Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Brady's Fuzzy Math on NICS Denials

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Brady Campaign released a report this week claiming that in its first 20 years, the NICS background check system has blocked more than 2.1 million gun purchases.  Brady would have you believe each of those denials prevented a dangerous person from getting a gun.  They would also have you believe their numbers prove the system should be expanded to include all firearm transfers, rather than just those occurring between licensed dealers and their unlicensed customers, as is the case now.

The problem for Brady is their claims simply do not tell the whole story, and the truth does not support their recommendations.

Everyone agrees that keeping firearms away from dangerous people is a good idea.  Although Brady does not tell you that many thousands of the denials it cites were false positives, we'll stipulate that many dangerous people undoubtedly have been turned away from licensed dealers empty-handed after a NICS checks.  But the story doesn't end with the denial.

A denial should indicate that a prohibited person tried to obtain a gun, and lied about his eligibility to the dealer.  That's a crime.  Thus, you would imagine the federal government would be interested in ensuring the people who are denied did not get away to pursue the many other options available to get a gun.  That is not, however, what the numbers show.

Out of 72,659 NICS denials in 2010, for example, only 62 led to federal prosecutions.  Of these prosecutions, only 13 led to convictions.  So what happened to the other 72,647 people who were denied?

One possibility, as we've mentioned, is that some of those persons should never have been denied in the first place.  In that case, NICS didn't enhance public safety, it merely stood in the way of someone exercising a constitutional right.

Assuming for the sake of argument the rest of the people really were dangerous enough not to be trusted with firearms, they still had other options to get them.  And if you talk to the criminals themselves, these alternatives are the primary means by which they obtained their firearms. 

According to a 2004 survey of state prison inmates who possessed a firearm at the time of their offense, 37.4% obtained the firearm through a relative or friend, and 40% obtained it directly through various criminal means.  Meanwhile, only 11.3% obtained the firearms in retail sales that might have involved a background check through a licensed dealer.

Moreover, even if background checks applied to every sale, that still wouldn't stop the common practice of straw purchases, where a person who can pass the background check acquires the firearm for someone who can't.

In the final analysis, Brady's numbers are not so impressive, nor do they argue for expanding a system that most criminals have already learned to circumvent.

TRENDING NOW
Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Friday, October 11, 2019

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Earlier today, Governor Newsom signed the seven anti-gun bills listed below into law.  

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Monday, October 14, 2019

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law.  

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

Last week, economist John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center released “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019,” his annual report on the number of concealed carry permit holders in the U.S.

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

News  

Friday, October 4, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

Last week, a retired Tulsa, Oklahoma law enforcement officer testified in a Congressional hearing that she “would not comply” if Congress passes a ban on firearms. Her bold assertion earned her national media attention and ...

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

Virginia’s anti-gun politicians are serious about attacking law-abiding gun owners, but are indifferent about actual gun crime. As highlighted in a recent report in the Washington Free Beacon by Stephen Gutowski, the Virginia Department of Justice Services ...

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the two-dozen Democrat presidential hopefuls vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, has been promoting her anti-gun platform for many months. This isn’t really news, as ...

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

The Nov. 5th election may be the most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. That’s because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.