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Feds issued thousands of orders to seize guns from people who failed background checks

December 5, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds issued thousands of orders to seize guns from people who failed background checks

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Last year, the FBI issued over 4,000 orders to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives for agents to seize firearms from individuals who failed background checks.

An extensive analysis of federal records conducted by USA Today revealed that the retrieval requests reached a 10-year high — due partly to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which carried out a record number of 27.5 million background checks last year.

While the amount of successful gun seizures is not clear, similar operations in the past have led to a reasonably high recovery rate.

The increase is surprising, though, seeing how seeing how Air Force veteran Devin Kelley succeeded in purchasing the semi-automatic weapon that he used in his Texas church massacre — despite previously being convicted for domestic assault — in April 2016.

Gun owners who were targeted by the feds were either prohibited from purchasing a gun due to their criminal pasts, mental health issues, or other problems.

“These are people who shouldn’t have weapons, and it takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,” former ATF official David Chipman said to USA Today. “You don’t want ATF to stand for ‘after the fact.’”

The FBI established an internal investigation of its criminal background data check system in November after the Air Force confessed that it neglected to disclose Kelley’s conviction.

In sum, the FBI referred 4,170 gun purchases to the ATF in 2016 for seizure — an increase compared to the 2,892 requests that were made the year prior.

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