by Alan Korwin
For Publication, 445 Words
ALAN KORWIN is the author of the unabridged guide,
Contact: Alan Korwin
Here are the National Instant Background Check (NICS) statistics for the first four months of Brady Pt. 2 (from startup on Nov. 30, 1998 to Mar. 31, 1999). I obtained these from the FBI.
It seems more than 23,000 people a day buy guns for lawful use. All of their names and addresses are carefully recorded by the federal government, citing the Brady Law as authorization (although it, and the McClure Volkmer Act, explicitly prohibit such recording). No records are kept on the results of the 238 criminals turned away daily.
1,419,414 Inquiries from FFLs to the FBI Call Center
$19,871,796 (Calculated value if FFL calls were taxed $14 each)
In most states, the FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees, commonly called dealers) call the NICS center directly to conduct background checks. These are tracked separately from POCs (Points of Contact), where a centralized state police bureau takes the calls from its state's FFLs, and then serves as a go-between with the FBI. The FBI's controversial gun-tax plan, postponed for one year (through Oct. 1999), was to only tax FFLs in states that had no POC, at about $14 per call, to encourage those states to get their state police to comply.
786,006 Delayed (27.19%; 6,443 people are delayed daily)
27,000 Denials for prior-criminal-history file found (felonies)
4,900 Appeals: 72% sustained (3,528), 29% overturned (1,421)
Standard operating procedure is to notify the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of all denials (238 per day). Local law enforcement agencies are notified on people with outstanding warrants. Results are not tracked.
At its current rate, NICS will record in the neighborhood of 10 million American gun buyers' names in its first year, about 14% of the total citizens estimated to bear arms. Because making such recordings is strictly prohibited under federal law, the FBI has indicated they will begin deleting names six months after startup (that would be 6/1/99, less than 3 weeks from now), to prevent creating an illegal gun registry. If they do, the NICS "registry" will only contain between four and five million of the most recent American gun buyers at any one time.
P.S. At a recent Saturday gun show, with the NICS computer out of commission, the only place you could legally buy a firearm -- in the whole country -- was from a private individual, since all dealers were locked out of business by the FBI's computer problem.
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