ATF to Seize 4,000 Guns from People who Failed Background Checks

The FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

These requests were made because the background check system did not prevent these people with criminal records or mental health issues from purchasing weapons.

According to FBI records, this is the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, which is an especially striking statistic after revelations that an error in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 people at a Texas church last month. 

While the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year, the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase.

If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward, and then ATF agents are asked to retrieve the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied. 

"These are people who shouldn't have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences," said David Chipman, a former ATF official who helped oversee the firearm retrieval program. "You don't want ATF to stand for 'after the fact.'"

It’s not clear how many gun seizure requests agents successfully executed last year or how many weapons were ultimately recovered. Since multiple firearms can be purchased in a single transaction, the actual number of guns that should have been banned could be even higher than predicted.

Posted in General News

Tags: FBI, ATF, purchasing a gun

Print

This Week on FEDtalk

Navigating Plans for Summer with the National Park Service

Do you know what you are doing this summer? To find out what our National Parks have to offer, tune in to FEDtalk this Friday and start planning your trip!

Read more ...

Hear it from FLEOA

FLEOA Highlights Important Policy, People During Police Week

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is continually committed to serving our members and the federal law enforcement community. This Police Week, FLEOA has dedicated special time and attention to pushing policy that helps the law enforcement community protect and serve their community. From events highlighting the importance of police to meetings on the Hill, FLEOA is excited to engage the public and policy makers on law enforcement issues during this time of heightened awareness.

Read more ...
FEDagent

FEDagent.com

The free weekly e-report for Federal Law Enforcement

Get in touch with us

Email FEDagent publisher

Copyright 2019 FEDagent.com
Hosted by Peak Media Company, LLC