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Enforcing the laws on the books

The feds are looking at going after the guns of 4,000 people who passed background checks but should not have. This will be interesting to watch unfold.

12 Responses to “Enforcing the laws on the books”

  1. mikee Says:

    Much like the IRS, I’m guessing the first few attempts will involve certified letters to the prohibited person, requesting they immediately take their firearm to a police station or ATF office, or face further serious consequences. And a year or so later, after another dozen letters, then somebody will call before going to talk to the recalcitrant folk who have ignored the letters.

    On the other hand, I can’t think of a better motivation to make the NICS work properly than making its operators go find the guns sold incorrectly.

  2. Steve Vaujin Says:

    “On the other hand, I can’t think of a better motivation to make the NICS work properly than making its operators go find the guns sold incorrectly.”

    Except the possibility you are inviting the opposite response, an over reaction and denying everything.

  3. Hartley Says:

    Note the language of the article: “the agency relies on voluntary reporting…” – since when? AFAIK, the reporting is required by law – but when it requires .gov agencies to do something, it’s just “voluntary”? And of course, they just don’t have the staff or funding to do the job…
    And the supposed REAL problem is the 72-hour limit, as prescribed by Congress, which is allegedly because of the “evil gun manufacturers”. I’m sure the ATF would rather have 10-12 weeks (or more) to dither around and fail to do the job properly.

  4. JTC Says:

    It’s not without corollary in the justice system…can’t hold a suspect indefinitely without charges, the right to a speedy trial, etc. So on the premise that a right delayed is a right denied, “conditional approvals” let the transaction proceed.

    Still effed up but in my experience conditionals are 99% name/number/paperwork errors that are ultimately changed to unconditional approvals. Would we have all those folks rights delayed to prevent the tiny percent that get a non and a take-back order?

  5. Michael Says:

    This is nothing new. As Gutkowski over at the WFB pointed out on Twitter, the FBI releases this same statement every year, and the numbers are typically 3-4K.

  6. Ron W Says:

    Are there any “sanctuary cities” for these “prohibited persons”? You know they say, re: Federal immigration laws, that “no one is illegal”. But it’s OK if someone is “prohibited”?

  7. Jay Eimer Says:

    I wonder how many deny/retrieve cases are gun owners who get a conviction then try to buy a gun? Does anyone go collect the guns they already had before committing a crime? Do they even tell the convict he’s now prohibited from having guns?

    IE, what good does it do to get the gun they bought but weren’t supposed to get if they already have other firearms in the house?

  8. Lyle Says:

    Ron W; I like your thinking there.

  9. HSR47 Says:

    @Jay Eimer: No, these are a product of the FBI failing to process background checks in a timely manner.

    In short, there are three basic responses that dealers can get from NICS:

    Approved: The person passed the background check, and the dealer is allowed to move forward with the transaction.

    Denied: The person failed the background check, and the dealer is forbidden from moving forward with the transaction.

    Delayed: *Something* came up during the check that could be prohibiting, but NICS isn’t sure and needs some time to figure things out.

    Knowing that NICS would be constantly underfunded and understaffed, a condition was inserted in the NICS statute: After 72 hours, “Delayed” can legally be treated as “Approved” in order to prevent the government from throwing large numbers of people into indefinite delays.

    Unfortunately, NICS is constantly so far behind that some prohibited persons fall through this particular crack; THESE are the people from whom the FBI is looking to confiscate guns.

  10. Paul Koning Says:

    HSR, I’m not sure why you’re saying “unfortunately”. The original story talks about 4000 requests that might have been denied if NICS worked efficiently. That’s a pretty tiny number. And how many of these are people who are a real concern, as opposed to cases like people convicted of tax evasion and the like who technically are prohibited but aren’t an actual problem? How many are people who the NICS says should be rejected but that’s because of NICS database errors?
    I’m not at all convinced that “making the NICS work better” (in the sense of “faster”) is a good thing.
    I also worry that this particular story will be used as an excuse to get rid of the 72 hour time limit. That would be VERY serious — if that were to happen, the next democrat/anti-gun administration would immediately use that by delaying many, perhaps all, requests.
    Finally, I can’t see a valid reason for the delay. All this stuff is simply a database query. That takes microseconds, not days. Even idiot government IT drones can make it happen in seconds.

  11. Ron W Says:

    Thanks Lyle. My thinking is that “the equal protection of the laws” (14th Amendment) should be applied to EVERYONE. And all government officials and agents should be subject to ALL laws they enact and enforce on us.

    James Madison, Federalist 57, wrote that Congress “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

  12. Paul Koning Says:

    I prefer the Equal Protection Amendment:
    1. No person holding any office under the United States, or any of them, shall possess any weapon unless that weapon may be possessed by all law abiding adult citizens both in his place of residence and his place of office.
    2. No person holding any office under the United States, or any of them, may be protected within the territory of the United States by any weapon he is prohibited from possessing under part (1) above.

    In other words, no official in MA, CA, etc. may own a weapon, or have an armed guard.