Gun show woo

FBI Freaking Out About How Many Gun Background Checks They Have To Conduct


CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — The FBI is having a little tantrum over the sheer number of background checks they have to conduct for the sale of firearms.  The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a mandatory background investigation process which has to be conducted, in most cases, for every purchase of a firearm through a licensed gun dealer.

Apparently, after President Obama’s stirring action on ‘gun control’, a lot of people turned out to pick up firearms that they were worried would be classified as ‘assault weapons’ (whatever the heck that means).  They also turned out in record numbers to apply for their concealed carry licenses.  Who woulda thunk that’d be the reaction?  In either case, the FBI is backlogged heavily for conducting NICS.  This is causing delays for those purchasing guns from gun stores.

“The last several months, we’ve kind of found ourselves in a perfect storm,” FBI Assistant Director Stephen Morris said in an interview with USA TODAY.


While the FBI redeployed 70 analysts to help with the backlog, the biggest group of people hit are those dealing with appeals.  Background checks aren’t perfect and there is a chance for error — especially with so many databases they’re checking against.  So when someone has their request to purchase turned down, they can (and do in most cases) launch an appeal.  The number of appeals goes up as the number of applicants goes up — so we’re seeing a picture, yeah?  Needless to say, plenty of people are getting caught in that ugly spot where they’re trying to legally purchase a gun but are getting stopped at the background check process.

Because the analysts at the FBI are so backlogged, they’re arguing delays will be inevitable.  This, my friends, is just one more reason to apply for a concealed carry permit.  Some states (check with your own, first) even waive the NICS check if you have a valid concealed carry permit.  This makes the purchase process for a handgun or even a rifle much, much easier.  The permit, in of itself though, won’t help if you have legitimate hits against your record that would prohibit you from purchasing a firearm in the first place.  For those folks, unfortunately it’s time to speak with a lawyer because it’s hard to beat the system.

The NICS bureau has about 400 employees working to ensure law abiding gun owners can get their firearms in a timely manner.  The additional 70 analysts the FBI contributed will certainly help process the appeals requests but Morris warns that the sheer volume may prove unwieldy for some time to come.

Categories: General, News, Politics
About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Kevin Snyder

    I had a false hit on a background check. It took 31 days to clear it up, but after that, my CHP was approved in only 13 days, and my checks come back instantly. The additional scrutiny put new data in my file that makes it quicker.

  • dragos111

    I would like to see them remove the waiting period required when you are buying a firearm if you have a concealed carry permit. It is supposed to be some sort of cooling down period so you don’t run out in anger, buy a gun, and shoot someone. But, if you are already carrying, lawfully, when you are buying a gun, why bother with the wait?

    • Pod

      Your mileage may vary, but here in Florida, if you have a CWFL, you can take your gun home the same day after the NICS check. Some states allow you to skip NICS entirely if you have a concealed license.

      • dragos111

        Yeah. I imagine you have seen comments like the following one around.

        Illinois sucks.

  • KHSoldier(Ret)&Writer

    Tell Obama to stop saying, “Everything is fine, no one is coming to take your guns,” and maybe things will slow down. In the meantime, I’m going to give the FBI a little more business!


    I had a background check last week, took maybe 7 minutes. With a ccw clearance for five years, why bother?

  • Max Roberts

    I used to get “delayed” all the time because even though I’m a US citizen, I was born in Germany. Best thing I ever did was get a UPIN. Took about 3 months, but since then my purchases are instantly approved since I went to the trouble of submitting a set of fingerprints and filling out a 1 page form. Also, in Missouri, if the wait is longer than 3 days, it’s an automatic approval. Not sure about other states.

    • Pod

      The automatic approval for a delay after 3 days is nationwide.

      • Rob Parrott

        Be aware, this 3 day issue is being talked about by some of the gun grabbers in Congress. They are considering repealing that part of the Brady Law and requiring you to wait until they complete the check, even if it takes longer than 3 days. The idea is that they never complete the check. If they don’t complete the check, you don’t get approved for your purchase(s).

        • Pod

          Yes, suddenly NICS will be backlogged, all the time…

  • mtmisfit

    This article ignores the Jan 2016 announcement by the FBI that they are no longer processing appeals for NICS denials.

    • Steve Merrette

      That was what they are talking about in this article. They reassigned those 70 agents from the appeals area to handle regular applications. Eventually they will get to the appeals when they staff up but that may be a while and there is sure to be a backlog there then…

  • Capt_Nemo

    Them: Gotta close those ‘Internet Loopholes’.

    Me: Grab your phone, hit the Net & show me a single one of those supposed ‘Internet Loopholes’. I’ll just be snoozing right over here. Oh, and when find none exist, that’ll cost you $100 for my time pointing out what an idiot you are, and putting up with your tripe.

    So far, No takers.