NICS Background Checks Expensive But At Least They’re Flawed

NICS Background Checks Expensive But At Least They’re Flawed
The lamestream media told you: Nothing. The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that.

PHOENIX, AZ –-( Ph.D. researcher John Lott, author of More Guns Less Crime, has examined NICS and found that it is not what it’s cracked up to be. Based on his report:

“NICS accidentally flags many law-abiding people, stopping those who simply have the same name as a prohibited individual from buying a gun. A similar problem occurred five times for the late Senator Ted Kennedy when he was placed on a no-fly list. An initial denial does not mean an individual is actually disqualified from owning a gun.”

Using those initial denials to draw conclusions would violate every principle of accuracy, but it hasn’t stopped anti-rights bigots from bragging about how good NICS is.

Take the numbers for 2008, the latest available. There were 78,906 initial denials. But of those, only 5,573, or 7%, were referred to BATFE for further investigation. So what about all the rest of the denials?

A report by the U.S. Department of Justice indicates, “The remaining denials (73,333 – 93%) did not meet referral guidelines or were overturned after review by Brady Operations or after the FBI received additional information.” Lott makes this clear — “To put it differently, the initial review didn’t find that these individuals had a record that prevented them from buying a gun.”

Relax, it gets worse. Of the 5,573 referred for review, over 44%, (2,472), involve “delayed denials,” meaning a check hasn’t been completed. Only 3,101 covered cases where initial reviews indicated that the person should have been denied buying a gun.

“But the government admits that upon further review about a fifth of these referrals involved ‘no potential or unfounded’ violations of the law, leaving about 4,400 cases. That implies an initial false positive rate of roughly 94.4%,” according to Dr. Lott.

Up until this point, the merits of the case has entered the picture. If a review of the records indicates that someone is a prohibited individual, they are included in the numbers. But of these 4,400 cases, only 147 seemed serious enough to refer to prosecutors. Of those 147, prosecutors thought the evidence was strong enough to bring a case only 105 times. Bottom line, 78,906 NICS denials yielded 105 cases, about a tenth of a percent, and that’s without knowing if anyone was found guilty.

At least, the system only costs us hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bloomfield Press, founded in 1988, is the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Our website,, features a free national directory to gun laws and relevant contacts in all states and federally, along with our unique line of related books and DVDs. “After Your Shoot” for media review is available on request, call 800-707-4020. Our authors are available for interview, call to schedule. Call for cogent positions on gun issues, informed analysis on proposed laws, talk radio that lights up the switchboard, fact sheets and position papers. As we always say, “It doesn’t make sense to own a gun and not know the rules.” Visit:

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