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
Gun Grabbers Demand Unprecedented “Executive Actions”

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gun Grabbers Demand Unprecedented “Executive Actions”

Biden was supposedly the point man for the gun control push Barack Obama launched during his second term. Obama has made a point of repeatedly emphasizing how lack of “progress” on gun control was the most frustrating and anger-inducing aspect ...

Delaware: Court Strikes Down Ban on Hunting with Semi-Autos

Friday, November 20, 2020

Delaware: Court Strikes Down Ban on Hunting with Semi-Autos

Today, the Delaware Superior Court issued its decision in the NRA-backed DSSA v. Garvin case, striking down the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) regulations that banned hunting deer with semi-automatic rifles.

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

News  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

News  

Monday, November 16, 2020

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

Just in case anyone needed further proof that much of the federal bureaucracy is more interested in serving themselves and left-wing political interests than public service, news broke this week that rogue elements of Bureau ...

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.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

News  

Monday, November 2, 2020

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

While discussion of the Second Amendment and gun control have been noticeably absent from the presidential debates and mainstream media coverage, gun rights are without a doubt on the ballot tomorrow.

A Government of Laws, Not of Men

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Government of Laws, Not of Men

Justice Samuel Alito of the United States Supreme Court released a keynote address for a Federalist Society event. Speaking on “The Declination of Individual Liberty,” he discussed the alarming erosion of our fundamental constitutional rights – notably, ...

Gallup: Support for Gun Control has Dropped and It’s Not a Priority for Americans

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gallup: Support for Gun Control has Dropped and It’s Not a Priority for Americans

After a year of COVID uncertainty, civil unrest, and record gun sales, support for further firearms restrictions has reached its lowest point since 2016. Moreover, the data shows that exceedingly few Americans consider additional gun controls the ...

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

News  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and ...

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.