BRADY LAW CLOSES GUN STORES MORE THAN 8 DAYS
Persistent Background-Check Outages
Second Amendment Suspended Scores of Times
by Alan Korwin
For Publication, 410 Words
A review of FBI computer records reveals that the firearms industry has been shut down for more than eight full business days, between Dec. 10 to June 15, due to the National Instant Background Check (NICS). The four-page report, obtained last week by the National Association of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers, indicates that legitimate businesses have endured federal closures 84 times in the six-month period.
"What other industry would tolerate such dramatic and constant damage to its business?" asked Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America, the unabridged guide to federal law. "The most amazing aspect is the absolute silence from the mainstream media," he says, "where a mere 5-hour outage at amazon.com makes national headlines." FBI figures show that 23,000 Americans buy guns on an average day.
Required by Part 2 of the Brady law, NICS has decreased business hours by 4.45% over the period, squeezing profit out of firms. At least two full weekend days were lost this month, wiping out retail sales at gun shows as well, bringing the total closures to more than ten days. Additional outages at the state police level are not included in the totals.
NICS-less GUN SALES?
Anticipating that NICS might be used to stop gun sales altogether, Congress explicitly required its use only if it is running (18 USC 922(t)(5)). But gun dealers, fearful for their livelihood and licenses, are understandably reluctant to risk relying on the law, at least not on their own. The media would have a field day with it.
Doing business without NICS when it is down would almost certainly attract the wrath of federal agents. "Though the law sure seems to protect you, and that language was deliberately placed there during drafting for this very reason, I have little doubt that the feds would be, shall we say, displeased, at such challenge to their power," Korwin says. "The fact that 't5' has a penalty for avoiding NICS -- but only if it's running -- might not stop bureaucratic bullying or worse from officials who openly violate other gun laws, such as the ban on recording innocent gun buyers' names." Rumblings about a class-action suit have been getting louder as dealers increasingly suffer at bureaucrats' mercy.
NICS, touted as a tool to stop criminals from buying guns at retail, was never overtly intended to stop gun sales altogether, but has so far proven quite effective in doing so.
Alan Korwin is the author of seven best-selling books on gun law, including "Gun Laws of America--Every Federal Gun Law on the Books, with Plain English Summaries," and state gun guides for AZ, CA, FL, TX, VA. This paper is part of an ongoing series, click Position Papers on our home page, or write or call for copies.
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