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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:25 AM

Gaps in F.B.I. Data Undercut Background Checks for Guns

Source: NYT

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Nearly two decades after lawmakers began requiring background checks for gun buyers, significant gaps in the F.B.I.’s database of criminal and mental health records allow thousands of people to buy firearms every year who should be barred from doing so.

The database is incomplete because many states have not provided federal authorities with comprehensive records of people involuntarily committed or otherwise ruled mentally ill. Records are also spotty for several other categories of prohibited buyers, including those who have tested positive for illegal drugs or have a history of domestic violence.

While some states, including New York, have submitted more than 100,000 names of mentally ill people to the F.B.I. database, 19 — including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland and Maine — have submitted fewer than 100 records and Rhode Island has submitted none, according to federal data compiled by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. That suggests that millions of names are missing from the federal database, gun control advocates and law enforcement officials say.

“Until it has all the records of people out there in the country who have been deemed too dangerous to own a firearm, the background check system still looks like Swiss cheese,” said Mark Glaze, director of the group. The gaps exist because the system is voluntary; the Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the federal government cannot force state officials to participate in the federal background check system. As a result, when a gun dealer asks the F.B.I. to check a buyer’s history, the bureau sometimes allows the sale to proceed, even though the purchaser should have been prohibited from acquiring a weapon, because its database is missing the relevant records.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/us/gaps-in-fbi-data-undercut-background-checks-for-guns.html?ref=nyregion



Here is an easy place to start.

22 replies, 2229 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Gaps in F.B.I. Data Undercut Background Checks for Guns (Original post)
hack89 Dec 2012 OP
truthisfreedom Dec 2012 #1
PoliticAverse Dec 2012 #2
pipoman Dec 2012 #3
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #5
pipoman Dec 2012 #8
groundloop Dec 2012 #4
JimDandy Dec 2012 #6
pipoman Dec 2012 #9
dlwickham Dec 2012 #11
JimDandy Dec 2012 #18
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #7
pipoman Dec 2012 #10
Paladin Dec 2012 #12
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #13
hack89 Dec 2012 #14
pipoman Dec 2012 #17
pipoman Dec 2012 #16
Paladin Dec 2012 #22
naaman fletcher Dec 2012 #19
S_B_Jackson Dec 2012 #20
L0oniX Dec 2012 #15
Igel Dec 2012 #21

Response to hack89 (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

1. Well, I guess we're all just participating in the "Welcome to reality, reality" that we all live in.

Shit is fucked up, has been fucked up for a long time, and will remain fucked up into the foreseeable future. Anyone complaining?

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:35 AM

2. Are states with medical marijuana laws submitting the names of those participating ?

ATF letter on medical marijuana and gun purchases: http://www.scribd.com/doc/66834813/ATF-Letter-Regarding-Guns-and-Drugs

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:40 AM

3. Additionally

Failure to enforce the law is a major problem IMHO. Here is an example of what I mean..

A guy walks into a gun shop with a felony conviction. He fills out the US government form #4473, required to buy a gun from a federal firearms dealer. There are questions on form 4473 including "have you ever been convicted of a felony"? The guy checks the no box, because if he checks the yes box the dealer won't even call NICS. The guy signs the form which states that the form is truthful under penalty of perjury. NICS denies the transfer because the guy lied on his 4473 and actually does have a felony conviction. Now the FBI knows that this convicted felon who is prohibited from owning a firearm is actively trying to buy a firearm....This exact scenario played out 132,000 times in 2005 (and every day of every year since). Wow! The FBI must sure be busy tracking down these convicted felons who they know have at least committed perjury and likely have acquired a gun, huh? Wouldn't these bona fide criminal leads be a fairly high priority? Turns out not so much....


Highlights

Nearly 70 million background checks conducted under the
Brady Act through 2005; over 57 million since the
permanent provisions took effect

* 1.6% of the 8.3 million applications for firearm transfers
or permits in 2005 were rejected by the FBI (66,700
applications)or State and local agencies(65,200
applications).

* Among State and local checking agencies in 2005, 46% of all
rejections for firearm transfers (about 30,000 applications)
were due to a felony conviction or indictment.

* About 15% of State and local rejections(10,000 applications)
were due to a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction or
restraining order.

* The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosive's(ATF)
field offices investigated 9,575 National Instant Criminal
Background Check System(NICS)denials that were referred by
the FBI in 2005.

* In 2005 agencies reported 1,400 arrests of persons denied
a firearm or a permit.

* In 2005 U.S. attorney offices accepted for prosecution 135
NICS denial cases investigated by ATF.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/ascii/bcft05.txt

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Response to pipoman (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:56 AM

5. The Brady bill has similar non-enforcement issues

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:02 AM

8. Didn't the NICS background check system

start out as the Brady Bill?

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:09 AM

4. OK, let me guess where this is going - if we'd only enforce the laws we already have......

Last edited Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:00 AM - Edit history (1)

Yes, stuff like this definitely needs to be fixed. I haven't researched it but I'm guessing one problem with enforcing this issue is a lack of funding.

However, the NRA's favorite comeback in a discussion of enhancing gun laws always seems to be that enforcing laws already on the books would solve everything. Well, that and selling more guns.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:56 AM

6. Exactly! Lets get stricter gun laws passed

AND enforce the ones we have.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:04 AM

9. How about we enforce the ones we have

and see if they are effectual before we start throwing more unenforced laws around.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:12 AM

11. +1

before we rush off to pass more laws that won't work, let's try to get the ones already on the books to work

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Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:15 PM

18. I'm sticking with what I said. n/t

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Response to groundloop (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:57 AM

7. It would clearly help

There is no one magic solution, including semi automatic bans, it is going to be a number pieces fitting together

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Response to groundloop (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:06 AM

10. Why aren't these laws being funded?

What makes you think new laws will be effectual when they aren't funded either?

Oh, and why would this be an NRA talking point and not a Brady talking point? Could it be that Brady groups really don't want improvement? Why wouldn't they want improvement? Maybe because people wouldn't donate to their cause if there are further reductions in violent crime because of better enforcement? Hmmm...

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Response to pipoman (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:52 AM

12. They Aren't Being Funded Because Of The Gun Militancy Movement.


The gun militancy movement is a hell of a lot larger, better funded, and politically potent than the Brady groups. But you knew that, didn't you? The most basic, non-controversial gun control policies have been rabidly opposed by pro-gun forces for decades. But you knew that as well, didn't you?

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Response to Paladin (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:06 AM

13. What the fuck does the Brady/VPC and others funding have to do with FUNDING THE LAW?

Nobody's repealed the law. Hell, the NRA worked for the passage of the brady instant background check system, because it allowed the elimination of 7 day waiting periods.

This is a straight up and down law enforcement fund allocation issue. How often do you have felons walking in some place and signing on the dotted line that they are committing a crime? Use that data.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:07 AM

14. No - states are going broke

when they are cutting education and other social services, do you really think they are going to spend money on a federal law that they are not actually obligated to fund?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:21 PM

17. doesn't explain the lack of federal funding.

Every city of any size has an FBI office and a BATFE office. No the funding should be for federal enforcement...it isn't state or locals job to enforce federal law.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:18 PM

16. Nonsense..

there is nobody opposing investigation of prohibited people trying to buy guns. It is nonsense to say such a thing. Any proof or just wishful thinking?

Seems I remember even the NRA endorsing the Brady Bill as passed, no? Yes. Along with the NFA, the 1968 and the 1984 revisions, all supported by the NRA at the time.

No, it is the gun control groups who beg for no enforcement because if enforcement results in reductions their membership (minuscule as it is) will decline even more than it already has..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:15 AM

22. Prove Your Final Statement About Gun Control Groups.


Talk about wishful thinking.....

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Response to groundloop (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:13 PM

19. Sure,

 

But I am a gun owner, and don't want assault weapons totally banned, but I am all for a whole range of restrictions, ALL OF WHICH would actually require laws being enforced and the FBI having data like this.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:36 AM

20. strong enforcement of these laws would make it self-funding

lying on a form 4473 contains of penalty of up to 10 years, and a fine of up to $250,000 PER OFFENSE - lie or falsify an answer multiple times on the same form and each instance of falsification can and should be prosecuted as a separate offense.

Enforcement of only this requirement would make a hefty dent in the problem of straw purchasing, don't you think?

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:50 AM

15. Money for the FBI for nothing. Try mugshots.com for a background check.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

21. I wonder how accurate the database is.

It's full of holes. One problem. You get "false negatives," people that should be blocked that aren't blocked.

But if it's corrupted, then you get false positives. People that shouldn't be blocked that are blocked.

Now the problem of false positives is a deal breaker because we must protect constitutional rights. E-verify.

Now it's irrelevant. Firearm background checks.

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