More People Are Buying Guns. Fewer People Are Getting Background Checks.

More people are buying guns. Background checks are being completed by fewer people. The FBI did not complete more than 316,000 background checks on guns last year, despite a spike in gun sales.America's gun background check system was created to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. However, violent crime in many U.S. towns has increased dramatically over the past year.According to FiveThirtyEight historical data, the FBI, which oversees the system for vetting gun buyers, has processed on average 8.6 million background checks per year. According to FBI data obtained through a public records request by FiveThirtyEight, the bureau had processed 12,761,328 background check last year.The most shocking fact is that the FBI did not complete more than 316,000 background checks within the first nine months in 2020, far less than any other year. That number does not include December, October, and November, which are the busiest months for gun sales. Last year, 3.4 million background check were opened.Also, it is impossible to determine how many guns were sold in 2020 to people who could not legally own them as background checks were never done.Why gun control support has not led to new legislationWhen asked why it did not complete so many background checks in 2020 the FBI stated that it relies on the availability and efficiency of records and information from federal, state and local agencies.Gun sales have risen since April 2020 due to, at least partially, the pandemic, protests last year for racial justice, and the election in November of President Biden. FBI data shows that the background check system has not kept up with demand. It is not clear when this problem will improve.Growing problemSince 2014, the FBI has been slowing increasing the percentage of background checks it does not complete. It processed 8,256,6888 checks in the first year, but didn't complete 172 879 checks, which is just under 2.1 percent.However, the bureau failed to complete approximately 2.5 percent of background checks by 2019 and almost 3.4 percent within the first nine months in 2020.These numbers include only background checks on guns that are run by the FBI. They don't count the 20 states which conduct background checks. Not all background checks are equal to the number sold. Background checks may also be run when gun permit holders apply for guns permits or check their status. Multiple gun sales can be represented by a single background check.Nonetheless, background checks for 2020 are quite impressive.Related: Why Militias are So Hard to Stop Read More Related: Why Militias Are So Hard To Stop Read moreSmall Arms Analytics & Forecasting, a consulting firm, uses the total number federal and state background checks for the estimate of gun sales. This is in contrast to concealed-carry permits or any other process that goes through the background check system.According to the FBI, there were more than 39.3 Million background checks performed by federal and state authorities in 2020. The FBI estimates that nearly 23 million guns were sold in 2020, as opposed to 13.9 million in 2019.Jurgen Brauer, the firm's chief economist, stated that he had never seen anything like it during his 15-year career working with background check data.Brauer stated that nobody has. Everybody in the industry is confused.Actually, gun sales were low before the pandemic.From bad to worseThree numbers show the extent of the problem we are dealing with: (1) how long background checks take than three business days;(2) how many FBI checks never get completed; (3) how many people without legal rights who can legally purchase a gun are still able to do so because of these delays.Most background checks involving guns are answered by the FBI with an immediate yes/no. However, sometimes it needs to wait to conduct more research or because its records are not complete. The dealer may sell the gun after three business days. Many dealers, including Walmart and large retailers, decide not to. However, those that choose not to do so aren't required to inform the FBI.On average, background checks take three days for almost 275,000 people. According to FBI data, 535,786 background checks were performed in 2020. This number does not include background checks for concealed-carry permits and explosives licenses which aren't subject to the 3-business-day rule.The FBI continues to research. The bureau's regulations say that it must stop working and remove the background check from its computer systems after 90 days. In order to ensure that it does not violate this policy, the bureau deletes any background checks that are still incomplete on day 88.The FBI deleted 316,912 background checks in the first nine months 2020. This is 3.4 percent of all checks processed. It deletes approximately 202,000 background checks per year. This does not include background checks that are subject the three-business day rule.The FBI contacts the dealer if it discovers that the buyer cannot own a firearm between days 3 and 88 to verify that the sale has gone through. If the FBI finds that the potential buyer cannot own a gun between day three and day 88, it contacts the dealer to see if the sale went through.According to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, there were at least 3,800 so-called delayed deny sales between 2014 and 2019. According to ATF data, there were at most 5,807 in 2020. This is the highest number since 2006.There is no evidence to suggest that denial sales delayed are a major factor in crime. Some point out the small numbers that ATF keeps each year to prove that the law does not need to be changed.Remembering George Floyd: An entire year of protestThe ATF data is only a small part of the iceberg. Most gun background checks that take more than three days to complete by the FBI are not completed by the FBI. It deletes unfinished background checks so it is impossible to determine how many people would be denied or if they were able to purchase a gun.Even if they are small, these numbers can have devastating consequences. Dylann Roof purchased a Glock handgun in.45 caliber just days after an FBI background check was delayed due to incomplete records regarding his previous drug arrest. Roof killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, two months later.Federal law stipulates that the deadline must be met within three business days. Rob Wilcox is the federal legal director for Everytown. He said that deleting background checks not completed after 88 days of waiting is an issue under FBI policy and regulations.Wilcox stated that there is no law that the FBI must delete deferred background checks. The regulation specifies a 90-day deletion deadline, but that regulation can be modified through the administrative process.There are few answers and even fewer solutions.It is not clear why background checks are so infrequently completed and why they haven't improved over the years.From 2012 to 2016, the FBI invested millions in upgrading and automating certain parts of the gun background checking system. In 2018, Congress passed new legislation that aimed to fix the system. Yet, each year the delays continue to mount.According to the FBI's 2015 report on Roofs background checks, slow responses and insufficient records were the main causes of delays. The FBI report on Roofs background check also highlighted FBI policies that restricted how inspectors from National Instant Criminal Background Check System could conduct background checks. It also noted how the system prioritized keeping the immediate respond rate at 90 percent over clearing the small number of cases.NICS also failed to handle the normal volume background checks without resorting an escalation plan, which involved surging all staff to deal with background check requests.FiveThirtyEight questioned the FBI about its ability to handle the current amount of background checks. The bureau responded by pointing to the two-year supplemental funding that it received in fiscal year 2021. This money will pay for additional staff and IT resources, as well as other productivity enhancements.In a statement, the bureau stated that the ongoing system improvements made with the supplemental funds improve the efficiency of gun background checks processing.To reduce delays, the National Shooting Sports Foundation represents the firearms industry. It has tried to get more state records and local records, especially those related to mental health, into the background check system. Lawrence Keane (the senior vice president of government and public affairs) said that the organization is also working with Hill appropriations committees to increase resources for NICS or the ATF.Keane stated that they have been telling us that they require more resources. To meet growing demands, they need more technology and bodies.He said that the industry is eager for NICS to work properly.Others, such as Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, believe Congress should change the law to ensure dealers cannot sell guns without a background check.S. 591 is a Democratic bill that would require background checks to be completed before a gun sale. The National Shooting Sports Foundation strongly opposes the bill. It is currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee.H.R. H.R. 1446, which was passed by the House earlier in the year, would replace the existing three-business day window with a 10-day window, after which potential buyers would need to verify that they are not prohibited from owning guns. It is also pending in Senate.However, as long as the filibuster remains in place, there is little hope of any new gun legislation. The Senate killed a similar bill that was passed in the House during the previous Congress. A third bill, which would have prevented the FBI from deleting incomplete background checks, was also killed in the House.It is not clear, however, what the solution will be. Gun control advocates want the law to be changed so that dealers cannot sell guns until they have completed a background check. Opponents claim that the FBI cannot complete background checks even if it has all the records needed from local and state officials.It is evident that the long-term trend is up, even if gun sales slow down as some industry professionals predict. It is now up to us to figure out how we can manage an increasing number of guns.Blumenthal stated in a statement that one uncompleted check is a problem. But 316,000 uncompleted ones is a systemic failure in an already overwhelmed system.FiveThirtyEightThe reason Republicans are beginning to create their own climate agenda