For months now, the NICS system has been swamped. Tons of people are wanting guns and are having to wait for background checks to clear so they can take them home. However, due to the law, they can’t make people wait indefinitely.
See, when the NICS process was first proposed, there was a legitimate concern that delays could be created to discourage people from owning guns. After all, you’re not telling them they can’t, you’re just taking months or years to tell them they can. As a result, there’s a limit to how long gun dealers have to hold onto a gun and wait before they can assume it’s good to go.
Now, though, a lot more people are hitting those wait times, and it’s got anti-gunners nervous.
Firearms sales have surged this year. That has led to a corresponding backlog of background checks, which gun regulation advocates worry will lead to more prohibited purchases.
The data are clear. From March through August, the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed more than 20 million background checks through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Every single one of those months set a new all-time monthly record. Industry analysts and experts say sales have spiked for a variety of reasons, including the pandemic and social unrest in a contentious presidential election year.
The FBI runs background checks on most gun purchases. Most take only a few minutes, but some are flagged for further review. The FBI then has three days to complete the check. If it takes longer than that, the purchase may go through by default, sometimes called the “Charleston loophole.”
The surge in purchases has led to a simultaneous increase in background checks that miss the three-day window. Because of that, gun regulation advocates at Everytown for Gun Safety estimate that nearly 4,000 firearms could have been sold to purchasers that would have been denied.
Almost 4,000 guns?
I hate to break it to you, but that’s a minute percentage of the overall firearms sold and Everytown freaking knows it. In fact, when you look at the percentages, you find that there hasn’t really been much of any increase in prohibited persons trying to buy firearms. They’re doing it at roughly the same rate they always have.
What’s more is that when that check comes back and we find out they’re not supposed to have a gun, the paperwork has their address, making it easy for them to be picked up and arrested.
In other words, it’s really not the issue Everytown wants to claim it to be.
Instead, what Everytown is likely hoping to do is to do away with the window. They want to require gun dealers hold onto firearms indefinitely so that other efforts can create delays.
It’s important to remember that despite what they may claim, they don’t want anyone having guns. After all, they have never once opposed a gun regulation anywhere in the country as going too far. Instead, they’ve backed every measure and will continue to back every measure until guns simply don’t exist in this country anymore.
But they know they can’t make that happen unless people are afraid, so they scaremonger. They spin horror stories of prohibited persons getting guns and thus making the world less safe. Meanwhile, criminals are getting guns the same way they usually got them–by breaking the law in some manner. They’re using straw buyers, black market sellers, or outright stealing them from law-abiding citizens. Yet those are problematic to address, so instead they target a tiny fraction of a percent of all cases and focus on that.
After all, that tiny fraction of a percent is also where they can foul up our constitutional right to keep and bear arms as well. If they can stop people from obtaining guns, they can eventually stop people from supporting guns. Gun owners tend to be gun voters, after all.
So, they try to scare people into believing there’s a problem where none exists, all so they can push for some kind of change that won’t actually do a damn thing. It’s what they’ve always done and what they’ll always continue to do.