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Lack of data makes it hard for background checks system to work properly

November 11, 2017

I’m trying to find out which states don’t report criminal records to the federal national instant background check system. Most don’t, but now I need names. RM

A system to keep guns from the mentally ill doesn’t always get the information it needs. ..states are not required under federal law to submit mental health records to NICS. There are no consequences if states choose not to send records, resulting in major information gaps.

Only about 30 percent of the estimated 4.4 million mental health records in the United States over the past two decades can be found in NICS

Source: Lack of data makes it hard for background checks system to work properly

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alan permalink
    November 11, 2017 10:40 pm

    Your comment seems to grant or assume that requiring the citizen to undergo a “background check” pursuant to the exercise of a constitutional right is a good idea. You are entitled to your opinion of course, however your opinion has less than universal acceptance, to say nothing of demonstrated problems with the background check system itself, some of which I have personal experience with.


  2. Jay Eimer permalink
    November 12, 2017 1:28 pm

    Oklahoma had 26 as of Dec. 2016, that after passing a law enforcing such reporting that went into effect July 1 2015. Doesn’t seem like it was working very well then. No clue how the last 11 months has gone.

    For Alan – no, the checks are unconstitutional under a strict reading of 2A, but if progressives are going to keep harping on UBCs, it’s in our interest to point out that a background check does no good if the “bad person” is not in it – and (see above) if there’s no one in the database, it’s not going to do anything.


    • Alan permalink
      November 12, 2017 6:24 pm

      Memory might fail, but as I recall, FEDERAL MONEY, which is found under mushrooms or some such, has in the past been appropriated to the states for the purpose of bringing their records up to date. What happened??


      • Jay Eimer permalink
        November 13, 2017 10:22 pm

        Alan, I think it’s just .gov being .gov. They’re told by the feds to report. They say their computers are still in the stone age and they can’t. The fed side gives them money. They (a) don’t upgrade the computers for years then (b) have a low bid contractor (probably giving a kickback to his representative to boot) screw up the upgrade. THEN the state passes a law making the still impossible EVEN MORE mandatory. Then when they finally do get the computers fixed, half the time the judges forget to tell the clerks that they had someone committed.

        Keep in mind, 26 court ordered commitments (according to the submitted records almost 18 MONTHS after the state ordered the courts to do what the Feds had both ordered and paid for. This 26 people includes (also by state law) EVERY unsuccessful suicide attempt. If law enforcement or EMS gets called for an attempted suicide (and person is not deceased) they’re supposed to go for a mandatory mental health eval at an in person facility – and these are normally at least 72 hour holds, if not longer. That probably shouldn’t be a criteria to put someone in NICS as a prohibited person (a lot of people attempt suicide half-heartedly to get attention, and still more are serious when they try, but it’s a short term depression driven impulse. Most shouldn’t have access to a gun right then, but few will have life long problems if they get help. Nevertheless, it’s a court ordered involuntary commitment, and THAT is exactly what’s in 922(g). And I know for a fact Parkside (Tulsa County, OK mental health hospital) houses 40 at a time, at least half of which are there for a week or less. I listen to a scanner and hear the TFD go out on suicide calls two or three times a week – and probably only one in 5 they call for the chaplain and coroner, so the rest are transports to a hospital.


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