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Prohibited Gun Buyers Slip Through Federal, State Lapses

Prohibited Gun Buyers Slip Through Federal, State Lapses

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 September 2016 11:26 AM

Prohibited gun buyers have been able slip by federal and state background checks because of lapses in the system, according to a U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General report released on Wednesday.

The 2015 mass church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina where nine people were killed sparked the report's investigation after the FBI determined that the suspect, Dylann Roof, should not have been able to buy his weapon, according to CNN.

In that instance, the FBI failed to complete the background check in the three days required by law, allowing Roof to buy the gun, said CNN.

Roof, 22, is charged with 33 federal counts, predominantly involving hate crimes and obstruction of religion in the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, said NBC News. Jury selection for his federal trial started this week.

"The FBI generally has an effective internal control system for processing (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) transactions and for referring denied transactions to (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and we found the overall FBI error rate was exceedingly low," said the inspector general report.

"However, our review identified weaknesses in the FBI's system for following up on pending transactions. As we note in our report, even an isolated NICS process breakdown can have tragic consequences, as evidenced by the June 2015 fatal shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church, where the NICS process lacked timely and accurate data from local agencies that could have prevented the alleged shooter from purchasing the gun he allegedly used."

The report said federal background checks handled by states proved to be problematic as well.

"States, which handled about 68 million NICS transactions during our review period, are required to update the database with supporting documents as necessary after processing a transaction," said the report. "We reviewed a judgmental sample of 631 state-processed transactions and determined that in 630 of them the states did not fully update the NICS database or inform the FBI of the transaction’s outcome."

The report said that while there has been increase in prosecutions for gun crimes by the Justice Department, the number of background check prosecutions have dropped since the 2003 fiscal year.

"There also has been no significant change in the number of NICS cases pursued for prosecution since a January 2013 White House plan, issued after the school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, that requested the DOJ to maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime," said the report.

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Prohibited gun buyers have been able slip by federal and state background checks because of lapses in the system, according to a U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General report released on Wednesday.
prohibited, gun, buyers
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2016-26-29
Thursday, 29 September 2016 11:26 AM
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