Despite touting it protects people “by not letting guns fall into the wrong hands,” the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was no match for a wanted fugitive who exploited its computer glitches and bought guns several times.
A South Carolina pawn shop alerted federal agents it received notification about outstanding Louisiana arrest warrants for the fugitive after he had already left with a gun he bought there.
According to the NICS: “Before ringing up the sale [of a firearm], cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.”
Despite the NICS checks, the wanted fugitive was able to buy guns four times—apparently he lied on the forms by denying he was a fugitive from justice.
Federal agents went to a hotel where they found the wanted man with four guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He was arrested for having a fake driver's license, but no information was available about whether he faced criminal charges for having firearms and ammunition.