This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 10, 2016:
The Brady Campaign promised back in 1993 that a properly installed background check system, run by the ever-dependable and reliable FBI, would deny permission to criminals trying to buy a firearm. The latest report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department confirms that the system is working well: from 2008 to 2014, the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] denied approval of 556,000 requests for permission to purchase a firearm with an “accuracy rate that ranges from 99.3 percent to 99.8 percent.”
But buried on page four of the report was this:
We found that the number of NICS denial prosecutions has dropped substantially since 2002, when 166 subjects were accepted for consideration of prosecution.
Between 2008 and 2015 … the USAO [United States Attorney’s Office] accepted for consideration of prosecution 254 subjects … less than 32 subjects per year.
In other words, while background checks are up to nearly two million a month (August set another record), prosecutions are down? How is that possible?
One need only look at the real reason behind the NICS to give an answer: the NICS was never intended to weed out criminals, but instead to restrict without due process the freedom of citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The NICS alleges that it sifts out everyone who:
receives VA or Social Security disability benefits with the help of a financial advisor or manager;
has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
is under indictment for such a crime;
is a fugitive from justice;
has been judged a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
is an unlawful user of or addicted to any “controlled “substance;
is illegally in the United States;
has been discharged from the Armed Forces under “dishonorable” conditions;
is subject to a restraining order concerning a partner or a child; or
has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence.
Notice what is happening here: rights are being denied without due process. Notice also that criminals are not filling out the notorious privacy-invading IRS Form 4473. Why would they when they can obtain firearms by stealing them or trading for them on the street?
So the fact that prosecutions are down rather than up shouldn’t be a surprise. It was never the primary purpose behind the background check system.
Its failures are monumental. Consider the shooter who murdered nine innocents attending a Bible study in South Carolina last summer: Dylann Roof. The failure of NICS to pick up this looney druggie forced FBI Director James Comey to exclaim: “The thought that an error on our part is connected to this guy’s purchase of a gun that he used to slaughter these good people is very painful to us.” Not nearly as painful, of course, as the pain suffered by the victims as Roof ended their lives prematurely through violence.
In January, the FBI made public that they were no longer processing appeals for those wrongfully caught in the government net. In other words, once on the list, forever on the list. It’s bad enough that an individual caught in that net would have his or her rights violated without due process of law. It’s worse that once violated, that person must file an appeal to restore his or her rights: he is guilty until proven innocent. And now that appeals aren’t being processed, it’s over. Mission accomplished.
As the NRA pointed out in January, “an individual who found himself erroneously flagged by NICS, no matter how law-abiding, would have no avenue to acquire legally a firearm and no means to challenge their incorrect NICS status.” Added the NRA:
[The failure of NICS] reveals that the anti-gun politician’s true motive isn’t to diminish unlawful firearm possession or reduce crime, but to further burden and discourage lawful gun ownership.
In that regard, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice is correct: the NICS is working just fine.