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WaPo: FBI Trimmed Gun Check 'Fugitives' List From 500K to 778

Image: WaPo: FBI Trimmed Gun Check 'Fugitives' List From 500K to 778
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 November 2017 10:42 PM

The FBI in February narrowed its definition of "fugitive from justice," resulting in the purge of tens of thousands of people from the criminal background check database, The Washington Post reports.

Only people who have crossed state lines are now considered fugitives from justice, meaning fugitives who were previously barred from buying firearms can now do so. Previously, 500,000 people were identified as fugitives from justice. Now, there are 788.

"Any one of these potentially dangerous fugitives can currently walk into a licensed gun dealer, pass a criminal background check, and walk out with a gun," said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in a letter to the FBI.

The move comes after Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz in 2016 urged the Justice Department to sort out a disagreement between the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on whom was considered a fugitive from justice.

The FBI said anyone with an outstanding warrant was banned from buying a gun, while the ATF contended a person was only considered a fugitive from justice if they had an outstanding warrant and had also traveled to another state. The Justice Department sided with ATF.

The Giffords organization slammed the decision and called on the FBI and ATF to "correct this self-inflicted loophole."

"Even if the FBI's revised definition of fugitive from justice is assumed to be legally correct, purging the NICS database of every single individual previously identified as a fugitive from justice was an unjustifiable, alarmingly overbroad, and dangerous decision," the Giffords group's Thomas and Robin F. Thurston of the Democracy Forward Foundation wrote in the letter to the FBI.

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The FBI in February narrowed its definition of "fugitive from justice," resulting in the purge of tens of thousands of people from the criminal background check database, The Washington Post reports.
fugitives, justice, fbi, atf
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2017-42-22
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 10:42 PM
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