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Study: Firearm Background Check System “SEVERELY BROKEN”

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize what most gun rights activists have known all along… our National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is severely flawed.

A recent study conducted by both The Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) at UC Davis and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that over the last 10 years California’s strict gun control laws have had “no impact” on both the homicide and suicide rates within the Golden State.

Perhaps even more surprising for gun control activists, researchers found that much like our immigration policy, our Criminal Background Check System simply doesn’t work.

Researchers explained in a prepared press release, “It compared observed annual firearm homicide and suicide rates in California over 10 years following enactment of comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies in 1991 with expected rates based on data from 32 control states that did not have these policies and did not implement other major firearm policies during the same time.”

Researches acknowledged they saw a 10.9% decrease within that 10-year span in the use of firearm suicides in California. However saw that exact same decrease in suicides across the country within states that didn’t have California’s restrictive gun laws, suggesting that something else besides background checks and waiting periods had played a role in the drop.

The study concluded that the biggest factor affecting California’s gun laws is the lack of “up-to-date data” submitted to NICS.

Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and senior author on the study, said in a statement.

“Incomplete reporting of prohibiting data to background check systems in the 1990s, prior to implementation of the policies in California, is an important limiting factor.”

Adding, “In 1990, only 25% of criminal records were accessible in the primary federal database used for background checks, and centralized records of mental health prohibitions were almost nonexistent. As a result, a large number of people likely passed their background checks even in cases where, according to law, they should have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm. This remains a serious problem today; mass shootings have resulted from prohibited persons passing background checks and purchasing firearms.”

Both the NRA and Second Amendment advocates have long claimed publicly that the issue of gun violence and mass shootings could be remedied in part if Congress actually fixed the systemic problems within NICS.

That’s why both the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) have long advocated for “FIX NICS” which would require ALL INVESTIGATIVE AND POLICE AGENCIES to submit 100% of their CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS every 6-months to NICS.

Wintemute, however, acknowledges that since 2000 the quality and accuracy of criminal background checks denying firearm purchases to at-risk individuals, has improved by as much as 40% for homicides and just over 16% for suicides, citing rigorous permit-to-purchase laws.

Within recent weeks both legislators in Washington along with various state leaders from both sides of the political divide are seriously considering finally improving the nation’s criminal background checks, which would require a complete overhaul of NICS.

The bill currently making its way through Congress called “Fix NICS Act of 2017, (if enacted) would close a major loophole within the current law.

The revised bill would amend the “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” passed after the assassination attempt on President Reagan. The bill would require all federal agencies to report criminal convictions to the Attorney General, so those convictions are put into the background check system.

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About Bob A.

I began my career as a New York graphic designer, years later as an Art Director working with some of the leading advertising agencies and studios of the day, transitioned into owning my own graphic design service, providing a host of creative services, most recently as a working cartoonist for a verity of clients, my most recent illustrative assignment was a 33-page children’s book titled “Nicholas’s Amazing Journey.” I’m a published author, with my first novel titled “Journey” published in 2003, and my second a short story titled “Mr. Tidbit’s Dilemma”, published in 2014, by American Star Books, and I’m currently working on my third novel, a murder-mystery titled “Possession,” which hopefully should be completed early next year. I’m also an unabashed conservative and political junkie writing well over 4,000 published articles and political commentary, on a host of national issues and current event topics facing America. I received the 2007 Editors Choice Award, for Outstanding Achievement in poetry, presented by Poetry.com and the International Library of Poetry, and I am a proud member of the National Writers Association.

6 comments

  1. “Perhaps even more surprising for gun control activists, researchers found that much like our immigration policy, our Criminal Background Check System simply doesn’t work.”

    Why in the world would you think that surprises gun control advocates? Gun control advocates have been pushing to improve NICS for a long, long time, and pushing to close the loopholes in our current laws.

  2. Disgaceful performance…does out gov’t really care? if so, why hasn’t this been corrected?

  3. Unfortunately, too many people fail to see the real message here. All the gun laws passed do not – and will not – work for a very simple reason. The laws are directed at the people that are law abiding – not the criminals. Several hundred laws are in effect throughout the nation, and the most strict gun laws are in the places where the gun violence rates are the highest. Those laws, in those places, only succeed in curbing the honest citizen’s right to defend himself, his loved ones, and his community with a firearm. You turn the honest citizen that has honorable and commendable intentions into a criminal by the mere act of taking responsibility for his own defense – they are criminalized just for being armed, NOT for doing anything harmful to anyone else.

    • Jack – many of the laws we have would work better if they were actually followed. The two that would have the highest impact are the removal of firearms from the homes of people convicted of (or possibly awaiting trial for, with a judge’s order) domestic abuse, and criminal background checks that actually worked. It wouldn’t prevent gun crime, but the goal is reduction, not elimination.

  4. You need to remember – the Second Amendment is not an unlimited right to own guns. Gun control laws are just as old or older than the Second Amendment (ratified in 1791). Some examples of gun control throughout colonial America included criminalizing the transfer of guns to Catholics, slaves, indentured servants, and Native Americans.
    In the June 26, 2008 District of Columbia et al. v. Heller US Supreme Court majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited… nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” [3] On June 9, 2016 the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 that “[t]he right of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment,” thus upholding a law requiring a permitting process and “good cause” for concealed carry licenses in California.

  5. A e-J allthese rules do is create kill zones where people will be disarmed. Violent convicted felons should not be allowed to possess any modern repeating or cartridge fire arm , one single shot muzzel loader should be allowed for self defense by any one not in prison or on work release.

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