FBI to Launch Secondary Background Checks for Gun Buyers
The way the FBI processes background checks for firearms buyers is about to undergo a significant overhaul. The nation’s top law enforcement agency is looking to add a secondary check in addition to the existing one. It’s called the National Data Exchange, and it is going to serve as a second layer of vetting for people looking to buy guns.
According to the FBI’s website, “The N-DEx system is an unclassified national information sharing system that enables criminal justice agencies to search, link, analyze, and share local, state, tribal, and federal records. It is also a strategic investigative information sharing system that fills informational gaps and provides situational awareness.”
The N-DEx system is meant to cover gaps between states and jurisdictions which makes it possible for clerical errors and gaps in information sharing to catch illegal gun sales before they happen. The program was dreamed up in response to the Dylann Roof killings. These should have been prevented since Roof had a previous felony drug arrest. But the existing information sharing system was too slow, or insufficiently comprehensive, to catch him before he bought his gun, we’re told.
The existing system, the NICS, did register Roof’s felony record but it did not reveal sufficient information to bar him from buying a gun. The FBI should have been able to locate the complete report, but clerical errors prevented that from happening.
In other words, they could see there was a felony arrest- but it didn’t reveal enough details about the felony so they let him buy a gun anyway. That is pure BS.
Attorney Andy Savage, who represents the some of the victims of the Charleston shooting commented, “It’s amazing it’s taken more than three years before an initial step can be taken by the FBI. There is no excuse under any circumstances for Dylann Roof to have ever gotten a weapon. The facts are egregious.”
The victims of the Charleston shooting are suing the FBI for negligence over the clerical error that allowed Roof to buy the gun he used to kill their loved ones and injure others that day. A Federal judge has dismissed their suits claiming that the agency did follow the correct procedures.
If the FBI did its due diligence, that would mean there really is a need for a new and better system. The alleged weakness in the existing system became known as the “Charleston Loophole.” They are calling it a glitch at times and a series of clerical errors at other times.
This is an important point of contention. Was the weakness in the system that allowed Roof to get a gun a series of clerical errors, or was it a glitch? Those are two very different things. A series of clerical errors include human mistakes like spelling errors or accidentally throwing the wrong file away- that sort of thing. A glitch implies an unforeseeable hangup in some procedural or mechanical system. It should mean that even if the FBI did everything correctly, their system would have malfunctioned anyway.
It’s important to suss out the difference, and determine whether these terms “glitch” and “series of clerical errors” refer to the same event or events, or if they are just being used as fudge words to make the case easier to process than it would be otherwise.
The judge, allegedly, “blasted” the federal government for “glaring weaknesses” in the background checking system. Now, that is a very interesting use of language. A “glaring weakness” strongly implies fault on the part of the FBI.
This looks like a classic instance of a judge realizing that a government agency is at fault and using fudge words to get them off the hook. It’s a standard bureaucratic move, to shift or obscure the blame, and then invent a sweeping remediation which may or may not actually become a reality.
Now, what we’re going to get is a whole new and completely opaque system that will catch law-abiding citizens in who knows how many snags when it pleases the system and lets more Dylann Roofs slip by when it’s convenient.
It looks like the FBI was let off the hook. The judge used every word he could think of other than “negligence.” Frankly, the whole case reeks of “affluenza.”
~ National Gun Network