“Few individuals denied firearms purchases are prosecuted and ATF should assess use of warning notices in lieu of prosecutions,” a September report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office states in a response to a request by Congress. Bottom line: 25.6 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks were performed by the FBI in 2017, 181,000 attempted purchases were denied, ATF investigated 12,700 of those and referred 12 to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution as of July. And states handling their own background check systems are also reported to be falling down on the job, with some not even trying.
“It is a federal crime for people trying to obtain guns to make a false statement or furnish false or misrepresented identification that is intended to deceive people on the legality of the sale of the firearm,” USA Today explained. “Violators face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.”
That mass roundups of the scofflaws haven’t begun has got gun-grabbers – and some gun groups – in a lather. Lost in much of the noise is economist and author John Lott’s contention that a “high percentage” of “false positives” wrongly deny purchases. Not that due process is a concern when there are guns to be “taken off the street”…
The Brady Reversal
“If it’s official DOJ policy to enforce existing gun laws, why isn’t the government following its own policy?” Avery Gardiner, Co-President of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence asked indignantly on Twitter. She was promoting another bit of manufactured outrage in The Washington Post that advised “Lying to buy a gun? Don’t worry about the feds.”
“More to the point, why does