Gun Control: Opportunities to Close Loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) searches state criminal history records to prevent gun sales to ineligible persons. GAO found that state firearm laws and procedures may affect how these records are used by NICS. Each of the six states GAO surveyed had some mechanism by which persons with criminal convictions could have their rights to own a firearm restored. The six states typically require a waiting period before someone can apply for relief, and some criminal convictions make a person ineligible for restoration. ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 12, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) searches state criminal history records to prevent gun sales to ineligible persons. GAO found that state firearm laws and procedures may affect how these records are used by NICS. Each of the six states GAO surveyed had some mechanism by which persons with criminal convictions could have their rights to own a firearm restored. The six states typically require a waiting period before someone can apply for relief, and some criminal convictions make a person ineligible for restoration. In 26 states, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has determined that a concealed carry permit may exempt permit holders from an NICS background check when they are buying a firearm. This situation underscores the need to carefully screen applications and monitor permit holders to ensure their eligibility to own firearms. The six states used various approaches to make it easier to identify individuals convicted of domestic violence. Despite these efforts, NICS failed to detect more than 2,800 persons convicted of domestic violence who bought firearms during the first three years the system was in operation."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 12, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Gun Control: Opportunities to Close Loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, report, July 12, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290911/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.