FBI Touts Success of Current Background Check System

FBI Touts Success of Current Background Check System

With November 30th marking 15 years since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for gun purchases was launched, the FBI took time to praise the success of the current background check system. 

NICS is handled “by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia.”

According to the FBI, the NICS system has been used to process over 177 million background checks since it was implemented on November 30, 1998. Out of the more than 177 million checks, “queries of criminal databases have resulted in 1,065,090 denials.” 

NICS spokesman Steve Fischer said: “The statistics for denials can stand on their own with regards to how well the system works in keeping firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.” 

NICS is set up to immediately return answers of “proceed” or “deny” on would-be gun purchasers. In the event that the answer is delayed for lack of criminal history records in a particular instance, NICS can extend the background check but by law the gun sale must proceed if three days pass without a denial.

“NICS employs nearly 500 persons and operates 17 hours a day…364 days a year (closed on Christmas).”

Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and President Obama believe these background checks are not sufficient.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins