Measure Would Create Backdoor Gun Prohibition

posted on July 20, 2015

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., has introduced a bill that would in effect vastly expand federal prohibited person categories—exploiting a recent tragedy and media misinformation.

The bill seeks to repeal a critical safety valve in federal law that allows for a firearm transfer to proceed three business days after a NICS check is initiated, provided “the system has not notified the [FFL] that the receipt of a firearm by [the buyer or transferee] would [violate federal law.]” This provision ensures that Americans’ rights to acquire firearms are not arbitrarily denied because of bureaucratic delays, inefficiencies or mistakes in identity.

According the most recent FBI report, 9 percent of NICS checks in 2014 were delayed “for additional review,” affecting nearly 750,000 people. In more than 99.6 percent of delayed cases, the delay was less than three days, the FBI could not substantiate the person was prohibited, or the FFL did not transfer the firearm—hardly the sign of a public safety crisis.

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