Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

GAO: National Instant Gun Check Failing In Key Areas

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Washington, D.C.-Results of a General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation, requested by U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas into the National Instant Check System (NICS) for firearm purchases, indicates a variety of significant failures that have kept it from operating as Congress intended. The report on NICS shows that the system has failed to provide "instant" checks 28% of the time, has denied law-abiding citizens the ability to purchase a firearm while prohibited individuals were able to do so, and that federal agencies have failed to investigate a large number of sales to prohibited individuals. Released to the public today, the report on the point-of-sale system created by Congress in 1993 and operated by the FBI since 1998 was requested by Thomas a year ago to establish the effectiveness of NICS. The investigation also illustrates the illusion of passing new laws when current ones are not being operated successfully, Thomas said. "The report paints a sobering picture of a failure by federal agencies to enforce existing gun laws as Congress intended," Thomas said. "The result is that the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens are being infringed upon while too often criminals seep through without consequence," Thomas said. Specifically the GAO report finds:
  • 1.2 million, or 28 percent, of all federal firearm checks were not instant.
  • 1,505 individuals were denied the opportunity to purchase firearms as a result of FBI examiner error or misidentification.
  • As of Dec. 31, 1999, ATF Headquarters reported that 3,353 prohibited individuals had obtained firearms, but only had active criminal investigations on 110 - or 3.3% of these individuals.
  • The NICS failed to meet its operating accountability standards two-thirds of the time between 11/30/98 and 11/30/99.
  • Although NICS has been operational for 15 months, it has yet to be authorized as secure in accordance with the FBI`s own requirements. Thomas concluded that the new NICS report should weigh heavily in the President`s current push for additional laws to affect gun purchases and address violence. "If during our oversight of current gun control laws it`s found that criminals still get guns and a high number of legal gun purchases are denied, you have to question the effectiveness of additional layers of gun regulation," Thomas said. "We have got to get serious about targeting and prosecuting the criminals and addressing the drug trade that often precipitates violence." In 1993 Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that called for the FBI to create the National Instant Check System. This system was designed to instantly screen all firearms purchases from Federally Licensed Firearms dealers. According to a Syracuse University study, from 1992 to 1998 ATF referrals to prosecutors of federal firearms violations have dropped 44%, prosecutions are down by 40% and convictions have dropped 31%.
  • TRENDING NOW
    Supreme Court Signals It May Rein In Federal Rulemakers

    News  

    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Supreme Court Signals It May Rein In Federal Rulemakers

    While most of the attention from the end of the United States Supreme Court’s last term focused on several landmark cases, including a major win for gun owners in the NRA-supported case New York State Rifle ...

    When Seconds Count, the Police are Only Hours Away

    News  

    Monday, August 8, 2022

    When Seconds Count, the Police are Only Hours Away

    After violent unrest and looting in 2020 that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted had “spread like wildfire” throughout parts of Chicago, the mayor nonetheless “urged Chicagoans not to take matters into their own hands in this concealed ...

    Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

    Gun Laws  

    Thursday, January 1, 2015

    Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

    CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

    House-Passed Gun Ban Shows the Importance of the Election This November

    News  

    Monday, August 1, 2022

    House-Passed Gun Ban Shows the Importance of the Election This November

    On Friday, after a last-minute rule change to allow its consideration, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1808.

    NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Challenges California’s Ban on Promoting Youth-Hunting and Youth-Shooting-Sports Programs.

    Friday, August 5, 2022

    NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Challenges California’s Ban on Promoting Youth-Hunting and Youth-Shooting-Sports Programs.

    Today in an NRA-ILA-backed lawsuit, a coalition of groups that offer and promote youth-firearm safety, youth-shooting sports, and youth-hunting and hunter-education programs filed a lawsuit challenging a newly passed California statute that prohibits them from ...

    Colorado Update: Boulder County Adopts Gun Control Package to Infringe Second Amendment Rights!

    Thursday, August 4, 2022

    Colorado Update: Boulder County Adopts Gun Control Package to Infringe Second Amendment Rights!

    This week, the Boulder County Commissioners unanimously voted to pass a gun control package consisting of five ordinances to infringe on your Second Amendment rights. Commissioner Matt Jones claims these ordinances are “common-sense gun violence laws designed to ...

    Oregon: Faulty Gun Control Ballot Measure Summary Approved

    Friday, August 12, 2022

    Oregon: Faulty Gun Control Ballot Measure Summary Approved

    This week, the Explanatory Statement Committee approved Ballot Measure 114’s (formerly IP 17) summary that will appear in the voter pamphlet.

    NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

    News  

    Friday, April 1, 2022

    NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

    Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

    Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

    News  

    Monday, July 25, 2022

    Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

    On July 19, 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind. when a gunman armed with a rifle opened fire in the food court. Upon witnessing the ...

    Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

    Gun Laws  

    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

    CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

    MORE TRENDING +
    LESS TRENDING -

    More Like This From Around The NRA

    NRA ILA

    Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.