FBI Director James B. Comey admitted Friday that a “flaw” in the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) allowed Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof to take delivery of a handgun following a 72-hour check delay, so watch for someone in the Capitol Hill gun control crowd to push for an extension of that to four or five days.
Comey told a press briefing earlier today, “We are all sick this happened. We wish we could turn back time.” But instead of turning back the clock, the smart money might be on betting that either Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Dianne Feinstein — or some other anti-gunner — will recommend running the clock an additional 48 hours on any background check delay, which currently is limited to three days, as noted by the New York Times and others.
Under the law, if there is no action on a delay by 72 hours after a NICS check, the dealer may proceed with the sale. That appears to be what occurred when Roof bought a .45-caliber Glock semi-auto pistol in April two months after he was popped on a drug charge. The information on that case apparently had not been entered into the NICS database, Comey indicated, allowing the sale to be completed.
While anti-gunners might launch narratives about how the NICS system needs to be strengthened, and perhaps how there should be a mandatory waiting period – thus defeating the “instant” part of the “instant background check” – there would be another side of any such discussion. This is another failure of a background check system upon which anti-gunners want everyone to rely in their push for so-called “universal background checks” for every firearms transfer, including loans and gifts, with but few exceptions. These checks are demanded ostensibly to prevent such crimes.
Should anyone wonder why so many in the Second Amendment community have become so critical of the demand for blanket background checks? Roof is just the latest in a long line of accused or confirmed mass shooting perpetrators who passed background checks, presumably because information that should have been in the NICS system wasn’t there.
In Colorado, you’ve got movie massacre suspect James Holmes, who passed multiple checks on multiple gun sales. In California, there was Elliot Rodger, the spree killer who fatally stabbed three people before fatally shooting three others, after he passed multiple background checks and went through waiting periods.
There was Naveed Haq, the Seattle Jewish Federation gunman, who passed a background check. And Café Racer gunman Ian Stawicki, who also passed a background check. Don’t forget Washington, D.C. Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis, who passed a check, as did Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan, and Tucson mass shooter Jared Lee Loughner.
Is it too much to ask supporters of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure now being challenged in federal court, what they really think they accomplished? That is, other than expand the state pistol registry, which seems to have been the goal all along; expanding a gun registration scheme. That is, a dubious piece of trophy legislation against which the noses of law-abiding gun owners have been rubbed in a feel-good moment.
But now that Comey has acknowledged the problem with NICS, will the system be repaired, scrapped or will anti-gunners push for stricter gun control measures against lawful gun owners? You get three guesses, and the first two will probably be wrong.
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