Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Gun check system crashes
The first day the FBI put its unconstitutional National Instant Check System (NICS) on line to determine the "eligibility" of individual citizens to purchase firearms, it "crashed," leaving gun dealers and gun buyers across the nation angry and disgusted.
Glitches in the "instant checking system" have caused tens of thousands of prospective gun purchasers unnecessary delay, as well as embarrassment and frustration.
Could it be, some critics of the system are asking, that someone is trying to discourage American citizens from purchasing firearms or encouraging harassed dealers to find a new line of work?
Before NICS went into operation, the FBI estimated the system could handle 10,000 checks per hour. Instead, it took the crash-prone system three days to perform approximately 73,000 "instant checks."
Since its start-up, according to the National Rifle Association (NRA), the time that the system is down when it repeatedly "crashes" appears to be increasing daily, The FBI claims to have "no idea" how many calls cannot get through to run the instant checks.
Making matters worse, the rejection rate, which includes "denied" and "delay" responses, is running at 35 percent, suggesting that more than one out of three U.S. citizens has a "questionable" or criminal background at first glance.
Meanwhile, criminals, of course, are continuing to avoid the system by buying what they need on the streets of America.
The rejection rate, FBI officials have admitted, may indicate a basic flaw in the system.
By comparison, a 1997 study indicated that states operating their own checking systems ran a rejection rate of about 2 percent.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey Pennsylvania, South carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and the territory of the Virgin Islands run their own background checks.
The NRA, which is closely monitoring NICS, is asking citizens, as well as federally-licensed firearms dealers, who have been having trouble with the new federal system, to send details documented in writing of any problems they have experienced to the association.