” the letter continues.
Honestly, this is another example of a NICS-related issue that should face bipartisan support.
For Republicans, this is a measure that will speed up the process for law-abiding Americans to purchase guns. For Democrats, this is a measure that will help keep guns out of the hands of those who are already prohibited.
No, it won’t do so universally, but it will make it a bit harder for those individuals and that’s not a bad thing.
The question is whether Democrats will agree or not. Right now, I’m not sure they will. They seem bound and determined not to do much of anything, especially if it might possibly benefit law-abiding gun owners and buyers.
However, if they don’t, how many armed criminals will purchase guns from law-abiding gun stores because of Democratic petulance? Oh, I have little doubt they’d get them otherwise, but at least then they won’t get them from lawful dealers who are trying to comply with the rules and regulations required of them.
Not that I expect they’d accept the blame, mind you.
Still, while many Democrats are all but begging gun stores to wait past the required period for background checks to come back–something they can’t actually make them do–it might be a wise move to beef up the system so those dealers won’t have to.